Title: Reign of Shadows
Author: Sophie Jordan
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: February 9, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.
A trek across an eternally dark landscape, not a lot happens in Reign of Shadows. Mostly world building and character development, the story follows Luna and Fowler and their growing affection for one another. But that character development didn’t always feel consistent, and details in the world building were abrupt at times (tree wolves – Digger! What happened to you? And why were you there at all?? Gigantor bats, plain old rabbits, oh and a mutated octopus eels were also in the story, but there could’ve been more background to these large, strange animals).
I loved Luna when we first meet her, then I loved her even more when her disability is illuminated. A soldier has trained her, so she’s capable, and she has these super sensitive senses that give her an advantage to everyone. She’s also compassionate. However, despite being more than capable, I was disappointed as the book went on when she became more of a damsel in distress. I wanted to see her kick butt, and defend herself; instead Fowler almost continually jumps in to save her. Granted, he is very protective, but all I’m saying is the girl has skillz and I wanted to see her use them.
“Luna was like that flower: innocent on the outside, but dangerous to anyone who got too close. Even me.” – Fowler
The Young Elites Series
Author: Marie Lu
The Young Elites
The Rose Society
The Midnight Star (expected in 2016)
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Summary for The Young Elites (Book 1):
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
Uh! This series is hard for me to review. I really like Marie Lu as an author. She creates interesting worlds with engaging conflicts, and fun characters. I devoured her Legend series. Truth: I had no intention of continuing this series after book one. The Young Elites felt disjointed, like Lu wasn’t really sure who her characters were, especially Adelina. Actually, it wasn’t until Lu introduces Maeve’s story during the epilogue of the book when I thought: now THIS is interesting…a little late for a book to spark my interest. After finishing the book, I also learned that Lu was herself trying to figure out who Adelina was and where her story was going while writing the book. She said it was really hard for her to write Young Elites, until she realized she was telling a villain’s story. This made more sense to me, and helped me put some of Adelina’s actions into perspective. She’s a villain, not a good girl. Do I want to read a story about a villain? It’s hard for me to invest in a character when I’m not supposed to route for her. Anyway, when I saw The Rose Society available at the library I decided to give it a try.
The Remnant Chronicles
Author: Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception
The Heart of Betrayal
The Beauty of Darkness (Expected Pub: 2016)
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads Summary for The Kiss of Deception:
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
Alternately bored and intrigued, The Remnant Chronicles didn’t deliver like I hoped it would. At the heart of this story is a mystery about whom Lia can trust. You’re supposed to be nervous about whom she’s aligning herself with, and worried she’s going to make the wrong choice in love. Because of how the narratives are set up, Mary E. Pearson is able to throw a big misdirection and twist at the end of The Kiss of Deception. This twist was so blindsiding that it took me several chapters to catch up and figure out what the heck just happened. It didn’t feel good, either. It just felt confusing. If I hadn’t already gotten the second book, The Heart of Betrayal from the library, I might not have continued the series.
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.