Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Update

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I haven't been around over the past week. I've been really ill (like, do not dare to move away from the tissue box kind of ill) and so I've been unable to do anything on the blog, and I'm behind on schoolwork too because I had to take a few days off. I'm mostly better now, so I'm gonna try to catch up on reading and commenting. However, I'm going to Washington DC on Thursday 29th for a school trip, so I'll be scheduling some posts around that time - regular blogging should resume once I get back at the beginning of April.

Hope everyone's doing well, and thanks for being awesome readers :).

Monday, 26 March 2012

Review: Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen

Masters of the Veil (Masters of the Veil #1) by Daniel Cohen
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Released: March 1st 2012
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. Every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic - the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery - people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown, but all humankind. (from Goodreads)

Masters of the Veil was a great start to a new series. I loved the magical world the author had created, and was fascinated by the different branches of magic and how each person was suited to a different type. Definitely a page-turning read – I’m already excited for the sequel!

Sam Locke, our main character, was a pretty likeable guy. He was a bit arrogant and self-involved, and obsessed with football, but he was also absolutely hilarious and I loved reading about him (his conversations with Daphne were particularly amusing, especially when he crashed and burned trying to get her to like him). I sort of felt bad for him too, because before he found out about all the magic stuff, he was under huge amounts of pressure to perform well in this football game, which basically was going to decide his future. Anyone can understand how stressful moments like that can be – if you mess up one thing, that’s it, your future is over. Competitive sports, music, academia - the system is so unfair! One mistake can ruin everything - and Sam had to go through the horrible pain of making that mistake. Of course, it was all due to magic. And Sam soon realised that maybe he was destined for greater things than football. Whisked away to Atlas Crown, a place whether other magic (or Veil) uses like him resided, Sam learnt that he was one of the few people in the world with the power to use the Veil. It was definitely a lot to take in, and he didn’t really believe it at first (I don’t think I would have either). But eventually, he got used to the idea. Things were hard for him though, being a beginner and struggling to grasp just the basics. I could understand why he was frustrated, but I also do think he was a bit naive at some points in the book, believing things that were clearly a bit dodgy.

Glissandro was another character I really liked. He was Sam’s first friend at Atlast Crown and I think he was definitely a good friend to Sam. He was mute, and communicated through magic by playing a horn. He seemed quite shy, but got along with Sam quite well, and the two had a great camaraderie. Glissandro was a mystical magic user and I think there was definitely a lot more to him than you’d first expect. Looking forward to seeing more of him in the sequel!

My favourite part of the book was probably learning about the different types of magic, and meeting the different magic users. There were three main types: natural, mystical and power. Mystical magic definitely intrigued me most – not a lot was known about it, and the ones who were gifted in it often spent time studying it and it was all very...well, mystical :P. Natural magic seemed the most common, and power magic was sort of regarded as the worst kind, because most power magic users turned to the dark side. People took advantage of magic by using the Veil – the sort of personification of magic that existed as being. My favourite Veil user was probably Bariv. He was this mysterious guy, with the outward appearance of a young boy, but in actuality he was hundreds of years old. He was Sam’s mentor for a while, when he first arrived, and definitely got me curious. I liked reading about him and want to find out more, hopefully in the sequel! I also really liked May, the one who first found Sam, as well; she seemed so lovely and chatty and always willing to help anyone in trouble. Rona was definitely cool too – and old tribe king, he knew a lot about magic and what it could do, and his backstory was an interesting one. Thought there was a little info-dumping at parts, the story was interesting enough that I could overlook it.

Masters of the Veil had a great plot, and while there was a lot going on, it didn’t get too confusing or difficult to understand. Some things I guessed (there were chapters told from another point of view that sort of gave hints as to what was going to happen), but I still really enjoyed the story. I felt that things were resolved a little too quickly and easily at the end, but it did set up the next book nice and I’m definitely intrigued about what will happen next. And as I’ve said before, this was a very, very funny book. I was reading it in the library, and it was hard to stay silent and stop myself from laughing.

Overall, Masters of the Veil was an excellent intro to the Masters of the Veil trilogy, and I enjoyed it a lot. I recommend it to fans of books about sorcerers and magic with fun characters.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Blog Tour: The Things We Did for Love - Interview with Author Natasha Farrant

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I have the lovely Natasha Farrant, author of The Things We Did for Love, on the blog for a Q&A, so please make her feel welcome, and enjoy! :)

The Things We Did for Love by Natasha Farrant
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Released: March 1st 2012
Find it on Goodreads

France: February, 1944.

As war rages in Europe, teenagers Luc and Arianne fall passionately in love. But German forces are closing in and Luc, desperate to atone for his family's past, is drawn into the dangerous world of the Resistance. Arianne will do almost anything to keep him safe, but someone else is secretly in love with her - someone who will stop at nothing to get rid of his rival...
(from Goodreads)

Q&A

Hi Natasha, thanks so much for joining us!

Lovely to be with you too!

Can you tell us a bit about The Things We Did for Love?

It’s a love story set in France at the end of World War 2, which also looks at the question of what it means to be a hero and questions how we would all behave when placed in an impossible situation. It’s based on real events which took place in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, which was destroyed by German soldiers on 10th June 1944, four days after the D-Day landings. It’s both very romantic and very tragic.

Why did you decide to write for a young adult audience?

I’ve worked in children and YA publishing for a long time. When my first two novels (for “grown ups”) were published, several colleagues suggested that I try writing for young adults. I’d been thinking about this book for a long time and the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would work best for teen readers. My books always begin with my characters: in this case, the little boy Paul and the war weary German soldier Alois were the first to manifest themselves, but I always knew Paul had a big sister and that the book would be about her. And the drama of the story, which catapults an entire village from ordinary life into catastrophe seemed most acute when applied to teenagers. My young characters all have one thing in common, which is a very teenage belief that what they want matters more than anything. They are in love, they want to be heroes, they are convinced that they can change the world… They learn the hard way that destiny is also affected by random forces.

The Things We Did for Love is set during war-torn Europe in the 1940s. What inspired you to write about this period?

War is so fascinating to writers (and filmmakers, for that matter) because it provides such extremes of emotion and behaviour: fear, courage, sacrifice, love. I have been obsessed with both World Wars since I was a teenager: descriptions in history lessons of trench warfare, of concentration camps and gas chambers, of bombed cities, all made a profound impression on me. I just couldn’t understand how human beings, with their capacity for love and compassion, could also allow such nightmares to take place.

I have known about Oradour-sur-Glane (the village on which THE THINGS WE DID FOR LOVE is based) all my life, but I first went there about ten years ago. It’s a place which can’t fail to mark you. The village has been left exactly as it was after the massacre and it is devastating. I wept as I made my way through the ruined streets to the church, and in my mind I wanted to imagine away all the stark reminders of the terrible events which took place here to see the village as it was before. Writing about it became a way of trying to make sense of what had happened, and also of all the questions which had haunted me since those history lessons at school. I also think it’s interesting for English readers to know more about how people experienced war in different countries and the reality of occupation.

How did you cope with writing some of the more serious parts of The Things We Did for Love?

To be honest, the horrific parts were not the most difficult to write, because I got so caught up in the story. Most of all, I wanted to be respectful. My first draft was very angry and emotional, but my agent, who was the first editor on the book, encouraged me to pare back my descriptions to what was most essential. The final result is much stronger as a result. It was a real case of less being more. 
 
Did you do any research when writing The Things We Did for Love?

I visited the Centre of Remembrance at Oradour-sur-Glane on several occasions, and I read a lot around the subject. You can find out more by googling Oradour-sur-Glane. Better still, if ever you find yourself around Limoges, go and visit the village.

If you could do any job in the world (besides writing), what would it be?

I share an office with a garden designer and I think her job looks wonderful. She does these amazing drawings and then turns boring plots of land into little corners of paradise. I love that her creations keep on evolving as the things she plants carry on growing. Of course it’s a better job in summer than in winter…
Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?

I’ve just handed in the manuscript of my next book. It’s completely different! A contemporary story, told in diary format, about a family recovering from the death of a child. It’s sad but also very funny and slightly mad. Sort of a cross between LOVE, AUBREY and Hilary McKay’s Casson family books.

Thanks for answering questions today, it’s been great to have you on the blog!

My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
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Hope you enjoyed the interview! For anyone who's interested, there's also a The Things We Did for Love writing competition launching on The Spark (a great new online community for young people interested in creativity and reading), so go enter! Anyone entering has the chance of winning an ipad or the runner up prize of an e-reader!

Make sure you visit Mostly Reading YA on March 19th for the next stop on the tour!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Review: Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Released: February 14th 2012
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

When 17-year-old Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when Rosie tells her mother's best friend, "Aunt Sarah," that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie wasn't her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.

Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, joining her ex-boyfriend on his gap year travels, to find her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. As Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonizing decision of her own, one which will be the most heart breaking and far-reaching of all.
(from Goodreads)

I didn’t know a lot about Huntington’s Disease before reading Someone Else’s Life – I had heard of it before, but I definitely learnt a lot more from reading this book and I appreciated that none of the difficult parts were glossed over. I’m glad things were addressed in a realistic way that really made me think about life and what I’d do if I were in Rosie’s shoes.

Rosie was generally a likeable character, and it was easy to understand the difficulty she was going through. Her mother had just died, and she was terrified that she was going to develop the same disease and suffer just as her mother did. But then she found out the mother she’d known all her life wasn’t her biological mother. Rosie was safe from Huntington’s – but her entire life was turned upside down. I really felt for Rosie. She didn’t know who she was anymore and didn’t know what to do with her life. All she could really think about was her birth mother, so she set off find her with her ex-boyfriend Andy. After doing some research, she ended up in America. And what she found there was so much more than she was expecting. It was a lot to take in, and so much happened that it seemed impossible for Rosie to ever go back to accepting the life she had before. It did start to feel a little dramatic after while, with unexpected revelation after unexpected revelation, and I felt Rosie lost some of her appeal by turning into one of those characters that just apologised for everything every five minutes. However, I was definitely absorbed and read the whole book in one sitting, desperate to find out what would happen next and how everything would end up for Rosie and her family.

Andy, the love interest, was a decent character but I didn’t really grow to love him. He was very sweet and obviously cared a lot about Rosie, but I think he did some stupid things and got impatient with her a little too quickly. I understood that Rosie wasn’t being the best of girlfriends, but she was going through a lot and I felt like he acted a bit selfishly at times. That being said, it showed how his character wasn’t perfect, and I appreciated the realism – because no-one is perfect. We’re all human and bound to make some mistakes once in a while, and I think Andy’s character accurately portrayed that.

I really liked the chapters running alongside Rosie’s point of view; they got me intrigued and curious about the other characters in the story. We didn’t find out whose chapters these were until  half way through the story, and I guessed wrong at first, but worked it out later just before it was all revealed. The plot was well-paced and though some things were a little predictable, there were also a lot of things I never would have guessed. It was great finding out the mystery behind Rosie and her parents, and where she really came from.

My only real complaint is while I was satisfied with the ending as a whole, there was one part that I couldn’t get over. Something was withheld from one of the characters, something I think was very important, and needed to be revealed. I definitely would have wanted to know about it if it were me, especially considering what the whole book was about in the first place. However, this is just my personal opinion, and entirely due to the kind of person I am. Many other reviews I’ve read don’t seem to be bothered by this aspect at all, so definitely don’t let it deter you from reading Someone Else’s Life.

Overall, Someone Else’s Life was a compelling, emotional read that I really enjoyed, and would recommend to fans of more serious contemporary novels.
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I reviewed this for NetGalley, so included the US cover and publisher, but I thought I'd show you the UK cover too, because I really like it and because this is a UK based book blog. What do you think, which cover do you prefer?

UK book details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Released: February 2nd 2012

Sunday, 11 March 2012

In My Mailbox (#43)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

Was busy last Sunday so I didn't have the chance to do an IMM. This week is all the books I've accumulated over the last two weeks!




For Review:
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers (from NetGalley)
Infamous (Chronicles of Nick #3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams (from Bookbabblers)

Bought (got both of these for £1 each from the Waterstones World Book Day promotion):
The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson
Department 19 (Department 19 #1) by Will Hill

Gifts:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer) by Michelle Hodkin
Ouran High School Host Club Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori (already read this manga and seen the anime, but happy to own the first volume now! One of my favourite manga/animes of all time :P)
Cait from The Cait Files, being the awesome person she is, got me a £10 Amazon giftcard for my birthday, so with it, I bought:
Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Mercy (Mercy #1) by Rebecca Lim
Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking (was only 20p!)

Freebie (for Kindle):
Hollowland (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking

That's my haul for the past two weeks! So much to read, so little time :P.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Many thanks to Cait, Sarah @ Bookbabblers, Atom, NetGalley, Waterstones and friends & family.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #44


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Artemis Fowl and The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) by Eoin Colfer
July 10th 2012
Find it on Goodreads

Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has somehow reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died—a battle against Artemis—is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand? (from Goodreads)

Ahhhhhhhh the last Artemis Fowl! I am such a huge fan of this series, I can't believe it's ending. What will I do without my favourite criminal mastermind? I have a feeling Artemis is going to put the conscience that's been building up to use in this one and work for the good of the fairies. So excited, can't wait to see what happens to Opal! And also to see what happens between Holly and Artemis...I know Eoin said they wouldn't end up together (and to be fair, this really isn't a series concentrated around romance, just action and humour and awesomeness), but am I the only one who thinks (read: hopes) that it's some clever ruse to throw us off? I have to admit, I ship Holly and Artemis. I don't care that she's almost half his height and a different species...:P.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Released: January 5th 2012
My Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
(from Goodreads)

So I’m not entirely sure how to write this review. Not because I didn’t like the book (I freaking LOVED it) but because I don’t know how to justify my intense adoration for it. I’m a notorious hater of insta-love, and the events in this novel take place over the course of twenty-four hours. But guys...it didn’t feel like insta-love. Probably because it wasn’t love. It was the beginnings of it. The start of a new relationship you know will be awesome and fantastic. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was the story of how Hadley and Oliver met – what happens after that, we don’t know. And we don’t need to know – because that first meeting, their first day together, was enough for me. Just awesome.

Hadley was a character I could easily relate to. I could understand how she was feeling and why she was so upset with her dad remarrying so quickly after the divorce with her mum. I think I’d probably feel the same way if I were her (though Hadley’s sarcastic remarks were much better than mine would have been :P) and it was because of this that I really enjoyed seeing the effect Oliver’s influence had on her and how she slowly began to change and start to realise that while her dad definitely did stupid things and wasn’t perfect, she still loved him and didn’t want to shut him out of her life anymore. I think Hadley grew up a lot in those twenty-four hours - and it didn’t seem completely unrealistic. Okay, some things she did seemed a bit odd, but I could believe why Hadley began to change her mind about her dad. It was something that could really happen to anyone in life, and I think Hadley was quite brave to do what she did. I don’t know if I could have been as mature and forgiving.

Oliver. Omg, Oliver. He. Was. So. Cute. I ADORED him! He was hilarious, sweet, kind, awesome and just amazingly lovely, and knew exactly how to make Hadley feel better. He was going through his own stuff too, that he didn’t share with Hadley right away, but he still tried to stay positive and cheer Hadley up with some ridiculous conversation about koalas or mayonnaise. I liked him from the first moment he was introduced to the very last page where everything was wrapped up. The spark, the chemistry between Oliver and Hadley when the met was so, so brilliant and well-written - the kind that you know could only mean the start of a great love story. And while this was only the start, there was this warm feeling in my stomach that made me feel like these two would be okay, that things would work out for them. This was the kind of romance you daydream about when you’re in the middle of a boring class, or when you’re sitting at home on a rainy day – the awesomest kind there is.

The writing style in The Probability of Love at First Sight was quite unusual (third person present tense, which I don’t think I’ve ever come across before). It took a bit of getting used to, but I grew to love it and appreciate the effect it had on the story and on us as readers. I think you just need to read this book to understand what I mean (and you should definitely, definitely read this book). The story also flowed really well, and I loved the way it all played out. It was cool how Hadley and Oliver kept running into each other, and how when they were apart, they were still thinking of each other. Their first encounter definitely connected the two together – there was something between them, and they both knew it.

Overall, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was an amazing read that everyone – even cynics (I’m a cynic, I swear, but this book has the power to make anyone gush and smile) – need to read. I hope it makes you all feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like it did me. Comes with my highest recommendation. 

Friday, 2 March 2012

Review: Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer

Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1) by Kai Meyer
Publisher: Templar
Released: March 1st 2012
My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her. Once there, Rosa wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem.

Ancient myths brought to life in the Sicilian countryside, dangerous beasts roaming the hills, and a long history of familial bloodlust prove to Rosa that she can’t trust anyone—not even her own family. Torn between loyalty to her aunt and love for her family’s mortal enemy, Rosa must make the hardest decision of her life: stay in Sicily with her new love . . . or run as far and as fast as she can.
(from Goodreads)

Arcadia Awakens was a book with an interesting premise and great mix of crime and mythology. However, while I did enjoy it, I felt it didn’t live up to its potential and was lacking in certain areas.

One of the things I liked most about the book was the fact the characters were really different from those in your usual YA series. Our main character Rose was sarcastic, bratty, short-tempered and cold, and to be honest, I didn’t really like her to begin with. However, I could empathise with her. She’d been born into a life of crime and deception, where topics such as robbery and even murder were discussed almost casually as if they were talking about paying the phone bill. Her family emphasised the importance of loyalty and blood being thicker than water – but they were never really there for her. Rosa had to go through such horrific things and her family just wanted to brush it all off. They didn’t really support her or understand how she was feeling at all; it’s no wonder she was so damaged and closed off from people. She felt alone, and couldn’t trust anybody, not even herself. Her character gave a lot of insight into the kind of world she was born into and how much it could affect a person.

Another thing I really liked was the mythology. Though I think it could have been explained a little better, I liked learning about each family and their history, and how it tied in with the snakes and tigers/panthers that Rosa had been seeing. I was drawn in by these mysterious creatures, and how Rosa seemed to be connected with them. I was most intrigued, however, by the photograph discovered halfway through that basically changed Rosa’s perception of everything. This photograph meant that everything she’d ever been told had to be questioned – and I’m looking forward to finding more about it and the issue it concerns in the future books in the series.

One character I really liked was Iole. She was just an innocent fifteen year old girl, immature for her age and trapped with nowhere to go. She seemed to connect with Rosa instantly, and though she seemed to act so young, she often said wise things you’d never expect to hear. I enjoyed her character and hope to see more of her.

However, I did have a few issues with this book. The first problem I had was with the romance. Rosa was part of the Alcantara family, who were supposedly bitter rivals of the Carnevare family, which her love interest Alessandro belonged to. The whole synopsis gives off “Romeo and Juliet” vibes, but if that’s what you’re expecting, be prepared to be disappointed. There wasn’t really any huge secret or deception going on so the two could be together. They never really risked much by going to see each other and were generally never punished for being together (of course, there were objections, and there was violence too, but it didn’t seem to matter that the two never listened). It all seemed a bit half-hearted to me, like there was supposed to be this great controversy that two rival clan members were seeing each other, but really, it appeared that neither family was really too concerned with the issue. I didn’t really believe the danger that apparently came with Rosa and Alessandro being together. I also felt the romance developed really quickly. Though the two didn’t like each other at first, Alessandra declared his love for Rosa before he’d even kissed her. It just seemed unrealistic, as did the fact that Alessandro was supposedly this kind, caring guy with a conscience, yet he was prepared to take over as head of a family involved with hundreds of murders and other serious crimes.

Another problem I had was with the writing itself. There were a few really beautiful descriptions that I loved reading, but overall, the novel seemed quite choppy and disjointed. I think this may be down to the translation (I’m not entirely sure), but it definitely put me off a bit and removed me from the story several times.

I did enjoy the plot and was drawn in by the unique story. I think the characters showed a little bit of development towards the end, and I’m hoping this will continue as the series progresses. The ending definitely brought up a whole set of new problems for Alessandro and Rosa, and I think the forbidden romance I craved in this book will become more prominent in future books, so I’m looking forward to that.

Overall, Arcadia Awakens was an engaging read that pulled me in from the start. I did have several issues with it, but I’m still excited for the sequel, and would recommend this to anyone interested in books about the Mafia or mythology.