Book Review: The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1)

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

Literary Awards: Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Nominee (2011), Iowa Teen Award Nominee (2011)

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I googled Nicholas Flamel. So true. Because I am intrigued by fiction inspired by people that really existed in the past. And alchemy is something I craved reading way back in high school.

The Alchemyst was hard to get into. Really hard. The first half was boring. It only got interesting when Hecate came in. And that got the action ball rolling, so to speak.

The adventure was there; so were the villains. Its hard to hate Dr. Dee when you read his POV as well, correct? And Perenelle Flamel was very formidable!

As for the twins, Josh and Sophie, they were alright. I felt disconnected, somehow. It didn’t matter to me that they are about to be annihilated by the undead army… maybe I was just starting to have fun, on their expense. Ha!

My favorite scene was the Bast-Sophie-Perry face-off. Now, that was fun. 😀

I’m not sure if want to continue reading this series anytime soon. Or I can try the audiobook version. Yeah, I can try that. The Alchemyst and I might just have started on the wrong foot. I think the series will get better. Right? Because I like Scatty (and the Witch of Endor by association).

#17 Off the Shelf Reading Challenge 2013

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THE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott

Paperback, 375 pages

Published June 24th 2008 by Ember

3/5 stars

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Book Review: Shatter Me #2: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Young Adult > Dystopia

(Shatter Me #2)

Juliette’s world is beginning to unravel.
Everything is falling apart changing.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point-the headquarters of the rebel resistance. There she discovers other people with abilities. Abilities they have learned to control. And for the first time in her life, Juliette has hope. Hope that she can have a life with Adam. Hope that her touch can be used to save instead of destroy.

But Juliette is only just beginning to understand the depth of her power, and she’s struggling to fight the desire to use it. She’s still haunted by her past, terrified by her future, and too tempted by Warner, who still wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart-and Adam’s life.

Book 1: Shatter Me review

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Almost made me a convert.. to Team Warner. I prefer pyschotic guys. 😀

…as for Chapter 62? I’ve read hotter scenes than that. So imagine my disappointment when my wild anticipation was not met properly. *huffs*

Loneliness is a bitter, wretched companion. Sometimes it just won’t let go.

Shatter Me was alright. Didn’t get me that excited over Unravel Me. But after reading Destroy Me, I was psyched to see where this sequel will lead me.

So, my verdict: while Unravel Me was unputdownable and relentless with emotions, I still wasn’t satisfied with its ending. I’m thinking, while Tahereh Mafi can write eloquently, I’m not sure if she has the talent to wrap up stories as intensely as she started them..? I’m having problems on how she closes each installment. :/

But sometimes I think – sometimes I wonder – if I were a monster, surely, I would feel it by now?

I want to be clear that I only like Juliette when she went Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to someone who’s close to her at that time of her change. She was such a cold-hearted bad-*ss! Did you see how she manhandled Kenji? or how she blatantly damaged Warner’s father? It was awesome! But when Juliette went dramatic over Adam/Warner, forget it. I wanted to throttle her every time.

But I mean, why even a love affair? I never understood that kind of crap. If you’re not happy, just leave. Don’t cheat. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that shit out.

I get it, that Kenji will be the sidekick guy. But he did have his strong points. And every time he bombarded Juliette with the hard truths, I applauded him. I believe he’s the most consistent character in this series.

I know who I am. That’s enough for me.

I have to give Warner some credit. Because he’s really… immovable, self-willed, unbending. I heard whispers that Unravel Me was all about Warner. Halfway through the book, and Warner is still a no-show… but when he did… Oh golly, he rocked the chapters! His character was just that potent. He’s not a good guy, but his transformation from a cruel monster to a somewhat resembling a human being, it was worth watching out for. Man, Warner. *sigh*

That thing that bugged me the most about this sequel: the love triangle was distorted, I might even go as far as biased. I mean, I’m not even Team Warner (and not that a solid Team Adam, either), but I saw that Warner’s character was heavily favored than Adam’s. C’mon! Love triangles are okay, but for goodness’ sake let there be a fair fight among rivaly teams! Warner was unmistakably strong in character, but Adam was unbalanced, crumbling, left to deteriorate. =( It was sad, really. The unhealthy love triangle here took out the challenge in rooting for the right guy. And Juliette didn’t help, either.

Unravel Me is a bit better than Shatter Me. But only a bit. The ending more or less showed me who will be winning Juliette in book 3.

#16 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

#8 Dystopia Challenge 2013

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UNRAVEL ME by Tahereh Mafi

Paperback, 461 pages

Published February 5th 2013 by HarperCollins

3/5 stars

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop: International

hoppy 2013

[This giveaway hop is hosted by I Am a Reader, Not A Writer and Read Now Sleep Later.]

I will order one  book (worth $10 or less from The Book Depository) of your choice. 

To join, follow me on Twitter (@lakwatchera).

NOTES:

  • Giveaway will be done via Rafflecopter
  • Opens Internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to your country
  • You don’t have to own a blog site to enter
  • Contests ends April 6th, ONE winner will be drawn

Click the image below to enter this  giveaway. =)

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Click HERE to hop away to other giveaways. List is at the bottom of the blog post.

Happy Easter, everyone!

[Kindness begets kindness, so let’s pay it forward.]

maria

Mini Book Reviews: Glitches, The Queen’s Army

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(Luna Chronicles 0.5)

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. In “Glitches,” a short prequel story to Cinder, we see the results of that illness play out, and the emotional toll that takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch…

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… So, I finally met Cinder’s stepfather. You do know what happened to him in the fairy tale, right? 😦

Glitches showed how Cinder came into her adoptive family. It also narrated Cinder’s initial struggle over her being a cyborg. And she discovered her gift on tinkering at this time.

This e-novella has a sad tone. But to her stepmom’s credit, Adri was not at all bad at the start. She really loved Cinder’s stepdad. And it was love at first sight for Peony on Cinder. I liked this part, such a simple take on one’s kindness towards someone who lost everything.

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GLITCHES by Marissa Meyer

Ebook, 16 pages

Published December 5th 2011 by Tor

3/5 stars

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Young Adult > Fantasy

(Lunar Chronicles #1.5)

It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen’s army. To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proves to the Queen—and to himself—that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.

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…Whoa whoa whoa. Ze’ev!!!

I love reading stories about strong heroes who are humble. Here in The Queen’s Army, that humility was realized in Ze’ev’s character (more apparent in Scarlet). And the fact that Ze’ev does not delight in hurting other people is a major plus (even if he just needed to defend himself). My man here is the freakin’ perfect soldier!

The Queen’s Army highlighted Ze’ev’s beginnings in preparation for his role in Scarlet. I think this is my favorite e-novella so far, among all I’ve read. Man, I was half in love with Ze’ev already! He’s strong, smart, and takes action when the situation calls for it, no matter how brutal the outcome may be. I firmly believed that this should be more than just an e-novella. Full story please, Marissa Meyer? 🙂

I guess I have a new book boyfriend? Oh, yeah. *winks*

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THE QUEEN’S ARMY by Marissa Meyer

Ebook, 18 pages

Published November 23rd 2012 by Tor

4/5 stars

Waiting on Wednesday [2]

New WoWClick the image to know what Waiting on Wednesday is all about.

[Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.]

thewickedwithin

Genre: Young Adult > Mythology

(Gods and Monsters #3)

Hardcover, 320 pages

Expected Publication September 17th 3013

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The Wicked Within has no blurb yet, so let me give you a glimpse of what the first two books were all about. Simply put, this series has a kick-*ss heroine, a (sometimes) swoony love interest, and a very menacing villain. Exactly what I’m looking for in action-packed books!

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1)

darknessbecomesher2Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2)

a beautiful evil

Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.

Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine….

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Woot! I cannot wait for The Wicked Within to be released!!! I expect that it will be as fast-paced and action-packed as the first two. Yeeees!

So, what book excited you this week? Link me up in the comments section. 😉

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maria

Top Ten Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and The Bookish.

Hello, there! It’s Holy Tuesday here in Manila. 🙂 So before I fast from blogging, lemme share with you these books that plagued me (they still do) waaay after I finished them. =)

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  1. Angelfall by Susan Ee. [The only YA angel book worth reading, aside from Unearthly.]
  2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman. [Awesome, awesome dystopia.]
  3. The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. [One of the best love stories ever.]
  4. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. [Need I say more? A must-read for sci-fi lovers.]
  5. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. [Beautifully written, and heartachingly sad.]
  6. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. [A must-read for contemporary lovers.]
  7. Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. [I am in love with this series: vampires serving angels and archangels – sweet.]
  8. Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. [I lost buckets of tears. Todd and Viola will always be one of my faves.]
  9. Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. [Lisbeth Salander – relentless, brialliant, vicious. Fantastic.]
  10. Newsflesh Series by Mira Grant. [Zombie love for Shaun and Becks. Fun, action-packed, tearjerker as well.]

jellicoe roadangels' bloodknife of never letting gothe girl with the dragon tattoofeed

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The last four items has gotta be series. And I love every single one of the installments!

What’s on your list? Link me up! 😀

Mini Book Review: Breathless

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Young Adult > Fantasy | Paranormal

(Elemental 2.5)

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

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…Oh, Brigid Kemmerer. You sneaky, little…..! Holy sh*t. Nick Merrick!!!

*breathes deeply*

I didn’t expect this kind of curveball from Brigid Kemmerer. Really, I didn’t. And now, I wish Nick‘s full story will come out sooner rather than later! Here is the responsible Merrick. The peaceful twin. Wouldn’t you know, there’s a hurricane raging silently inside of him!

Breathless briefly showcased Nick’s role to the Merrick Family. How being the middleman among his brothers helped him help Quinn with her problems. Me thinks Nick is going to be my favorite Merrick brother, once his story is published after Hunter’s. But for now, he’s coming really close to Chris, who is my current fave. 🙂

So.. secrets, huh? How Brigid Kemmerer managed to write Nick’s POV and he came out as hot as his twin, Gabriel… astounding.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington Teen for granting my galley request.

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BREATHLESS by Brigid Kimmerer

Ebook, 65 pages

Published March 6th 2013 by Kensington Teen

4/5 stars

BREATHL

And My 2nd Blogoversary Giveaway Winner is…


…CCongratulations, Mona!

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Mona recommended Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.

[I haven’t read any Picoult novel, but I watched the movie tie-in of My Sister’s Keeper. And what a tearjerker. So maybe it’s about time I read from Picoult.]

Thank you to everyone who joined and sent their congratulations for my blogoversary!

[Now, my TBR has piled up again, thanks to all your recommendations. Not that I’m complaining.]

CHEERS!

Stacking the Shelves [3]

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Hello! I haven’t blogged in two weeks. =( So sad. Work was overwhelming, sigh. I have six books pending for review, but who’s counting? (Me.) *grunts*

Anyway, after Book Depository ‘robbed’ me of $66 with the freakin’ “Spread the Love” promo, I’m broke. So I tried exploring my options in NetGalley and Edelweiss. Wouldn’t you know, I was granted galley access to some of my anticipated reads!

arclight

Arclight, Josin L. McQuein

reboot

Reboot, Amy Tintera

Thank you, Edelweiss and HarperCollins!

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school spirits

School Spirits, Rachel Hawkins

breathless

Breathless, Brigid Kimmerer

[I just read Breathless, and it’s oh, so good.]

true

True, Erin McCarthy

manicpixiedreamgirl

Manicpixiedreamgirl, Tom Leveen

Thank you, NetGalley, Disney Book Group, Kensington, Erin Galloway of Penguin Group USA, and Tom Leveen!

You guys rock!

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Have you read any of these books? And can you recommend them?

Link me up in the comments section. 😉

Cheers!

Waiting on Wednesday [1]

New WoWClick the image to know what Waiting on Wednesday is all about.

[Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.]

game

Genre: Young Adult > Mystery Thriller > Crime Suspense

(Jasper Dent #2)

Billy grinned. “Oh, New York,” he whispered. “We’re gonna have so much fun.”

I Hunt Killers introduced the world to Jazz, the son of history’s most infamous serial killer, Billy Dent.

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

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i hunt killers

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) is the the YA equivalent of my favorite TV series, Dexter. I enjoyed Jasper Dent and his twisted, sometimes not-so-sick mind! So when I saw Wendy Darling‘s instagram of Game, oh my. Me getting excited is an understatement, because I was over-the-top ecstatic! And jealous..!

I will buy from Amazon because the hardcover edition there is much cheaper than The Book Depository.

So, what book excited you this week? Link me up in the comments section. 😉

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Do not forget to join my 2nd BLOGOVERSARY Giveaway (International)!

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maria