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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wonderland Reads: Recent Reads #1

Hey hey! :)

I’ve read a couple of books lately in an effort to get out of a particularly janky (read: 4-month-long) reading slump. I did find a couple of good ones, and I want to share those with you.

Renegade by J. A. Souders



Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.
I liked the premise of this one a lot. It reminded me of the “Bioshock” video game series with its setting, and, I'm not gonna lie, an underwater utopia-gone-wrong story was super appealing. 

Was it a tad teen-angsty and dramatic? Yes. But was it still a good YA read with a great thriller plot and a good cast of characters? Of course. This was a good book to get me reading again.

The only reason I’m not continuing this series is that I was not really crazy about the ending. Other than that, good story and setting.

Rating: Four elaborately-built underwater sanctuaries out of five.

Roar by Cora Carmack



In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora's been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
Now, THIS one was a fun ride!

I love a story with a good, well-established magic system, and I love me a good, strong-willed female protagonist, and I really love a well-written romance. This one gets the triple crown from me. Yes, I will be continuing this series, too.

Rating: Five thunderstorms out of five.

What have you read recently?
Titles and synopses from Goodreads
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