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Book Review: Avenged by Amy Tintera

avenged

Avenged

Release date: May 2nd 2017

4 stars

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.
But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.
Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.
Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

Picking up where Ruined left off, Avenged showcased the bond between Em and Olivia, their struggle to lead the Ruined, their battle between each other in regards to their very different strategies in how to handle the people of Lera, and all that was just in their two POVs. We also got some POVs from Cas as he tried to maintain control of his kingdom and of Aren, who was a personal favourite so him getting more page time is always an added bonus.

As a reader who is always huge on the dynamics between characters, I loved the four separate POVs and seeing how all the characters were interacting with each other. Each character had their own story arc and the romance that was brewing between Em and Cas was still present but stayed in the background for a lot of the plot. Instead the focus was on rebuilding and revenge. We got to see a lot of different strategies in different groups playing out and loyalties being tested with surprising alliances being made. I really enjoyed trying to determine who to trust, who would make which move, and what would happen in the end.

I actually found myself enjoying this book even more than Ruined, so if that continues that can only mean great things for the third book. Since it is a sequel, I don’t want to give away too much. This is a great fantasy series with amazing characters and very addicting to read.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

avenged

Avenged

Release date: May 2nd 2017

Goodreads: In the sequel to Ruined, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister Olivia from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.
But their fight has only begun. Olivia is determined to destroy everyone who acts against Ruina, but Em isn’t as sure. Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. And now that Cas has taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.
Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, Em faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

Why I’m excited: Ruined was such a great book and I was excited for this one the second I finished the first one. I can’t wait to find out what happens to these characters I fell in love with.

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Book Review: Ruined by Amy Tintera

Ruined amy

Ruined

Release date: May 3rd 2016

4.5 stars

Emelina Flores wants revenge. Her parents were murdered, her home destroyed, and her sister taken by the enemy kingdom of Lera. She has no power, unlike most of her fellow Ruined, but she has her skill with a sword and fierce determination to see those in power in Lera pay for what they’ve done. Posing as Prince Casimir’s betrothed, Em plans to find her sister Olivia then kill the royal family. If her deception is exposed, it will mean her execution. The longer she’s pretending, the closer she gets to the prince, the more she starts to question her mission. She can’t afford to let her heart soften while living surrounded by her enemies but Casimir is nothing like she imagined.

As a huge fan of the Reboot/Rebel duology, I was really excited to see Amy Tintera had a new series starting. This one sounded like it would have a great heroine, minor characters that I would love, and a plot that would be addicting and packed with action. I was a little worried my expectations would be too high going in but I was quickly sucked into the story.

Em was a fierce and determined character that I really liked. She could be ruthless when needed but she cared about the people from Ruina, her people, and she was very protective of her friends and her sister. I could understand her guilt over her sister’s kidnapping even though it wasn’t her fault and her need to save her. I enjoyed her growth from being hard and closed off to learning to open up to new people. She was a character I wanted to see succeed. She worked so hard to compensate for not having any powers and it was something she had to come to accept about herself.

The character interactions were great and a lot of fun to read. The main interactions were between Em and Cas and I really enjoyed the way they went from hate when they knew nothing about each other to slowly getting to know each other, to respecting each other. I also liked the dynamic between Cas and his bodyguard, Gallo. They were more like brothers and best friends instead of prince and guard. The dynamic between Em and her friend and bodyguard Eren was equally great and both provided some lighter moments in between the action and the tension. The interactions between Em and Cas’ parents were so tension-filled that it was nerve-wracking to read.

I loved the world-building of Ruina, Lera, the Ruined power structure, the hunters who captured or killed the Ruined. It started off with action right away and with the deception stakes so high, there was never really a moment I felt like I could take a breath. There was a history of battles and distrust between the kingdoms that added to the story now and both the world-building and character growth were spread out through the book so it didn’t feel overwhelming or like an information dump. There was a lot of action, sword-fighting, close calls, twists. It was just a great reading experience. I can’t wait for the sequel.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

Ruined amy

Ruined

Release date: May 3rd 2016

Goodreads: A revenge that will consume her.
A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.
In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

Why I’m excited: I absolutely loved Amy Tintera’s Reboot duology and she’s an auto-buy author so of course I want this one. I’m excited to see her take on something new and this fantasy book sounds great. Lots of action, romance, quest for family, it sounds like everything I love in a fantasy book.

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Booking Sunday Favourites: YA Revolution

This one was a little tricky since it depended on how I wanted to define ‘revolution’ in terms of all the YA dystopians I’ve read. My favourite dystopian book and my favourite revolution don’t necessarily have to be in the same book. In the end I chose:

reboot bigrebel big

Amy Tintera’s Reboot duology.

I loved everything about these two books but the decision making by Wren that lead her to joining the revolution and learning that it was okay for her to show emotion, that the HARC hadn’t stolen her humanity from her, was one of my favourite things. Any other reason I would list would be spoiler-y so I’ll leave it at that.

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Book Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

rebel big

Rebel

4.5 stars

Wren and Callum have escaped the HARC and are headed to a Rebbot Reservation for safety. Once there, they soon find out it isn’t at all what they expected. The leader, Micah, is more interesting in waging a war against all humans than finding a way to live peacefully together, and he wants Wren and Callum, especially Wren, on his side. Wren wants to get Callum and run far away but Callum wants to help the humans so they end up plotting against Micah, putting their lives in danger should he find out.

This follow-up to Reboot is told in a dual POV, both Wren and Callum, as opposed to just Wren like in Reboot. I thought it worked well, especially to show to contrast between someone who rebooted at 178 and someone at 22. Also, the switching between the POVs was done in a way that kept the tension the previous POV built, which was nice to see.

Rebel picked up pretty much where Reboot left off and there was no info-dumping recap, which was also nice. The dual POVs worked well to show both main character’s reactions, as well as their take on the other’s reaction. We got to learn a lot more about Callum through his POV, he was still the same peace-loving, sweet boy from Reboot but with this snarky personality that had me laughing at times.

Wren grew a lot in Reboot but she still had some growth left for Rebel. All her life she was told how impressive her 178 was, how much less human she was, and watching her breakout from the mindset HARC had her in for so long was so great to see. Callum, in Reboot, didn’t get as much growth but he definitely went through his own arc in Rebel. He had to find his own place without relying on Wren all the time. Together, they really did bring out the best in each other. I liked that the romance was always there but it never overshadowed the plot.

We got introduced to some new characters in Rebel and minor characters from Reboot are back, some in a more expanded role. I really enjoyed all the new additions, even the villains. Riley, Wren’s trainer from HARC, was my favorite. He was adorable and it was easy to see how much he cared for her, almost like a little sister. Micah, I thought, was a great villain in so many ways. When he talked, it was actually possible to see where he was coming from in his beliefs and understandable as to why people would follow him.

The plot was action-packed. If there was so fighting, there was plotting or surviving. Something was always going on. It made for a hard to put down read. Rebel edged out Reboot just slightly for my favorite of the duology, but it was definitely close.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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