Category: Reviews


Review: Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Posted February 20, 2017 by Samantha in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review: Silver Phoenix by Cindy PonSilver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Also by this author: Serpentine
Published by Greenwillow Books on 2009
Genres: Action & Adventure, Asia, China, Family, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fantasy fiction, Fiction, General, Girls & Women, Imaginary kingdoms, Monsters, Parents, People & Places, Supernatural, Supernatural/ Fiction, Voyages and travels, Voyages and travels/ Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 338
Format: Hardcover
Rating: five-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-starsfive-stars

No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters. But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined. Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help. It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

Review

After several failed attempts to arrange a marriage, Ai Ling’s father travels to the palace to fix his reputation, which has been the cause of all the failures. After he doesn’t show up for a long time,  Ai Ling sets out to find her father in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams, she doesn’t expect the dangerous journey she’s starting. She gets attacked by demons, ones that seem to specifically target her, and she encounters numerous life-threatening situations. Along the way, she meets Chen Yong, a young man who’s journey is also taking  him the same direction. Ai Ling faces trial after trial while she attempts to find her father.

Cindy Pon is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. SILVER PHOENIX is a stunning, lush novel. Like in SERPENTINE, Pon does a perfect job at setting up a journey story. Ai Ling has to travel far in attempt to save her father. The fighting scenes between her and various demons are incredible, and you won’t want to put down the book. Likewise, Ai Ling’s internal journey is just as magnificent. Even though her parents love and care for her, she’s still limited by her society. As she travels, she discovers a freedom she never knew she had, and she blossoms in it.

The minor romance with Chen Yong is a delicious slow-burn, full of romantic tension side plot. I love their interactions, as well as the the scenes with other secondary characters. There are some seriously heartfelt moments, and these characters will stay with you for a long time.

I couldn’t be more excited to read the sequel, FURY OF THE PHOENIX, soon. This duology-start is so incredible, and I can’t wait to see where the characters go next.

Samantha

Review: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Posted January 9, 2017 by Samantha in Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

ReviewIn the Kingdom of Xia, Skybright is a handmaid to Zhen Ni, the youngest daughter of a wealthy family. Skybright grew up alongside Zhen Ni, and the two are as close as sisters. When Skybright is 16, she changes in a way she can’t even tell her best friend about; at night, she becomes part […]

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Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

Posted January 7, 2017 by Samantha in Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati

ReviewCatherine has bipolar disease. While the manic side is no picnic, Cath knows the biggest danger is Zero, the deep, dark depression side that prompted a suicide attempt. While Cath is on medication and says she’s fine, she secretly keeps a stockpile of meds, ready to use when Zero comes back, as he is sure […]

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Review: Wish by Barbara O’Connor

Posted October 24, 2016 by Samantha in Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Wish by Barbara O’Connor

ReviewCharlie Reese has been making wishes since the fourth grade- or rather, she’s been making the same wish since then. After being sent to live with unfamiliar relatives far away from the city, she doesn’t think her wish will ever come true. As she befriends a boy named Howard, a dog named Wishbone, and gets […]

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Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Posted October 3, 2016 by Samantha in Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

ReviewCombine angry and hurt girls + diversity + Japan setting (present and historical) + time travel + everything awesome, and you get the incredible A DARKLY BEATING HEART. From the first page, this gritty and dark novel consumes you, and it doesn’t stop until the last page (and if you’re me, you’re still going to […]

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Review: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Posted September 27, 2016 by Samantha in Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

ReviewWhen Caroline’s autistic little brother, Dylan, is rescued from a kidnapper after a few days, the police also find, Ethan, a teen who has been held captive for four years. Now that both of them are back, and in the same neighborhood, both families are dealing with the new changes. Caroline wants to know what […]

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Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Posted September 22, 2016 by Sabrina in Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

ReviewShort and Sweet:Three Dark Crowns is easily a top 2016 read for me. Loved it! I highly recommend it to fantasy lovers looking for a deliciously, dark new series.To Elaborate…Three ‘dark’ sister queens with powers and magic who have to fight to the death for the crown? Yes, please! From the moment I heard about […]

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Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Posted September 21, 2016 by Sabrina in Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

ReviewShort and Sweet:What a weird, WEIRD, WONDERFUL book! I’ve truly never read a thing like it ever before and I doubt that I will ever again.To Elaborate…Vassa in the Night is not going to be for everyone. In fact, it may not be for most. I certainly had moments where I wondered what in the […]

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Review: The Row by J.R. Johansson

Posted September 12, 2016 by Samantha in Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: The Row by J.R. Johansson

ReviewThe majority of Riley Beckett’s interactions with her father have taken place in the visiting room of a prison. Her father is on death row, a convicted serial killer, and for years, he has sworn his innocence. When the execution date looms darker than ever, her father confesses his guilt to her, but then takes […]

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Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Posted September 8, 2016 by Samantha in Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

ReviewShort and Sweet:Though there were times I struggled to connect with the story, I overall really enjoyed this unique world, tension filled romance, and exciting plot.To Elaborate…Princess Sepora is one the run. As the last Forger in five kingdoms, her father wants to use her as a weapon for war. Sepora refuses that fate, so […]

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