Book Review: ‘Halayda’ by Sarah Delena White

Posted in Book Reviews
on June 23, 2017

Dear Reader,

After in being in a bit of a reading slump, I was really craving something different, something with faeries and something full of magic. Halayda is certainly all of the above. It has so many fresh and new ideas that it left me salivating (luckily not literally, but maybe over the faerie prince) for more.

  • Halayda by Sarah Delena White
  • Kindle Edition – 438 pages 
  • Release Date: 23rd March 2017
  • Published by: Uncommon Universes Press LLC
  • ISBN: 0997409967
  •  Goodreads page for the novel here

Blurb:

“A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.” [blurb from Goodreads]

 


My Review:

This book is a fantastic story! And was a massive surprise for me. It had popped up on my recommended reads a few times but I just dismissed it. Mainly because I saw ‘Star-Fae’ and was expecting a sci-fi and me and sci-fi have a love and hate relationship. However, I was so wrong. This book is so much more than I first thought it was. So much so that now I will be following the release of the whole series. And I think anyone else who loves anything about Faerie should. But if you need some convincing…

Firstly, the world building is AMAZING. For any fantasy book in particular I really pay special attention to this. Like, who wants a terribly boring world? A massive strength was the divide between the so called ‘ordinary’ world and that of Faerie. The ordinary world contains alchemists who use chemistry and science to gain power. Whereas, on the Faerie side, you have some pretty badass Fae. These isn’t the stuff of Disney (thank god) it’s like the Seelie and Unseelie which obviously equals DARK. (*internally squeals in joy*). It also reminds me of the original mythology of the Fae, being in courts and being attractive but obviously deadly.

Photo from my bookstagram.

However, in between these worlds you get changelings (half-fae/half-human), but not enough of either blood that they aren’t accepted by anyone. One of these half-fae is Sylvie Imanthiya. She is an alchemist half-fae herself (which is rare) with no visible faerie abilities,  but she enjoys the occasional request for help from Taylan, the King of Faerie (WHOM IS LITERALLY LIKE A GOD).  She also takes in all these unwanted half-fae, helps them and acts as an adopted mother. She has so many good traits and is a great protagonist.

For me, everything was so cohesive that it made sense, but it still retained that ‘otherness’ you really need within a fantasy novel. Sylvie, as a character that has mingled between both worlds, was easy to empathise with. The reader is shown the world of Faerie through her eyes and as she is seeing it for the first time, it feels like we are.

I need to talk about the Faerie King because just OH MY! Anyone knows me, or follows me on any social media sites, knows how much I love Faerie Kings or Princes (Rhysand, Lucian etc) but I think Taylan has really stole my heart for a while. Taylan is not your typical fae-folk, he’s not vain or selfish. He is a warrior who toke the kingdom by force (only way to take the rulership of Faerie), but for the past thousands of years he has been plagued with this. He is constantly trying to keep others best interests and even though he is a badass warrior, he has a heart. And a lovely one at that.

Finally, alongside the fantastic world building and characters , you have great plot  development too. I don’t want to spoil much with the plot but you could tell the characters have really been thought of as individuals and nobody was left without some sort of story behind them. Everything felt like a magical adventure and I truly fell in love with the world inside the novel.

SO. If you are in need of a good fantasy with faeries I really recommend this. I will be shocked if you hate it! And, after finding out this is an independent book too, it made me realise I need to read more…what else could we all be missing out on?


If you have any questions or would like to contact me please email me at imogen.thompson96@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Love,

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Book Review: ‘The Evaporation of Sofi Snow’ by Mary Weber

Posted in Book Reviews
on May 31, 2017

Dear Reader,

I have not read sci-fi for a very long time and after reading a lot of fantasy lately, I was quietly surprised when I was approached to do a review of this Mary Weber novel. So thank you for the chance to read this novel and my review is below.

  • The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber
  • Kindle Edition – 342 pages 
  • Release Date: 6th June 2017
  • Published by: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN: 0718080904
  •  Goodreads page for the novel here

Blurb:

‘Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford’ – [blurb from Goodreads]


My Review:

I feel, after reading this novel, it was a little bit like marmite. The novel felt it was shifted into two books and just after completing it, I am still not sure how I feel about it. I keep blaming it mainly on the fact I’ve not read sci-fi for a while and my go to is usually fantasy.

This dystopian novel provides a bleak and dreary view of the future of the world. After being desolated by war, Earth needs an alien species help to unite and save its people. And, after their help, humanity is now living within this species shadows.

The population is split into corporations, similar to Divergent, and each member is allowed to play the annual Fantasy Fighting Games, to became a dignified celebrity. The game itself is part-online and part-reality and the main competitors that are followed are Shilo and Sofi.

The point to plot changed completely when the novel went from what I assumed was going to be about the Games to what I can only describe as a bit of plot chaos. I felt like the author knew which direction she wanted to go but it just wasn’t reiterated to the reader. And even though I tried to love it, I struggled.

I would recommend this book if you really like your dystopian novels however I just felt it wasn’t for me, especially with the plot twists. But I can guarantee you will fall in love with the main character, Sofi because she really was kick-ass.


If you have any questions or would like to contact me please email me at imogen.thompson96@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

Love,

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