Hello everyone! I’m temporarily back from ghosting the blogosphere to share with you about these two books. I’ve evidently been busy and hope to stick to a schedule + read all your posts soon, thank you for sticking around! For now, I’m trying a different, more relaxed, bullet-point format with today’s reviews that I’ve seen many bloggers adopt, do let me know how it goes. 🤗
THE SIXTH GATE
by K.T. Munson
Genre(s): Fantasy | Age Group: Young Adult
Series: The Gate Trilogy #1
Published: 7 July 2017| Read: 13 March 2021
No. of Pages: 305
The interplanetary gates have existed between the five planets and the Netherworld for as long as living memory.
Dr. Elisabeth Avery is a woman caught between two worlds. Little does she know that others like her, other half-breeds, are being hunted. When a creature drags a princess into the Netherworld, Elisabeth is determined to save her by any means necessary.
Meanwhile, on the planet of Hystera, a Keeper and his assistant investigate a grisly string of suicides and are in need of someone with Elisabeth’s skills. The Gate Guardians and Elisabeth are aware that something is coming and know that it has something to do with the Netherworld bleeding through to the planets, but not why.
Will Elisabeth be able to come to terms with who she is in time to face the coming threat?
Thank you to the author, K.T. Munson, for a copy of this book in exchange for a sincere review!
what was electrifying
- The writing was incredible. Filled with intensity, bitterness and dark humour in the prologue, effectively creating the ominous tone, the book truly start out on such an action-packed note!
- The world-building, or may I say the worlds- building (with five of them!) was really cinematic and the atmosphere of the ones we explored were unique and immersing.
- Little familiar tropes incorporated here and there which enriched the tale! A morally-grey character, “the Quest”, the “I’m-struggling-with-good-and-evil-literally” concept, small friendships were well weaved in order to push the plot along.
what sizzled out into smoke
- The different POVs. At first, I did find it insightful to have various point of views of vastly different characters with different backgrounds, different plights in the different worlds. However, after a while, the timelines seemed to be a bit arbitrary and the switching back and forth caused the book to crawl at a snail’s pace.
- The confusion. Due to the changing POVs that at first seemed completely separate from each other (instead of intertwined), coupled with a lot of different worlds and magic systems not explained directly during the first half of the book, I was utterly lost.
- The hint and driving force of the romance. Sigh, the romance insinuated, though with its reasons, felt forced and a little unnecessary, kind of breaking the “morally-grey” character facade I was enjoying… and the romance, being quite dormant in the book suddenly seeming to play a big motivation at the end? Nope, not vibing with it.
Overall, The Sixth Gate was an entertaining, well-written read with so many little tropes incorporated here and there, just a pity that the changing POVs caused me confusion and brought down my rating. Still, it’s the first in The Gate Trilogy, a YA fantasy series that’s worth a try!
rating // ★★
A TOUCH OF DEATH
by Rebecca Crunden
Genre(s): Science Fiction/Dystopian | Age Group: Adult
Series: The Outlands Pentalogy #1
Published: 23 February 2017 | Read: 17 March 2021
No. of Pages: 304 (Kindle)
A thousand years in the future, the last of humanity live inside the walls of the totalitarian Kingdom of Cutta. The rich live in Anais, the capital city of Cutta, sheltered from the famine and disease which ravage the rest of the Kingdom. Yet riches and power only go so far, and even Anaitians can be executed. It is only by the will of the King that Nate Anteros, son of the King’s favourite, is spared from the gallows after openly dissenting. But when he’s released from prison, Nate disappears.
A stark contrast, Catherine Taenia has spent her entire life comfortable and content. The daughter of the King’s Hangman and in love with Thom, Nate’s younger brother, her life has always been easy, ordered and comfortable. That is, where it doesn’t concern Nate. His actions sullied not only his future, but theirs. And unlike Thom, Catherine has never forgiven him.
Two years pass without a word, and then one night Nate returns. But things with Nate are never simple, and when one wrong move turns their lives upside down, the only thing left to do is run where the King’s guards cannot find them – the Outlands. Those wild, untamed lands which stretch around the great walls of the Kingdom, filled with mutants and rabids.
Thank you to the author, Rebecca Crunden, for a copy of this book in exchange for a sincere review!
what was electrifying
- How believable, real and natural the characters and their relationships were:
- The relationship and character dynamics between Nate and Catherine were so enjoyable to read about. Their “mutual love”, forced to depend on each other, from enemies, coupled with the internal conflicts of guilt and duty, made their relationship constantly fluctuate. How their personalities were incorporated made the relationship feel so real, and ugh the banter was so good!!
- I was concerned that Nate would be portrayed as the typical mysterious, rebellious guy with him calling everyone “darling” but I was pleasantly surprised finding myself attached to him. His fierce love for his brother, and self-appraising humour alongside his dark mindset made him such an endearing character for me.
- And don’t get me started on the other travellers Nate and Catherine met on the way… I was truly invested in their camaraderie with Zoe, Evander and Tove. 🙂
- Intense scenes! I tore through A Touch of Death in several big gulps and though the plot seemed a little shallow and roundabout, the action made up for it. When things started to settle down nicely, the whole foundation would be rocked with some well-written action scene and this truly benefited the pacing of the book and upped the stakes!
what sizzled out into smoke
- The world-building. Or should I say the lack of one. A Touch of Death did embody the typical dystopia characteristics of injustice, fatal flaws in the system, “society has been lying to us!”, in the future after some grave devastation… however, there was not much context, both present-day and historical which could have truly enriched the book in heightening the injustice, and as whole eradicating my confusion.The different POVs. At first, I did find it insightful to have various point of views of vastly different characters with different backgrounds, different plights in the different worlds. However, after a while, the timelines seemed to be a bit arbitrary and the switching back and forth caused the book to crawl at a snail’s pace.
It’s been such a long time since I dove into a dystopian novel, let alone an Adult one and I must say I truly enjoyed the characters especially in A Touch of Death! Here’s one you should get to if you’ve been through the Hunger Games phase as well.