Tag Archives: timeslip

ARC Review – Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica

18490629Title:  Child of a Hidden Sea

Author: A.M. Dellamonica

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles. The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.

Sophie doesn’t know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.

But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.

Huge thank you to Tor and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Tor and Netgalley for this ARC!

I’ve been having trouble trying to put into words why I enjoyed Child of a Hidden Sea. Timeslip novels are so difficult to do because they need to have some believability, but we all know how incredibly unrealistic they are as well. Usually what I factor is into is “do I want to timeslip back into this world again” and in the case of A.M Dellamoncia’s Stormwrack, the yes is unabashedly yes.

A.M Dellamoncia creates a strong and rich world in this novel, and one that is easy to visualize and sensationalize as well. You get a sense of how the water may smell, how the air is, how vivid towns and cities are, and she immerses the reader in all of this without much difficultly. Furthermore, she fleshes out the characters so well, as it’s easy to enjoy Sophie’s antics, or the mysteries surrounding the various deaths within Stormwrack. There’s a surprisingly number of them!

I like stories they do a great job of making the reader feel included. The only downside to this book I found was that sometimes the writing was a bit vague or confusing, and I know I had to reread bits to ensure I understood what was happening. There’s also a lot of telling in sections where I feel more showing would have benefited. The balance is not the best, but I don’t feel it makes the book so weak that it’s unreadable.

Overall, I can say that I had a lot of fun reading Child of a Hidden Sea. The mystery elements with the added layer of fantasy and magic just made for such a fun voyage. Also sailing! Politics! And Bram. Bram is a fantastic character, and easily my favourite. This is a great adventure, and if you want something that will whisk you away, check this book out when it releases.

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Late to the Party ARC Review – The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colors of Madeleine #2) by Jaclyn Moriarty

19160352Title: The Cracks in the Kingdom

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: Princess Ko’s been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can’t get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens — each with a special ability — from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello.

Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot’s value to the Alliance is clear: He’s the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine.

Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.

Huge thank you to Scholastic and Netgalley for this this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I really enjoyed A Corner of White. It was quirky, fun, and a little crazy. But then again, the The Colors of Madeleine series has always been about crazy ways of communication, and the second book Cracks in the Kingdom continues the adventures in cross-communication between Elliot and Madeleine.

Overall, this took me awhile to get into. The plot started off a bit slow, a touch unfamiliar and it wasn’t until about halfway through that I found the pacing had really hit its stride and took hold. The characters are still fantastic, the new ones just as fun and well-realized, and once again there was such a fantastic sense of humor that I found myself laughing throughout.

This book’s touch of seriousness though was really its best part. Some of the communication between Elliot and Madeleine gets so heated, and yet you understand both sides of the argument without much difficultly. Totally broke my heart so many times.

I do think this book is actually on par with the first one> I don’t know if I would say it’s better, but the charm and the insanity of the first book is still very much alive in this story. The ending was solid and fit really well that I hope that there isn’t a continuation. If you like fun, quirky world-building and characters, I highly recommend this series. The writing isn’t always the easiest to get into, but once your in — your in for the long run.

ARC Review – The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

17878473Title: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare

Author: M.G. Buehrlen

 

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for this advance reader copy.

I feel like based on the synopsis that this book would have been right up my alley. The problem with The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare is that it’s going to be a very polarizing read for most lovers of young adult.

I’m throwing this out there, but this book is beautifully written, right down to it’s detailed and intricately written descriptions and use of imagery. However, there’s beautifully written and then there is beautifully written but going nowhere. That really is how I am going to sum up my feelings about this book because it has such a fabulous premise, but the size of it hinders the story more than develops it.

I get frustrated sometimes with larger books because you want to hope that everything within the texts fits and its something important to the plot or makes the readers want to turn pages. For example, in a series like Game of Thrones the reason that those books are such page turners is because (for the most part) there is always something happening. While this may be an unfair comparison for Alex Wayfare, I feel like because a good chunk of this is flashback, it gets harder to invest oneself in where the real narrative is moving. I had so many moments where I found myself saying something was fantastically done or very clever, because Alex is a heroine who gets crap done. On the other side of the coin, however, there are so many parts of this book that drag and often feel as if it’s going nowhere, and that really saddens me. I don’t mind reading a large book, but give me substance that makes me want to turn the pages.

I had a hard time with a lot of the side characters. I never felt connected to them or care about what they were doing. Alex, I had moments where I loved and cheered for her, and other moments where I was smacking my face into a desk because of hos idiotic she’d behave. She’s a very polarizing heroine in this sense because you feel like she’s balanced, but her flaws don’t feel as fleshed out as they could be.

So in the end, I’m torn and confused by Alex Wayfare it’s a great idea that really could have been cut down by a number of pages. It’s one that I’d recommend requesting from the library or reading an expert before making a decision because I feel like with the right reader, it could be an amazing experience for them. Unfortunately for me, I was clearly the wrong reader in the end for this timeslip.