Cinder by Marissa Meyer Novel

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Blurb

Cinder by Marissa Meyer NovelA forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.


I love the idea of a fairy-tale retelling and the stories original take on the story was intreiging. I thought it was fantastic that Cinder and one of the sisters had a geniune bond. this added depth the complexety of the families situations.


Review

I award this novel 3.5/5 stars

From the first chapter we’re introduced to the concept of the deadly virus, the prince’s determination to find a solution, Cinder’s difficulties as a cyborg and the prejudices she faces. I was instantly hooked.

I loved the clever twist on the shoe that only fits her and how that played a part in the final scenes.

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I was shocked to discover the existence of a lunar race and how they impacted the story. Yes, the set is called The Lunar Chronicles so I should have anticipated it. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but played a huge role in the story. Perhaps I missed a vital bit of foreshadowing in the first chapter, there was already a lot going on.

The city of New Beijing was incredibly detailed; it was full, vibrant, noisy, chaotic, and hot. It would be a nightmare destination for someone like me. Give me an empty beach in the middle of winter and I’m happy. That being said, the palace with its cherry blossom trees and lanterns was beautifully detailed.

Cinder’s and Kai’s blooming relationship was believable and engaging. I was eager to read their story and how they’d eventually get together.

Queen Lavana was a flat character, hell bent on world domination. She’s already overthrown her own predecessor and now wants planet earth. But why? Being evil and desiring power was all I got from her.

I’d already read and reviewed Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I had great expectations for this novel. Unfortunately, the story’s ending was a huge let down. Romance novels have a certain expectation, but Cinder and the prince did not get together. I understand it’s a hook for the rest of the series, but not fulfilling a stories plot is one of my pet peeves. Romantic involvement or romantic sacrifice is a must. It annoyed me so much that I’m considering boycotting the rest of the series. Hence the low rating.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

As always, thanks for reading.

Have you read the rest of the series? Is it worthwhile continuing?

I love your comments, so please tell me what you thought of the book.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
THE WITCH'S KISS, YA, YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY, FAIRY-TALE, ROMANCE

Review: The Witch’s Kiss

Hi everyone, I’m back with another review, this one is a young adult, fantasy/ romance novel. My favourite genre – it should be, I write it. The book was written by sister’s Elizabeth and Katherine Corr, an intriguing collaboration. I have to say; I love the cover, it’s a great addition to my Instagram #bibliophile feed.

 Blurb

Novel The Witch's Kiss Young Adult Fantasy Romance

 

Sixteen-year-old Meredith is fed-up with her feuding family and feeling invisible at school – not to mention the witch magic that shoots out of her fingernails when she’s stressed. Then sweet, sensitive Jack comes into her life and she falls for him hard. The only problem is that he is periodically possessed by a destructive centuries-old curse.

Meredith has lost her heart, but will she also lose her life? Or in true fairytale tradition, can true love’s kiss save the day?

 


I rate this novel 3.5 star out of 5

Meredith or Marry as she likes to be known is a teenager with untrained powers that she’s misused and abused. What Marry doesn’t know about is the curse she’s inherited.

Things are happening in the once quiet town of Tillingham. The streets are no longer safe, people are been attacked and it’s only a matter of time before someone’s killed.

For Gwydion the magician and his King of Hearts slumber under the lake. But their curse has started to wear off. The Saxon witch’s couldn’t defeat them; instead they enchanted them to sleep until a strong witch was born. A witch who’d finally end Gwydion’s reign of terror.

Book Petals Love Writing Novel Author Lorraine Ambers

What I liked.

I liked Merry’s older brother Leo, he was protective and a great ally throughout the story. He made a warm, loving companion. I loved the introduction to Jake. At first through her dreams and the thrilling way they met. To begin with, Merry fought the curse and her powers, they frightened her. It allowed her character to be pulled through the unthinkable. To emerge stronger on the other side, it was realistic and well timed.

The authors wove in several fairy-tales throughout the novel, but created a unique storyline and characters. The backstory of the Saxon witches and how Gwydion came to be so evil, added depth to the story. I became completely engrossed in those sections of the book. Immersed in life at the castle, the little farming village, and Meredith’s Saxon hut with the rough ground and flickering fire. Those scenes were vivid with great pacing and plot.

I anticipated the ending to be predictable but the outcome was not what I’d anticipated. It climaxed in a cinematic way, with both Merry and Leo committed to helping each other.

Debut Novel NA fantasy Author Lorraine Ambers Beta Reader

What I did not like.

I found it frustrating that Leo had no powers. The witch clan dismissed him because he was male, without apology or explanation. Why couldn’t he have powers? Especially as, besides Merry, he was the only other person able to read the scroll.

The pace of the story slowed right down in the middle. The pattern became repetitive and slow with Merry and Leo meeting Jake at the lake, and stopping the King of Hearts. The writing became more telling than showing. I found it hard to immerse myself into their world. It made me wonder about the author’s collaboration, because I got the distinct impression that certain areas of the book was better written.

The mum was neglectful and cold, I took an instant dislike to her and was unwilling to warm again when she was given the opportunity to explain and reform herself. Boo!

Jake and Marry started off so well but fizzled out like a poorly lit bonfire. I wanted more from Jake and Merry relationship. I was underwhelmed. Somehow the reader is supposed to believe they love each other. When did that happen? Yes, Marry is fond of him. Obviously has a giant crush on him, but I didn’t witness any development of something more.

Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

Over all, I’m glad that I persisted with the novel, because truth be told, I almost gave up. Great for fans of Young Adult, fantasy’s based around myth and fairy-tales, with romance that doesn’t always end happily-ever-after.

Thanks for reading. Have you read the Witch’s Kiss? What did you think of the novel?

 

Review of Marissa Meyer's novel Heartless, Lorraine Ambers

Review Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Blurb

Novel Heartless Marissa Meyer reviewLong before she was the Queen of Hearts, Catherine Pinkerton was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Review Heartless Marissa Meyer Author Lorraine Ambers Fantasy romance

I award this novel 4.5 stars

Review:

It was the cover that first caught my attention. It’s simply beautiful and once I’d learnt that this was a rendition inspired by my favourite classic novel ‘Alice in Wonderland’ I was sold.

Having grown up knowing what a furious character the Queen of Heart’s was. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved Catherine. She’s sweet as the cakes she makes, whilst also being loyal, brave and an avid daydreamer – like me. I started the story knowing that Cath was once a girl in love. That her heartbreak would be the catalyst to becoming the heartless Queen. I was intrigued to learn how the journey transpired. All the while, the hopeless romantic in me desperately wanted her and Jest to make it.

It’s a tale of social standing, where Cath’s wishes are disregarded for her duty. It casts a light on the heavy burden of wanting to follow your heart, over what is expected of you. Even though this novel is inspired by the Edwardian period, it still holds weight in society today.

I loved meeting my favourite characters like Hatta and Mr Caterpillar again and seeing them in a slightly different light. And getting the world introduced to me from a slightly different angle. Whilst maintaining the whimsical elements that drew me to the original.

Marissa Meyer has an extraordinary gift for regaling the original characters, I heard their voices in the same manner as when reading Lewis Carroll’s novel. Marissa interwove the tiniest details and made them key players in her story, like the pocket watch, roses and maze. Every new character was worthy of the magical realm.

Jest is charismatic, magical and mysterious, an interesting cocktail for any reader. I just loved every delicate interaction between him and Cath. Their dialogue had me on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

This made the tale bitter-sweet and intoxicating. Knowing what the outcome must be but desperately wanting to believe in the impossible, like Alice herself.

I’m glad we got to see Cath’s fall from grace. Of how her heart shattered. Because reading the pain and sorrow shapes Cath into the Queen we love to hate. The satisfying transformation to a bitter, short tempered, cold mistress who governs the realm of Hearts.

The story is positively perfect in every way.

If you’re also a fan, stop by and say hello. Or if you loved this book and know of similar romance fantasies, then please let me know. I can’t get enough of them. Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

Author Lorraine Ambers YA fantasy romance
© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.

 

Review YA fantasty romance Sarah J Maas Author Lorraine Ambers

Review – A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah.J.Maas

Review of A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

Blurb

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas fantasy romance authorFeyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


This novel features heavily in my Instagram feed. As an author of YA fantasy, I’d noticed Sarah. J.Mass book’s splashed across the shelves of my local library and bookstores.

My real interest started when I researched fantasy romances to compare my work to and this novel kept popping up. Rightly so, after finishing the novel I wanted to start from scratch and immerse myself in Feyre’s world. It’s no wonder Sarah J.Maas is in the top running for best fantasy literature. It’s a pleasure to read a book and learn from an artist. But more than that, it’s a thrill to read and only see the world open before you, with no qualms over their writing. It seems that’s the unfortunate side effect of becoming an author, I judge everything I read.

YA fantasy romance Author Lorraine Ambers review

I award this novel 5 stars.

Perfect for lovers of high fantasy and swoon-worthy romance.

I was introduced effortlessly, to the world of humans, fae’s and their laws. To the forgotten faith and war that previously ravaged the lands. Feyre is forced to provide for her family. Without her hunting, her family would starve. Whilst tracking a deer, she makes a decision that will change the course of her life.

The author takes fae myth and tips it on its head. Revealing them to Feyre as mysterious and noble, but not all the stories were a lie, the lands are perilous and deadly.

The beginning of the novel had a similar storyline to Beauty and the Beast. But Feyre is no Bella. The story unfolds into a vivacious world with fantastic characters.

I loved how the story gripped me from beginning to end. So much so , that i immediately ordered the sequel and pre-ordered the third instalment of the trilogy. The plot and subplots were tied up. (You must know by now, that that is my biggest pet-peeve.) With a tantalising hint of what to expect in book 2.

And even though this book is all about Feyre and Tamlin, I must admit, I turned to the dark side for Rhysand. His charm, cunning and clear interest in Feyre was enthralling.

What I hated: The week-long book hangover that followed this masterpiece. I am officially a fan girl of Sarah J. Maas.

 Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

If you’re also a fan, stop by and say hello. Or if you loved this book and know of similar romance fantasies, then please let me know. I can’t get enough of them. Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

© Author Lorraine Ambers & http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2016.
universe, night sky, stars

My first guest post

This week I’m sharing my experiences on the eternal scribbler of why I believe, you’re never too old to learn new things.

Also I get to cheat a little… saves me working on another post this week ;).

Follow the link and take a look!

https://theeternalscribbler.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/guest-post-youre-never-too-old-to-learn/

Author Lorraine Ambers Beagle Dexter Dog

Persevere and conquer, it’s worth it!

I’ve not always been a cat or dog person. It wasn’t that I hated animals, I just didn’t understand them. I certainly didn’t understand why owners got so attached to their furry friends. So when my family begged for a dog I gave them all the reasons why I would never own one.

  • They smell!
  • Malt fur everywhere!
  • Lick your face, Yuck!
  • Chew things to death!
  • And you’ll have to clean up poop!

With the argument successfully won, we resumed back to normal family life.

As a child I loved my pets. I loved my many, many short term pets. All ironically named Lucky. Perhaps that’s what put me off the little critters?

In the end, my family won. We were given Bailey a stunning rag-doll kitten that needed a homed. At first, I wasn’t sure what I thought of him. He was cute, loved to attack my ankles and took my husbands undivided attention. Everyone one else, fell head-over heals for the fluff ball.

Cat & Dog asleep friends
Fluff & Stuff
It wasn’t until he went AWOL, that when I realised I too loved him. I was devastated, sent out lost cat flyers and searched the streets at night. We found him in the neighbours garden with a lady friend, little tramp!

With my new found love of all things on 4 paws I declared to the family it was time for a dog. Not any dog, the right dog. One we could train to love Bailey bear. I did my research, picked the correct breed of dog for our lifestyle and thought, this will be great, wonderful, easy peasy.

Assumptions is the mother of all F**k ups!

For me having a puppy was worse than a newborn baby. I’ve never faced anything so stressful. I know! I sound melodramatic and ridiculous.

Your probably thinking; Try renovations, relationship break down, moving house or worse the death of a loved one… I have! This for me was far worse. I was driven to the brink by the worlds cutest creature. It was undoubtedly the last thing I expected.

In hind site (Oh bloody hind site) I should have used  a dog crate or only allowed him access to one room for the first month. I should have given him dog boundaries, I should have realised he was a puppy not a toddler.

But he was defenceless; like a baby. My mothering instinct took over and I couldn’t be cruel to my tiny Dexter. Instead I watched him with hawk eyes, for the tell-tale ground sniffing showing he needed a pee. Two problems with this method, the first he literally peed every 5 minutes for the first 6 weeks. Second; he’s a hound, they constantly sniff!!! My house stank of white vinegar from all the wee patches I had to scrub.

dexy1
Nickname ~ Dexy Adair
Thankfully he slept a lot… little bugger would root me out, snuggle up  on my lap and sleep on me. crafty on his part, as it made me bond with him. Increasing my internal struggle.

 

I’d stand outside for ages with him, in the middle of winter but as soon as he crossed the threshold into the house, he’d cock his leg and piddle. Little bugger! That wasn’t all, He wouldn’t go on walks! He would shiver by the front door, like monsters lurked outside. When I finally lured him past the front drive he would stand there and refuses to move.

At this point I broke down, crying hysterically to my husband (I’m not usually the weepy type). ‘I can’t keep him, he’s ruining my life… but I love him and someone else might treat him badly.’ My poor hubby replied. ‘He’s just a dog, not a baby.’ Half of me agreed with him while the other part thought. Stupid man, doesn’t he understand?

By the time he was four months old I had come to my senses (Only slightly at that point) and got him a large crate, more like a giant playpen. I would pop him in so I could cook dinner, have a shower, live a normal life… knowing he couldn’t pee on anything, which was usually everywhere; except outside!

Flame-cream rag-doll cat
Nickname ~ Bailey Bear
Ultimately I persevered and gave us both some serious training. I taught him how to listen to commands and me how to give them. Now he’s my perfect companion. He keeps me company when I’m writing, I no longer feel lonely. It can get that way when your an author. He’s my muse, we walk together and each time he makes me smile and reboots my creativity. The initial stress has now become my stress reliever. He also helped me grieve for my much loved, Beautiful Bailey.

 

I wonder if I could use this experience as an example to an interview question? ‘Tell us about a time you encountered difficulties and how you overcome them.’

My answer would be: ‘I had a puppy, it was insanely stressful but I learnt with perseverance anything is achievable.’

I apply this method to any task I want to accomplish. As humans we are always evolving, always learning and always have the capabilities to achieve the impossible.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

Share with me the times you’ve struggled but battled through, conquered and come out stronger. No incident is too big or small, they all develop who we are.

Beagle dog Black cat laying together
Brotherly love ~ Dexter is happy again with his new companion, Jaspurr.