Tag: dystopia

Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole Review

Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4)

Title: Arcana Rising

Series: The Arcana Chronicles #4

Author: Kresley Cole

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy

Synopsis: Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole. 

When the battle is done . . . 
The Emperor unleashes hell and annihilates an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe strikes back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . . 
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before?

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 280 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Review: I loved this one again but I feel like the pace slowed down quite a bit in the middle and it got a bit tiresome to read. We were kind of rehashing elements from the Endless Knight that bored me a bit.

But the bad Arcana finally show up in force and we get some action.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_


Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Review

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Series: Red Queen #1

Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5

Goodreads Link


Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance

What I thought about the book: Ok, I’m not (usually) a fan of YA but I really enjoyed this. It was so suspenseful with lots of action and intrigue that kept me guessing. The love triangle didn’t even annoy me.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository 

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Red Rising by Pierce Brown Review

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Series: Red Rising Saga #1
Goodreads Rating: 4.26/5

Synopsis: “I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

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What I thought about the book:

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It was ok… I had high expectations after reading a lot of reviews for the series but it didn’t really reach them. The concept is very interesting and it started out really well but I lost interest during the training segments.

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My Rating: 3 star review

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January Wrap Up

I feel like I’ve been starting every wrap up lately with “So I didn’t read much this month” and yeah… I didn’t read much this month. I don’t know what’s going on guys but I’ve been slow on reading lately. This month I did take an impromptu trip to the Canary Islands so that slowed me down a bit. I’ve never booked flights and gone somewhere in such a short space of time. My parents were there for three weeks and kept sending me photos of how nice and sunny and warm it was there. So I had a look at flights, found some cheap ones with Ryanair and joined them for a weeks. It was fabulous and I want to go back now!!!

My laptop is kaput so I don’t have any pretty pictures of the books this month sadly.

I felt like it was shaping up to be a bad reading month but Uprooted took care of that. If you only take one book from this review take Uprooted. It was so good!

Lady Chatterley's LoverSunglasses After DarkRed Rising (Red Rising, #1)UprootedMacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #14)Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence ★★★★☆

I was surprised by this book. It was a lot more than what I was expecting. I thought it was just going to be a story about a woman’s affair with a man of lower class and then they’d run away together. Job done. But I think there’s a lot more going on. There’s a lot of discussion about class and how poor people can become rich people, and a lot of exploration into the dynamics of romantic relationships and how they evolve.

Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins ★★★☆☆

Oh man. Where to start with this one. The thing is there is a really good story here but it got bogged down in lengthy flashbacks and recurring lazy editing. This book came out in 1989 which is fine BUT for some reason it was re-released and modernised in the last few years. Well she attempted to modernise it anyway, all she did was make a mess. The editing is so bad there are sometimes whole sentences repeated with just one or two words changed in it and a lot of spelling mistakes. At one point faces is written as feces. The odd mention of a DVD player to modernise it doesn’t effect anything and confused me because I knew this book came out in ’89 before reading it. And bumping the current events forward in time messed with the timeline for the flashbacks also making the human characters a lot older than I think they were meant to be.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown ★★★☆☆

It was ok… I had high expectations after reading a lot of reviews for the series but it didn’t really reach them. The concept is very interesting and it started out really well but I lost interest during the training segments. The story seemed to just stop. There is a lot of character development during that time but… meh

Uprooted by Naomi Novik ★★★★★

Amazing!!! Absolutely loved it! The synopsis makes it sound like a run of the mill Beauty and the Beast retelling but there is so much more to this story. It is amazing!!
I will definitely be rereading this. I don’t want to say too much about it but there are wizards, witches and an evil enchanted forest.

MacRieve by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

Loved it but I did get a little bit bored near the end. I think it was stretched out just a little too much. Cole has a formula to her romance books so it can get a bit predictable. I think I just wasn’t in the right state of mind while reading it (I probably read this one too soon after the previous book). Overall I loved the story and can’t wait to find out what happens with Webb and those nasty wizard guys.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire ★★★★☆

Awesome! I think this is a series that I will really enjoy.
Not sure about the audio though… The narrator is fine when doing Toby’s voice but everyone else sounds weird and often whiny. She pronounced a few Irish terms wrong which annoyed me a bit. Surely wouldn’t hurt to check before recording how to say something, would it?


All of the books mentioned are available from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping.

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