Sunday 26 January 2020

The Prisoner of Ice and Snow - Book Review

Prisoner of Ice and Snow - Book Review
Ruth Lauren
UK Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books


Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.

But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.

No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a fate worse than any prison . . .


An adventurous middle-grade read, PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW was fun and action packed. 

When Valor gets herself arrested, it is only the first stage in the plan to break her sister out of jail. Now with both of them condemned to life in an icy fortress, all for crimes they didn't commit, they will need all their cunning and resources if they are to defeat the evil warden, and pull off a jail break in a building that has an unbroken track record of keeping people in.

But knowing they didn't commit the crimes, Valor can’t help but wonder who did? Who is targeting the royal family? And in turn, who is determined to seal Valor lips before she can speak out the truth…

Overall I really liked this book. It’s very action orientated and from the get go Valor is always in motion, plotting and trying new things. The setting of the world is also fantastic, with a big Russian influence draped over an icy backdrop of crisp white snow. 

Valor herself is an excellent main character and one who was both relatable and easy to root for. The other prisoners however I didn't connect with as much. Even though they were all suitably shady, I would have liked a little more backstory and to see them fleshed out more. Of course there is always hope for that in book 2!

The plot was tricky and kept me guessing in places, however the pacing moves up and down and it actually took me a while to read this book. Some nights I sped through the chapters while others I plodded through. All in all though the story was good and I plan to continue the series. I'm very interested to see where Valor’s adventures take her next.

3 stars!

What about you? Have you read this book? Or the sequel? If so would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :)

Also if you like Middle Grade fantasy I would recommend you also check out THE DOG WHO SAVED THE WORLD or A PINCH OF MAGIC - both are epic page turning reads!

Thursday 23 January 2020

Wendy Darling: Shadow - Book Review

Shadow - Wendy Darling - Book Review
Colleen Oakes
YA Fantasy
Wendy Darling Book #3

Other Books in the Series:


War has come to paradise, and the Neverland you know will never be the same.

Wendy Darling finds herself once again in the arms of Peter Pan, a charming god-child who desires power above all things. Instead of the passion she once had for him, this time Wendy’s heart burns with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the darkness that holds all Neverland hostage - the Shadow.

This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game - a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life.

As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, all of Neverland will rise to fight - but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, everything she is fighting for will be destroyed. Is Wendy's love for her family enough to save them, or will Peter’s madness consume them all?


This third and final instalment was an epic read that I couldn't put down. A Peter Pan retelling with a dark twist - this is a series that if you haven't read yet - I urge you to do so asap!

Wendy is now back with Peter and plotting to end his evil reign over Neverland. But with the arrival of her love, Booth - Peter’s new hostage and plaything - she must tread carefully if she is to save everyone she loves and cares about. 

Yet as the shadow tightens its hold over Peter, she finds herself befriending a creature long declared her enemy. Tinkerbell. Now Wendy must use all her cunning to get to the truth of Peter’s beginnings, because only by uncovering Peter’s past can she hope to save the boy, and Neverland, from the shadow's nefarious plans. But Wendy will have to sacrifice much if she is to win the day…

I adored this final book so so much. Wendy went through a lot of growth during book two, and now in this story you see her put those hard earned skills to use. She is very different to the girl we met in book one, and at last has found the courage to fight back against Peter Pan.

Yet even now Wendy continues to face difficult choices and grow as a character. She reunited with a lot of the cast we met in previous books, many of whom also needed to overcome their own challenges which made this story quite emotional and I actually teared up in places. 

Neverland was also explored more throughly and overall I just love the vision that Colleen Oakes brought to life. Her Peter Pan retelling throughly captured my imagination and after devouring her Queen of Hearts Series as well, she has now become an auto buy author for me!

I honestly couldn't gush about this series more. This book ended in such a good way and my mind is still spinning from the conclusion.

5 stars!

Thursday 2 January 2020

Viper - Book Review

Viper - Isle of Storm and Sorrow - Book Review
Bex Hogan
YA Fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles. But the reigning Viper stands in her way. 

Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake. He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean… and he is Marianne’s father.

She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves - and perhaps even her life?


VIPER was a read packed with adventure and high-sea daring. It follows the story seventeen-year-old Marianne, who after disobeying orders, is forced to flee for her life. Now on the run from her father - the renowned and villainous pirate king - Marianne is pursued across the kingdom as she searches for a way to end her fathers bloody reign. Yet along the way, she uncovers friends and secrets that could change the course of her life - and the fate of the kingdom - forever… 

I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and the world building throughout the story was fantastic. The many islands that make up the kingdom are each singularly unique and serve a specific purpose, and I love the way each place painted itself into my minds eye. 

The fact that Marianne’s father was also a real tried and true villain also helped up the stakes of the story. We see his cruelty and bloodthirstiness from the beginning, which really helped you cheer for Marianne… who I have to admit, was not my most favourite heroine. 

Unfortunately I just couldn’t get along with her. Naive and whinny, she often came across as helpless which rankled me, especially considering the arsenal of badass skills at her disposal. However I liked the clever way she thought (when she remembered to keep a cool head) and despite the issues I had with her character, I still ultimately enjoyed the story and will be curious to pick up the next book.

The story also has a sweet, back burn sort of romance, and handfuls of magic here and there. However I didn’t fully follow the logic behind the magic system, so fingers crossed that it will be explained more in book two.

Overall a nice read. Not mind-blowing, but by no means bad. 3 stars!