Red Rising Book Review by Pierce Brown

Red Rising Book Review

“I was forged in the bowels of this hard world”

Darrow is a Red born in the caves of Mars. He knows nothing of the world above nor does he wish to, until, the fateful event that left his beloved wife Eo executed and strung up as an example. Fueled by centuries of deception and lies, Darrow comes to reap the souls of the gods of olympus. This is a world were deception is everyday life, sacrifice a myth and power means everything. Will Darrow survive in such a world so different to that of his own?

Pierce Brown authored quite an enjoyable read; the characters were well-developed and the plot had several twists and turns which were very unexpected. Two of my favourite characters within the story are Darrow and Sevro, with the latter being treated as the Neville Longbottom of the book (an underdog in physique but a kick ass in the brains department). Darrow, on the other hand can be described a an ‘ordinary common man’ who seeks to destroy a society simply by learning from the mistakes of the past. This power allows him to rise through the ranks unnoticed yet, watched by all.

One thing that this book lacked was a GREAT villain. Though there was a incredible build up for this quote “supposed villain” it led to a somewhat poor introduction of the character (as well as, it just being too obvious). Nevertheless, I am looking forward to reading the sequel of Red Rising (“Golden Son”) and I know that Pierce (yes, I am on a first name basis with the author) will heed my words of wisdom and introduce a better villain than the Jackal (he might need a time machine!).

Rating: 3.9 out of 5
Similar Books: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Battle of the Book Villains

Voldemort (R.I.H) vs Amarantha (R.I.H)

This is going to be my first blog series that I commit to titled: Battle of the Book Villians. It is understandable why one would appreciate  the bravery and kindness of heroes but to counteract that, and to understand the ingenuity and wickedness of villains, that must also be appreciated.

Voldemort Facts:

Born: 31st December 1926
Died: 2nd May 1998 (aged 71)

A individual who wreaked terror for several centuries both in the wizarding and muggle world, alike. Commonly referred to as You- Know- Who or He- Who- Must- Not- Be- Named his real name was considered taboo and an omen for death. Voldemort’s cunning and sly ways led him to become the Darkest Sorcerer to have ever lived for it was the fear of the unknown that he thrived on and the hushed whispers only seemed to incite the fear that was growing in every man, woman and child.

Amarantha Facts:

Born: Unknown
Died: Unknown

A individual who enjoys more so the physical pain than the mental torture that the Dark Lord found most appealing. She loves to parade the power she has over others, toying with her victims as a child would toy with their food before eating it. Though she wreaked terror for several centuries on the courts of Pyrthian, her limited time on the pages of a Court of Thorns and Roses displayed her as nothing more than a stuck-up teenager who throws terrible two’s tantrums (try repeating that 5 times!) when she doesn’t get her way.

Winner: Voldemort Avada Kedavras Amarantha from across the battle field. The battle is over before it has even begun.

Maze Runner: Death Cure Review

Maze Runner:Death Cure Review

So at last we have arrived at the end of the Maze Runner Trilogy and I can now breathe a sigh of relief – safe in the knowledge that Minho survived until the bitter end (and that’s really all that matters! Right?!). I found James Dashner’s narrative to be slightly patchy and dragged in some chapters. Overall though, the book remained fast-paced and entertaining yet, became tinged with a darkness that brought several moral and ethical issues into play.

Finally, the author has heeded my oh so brilliant wisdom (not really, but I like to think that he has) and given Teresa a purpose that she lacked in the previous two books, being more of a deadweight then actual help. Not only Teresa, but the remaining characters all seem to have a purpose in the final book as they come face to face with the harsh brutality of the world.

All in all, Death Cure is a brilliant ending to the Maze Runner Trilogy and it remains a depiction of the future which is not as far-fetched as humanity would like to believe.

So what did you think of the ending?

Rating: 3/5

Chained by Susanne Valenti

Chained Book Review
Title: Chained (Cage of Lies #1)
Author: Susanne Valenti
Release Date: October 1st 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian

Rating: 1/5

 “The world is meant to be lived in, not controlled.”
There was a time we co-existed with Mother Earth in peace, until over-population and food shortages led to the experimentation and disfigurement of the natural process. One poor choice forced humans to cower behind the Wall as a widespread contamination wreaked havoc on the rest of humanity. Years later, mankind is still afraid to step outside. However due to unforeseen circumstances one girl risks it all, one girl who finds out more than she bargained for.
When it comes to books I am brutally honest about my opinion of them and I have to say that Chained was not quite to my taste. It lacked well-developed characters and had a predictable story line. With regards to one of the main characters, it seemed that the author was slacking and placed him on the sidelines, only welcoming him back in the last 10 pages of the book (what’s the point of that?). Furthermore, throughout the book there appear to be several conversations which are forced, as if the author is trying a bit too hard.
The only reason that I read this book right until the end was due to the controversial issues which, knowingly or unknowingly, Valenti examined. Here is my interpretation of them:
  • Technology is killing nature.
  • Criminals are placed in a prison where they can kill each other – is this the future? Or would such a higher deterrent go against the most fundamental human right?
  • A Government tracking system: Issue of whether in the future the government will be able to track everyone, all the time for the safety of the population.
  • Issue of over-population in the world – is this eventually going to lead to selectivity and mass killings?
 The book has some really amazing issues, however it lacks the story which would have been the cake underneath the icing.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass

A Court of Thorns and Roses Book Review“All I have done, every single day, every hour has been for that vow”.

On an ordinary day, Feyre steps into the forest to hunt, unaware that her kill will begin a chain of events drastically changing her life and the lives of others. Bound by a treaty between Mortals and Fae, Feyre is forced to leave her family and her vow behind, travelling with the Highlord, Tamlin into Pyrthian and the home of the Fae.

I absolutely loved this book. The author Sarah J. Mass not only created an amazing modern rendition of my favourite fairytale, the Beauty and the Beast, but her extremely well developed characters and writing style kept me gripped to this book right to the last page. One of the things that I look for in a fantasy book is for the words to lift from the pages they were written on and create the world they are trying to depict; and Mass has definitely fulfilled this through the fantastical creatures and beautiful descriptions of this new world.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a difficult book to review without giving anything away, which is why I am going to delve no further into the actual story and rather discuss the main protagonist, Feyre.

Feyre is one of the strongest female characters that I have ever encountered within the fantasy genre. She is stubborn, fierce, kind and witty, yet throughout the book you will see her frightened and watch her stumble and question her self-worth. It is this particular character that I truly applaud Mass for creating. She is a character to whom it is easy to relate and identify with, since her responsibilities as the sole bread winner for her family have caused her to forget her own well-being, her own happiness and her own freedom.

Future Hopes

  • More detail about the different courts and their abilities.
  • There have been slight hints with regards to a future love triangle and I really hope that this is not the case (love triangles are so passé).

Keep May 3rd 2016 in your planners. There’s about a billion and one questions that Mass needs to answer in the sequel. I am so excited to find out how this story turns out.

Maze Runner: Scorch Trials (Book and Film Review)

Maze Runner: The Scorch TrialsThe second story in the James Dashner- penned trilogy. The Scorch Trials follows a similar tone and pace of that of its predecessor however; there are moments within the book that focuses on the after effects of the Maze Trial, and how it ultimately caused and sealed each and every Gladers fate. There were new faces, new terrors and a very vulnerable Thomas with no Chuck to comfort him.

When we left Thomas at the end of Maze Runner, he had just managed to break free from the confinement of the maze, with a few others, only to learn that the Sun has ravaged the Earth, the disease called the Flare has left human kind a shadow of its former self and, with the shocking knowledge that maybe the maze, was really the escape.

Scorch Trial picks up with Thomas in a daze after Chucks death. Though, he has been ‘saved’ from W.I.C.K.E.D (World In Catastrophe: Killzone Department) he struggles to feel safe after all that he has encountered. It is in this fragile state that Thomas and the other Gladers are thrust once again, backing into the nightmare that is the trials. You would think that the Gladers could be cut some slack.

For the film, Wes Ball’s big screen take on James Dashner’s story has both high and low peaks. However, I must give credit where credit is due in regards to (in my opinion), the seamless transition of the characters Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) and Minho (played by Ki Hong Lee) from book to screen. The truly awful plot did not seem to hinder their depiction of the characters they were playing and in some moments it was the only thing preventing me from leaving the cinema.

Furthermore, the film had a lot of unnecessary characters who did not add anything to the actual development of the story yet, like Teresa they occupied screen space which could have been used in a much more efficient way. Though, the general story holds true in the film version of the book. It is less to do with the scorch trials and a lot more to do with you running around like a headless chicken, trying to find other headless chickens and then ultimately realising you’re all headless. There is no real outcome to the movie.

I do have high hopes for the final instalment of the Maze Runner Trilogy particularly, if I go along with the excuse that the Scorch Trials suffered from a tad bit of “middle movie” fatigue.

What did you think of the Scorch Trials?

Rating Scale: 3/5 (Book)

Rating Scale: 2/5 (Film)

Similar Book: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Lessons Learned from Harry Potter

Harry Potter Quotes

I was 10 years old when I read the first Harry Potter book and journeyed with the boy who lived, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It remains to this day a truly cherished and beloved book series not only because of the unforgettable story and characters but also, for the wise words within the chapters about life, love and friendship. Below are listed some of my favourite quotes from the entire Harry Potter series:

“It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

-Quote by Albus Dumbledore

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

-Quote by Sirius Black

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

-Quote by Albus Dumbledore

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

-Quote by Albus Dumbledore

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

-Quote by Albus Dumbledore

*Aside from the fact that this last quote isn’t that wise it still is one of my absolute favourites (sometimes you just want to speak gibberish and it looks like our favourite Hogwarts headmaster agrees with us).

“I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

-Quote by Albus Dumbledore

What is your favourite Harry Potter Quote?

Maze Runner by James Dashner

Maze Runner

Set in a world where disease has taken millions of lives, the Maze Runner tells the story of a young boy called Thomas and his journey of surviving the maze trials alive – which unbeknownst to him could be the catalyst to saving the last remnants of humanity.


This book was amazing and incredibly intriguing. This world created by James explores a dystopian world which is not too far from a reality that could come to pass. The Sun which ensures humanities survival suddenly turning against us, causing a sickness to spread to which only a few are immune. Surely then it is OK to experiment upon those who are not susceptible to the disease, or is it? I mean a few mentally unbalanced children watching their friends die to save the human race doesn’t sound too bad. It all depends on perspective because, manipulating a few variables to find a cure is understandable but, to create a controlled environment were not even your memories are permissible is downright cruel.


The character of Teresa was not as well developed as some of the other characters for example Minho or Chuck. Teresa was too plain and flat as a person and she more or less stayed on the side-lines of the story whilst, Thomas did the running around. For someone who helped create the maze she did not do as much as she could have to help the others in getting out.


The Maze Runner is one of the best science fiction books out there.  Exploring the concept ‘for the greater good’, this book truly tests you as to what type of person you are. I loved it! I can’t wait to read the second book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Genre: Science Fiction/ YA

Similar Book: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

So what did you think of the Maze Runner?

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Book Review

Red Queen Book Cover So you know when you’re looking for THE book to fulfil all your book cravings? But you are literally about to have a mental breakdown owing to the last ten books having been the same repetitive star-crossed lovers plot line with the same predictable ending.

Red Queen takes place in a world where people are divided on the colour of their blood. The Silver blooded possess supernatural powers and are considered Gods. The Red blooded are treated like slaves, inferior to their silver brethren and easily disposed of.

Mare is a 17-year-old Red girl who possess abilities which even the Silvers fear, abilities which could be the turning point to an entirely different world.

I really enjoyed this book. There was never a moment where I felt the plot went off on a tangent. The author kept me on my toes throughout the story and I was a part of a meaningful journey. The main characters were well thought out, each character could be identified individually through the narrative. Having distinct traits; Cal is a warrior he isn’t a manipulator of words unlike his brother Maven. Mare is fast, a thief and she is naive, she thinks she can trick others but in reality she is being fooled. Red Queen is like a game of chess: you use the pawns (characters) to break down the first line of defence (silver and red war) and then you come to realise that some pawns are more crucial than others.

The world created by Victoria Aveyard is vivid, the tall houses, the rising river in the summer, the sparkling diamond glass that hides and shows a manipulated reality, a deceptive material which is indestructible. This glass is a reflection of what Mare must be after she is discovered to be a Silver with Red blood as Mare says:

“They pulled me inside out, swiping Mare for Marina, a thief for a crown, rags for silk, Red for Silver.”

Rating: 4 out of 5

Genre: Fantasy / YA

Similar book – Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins