The Rose Society

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Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rating: 5/5

5⭐
After being exiled by the Daggers, Adelina Amoterou flee away from Kenettra with her sister Violetta. They went to the city if Merroutas in hope of finding new elites so they can form a new group that they will be calling The Rose Society. They first found the famous Magiano whose powers is to mimic other elites’ power. One way or another, Magiano was the reason they found “The Rainmaker” that the Daggers exiled, his name is Sergio.

After getting allies, Adelina with her roses sailed back to Estenzia to seize the throne. Along the way they discovered that the Daggers we’re planning to bring back Enzo from the dead with the help of the Beldain queen, Maeve, whose power is to bring back the dead by tethering its soul to another human being. With this knowledge Adelina managed to fool everyone and got Enzo tethered to her instead of Rafaelle.

When Adelina thought that everything’s in its place with the crown of Estenzia hers and Enzo tied to her soul, then she will discover that everything costs something.

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I waited for a month to read The Rose Society, and I must say that every agonizing minute of waiting was worth it. Some people waited for a year and honestly, I can’t imagine myself waiting that long. I would have gone insane.

After the ending of the first book, I expect nothing easy and light for The Rose Society. I expect nothing but vengeance and hardships, but even with these expectations I was surprised on how the story unfolds. It didn’t occur to me that Marie Lu will have the heart to take our characters into a much darker path. I almost hated her because of it, because of how sad and dark Adelina’s life has become when all she wanted (in the past) is to be loved and to be accepted. The author totally suceeded again on telling a story of a villain. The Rose Society may be a filler book of sorts but on story telling wise, it is a unique book that shows what’s behind the mask of an antagonist.

So what’s the difference between The Rose Society and those other literary works that tells the story of characters who makes the life of those good hearted people suffer? Adelina.

Adelina’s character backbone is made of sufferings and bitterness. She is fueled with vengeance and thirst of power just like every other villains. But what made her so compelling is her character never pretended to be pitiful. Yes she suffered in the past, but it wasn’t the MAIN reason on how she turned out. It’s like the darkness of her soul is what she’s already made of even before the bloodfever arrived. It’s like her own existence was made possible by the desire to be uplifted. Even on The Young Elite when she was training with the Daggers her power is much more stronger when she’s afraid or angry.

Do I like Adelina? Hell yeah! Why? Well I don’t want to be on the receiving end of her wrath so I decided that if on a parallel universe where she existed, I’ll try to be friends with her.

Let’s talk about Magiano. He’s hilarious, his power is to die for, and he’s overlooked by Adelina. How can one ignore that kind of character? He’s so full of life and energy. While reading the book, I am more looking forward on his scenes more than those of our MAIN characters. There’s just something in him that will make every reader drawn to him. I don’t know if it’s his swag that made the differece, but if you’ll read the book I will promise that you’ll like his character. I just wish that there’s a whole lot more of him on the book. I feel deprived of his scenes.

Another character that was added to the mix is our resident bringer of dead back to life, the Beldain Queen, Maeve. Honestly I don’t know whether to trust her. She’s the leader of another country, yet she agreed on restoring Enzo’s life (which turned out to be trouble). Her character says that she wanted to restore him to help everyone but clearly, she did that because she has something to gain from it. So my verdict about her hasn’t reach its ending yet.

The Daggers were a mess in this book, one died, another was dying, and another one has failed on having a dead man’s life tethered into him. I don’t think that there’s something good coming on their way on the next book. I just can’t grasp the fact that a group that was so invincible in the past ended up like that. I was embarassed for them.

Teren’s character surprised me, he agreed on doing something that makes his stomach turn, which is teaming up with elites. Also, can you believe that she killed Guillietta? He took the definition of insane into a whole new level. But I also believe that his character possesses a depth that the other character in this novel don’t have. He really believed that getting rid of malfettos is right, and that the world is safer without them. He dedicated his whole existence into sweeping the nation of them. Maybe if his character is not that crazy, readers would come to love him.

All in all, I believed that Marie Lu took a whole leap of faith in these novels. Without wit and intelligent writing, this story would have been horrendous, but it wasn’t, in fact it is a book that will awaken your blood. Marie Lu did a good job writing this book, and I hope that more exciting things will come. Though other characters were not thoroughly developed, like Sergio whom I wish has more scenes, I’m still as excited to see on what will happen to them, because with an ending like that I can’t imagine something good to happen. There’s just so many possibilities that I refure to ponder with because if I do, I’ll get as insane as Adelina and Teren. We do not want that to happen to me though I’m halfway there.

The Young Elites

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Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

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Twelve years ago, the land of Kennetra was ravaged by a deathly plague called the bloodfever. It kills the adults who caught the disease while those children that survived were left with scars and other odd markings. Other people called those children malfetto.

Adelina Amouteru’s family was one of the many victims of the bloodfever. It killed her mother, left her sister unscathed, and her, a malfetto. Her hair and lashes turned silver while one of her eyes were removed by the doctor. Because of her label as a malfetto her family’s reputation suffered.

Berated and beaten by her father, Adelina decided to ran away from home. Unfortunately her father discovered her disappearance and tried to stop her. On that night Adelina discovered her hidden ability for the first time in her life. She can conjure frightful images out of thin air. Because of that Adelina accidentally killed her father, and was eventually caught by the inquisitors.

On the day of her execution, Adelina was rescued by the young elite that leads the Dagger Society. Young elites we’re those malfettos that posses magical abilities. At first Adelina thought that she finally found the place where she belongs, but as she unravel the extent of her ability, everyone can’t help but notice how different and dark her powers was.

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(This review was written for almost a month ago, I just edited it a bit.)

I thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It’s full of suspense, and its characters were superb. Honestly, I never felt an ounce of boredom while reading The Young Elites. I love Marie Lu’s writing style and her effort to write a story with dark characters. Though the book has a number of shortcomings, it didn’t hinder the message that Lu wanted to deliver to her audience, and that is to never easily judge evilness.

And now here I am trying to enumerate those things about The Young Elites that I totally love, and those that fell flat for me.

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1. The idea of writing a villain’s story
It has been done before (e.g. Fairest by Marissa Meyer and Disney Descendants on TV), and surely, more literary works that will made us understand the villains will come out in the future. But what makes The Young Elites different is the absence of the “good guys”. Maybe some readers will argue about Adelina being the good guy, or Refaelle and the Daggers were, but on my honest opinion no one in the book deserves the trusts of the readers to do the good things, especially Adelina. Every side has their own selfish motives, and everyone has something to gain and to lose. That reason for me is enough to question whether their actions we’re for the greater good or not.

2. The diversity of the characters
It is evident in the story that the author really put a lot of effort when it comes with the characters of this story. Not only on the physical aspects of the characters, which she really nailed, but also with the special abilities that she bless her characters with.

Adelina Amouteru has lost her eye, her beauty, and her hair and lashes becomes silver. In short, she’s very distinct. She’s scarred, and that made her a lot more enduring when it comes with the hardships that she’s about to face. Though a lot of times I wished that she acted differently, I can’t help but admire her courage and determination to change her destiny.

Correct me if I’m wrong but is the story originally about Teren? I read something like that on the acknowledgement written on the book. Moving on, I think that Teren has some loose screws up in that head of him. Killing his kind, then killing the king while warming the bed of the queen? That’s insanely overboard for me. Can a guy be that crazy? Not to mention his lack of interest to be the king. I think that Teren is just blinded by his love for the queen and by his belief that his sole purpose is to wipe every malfetto that walks Kennetra out.

I like Enzo, in fact, I love him. He’s been vanished and robbed of his birthright, but he didn’t lost his determination to get it back. Though he refuse to show his feelings towards his Daggers, it was hinted that he cares about them deeply. They are the only people he has left and because of that he became a very effective leader.

3. The Epilogue
The epilogue made this book suddenly worth reading. Before reading it, I was satisfied and craving for more, but when I read it? I became impatient, desperate and needy for the release of the next book. So immediately I preorder The Rose Society, and guess what? I already have it!

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Here comes my ‘meh’ moments while reading The Young Elites.

1. The world building
I am not that high standard when it comes with the setting of a story. As long as the characters we’re well written, and the ending is satisfactory then it’s enough for me. Unfortunately, I can’t help but notice how the world building in The Young Elites was a major disappointment. In my opinion, a book in the fantasy genre should always get an A+ when it comes with world building, there’s no excuses. It is fantasy after all.

2. RAFAELLE
I barely connected with his character and I think that he’s the biggest backstabber of all. He’s like smiling and taking care of Adelina, but on her back, he’s talking ill about her.

3. The point of views
Adelina’s POV for me is okay and wholly satisfying. She sounded how she’s suppose to sound, and her dialogue we’re superb. What got me into ranting is the men’s POVs. I can barely differentiate them from each other. They all sounded the same! Half the time I was reading, I can’t help but to look again on the beggining of the chapter to know who’s talking, especially when the characters were making some internalization.

In conclusion I loved The Young Elites, in fact it blew my breath away. It has some great ideas going on, and its diversity is something. Somethings may be needing some improvement, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reading, IT IS. It talks about things that we don’t encounter on day to day basis, and it teaches us to not judge someone because of her background. (There goes my fail attempt to incorporate a moral lesson.) I personally reccomend this to everyone, because after reading this, you’ll surely run into the nearest bookstore to buy The Rose Society since it was released last October 13.

Forbidden

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Author: Tabitha Suzuma

Rating: 4/5

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Lochan and Maya always felt like they we’re not siblings. Having irresponsible parents, they were both forced to step up and take care of their younger brothers and sister. Facing a lot of challenges despite of their young ages, they both find the solace they’ve been looking for with each other. At first they tried to stop the feeling of being more than siblings, but in the end they both got so desperate and eventually give in to the desires of their hearts.

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First of all I want to commend Tabitha Suzuma’s guts to write this kind of novel. Forbidden tackles incest the way that the readers have to close their eyes and understands why something so taboo would happen. Don’t get me wrong, I DON’T SUPPORT INCEST, I’m disgusted by it. But in this book it’s different, as a reader I was forced to look beyond the horrendous topic and open my mind not just to pity the characters, but also to welcome them inside my heart so they can wreck it.

To say that I was destroyed by this beautifully written book would be an understatement. I shed tears, I tossed and turned at night, and I can’t keep away from the overwhelming feeling of depression that the book gave me. Because of these, I have fallen in love with the book. No literary work has ever affected me the way Forbidden does to me.  I think that the world needs more stories like this. Stories about delicate topics that will open the minds of people why something like INCEST would happen. I also think that parents, especially those like Lochan’s and Maya’s, should read this kind of book, it will open their minds of how their actions affect their children. This kind of story should not be marketed as a “heart wrenching”one, but it should be somewhere along the lines of understanding something ununderstandable, and being okay with something without supporting it. Families come in all shapes and sizes after all.

Though it is not thoroughly explained, Lochan is suffering from a mental disorder. He can’t talk to other people except his family without feeling terrified. Of all his actions in this book, it never occurred to me that I should blame him. Maybe Maya but never Lochan. Lochan has no one but her, and because of that fact and of their age maybe (being teenagers with raging hormones), he has no choice but to succumb to the temptation. Maybe others would say that he can do better, but I don’t want to acknowledge that fact since he’s mentally unstable.

Maya, on the other hand, is the one whom I put all the blame why her brother ended up the way he is romance wise. There are certain times in the book that it seemed like she’s trying to tempt Lochan. And she’s also the one who’s always ready to do something with their forbidden feelings. There are times that she also tried to stop what she’s feeling but I don’t think that she exerts a lot of effort about containing it.

I wished that this book ends differently, like Maya and Lochan suddenly found out that one of them were adopted. That would totally resolved every issue in the story. But Tabitha Suzuma have another idea, she decided to stick with the topic and made the ending so much darker than the rest of the story. Subconsciously, maybe it occurred to me that a love story like this were not supposed to end with a happy ending, but all I can think about is it’s fiction and if only Suzuma would give the characters an ending they deserve.

Reading Forbidden was a roller coaster of emotions, I was always worried that they would got caught, and when they did, I want nothing but to scream and trash because of all the feelings that the story brought me. A book like this is something that I will never forget. It changed me, and my outlook on other things. It made me appreciate my parents and my situation more. This book is not only about forbidden love but also about the pure love that should exist in every household. I would want to talk more about their parents but I think otherwise because it might result to something that involves a lot of cuss words.

One more thing, I read a review about Forbidden saying that she totally supports the romance going on between the main characters, and that every blame was to put in their parents. That incest is just like homosexuality. On some ways yes they’re alike, but come on, if there’s a sexual relationship going on between two homosexual persons, their only affecting themselves. But on siblings? They might end up with a child, and a child that comes from siblings tend to have a mental disorder called down syndrome. So INCEST is a BIG NO!

This book left me a lot of questions but the one that bothers me the most is WHY WOULD THE SOCIETY CONDEMN PEOPLE LIKE LOCHAN AND MAYA WHEN IT’S SO CLEAR THAT WHAT THEY NEED IS HELP?

A Darker Shade of Magic

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Author: V. E. Schwab

Kell is an Antari- a rare race of blood magicians that can travel through parallel universes. Because if this ability, Kell serves as a messenger for the royal family of Red London to another royalty of another London.

There existed four Londons: Grey London which magical practices we’re long forgotten, Red London with the abundance of magic that made them the most prosperous of all, White London that has a shortage of magic because they try to fight and control it, and Black London which cease to exist anymore.

Kell has an illegal hobby, he smuggle artifacts from one London to another for those people who wanted to posses a proof of the existence of another universe other than theirs. Kell’s life was put in the line because of this, he accidentally smuggled a dangerous artifact that made him a target for another Antari.

Before saving Kell, Delilah Bard robs him first. She knew that it is her life calling to live an adventurous life, and she got it when she demanded from Kell to let her come to his London. From this unusual meeting, Kell and Lila tried to survive a dangerous adventure full of treachery with the help of each other

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V. E. Schwab’s name has been all over the social media that is why I am compelled to see what’s all the fuss is all about. Originally I am to pick up Vicious rather than A Darker Shade of Magic, but my local bookstore don’t have a stock of it so I resort on the next best thing: this. This book tackles multidimensional worlds, thievery, dangerous artifacts, and of course, magic. This book may be a second choice but I didn’t regret buying it the moment I opened it, instead, I was immensely consumed to the point that I sacrifice my precious sleep so that I can finish this book immediately. Saying that I am captivated by the story and Schwab’s writing style would be an understatement. I loved this book so much that I pre-order the next book the instant I saw the last period of the story.

Schwab certainly have an impeccable talent when it comes to world building. It’s hard enough to build a place where an intricate story line is to take place and she did it four times. She built four contrasting world that demands the reader’s senses to be involved. She delivered a multidimensional world with vivid interpretation and mad writing skills. Though every London share distinct differences from each other, the author made sure that each of them also share similarities. The dangerous backdrop of the story intensify the pull that I felt towards the book. No place in the story is safe enough for Kell and Lila, even the magic less London doesn’t proved to be a safe haven after all.

A Darker Shade of Magic does not only appeal with SFF fanatics like me. It targeted a wider range of readers by its complex plot. For example, if you’re take on fantasy novels belongs to the neutral zone but you like antiheroes, then this book is for you. Or if you’re more inclined in the high fantasy genre with a descriptive backdrop, and you think that romance is not a necessary element, then you got to pick this novel up. Personally, this book fed the craving I’ve had for a high fantasy novel that I can’t only read but also, experienced. I’ve been wanting something smell, see, feel, and then even taste, and this book enticed all my senses the moment I picked it up. The pacing might be slow at first, but I understand the need to slow down a story like this. I understand the necessity to build first a strong backdrop, and to introduce characters when the story is about to dive a cliff full of magical practices and treachery.

If you have read my past reviews, you’ll know that I have a certain weakness when it comes to characters like Lila. I believe that the world need more characters like her. She’s far from beautiful, yet she’s charming and a debonair through and through. She’s full of flaws, but she still aims high and was determined to reach her goals. Though she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, Lila expressed an unusual sympathy and vulnerability to those people and things that matters to her. She knows how to appreciate simple things.

More than half of the story is focused on Kell and his struggle to remain a good person despite of the strong influence of bad magic. I admire his protectiveness and love toward his adoptive brother. He would go to the end of the world for him and he is willing to save him any time at any cost without a second thought. My only issue with him is that under his intriguing coat is a plain character. Yes he can do magic and travel between parallel universe, but personality wise, he’s not unforgettable.

Another element that I found remarkable in this world is its villains. The Danes we’re both cruel, cunning and power-hungry. They’re the perfect antagonist for this kind of book. They were both meant to be evil and unforgiving, and they delivered it the best way possible.

A Darker Shade of Magic ends on a good note for me. All the issues we’re resolved while the author left enough questions for me to look forward for the next book. Schwab ends this part of Lila and Kell’s story with the promise of an interesting continuation and I bet that it will be one.

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Wicked Will Rise

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Author: Danielle Paige

Amy Gumm’s mission is to kill Dorothy and free the Land of Oz, but before she can do that, he must first accomplish a mission which includes getting the Tin Woodman’s heart, Scarecrow’s brain and Lion’s courage.

With the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked nowhere to be found, Princess Ozma as her only confidant, and her heart yearning for Nox, will Amy fulfill her duties?

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I honestly dreaded writing this review after writing Dorothy Must Die’s. After ranting about the first book, I felt like I have to give this series a chance to redeem itself. It did not happen. The first chapter up to the thirteenth was like reading something that a 70-year-old woman wrote. Things only get better at Chapter 14 because the whole beginning of the book is just Amy walking around and having stupid conversation with the other characters.

This book has immensely tested my patience. The characters we’re inconsistent and ridiculous. Amy was beyond annoying and she still doesn’t have what it takes to be a good heroine. She worries too much about her love interest instead of saving Oz. She’s not goal oriented, which is essential in writing about something like what the author wanted to tell her readers.  I also noticed that Paige is still obsessed with writing each and every idea that pops into Amy’s head.

This book, like the other one, posses a lot of potential. The world building could be more creative, the characters could be more refined, and the writing could be improved in so many ways. The Wicked Will Rise left so many unanswered question, but I don’t think that I will be reading the next book to be released.

Review: Dorothy Must Die

I finished reading this book last week and for some unknown reasons, every review draft that I made got deleted. It happened for three times and I thought about that I might as well quit on writing a review for this. But then I realized that I have to be more patient.

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Author: Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die tells the story of another girl who got blown up by a tornado from Kansas to the mystical land of Oz. She is Amy Gumm, and never in her life that she imagined being at a place that she had only read and watched about. But Oz different from what she heard about, its dwellers we’re living in fear and the magic is almost gone. Apparently, Oz’s past hero whom saved and freed the land from the Wicked Witches came back and was appointed to be a princess. Her name is Dorothy Gale. After becoming a royalty, Dorothy became evil and power-hungry. She terrorized the land with unjust and brutal punishment.

On the other hand, Amy was recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. She trained to become a fighter so she can spy and kill Princess Dorothy. But with a lot of personal issues and matters of the heart, will she be able to make it?

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In the past, I have developed a certain liking on fairy tale retellings. Though they are a bit predictable, because they are based on another story, I like the twists that the authors put on them especially when they darken the plot.

I am very excited when I picked Dorothy Must Die. From the title itself, I knew that my cravings for a well written story is about to be quenched. But alas, I was doomed to be disappointed. The story that I’ve heard so may good things about turned out to be a mere time killer for me. I like the way the author twisted the classic The Wizard of Oz but I hated the execution she does for this book. There’s so many wasted opportunities.

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1. Amy– I get that Amy had a rough past and that she is bound to be flawed. I know that she has a lot of growing up to do and she did in some ways. But personality wise, she did not. Yes she became more confident and skilled, but she’s also selfish. She always thinks about herself when her role in the book is to protect others. Amy also tend to justify her wrong doings by telling and convincing herself that her actions we’re necessary. I also noticed Amy’s willingness to kill. I know that the author just wanted to portray her as a kickass heroine but the execution of her character was so poor that she looked like a murderer instead of a protector.

I just wish that she was more carefully written because Amy posses a lot of potential. She can be a very admirable heroine that will save everyone at the end of the day. Being someone who lived a hard life, she could be someone who emerged victorious and wise in spite of all the things that she experienced.

2. Plot/Pacing– Normally, I will embrace a high fantasy novel with open arms. But in Dorothy Must Die’s case I did the opposite. Instead of letting the story took charge, I became more critical in reading it. On other books that I like, I did not notice how much time goes by but when I’m reading this, I became very aware of how much the book was taking up my time.

It is obvious that the author aim on making this book action packed and on a lot of ways, she failed. At the first 100 pages, it seems like the story only focuses on world building and on how bad Oz is screwed up while the training that Amy does only felt like 20 pages tops. The magic and spells that she learned were not explained thoroughly that a lot of times that she casts spells, I became surprised on how much magic she knows. Another thing that I noticed is how Amy became a world-class fighter when she only spent 6 weeks training.

Danielle Paige also wrote Amy’s internal monologue redundantly. Amy worry about the same things over and over again that it felt like I was forced to live inside Amy’s head each time she does that.

3. Romance– I finished reading this book last week and for some unknown reasons, every review draft that I made got deleted. It happened for three times and I thought about that I might as well quit on writing a review for this. But then I realized that I have to be more patient.ance- I don’t understand why Danielle Paige incorporated romance in this story. It feels obliged and not once did I feel the connection between Amy and Nox. The scenes when the romance took place we’re all unnecessary.

4. WHY THE HELL DID THE ORDER SENT AMY TO SPY DOROTHY WHEN DOROTHY’S HEAD MAID IS ALREADY THEIR SPY? What’s the point in doing so? If Paige thought that she dropped a major bomb when she revealed that Jellia is their spy, then she’s wrong. It disappointed me terribly that I lost all my hope in this book.

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The only thing that I like in this book is Dorothy. It’s fun reading her scenes because she’s sassy and will take no-nonsense from anybody. It’s just a pity that her exposure was very limited.

All in all, I really do not like how this story ended up. Dorothy Must Die posses a lot potential and I just wish that the author tells Oz’s story a little differently. Still, I would read the next books hoping that Paige will redeem herself.

Rating:1/5

Review: An Ember In The Ashes

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Author: Sabaa Tahir

“Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be.” 

In a world inspired by Ancient Rome, breaking the rules is equivalent to death. When Laia’s brother was accused of treason, the Empire killed their grandparents and arrested Darin, Laia’s brother, for interrogation and torture. To help him, Laia sought help from a group of rebels that defy the Empire that call themselves Resistance. In exchange of saving her brother, Laia was to spy the Empire’s most ruthless person, the Commandant, inside the Blackcliff Military Academy. Inside she met Elias, the Academy’s finest but also the most unwilling student.

Set in a broken world, Laia and Elias fought for equality and justice. Though they are the exact opposites of each other, they we’re destined to meet so they can change the future.

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An Ember In The Ashes has been sitting on my virtual shelf for quite some time  now. At first I hesitate to read this because I am starting to get tired of books about oppression and resistance. But as I read it, I was instantly consumed by its rich, well written plot line and diverse characters. This book shows how its author, Sabaa Tahir, is pure talent. It is her debut novel and honestly, it is rare for a debut novel to be this good. In fact, this is one of my favorite books this 2015.

Tahir’s compelling writing skills really took my breath away. She made delicate issues like rape, torture and murder a way of living for her characters. She write it with confidence and sophistication. She’s straight forward but not careless. For me, her characteristics as a writer is what made this book so compelling and successful. An Ember In The Ashes is one of those books that made me invest my emotions into it, it drove me on the edge of me emotional capacity and I like it. Normally, I don’t like when a book does that to me but it’s different with An Ember In The Ashes. When reading it, the story will demand your full attention and the involvement of your feelings.

The world that Sabaa Tahir created is ruthless and brutal. She didn’t even took a break pedal in describing the harsh reality that is happening at Serra. It also added a point in my book that the world made by Tahir is not magical yet there are supernatural creatures that lurks in it. I like the universe that the book posses but not enough for me to want to live in it.

I also admire the idea of two characters with opposite natures, Laia lives in poverty and fear while Elias has power and privileged. Their mixed point of views also added spice to the story. The author created exceptionally diverse main characters with a villain done so well.

What I like about Laia is that I saw her grow. In the beginning she’s just your typical female that can exist in any books with any setting. She’s always frightened and doubting about her abilities but as the story line goes on, she learn to fight and to protect those she loves. Laia eventually found big girl panties and wear it. She decided that it’s the right time to stand up and to fight for what’s right no matter what the consequences are.

“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.” 

Elias, on the other hand, is strong but is also trying to find himself. He wanted to escape his responsibilities so he can be free. From the beginning up to the end, Elias fought for what is right though he is expected to kill without any hesitation. This attitude of him is maybe because of the different raising he had from his adopted parents. He has different outlook in life that made him righteous.

“You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.” 

As for Helene and Keenan, I felt deprived of them. They were both cunning and and strong so I am hoping to see more of them on the upcoming books for this series.

The fact that the villain of the story is Elias’ mother is genius. She made the story more interesting and exciting. Her brutal and ruthless nature made her one of the most unexpected but effective villain.

The romance that took place between the two main characters is perfect for my taste. It is not feel obliged, only necessary. They both had their personal issues and they try to resolve it individually, the romance just slips in the right timing. Normally I hated love triangles (love quadrangle for this book), but Keenan and Helene we’re both deserving for Elias and Laia so this is an exception for the cliché that is brought by those love polygons. Romance is not the focus of the story and the author made sure that it will be not.

An Ember In The Ashes is undoubtedly, a very well written book. It is marketed as a stand alone but the ending conveys that it is not. The ending is not really an ending, it also not a cliff hanger but Tahir left so many unresolved issues like: Is Darin still alive? Who is Elias father and why does the Commandant hates him so much? What happened to Keenan? It is also unclear whether Elias and Laia is in love or just physically attracted to each other. I will be irritated if that kind of ending exist in other book but the author made the story very promising so I guess I will just wait patiently for the next book.

Rating: 5/5