Wednesday, May 18, 2016

[Review & Giveaway] The Midnight Sea


The Midnight Sea (Fourth Element #1)

by Kat Ross

Publish date: May 10, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….


Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

My thoughts

Well, this was another sleepless night on the books ... and I mean that in a good way. If you're looking for the perfect fantasy then you can stop what you're doing and check out The Midnight Sea. There's lots of action, story/character building, more action, drama and a dash of romance. 

The story starts off with death and mayhem as we're quickly introduced to the evil Druj. Nazafareen watches as one possesses her younger sister, a fate that she can't come back from. This moment sparks Nazafaree's journey of revenge against all Druj. She'll leave her family and home behind to become a Water Dog.

The Midnight Sea starts when Nazafareen is barely out of her child years but moves quickly through her training as a Water Dog, which takes a few years, until she's on the cusp of adulthood. Then, we finally meet Darius, the daeva she'll be linked to. Throughout the book we get small glimpses into his past and I know it's just skimming the surface.

The relationship between our two main characters is interesting in the beginning. They train together, but have little contact outside of that. Neither really has any interest in the other. Then, slowly we see their friendship start to bloom.  Both a little wary and unsure of themselves

I really enjoyed their relationship as a whole. It took a long time to buildup and there's only a little romance at the end. They're conflicted because Darius is still a slave and  Nazafareen is still the one in control of the chains. But you can see she's a good person, she's just struggling to sort out how she feels versus what she was raised to believe. 

Overall, this gets a solid 4 stars from me for being well-written, fast paced and also a little dark at time. I just love it and I can't wait to see what the next book brings. I have a feeling things will get even more intense as the story continues. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About Kat Ross

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

Author links
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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Sunday, May 1, 2016

[Review] Daughter of the Sun

Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat #1)

by Zoe Kalo

Publish date: May 1, 2016
Genre: YA, Mythology, Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Cult of the Cat series 

According to ancient Egyptian prophecy, three feline goddesses—Bastet, Sekhmet, and
Mafdet—would one day be reborn as triplets during a solar eclipse.

But someone—or something—separated them at birth. Because if ever they were reunited,
they would unleash a blistering power that could destroy the world.

In an adventure where the past confronts the present, and blood, betrayal and secrets abound, the triplets face each other for the first time. And discover they’re the only force able to stop the evil god Apophis from enslaving humanity.

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 

Sixteen-year- old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the
enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a
prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to
eighteen-year- old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to
confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

My thoughts

Most everyone who knows me in real life, and those who've stopped by Book Nerd Paradise before, know about my obsession with the mythologies of many cultures. My cats, Artemis and Athena, can confirm that for you. I've been seeing a lot more books based on Greek mythology, but not a whole lot of ones on Egyptian mythology, other than Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles. 

So, I was pretty excited to find Daughter of the Sun steeped in Egyptian myth. The ancient Egyptians have always held a place in my heart due to their reverence for cats. I'm an animal lover and any cultures that severely punishes animal abuse is A-OK in my book. Some day I hope to take a trip to Egypt and see all that's left of the ancient world. 

Daughter of the Sun is the story of orphaned Trinity, who suddenly discovers a long lost grandmother who has been looking for her since she disappeared 17 years ago right after her birth during the solar eclipse. Trinity travels to the Island of the Cats, where being a cat person is a requirement, to meet her grandmother. Lo and behold, her grandmother is very sick and passes shortly after her arrival. Taking all the answers to Trinity's questions with her. The bulk of the novel is about Trinity's search for answers to her past and the changes that are slowly happening to her. 

What I really loved about Daughter of the Sun is that Ms. Kalo managed to flawlessly weave a history lesson into the plot of the story without slowing the reader down with an info dump. Each god or goddess we run into gets a short explanation, while some of the key gods/goddesses go into more detail throughout the book. It's amazing to be able to read for fun and learn something new at the same time. No dusty history textbook here. 

As a main character I really liked Trinity. She's hot-headed and a bit impulsive, but a genuinely a good person. She has a hard time holding her tongue, but still knows when an apology is necessary. 

The only thing I wasn't really feeling in this book was the romance. It was kind of meh. Seth is a bit boring to me and there was really no development to their relationship. She just kind of maybe loves him all of a sudden, even though he's really the only boy she's ever been around. Thankfully, the romance isn't the main part of the story any way. 

The writing gets two thumbs up from me. I saw little to no errors that detract from the story. The plot was fast-paced and had me reading the whole book in one sitting. This is definitely one that gets a green light recommendation from me. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here

About Zoe Kalo

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe
Website | Facebook | Twitter

**This review is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours**