When Planets Fall by Abby J. Reed book tour and Giveaway!

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Title: When Planets Fall
Author: Abby J. Reed
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Description (Source: Amazon):

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Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bath his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.”


Review:

When Planets Fall just skyrocketed to the top of my favorite reads of 2017 list. The book follows three different characters, Breaker, Melani, and Luka. As said in the synopsis, the world this is set in is divided by three different species who have either blue (the Eliks), red (humans), or green (the Hurons) blood.  I immediately fell in love with both Breaker and Malani’s characters. Breaker is a superstar mechanic who also happens to be an amputee, due to something that happened to him in his childhood. I think the struggles of Breaker dealing with his disability are really well written, and not very common to read about in this genre. Melani is a complex character. While she shows strengths in some moments, we are also reminded that she is a scared child in others. Melani has PTSD from her kidnapping as a child, which again, is written very well. I didn’t immediately like Luka, but he really grew on me and actually become my favorite character as the story progressed. 

The story line itself was great and had all the markings of a fantastic Sci-Fi : world building, lots of action, and plot twists! The ending was 😱😱😱. I truly did not dislike anything in the book, but I should warn of a couple things:

  1. cliffhanger at the end 
  2. graphic violence, some involving children 

Again, these things did not bother me, but you should be aware. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
–I loved this book and can’t wait for the next one! 
– If you have Kindle Unlimited, It’s included in the program! If not, I highly suggest you get it. I can’t tell you how many great books I have found through Unlimited. Click below to join!

I received this book as part of my participation in a blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.


Click here to see the rest of the book tour over at Xpresso Blog Tours!


Author Bio:

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Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, WHEN PLANETS FALL, was published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.
Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint. Find her online at www.abbyjreed.com.

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: eBook
Description
(Source: Amazon):

The Star-Touched Queen by [Chokshi, Roshani]Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


Review:

First of all, can we just appreciate this cover? 😍😍😍😍😍

The Star-Touched Queen is about a girl who is cursed with a horoscope of death and destruction. This makes her a social outcast and expendable within her kingdom. The story starts out pretty quickly with not an overabundance of world building, which is helpful if you are like me and don’t want to wait 3-5 chapters to get hooked on the book. I think one of the reasons the book begins so well is because of the protagonist Maya. She struck me as immediately likable, as she is strong, independent, an quick-witted. She makes some pretty stupid decisions in the book, but they aren’t out of character and I think readers can empathize with her logic during these decisive moments. 

Although the story starts out interesting, I found most of the first half of the book went pretty slow for me, but the last half definitely made up for it. The last half was more action based and starts to wind in the plot of the next book. The action scenes were well done and the climax didn’t seem rushed, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  

I find that I’m torn on Chokshi’s descriptive style throughout the book. Some of the metaphors used just didn’t really make a lot of sense, but there were other times that I found myself completely enthralled with the tale Chokshi was spinning. Obviously this is subjective to who is reading, but overall her writing was beautiful. 

There were two reasons this book was only 3/5 stars for me. The first was what I had already mentioned about the book moving slowly in the first half. The second is the connection between Maya and Amar. I didn’t feel the passion or love between them and would have liked to have seen their relationship grow through more interactions in the book, rather than just a few kisses here or there. 

Rating:

    

Final Thoughts:
– I have the next book A Crown of Wishes on NetGalley so I will be moving onto that book next. Although I gave this book 3 stars (which is still NOT a bad review) I am excited to move onto the next because I love the character the story will be surrounding. 


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Re-tellings (Beauty and the Beast)
Format: Hardcover
Description (Source: Amazon):

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones–and in her blood. Though Yeva grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. 

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. 

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory–a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?”


Overall Assessment:
I’m still on my Beauty and the Beast binge (and actually beginning another retelling tonight, lol). Hunted has been one of my most anticipated reads this year so I actually set aside everything else I was reading once it came in. 

Hunted is a B&B retelling, yes, but it is also different in many ways. Yeva, our “beauty”, is a hunter. Yeva’s family consists of her, her two sisters, and her father. Her father is a merchant, but lost all their fortune – not in a bad slimy way like gambling. It was just a mixture of bad business decisions and terrible luck. Immediately I loved all of them. Yeva’s father is loving and dotes on his daughters; her sisters are strong and kind, and Yeva herself is strong-willed, selfless, and intelligent. She is one of the most likable characters I’ve read in a while and thoroughly enjoyed reading about her. I don’t want to give too much away, but many of the other characters are different as well. 
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One cool feature of the book is that before each chapter we get a short journal-like entry from the Beast’s POV. We see his struggle as he continues to grapple between humanity and becoming the beast he shares a mind with. The beast’s curse is unlike any other I’ve read in these kind of retellings. Saying anything other than that might give it away, but it’s definitely unique.
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I know I’m not giving much of the plot in this review, but I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Just read it! And then come find me so we can talk about it!

Rating:

   

What I liked:
– Likable characters all around. There was literally not a single character that I didn’t like in the book.
– The many twists on the original tale. Even though it was a retelling, it still felt very original.
– The slow-burn romance between Yeva and the beast. It’s definitely not an insta-love situation.
– The big surprise at the end. Actually, throughout the book there were many surprises to be had.

What I didn’t like:
– I can’t think of anything I didn’t like. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it was necessary for the plot progression and character development.

Final Thoughts:
– Hunted is not just another regurgitated B&B retelling. While sticking with the common overall theme, it is filled with original ideas and characters. I recommend it to everyone in need of a refreshing B&B retelling, and anyone who loves a strong female protagonist.

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Audio, via Audible
Narrated by: Elizabeth Evans

As a reminder, I review sequels a little different from other reviews. I am going to hide the description from the main page so you will have to click “Read More” due to potential spoilers from previous books in the description or my review. 

Also, there is some swearing in this review….just be warned. 

See my reviews for the other books in the series here:
–   The Assassin’s Blade
–   Throne of Glass
–   Crown of Midnight
–   Heir of Fire
–   Queen of Shadows —> I didn’t do one on my blog. It was my least favorite book and I would only rate it 3/5 stars. SJM turned Chaol into a complete asshole, which was so out of character for him IMO. I have some other issues with the book, but I’m not getting into them here. 

Rating: