A fresh start to a fresh series? “The Hidden Princess”, a YA-book with more maturity than I’ve expected

Hello there! I’m back again with some books I’ve read recently and it’s up to you to decide which one is fitted best for you! The next post will be online next week 🙂

For the YA-Lovers, I’ve discovered “The Hidden Princess”. The story of the oldest princess Amelie with a special ability which she considers more curse than blessing. She can lure men into doing nearly everything she asks them to, but her control is limited. To secure everyone safety (even her own) she was not exactly locked away but kind of  … locked away (she lives with nuns). The King (her step-father with not so nice intensions towards her) sends her off on missions. Serving her country is literally all she can think about (and the problem that she has nearly no freedom at all). The kingdom borders with Draeden, the kingdom where magic (like hers) is forbidden – oh, I should probably mention that all the five kingdoms in this world forbade their citizens to cross borders (total isolation rocks…).
Well, she meets the Prince of Draeden (handsome and smart), gets captured by him (unfortunate circumstances) and then the “struggling with myself” and “Damn, I want to be finally free” starts (The good part!). But the story doesn’t evolve as happy and glittery and girlish as you might think. If you’re interested in a more eloquent Summary, you can read it on Goodreads.

Opinion
Okay, there were some cheesy moments (but please, who thought there wouldn’t be some?) and yes, the Prince and the Princess fall in love (who would’ve guessed that?), but I really, really liked the story and the way they got to know each other. Who can say, they fell in love with a woman during capturing her? Yeah, right, there is something called the Stockholm-Syndrom but’s a whole different story.
The style of writing is one of the main points I enjoyed this story so much. After a few pages you are so taken in by the events, the story and the characters, you can barely put the book away (once you’ve started).
Amelie (the Princess) is also a very intense character. She has dedicated her life to serving her country (more or less voluntarily) and is convinced she can’t trust anyone (leave alone a handsome prince). Fortunately, the characters in this book are older than 16 (I’m very bad with my memory but if I recall correctly she is about 19-21?) and so the way of treating problems is more mature (thank goodness!).
All in all I would give it four stars out of five. Its a really good read and I am anticipating the sequel, but it’s not compareable to “The Name of the Wind” (which is really hard to top.

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Title: The Hidden Princess
Author: Cara Coe
Pages: 228
Released: June 2nd 2015
Rating: 4/5 ★ – very enjoyable!

Waiting on Wednesday #18 – “Revenge and the Wild”

I have really no idea how I manage to find these books, everytime I’m on Goodreads (which is not as often as I want to be. You know … unfortunately, there is a tiny piece of life outside of the World of Books and Bloggers.)


Title: Revenge and the Wild
Author: Michelle Modesto
Pages: 384
will be released on February 2nd 2016

Dark Magic, Monsters, Cannibals (?!) and seeking Revenge. Sounds good?

“The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.
But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.”

from here.

WHY?

The better question: Why not? Yes, sure, the cannibals were something I didn’t really expect (and I’m not into cannibal-stories, really. Maybe Hannibal, but that’s a completely different type of story, isn’t it?)
Okay, the plot isn’t something totally new and mind-blowing, but I like books which deal with revenge and magic (or both).
I think it has potential to be great, but we all know how easily anticipated books can disappoint us, right?
Well, we’ll see.
Let me know what you think and leave your WoW-Pick in a comment.
If you’re new to WoW – click the link below.
Have a great week!

Gif from here.

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“Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill (breakingthespine) that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.”

Waiting on Wednesday #16 – “The Shadow Queen”

I know, I know. Really? Another one? That’s what you’re thinking. I’m really not that excited about this book – I’m simply curious how it’ll turn out.

Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C.J. Redwine
Pages: 400
Expected Publication:  February 23rd 2016

THE STORY

“Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.”

by Goodreads

WHY?
Just because!

Natalie (Never trust a duck) said: “I feel like the motto “I’d retell that” should be used by authors these days because literally, the amount of retellings? Not that I’m complaining, they’re quite good. But seriously, I’d retell that.” (see for yourself) – Good one.

True. But I’m still curious.

Gif from here

Waiting on Wednesday #15 – “Kingdom of Ashes” (A Wicked Thing SEQUEL)

I know, what you’re thinking. It’s the Cover. You can’t decide if it’s good or not. Nevermind, let’s keep this thing going!


Title: Kingdom of Ashes (Wicked #2)
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Pages: 368
Expected Publication:  February 23rd 2016

Why?

Again, this book is the sequel to “A Wicked Thing” which wasn’t really as “wicked” as expected, but okay. Still hoping the best, everyone deserves a second chance. Maybe this time she won’t be all “What am I doing?” and “What should I do” and “Oh, everyone seems nice but no one really is”. Hopefully.

Summary

“Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.”

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“Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill (breakingthespine) that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.”

“Magonia” – You tricked me!

 Title: “Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Released: April 28th 2015
Pages: 309
Rating: 3 / 5 ★

Summary

“Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming (No, she doesn’t. I’m sorry, but this is the start of a misleading Summary!).
Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. (… no! You can’t say it like that because it arouses expectations which can’t be fulfilled!)
Where do her loyalties lie?”

Opinion

It’s so hard to give a book objectively nearly 5 stars while you feel like you’ve been betrayed by the Cover and the misleading Summary all along.
This story is truly beautiful and makes you long for more … BUT!
I knew I was going to be disappointed because I’ve got my hopes so high that even J.K. Rowling might’ve had trouble fulfilling them.
We’re going to make it very easy here – I can recommend this book without doubts, but you have to make yourself clear that there is no promised “war” and that “fate”-thing going on! This is misleading and a very wide interpretation of what’s really happening.

Aza is a great main character, she’s smart (usually) and sarcastic and her death seems to be unavoidable (because of that lung disease, remember?). Jason, her best friend, is also quirky and smart which makes them a perfect team.
Well, I was waiting nearly over 70 pages to finally get to the “Magonia”-Part and after Aza finally discovered that she was actually magonian – this is where the book is starting to fail (slowly). I loved reading about the world where sky ships are sailing the winds and clouds, accompanied by bats and whales and stormsharks doesn’t that sound amazing?!.

But there was no time for exploring, adventure or so as I’ve hoped for, Aza was told what to do and she did it and then she didn’t and the book was over. I’m trying not to spoil youthe story, okay? It was a bit too … thin. This book could’ve been made into a 400 pages opening of a beautiful series, surrounding Magonia, Aza and Jason and all the struggles they’re facing together. So many questions are unanswered and I’m not satisfied. This book had definately not enough pages!
I just sat there thinking nothing but “Really?! That’s it?”.
I was waiting for the “Awesome-Factor” to kick in but it didn’t because my expectations were to high, remember?.
BUT despite these little flaws I’ve enjoyed the way of writing, the characters and the wonderful world Maria Headley created.
I’m googleing right now if there’s going to be a sequel (I hope so!).


… THERE IS! Someone on Goodreads is saying that the sequel is coming out in April 2016. … I CAN’T WAIT!
There you have it – another bad Review unhelpfull and confusing for the reader.

Images via here, here and here.

 

“Stardust” – Neil Gaiman (Book vs. Movie?)

Titel: Stardust
Autor: Neil Gaiman
Sprache: Englisch
Seiten: 148
Rating: 4/5 ★

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Inhalt

“Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.”
by Goodreads


Meinung

Vorweg sollte ich vielleicht erwähnen, dass ich vorbelastet bin: Ich habe den Film gefühlte 1000 Mal gesehen und liebe ihn noch immer wie beim ersten Mal! Deswegen waren meine Erwartungen auch entsprechend.
Ich fange mal von vorne an – Tristan ist tatsächlich ähnlich beschrieben wie im Film, der arme, nette Trottel, der sich in das schönste Mädchen in “Wall” verguckt hat (allerdings ist sie hier keine ordinäre Zicke wie im Film, sondern tatsächlich dem Tristan zumindest manchmal überlegen).

Wer den Film gesehen hat und sich die gleiche Handlung erhofft, wird natürlich enttäuscht sein. Warum schreibe ich natürlich? Mir hätte von Anfang an klar sein sollen, dass der Film natürlich nur eine Adaption ist, wobei ich ihn sogar plottechnisch weiterentwickelter finde als das Buch *hastig-in-Deckung-geh*.

Normalerweise bin ich diejenige, die jede Buchverfilmung verdammt, denn ein Film kann nie an die Bücher heranreichen (Außer bei Stephenie Meyers “Seelen”. Den fand ich bei Weitem besser als das Buch.). Es gibt natürlich Ausnahmen und dazu zählt Stardust.

Während es Buchs (ein altes, abgegriffenes Exemplar mit vergilbten Seiten, das mir ein Kommilitone geliehen hat – himmlisch. Ich liebe zerlesene Bücher! – keine Ironie!) hab ich mir mehr Tiefe gewünscht, Tiefe im Sinne von Gefühlen. Alles wurde erzählt wie ein Märchen, dabei kommt man den Figuren nur so nah wie es im Märchen von Aschenputtel, den zertanzten Schuhen oder eben Rotkäppchen eben möglich ist. Man bleibt ein wenig außen vor.

Aber vielleicht ist gerade das die Besonderheit – es ist ja ein Märchen, ein Märchen erzählt über einen jungen Mann, der auszog seiner Angebeteten den vom Himmel gefallenden Stern zu holen. Wenn das nicht märchenhaft klingt, dann weiß ich auch nicht.

Sich diesen “Klassiker” mal durchzulesen kann ich jedem nur empfehlen.
Auch wenn mir der Film mit mehr Wendungen und Abenteuern ein wenig besser gefallen hat. (Haut mich doch.)

Waiting on Wednesday #10 – “Illusionarium”

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“Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill (breakingthespine) that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.”

Title: Illusionarium
Author: Heather Dixon
Expected Publication: May 19th 2015
Pages: 368

“From the author of Entwined, a brilliantly conceived adventure through an alternate London. This sweeping, cinematic tale of an apprentice scientist desperate to save his family—and his world—is The Night Circus meets Pixar.

Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that is breathtaking and wholly original.”

Why?

 … soooo, what’s the story?

First, I was fascinated by the opposing opinions concerning this upcoming book. Many people were disappointed, others said it’s far more than you would expect. … Then I started to stalk the author, Heather Dixon. Her blog is sooo cool and after I’ve read that she’s an storyboard artist for Disney – it was over. I just kept on stalking and stalking and I’m leaving every book I’m currently reading on my desk and want to start her first book “Entwined”.


I’ve really no real clue what’s going on in “Illusionarium” but the hints on Goodreads and her blog suggest it’s a real good kind-of fantasy-story with great atmosphere. But I can be mistaken.
However, I’m SO excited to read in. In May. … so, in one month. More than 31 days. Oh dear.

But until then – There is a self-made book trailer by the author! Enjoy! 😀