Wednesday, February 5, 2020

[Review] Followers by Megan Angelo

Followers by Megan Angelo

Rating: 4.5 stars

Published: January 14th 2020

Goodreads Synopsis:
An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it's only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.
Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.
I'm full of thoughts about this book, because it's the type of book that leaves you thinking for a long time afterwards. A contemporary scifi that discusses the effects of social media and privacy? Fantastic.

I ended up rating it higher than my initial 4 stars because it's really sticking to me how good this is. And it did a great job of utilizing unlikable heroines, because the whole time I wasn't sure if I was rooting for Floss and Orla, but then at the end they definitely swayed me over to their side.

Floss and Orla are like if Snooki from Jersey Shore and Kim Ki-Jeong from Parasite decided to plot a heist together. They want to play the system of social media - Floss wants to be famous, and Orla wants to be a writer. But that isn't easy when the world of influencers and celebrities and fame exists. So they con their way through it. They're a perfect team, each so self-absorbed in their own ideas of fame that it blinds them to the consequences. And there are so many consequences.

Friday, December 20, 2019

[Review] Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen

Series: The Elementae #1
Rating: 4 stars

Published: January 30th 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for peace. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bonelands.
But she soon learns that her husband, Calix, is motivated only by his desire to exterminate the Elementae—mystical people who can control earth, wind, air, and fire. Even more unsettling are Shalia’s feelings for her husband’s brother, which unleash a power over the earth she never knew she possessed—a power that could get her killed. As rumors of a rebellion against Calix spread, Shalia must choose between the last chance for peace and her own future as an Elementae.

TW: Domestic and verbal abuse

To protect her family and the people of the desert, Shalia marries Calix, who is said to be the head of their religion of the Three-Faced God. Calix will stop at nothing to rid his world of the Elementae, a people who have power over the elements (earth, wind, fire, water). But once she uncovers her powers over the earth, Shalia must find her inner strength in order to stop Calix from continuing his genocide, and to save herself.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

[Review] King of Fools (The Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

Series: The Shadow Game #2 
Rating: 3 stars 

Published: April 30th 2019

Goodreads Synopsis:
Indulge your vices in the City of Sin, where a sinister street war is brewing and fame is the deadliest killer of them all...
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.
Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.
As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive...
Or die as legends.

I said in my review of Ace of Shades that I would read the sequel for the sake of finding out what happens next. I still really have no idea what is happening, but it's become a semi-entertaining ride of trying to figure out.

Monday, December 16, 2019

[Review] Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Series: Crown of Feathers #1
Rating: 3 stars

Published: February 12th 2019

Goodreads Synopsis:
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands. 
Crown of Feathers is one massive undertaking of a fantasy. Veronyka and Val are two sisters who live in a world where the Phoenix Riders - animages who bonded with phoenixes, once ruled. Now, they are exiled and cast from society, with the remaining animages living in hiding. Veronyka and Val hope to find phoenix eggs in order to join the Phoenix Riders. This story is interspersed with the events of sixteen years prior, when the Feather-Crowned Queen and the Council's Queen - two sisters, fought on opposing sides of a war that drove their country apart.

Friday, December 13, 2019

[Review] Only Human (Themis Files #3) by Sylvain Nuevel

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel

Series: The Themis Files #3
Rating: 4 stars

Published: May 1st 2018

Goodreads Synopsis:
In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis: a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles. And she must pick up the pieces of the Earth Defense Corps as her own friends turn against each other.
A thrilling conclusion to the end of one of my favorite science fiction series.

Rose Franklin, Vincent Couture and his daughter Eva have returned from space almost ten years later. Instead of a war between aliens and humans, they are now in the middle of a war between world powers, as countries fight for control of the giant robots, and have strictly regulated who exactly is considered human.