Monday 5 October 2015

UPROOTED by Noami Novik

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (UK cover)
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: paperback

About Uprooted:
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl. An when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him.
Source: Info in the About Uprooted was from the press kit from the publicity team.

Buy Link(s):
            iBook Buy  

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (US cover)
Narrative Evaluation:
The cover, although it has lots of meaning and is very appropriate to the story, does not ping my book buying radar. In fact I had this book for two weeks before I finally picked it up to read. I keep coming up with excuses like, I'll finish this book first before reading that one. Or, I'll watch the eclipse first before I'll start with that... etc... Loved the eclipse, by the way. All due to the fact that the cover did not appeal to my fantasy reader's eyes. This being the first book I've read of Naomi Novik, the author's name on the front did not even help in drawing me to pick up this book. However, the fact that somebody spent the time and effort of sending me this book, it got read, by hook or by crook! And so I entered the world of Agnieszka of Dvernik... and what a wonderful world!! The world building along with the story telling quality are both compelling and masterful! However, there are some loose theads that was left hanging which I didn't like very much. Like where exactly did the stick men come from and how they came about? The ending also, while closed the story nicely, was not the big bang I expected. Having said that, I would still give this book a 5 out of 5. It was just that good that I finished the book in a day and a half with a fervent hope that Novik would write a book 2!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4
World building = 5
Cover art = 3
Pace = 5
Plot = 4.5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

About Naomi Novik
Naomi Novik
An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.

Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and six computers. Her website is at | facebook | twitter | tumblr | goodreads | google+ | pinterest

Thank you!

Thank you to macmillan for the review copy received.

FTC Disclosure:
This book was received for free from macmillan.
No money received for this review.

NOTE: This review was first posted at on 25 March 2015.

Wednesday 24 December 2014


Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews
Book 1 of the Hidden Legacy series
Read by Renee Raudman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback, ebook, & audiobook

About Burn For Me:
Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.
Source: Info in the About Burn For Me was taken from GoodReads at on 24/12/2014.

My Thoughts:
Another fantastic tale from my favourite author, Ilona Andrews. But the thing is... maybe I've been reading too many Ilona Andrews books that this book is now starting to take on a "same old, same old" feel... and that scares me. Because I don't want the wonderful reading experience to end. Mad Rogan is so like Curran that they could be twins. Nevada Baylor's character is so similar to Kate Daniels that they could be twins. Hopefully Ilona Andrews will do something with subsequent books to overcome the "same old, same old" feeling... because I really like this book, and the series that this is looking to be becoming! But even if this series get stuck with the "same old, same old" feeling, I still would probably buy and read it all. The book is just that good. I think another thing that makes it so good, other than the superb and compelling story telling quality, is the solid plot. The book is not just some fluffy wild goose chase. The weaving of the plot is masterful. There is the development of the dilemma, build-up, and resolution. That is important to me as a reader. Books without a discernible plot drives me up the wall. That author tends to be avoided like the plague thereafter. The fact that the romantic sub-plot is exciting, contributed even more to the addictive-ness of this book. The what-is-looking-to-be a great over-arc-ing plot of the series, re-assures that readers follow it, creating a fan-base, of which I shameless admit to be one of. I can't wait for the next book to be released! Ilona hurry up with the writing already! Pleeeeasse!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries

Hidden Legacy Books:

11/06/2015 - Updated the cover of Book 2: White Hot.

Monday 21 April 2014


Naked In Death by JD Robb
Book 1 of the In Death series
Genre: crime fiction

About Naked In Death:
In hardcover for the first time, here is the novel that started it all-the first book in J. D. Robb's number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series, featuring New York City homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.

It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.

When a senator's daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she'd been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washington politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve's growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome... and the leading suspect in the investigation.
Source: Info in the About Naked In Death was taken from GoodReads at on 12/09/2012.

My Thoughts:
Don't really remember why I am a fan of this series. Sure, it is good enough, but, there are times when I am not totally enamoured with this series. Secondly, this is a crime fiction. I'm not a crime fiction girl. I'm an urban fantasy geek! Still I am an old fan. This series also has a huge following, which tells us that JD Robb's story telling abilities is not something to scoff at. It has real merit. Secondly, the plot in every book is solid, well-structured, and logical. This is the kind of author that knows how to build a plot. She does not need to make her characters act stupid to give her story the dilemma. This is the kind of author that does not give us too stupid to live (TSTL) characters. For that alone, I think I would have become JD Robb's fan! And 39 books down the line and still going strong tells us that this series has staying power!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Books In The In Death Series:

24/12/2014 - Books in the series.
11/06/2015 - Added Books 41 to 42.