Deviation (The Sophisticates Book 1) by Christine Manzari

This is the first book in The Sophisticates series.

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

I enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was good, the plot developed well and the characters are great.

I like the idea behind the story and what makes the Sophisticates different. The group of them which are different with their own special gifts was a nice addition which made the story more exciting. I also liked the twist at the end with the ‘Others’.

Cleo is a great main character. She’s clever and very capable, but not in the sense for the military side. It was good to learn about this side of the program with her. I liked reading about her relationship with Ozzy. He’s a great character. He starts of quite mysterious, but we gradually get to know him and his secrets.

The rest of the group are interesting characters as well, particularly Arabella and Sterling. I also liked the mean girl vibe which went on between her and Quinnie. I’m intrigued to see whether they are able to work together towards the ‘Others,’ or not. They are all part of the Dozen after all.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The storyline was good, the characters were great and the plot developed at a good pace. I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 5/5*

Win (The Atlantis Grail book 3) by Vera Nazarian

This is the third book in The Atlantis Grail series.

The Games are Forever!
It’s one thing to Qualify and Compete… Now she must Win.

Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, is among the lucky ones. She’s one of several million teenage refugees to escape the extinction-level asteroid barreling towards Earth and reach the ancient colony planet of Atlantis.

But Atlantis is a strange new world with higher gravity and a blazing white sun, where nothing is as expected. The new arrivals from Earth will now belong to the majority class of non-citizens who face a lifetime of hard work and limited rights.

To make matters worse, Gwen’s rare and powerful talent, her Logos voice, is viewed as a potential weapon to be exploited by the Imperator, as well as a threat to the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its uncompromising control over the people of Atlantis.

A last-minute heartbreak prior to arrival turns to joy, when Gwen receives a declaration of love from an unexpected source. The Wedding date is set, but before she can be joined with her true love, she is forced to compete in the brutal and deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail to save herself, her family, friends, and everything she cares about. Once again, her intelligence, quick thinking skills, resilience, and creativity are challenged to the breaking point.

The Games are monumental, intricate, lethal . . . and the Games are Forever.

This time Gwen must fight and figure her way through the most difficult and sophisticated contest she has ever faced. Terrifying Ordeals and impossible Challenges, ruthless skilled Competitors, vicious secret assassins, and dubious teammates she must work with but cannot trust, are just the beginning….

Meanwhile, as the Games rage, the fate of two worlds is at stake as a new alien threat looms over Earth and Atlantis.

But Gwen Lark has a secret weapon of her own. It’s not her Logos voice and its untapped power to control orichalcum technology and perpetuate change.

It is Gwen herself.

I absolutely loved re-reading this book. Since this is only the second time reading this one, I found that I actually forgot some of the details, such as the whole third task.🤦‍♂️

I love Aeson.

I couldn’t review this series without saying it.

I seriously love Aeson.

I loved the whole beginning of this book, seeing Aeson and Gwen actually get to know eachother and then all the moments between them. I love it and I’m kind of jealous of Gwen. I also love the interactions with Gwen and his family. The things she, and in turn us, learn about Atlantis are also interesting. I have also discovered that I’m capable of learning their language of Atlantis better than I can learn any other language. Reading certain words have just stuck them in my brain.

That’s how well this book is written.

One of my favourite things is the training Gwen has with the astra daimon. All of them together is a great moment, and seeing them all laid back with Aeson is a great moment. Ultimately, they are the best of the best, so reading her training with them in comparison to her training in the past books was interesting.

Ultimately, the Atlantis Grail is the main plot of this book. The tasks are exciting and well paced. I love all the characters she meets and all the little twists which occur.

I like the twist with the Rim, but I’d love to know more about them. They go quiet, but then what? I hope we see more of them, otherwise what was the point.

The ending is crazy. Everything happens so quick and it leaves you feeling a little stunned.

I can’t wait for the next book and I’m actually glad it’s longer. I really don’t want this story to end. I’m looking forward to see what happens after the ending, and see how things develop. I’m also looking forward to see how the relationship with Aeson’s family develops, especially with his father.

I sware to god, there better be a happy ending, and a wedding in the next book. These characters are written so well that they are easy to get attached to.

I would completly and absolutely recommend this series. It’s brilliant and Aeson is a gift to read.

My rating: 5/5*

Compete (The Atlantis Grail book 2) by Vera Nazarian

This is the second book in The Atlantis Grail series.

It’s one thing to Qualify…
But do you have what it takes to Compete?

With Earth about to be destroyed by an extinction level asteroid, teenage nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl Gwen Lark, and a few of her friends and loved ones, barely Qualified for rescue onboard one of the thousands of ark-ships headed to the ancient colony planet Atlantis.

Now faced with a year-long journey in space, life in a wondrously alien environment, and many tough life choices, Gwen must decide who or what she will become. Fleet Cadet or Civilian? Friend or lover? Average or extraordinary?

Can she make new friends? Can she trust the old ones, such as Logan Sangre, her sexy high school crush and an Earth special operative?

Time and time again, Gwen’s uncanny ability to come up with the best answer in a crisis saves her life and others. And now, her unique Logos voice makes her an extremely valuable commodity to the Atlanteans — so much so that her enigmatic commanding officer Aeson Kassiopei, who is also the Imperial Prince of Atlantis, has taken an increasingly personal interest in her.

Before the end of the journey, Gwen must convince him that she has what it takes to compete in the deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail.

It’s becoming apparent — the life of her family and all of Earth depends on it.

This book continues pretty much straight on from the first.

I love this series so much. The storyline is brilliant, the plot develops at a good pace and the characters are amazing.

I’m in love with Aeson. Completely and utterly.

I also love Xel.

I wish these were real people I could meet and keep. 🙄

In this book we learn all about Atlantis with their tech, their language and their way of life. It’s fascinating to read.

I love reading the journey through space. The different planets they pass and then with the jump. It’s interesting and it’s all described brilliantly. Very imaginative.

The storyline is great in that we follow Gwens journey in getting to know about Atlantis and space, but also her journey in getting to know the people. She works closely with Aeson and I just love reading their interactions and seeing them get to know eachother. Then there’s all the other people. Her relationship with Logan, her siblings and the other Atlantians in general.

On top of all that, there’s always tue bigger storyline with the whole asteroid. One simple sentence throws a deeper plot in to the mix.

Who are they?

It’s a brilliant book.

My favourite thing by far is Aeson. I just love him and I really can’t mention that enough.

The ending. I have never been so excited about an ending of a book ever. It’s just brilliant and I love what happened. I find that I really feel a connection to these characters, so that ending really had me feeling excited, and reading this for the third time, I felt exactly the same as I did the first.

Overall, this series is absolutely brilliant. It’s my all time favourite. Everything about it just brilliant so I would definitely recommend it.

My rating: 5/5*

Qualify (The Atlantis Grail book 1) by Vera Nazarian

This is the first book in The Atlantis Grail series.

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die

I love this series.

I’m re-reading it… again, in preparation for the next book being almost ready, and since I didn’t review it then, I’m doing it now.

This is my all time favourite series. The storyline is brilliant, the plot flows brilliantly and the characters are absolutely brilliant.

You know a book is written well when you’re in love with the characters.

I’m completly in love with Aeson.

Completely.

He is the best thing ever to be written. I might be saying this because I’ve read these books before, but reading these books again is just as good as the first time I did. I’m just falling in love with him all over again.

Gwen is a brilliant character. She’s not the strongest, and she is by far not the best person competing, but her clever mind and crazy tactics save the day. I absolutely love reading her journey and I enjoy seeing her interactions with Aeson.

The storyline is brilliant. I love the dystopian and apocalyptic feel. The Atlantis culture we learn about is interesting. The qualifying trials are also interesting and exciting to read. I also love the fact that not everything always goes according to plan. Things are brutal. It only adds to the excitement of the story.

Overall, this series is simply brilliant. It’s my favourite, so I would definitely recommend it. Even if only to read about Aeson.

My rating: 5/5*

The Sorcery Trial (The Faerie Race Book 1) by J.A.Armitage and Claire Luana

This is the first book in The Faerie Race series.

Welcome to The Faerie Race—an epic adventure through a realm as compelling as it is deadly…

Fame. Fortune. Your most extravagant wish granted. These are the prizes promised to the team that wins The Faerie Race, the first and only reality television show to venture into the dangerous realm of the fae. But that’s not why Jacqueline Cunningham wants in. She’s after any sign of her sister—who vanished without a trace into the faerie world two years ago. Jacq thought getting into the race would be the hard part. But she didn’t count on the other competitors—who will stop at nothing to finish first. Or her distractingly-handsome jerk of a partner, who seems to be hiding secrets of his own.
Plunged into a world where everything wants to kill her, what starts as a hunt for the truth turns into a desperate contest for survival. Now that Jacq’s in the race, it will take all her wits to make it to the finish line alive.

I enjoyed this book. It was fun, the storyline was good and thr characters were good.

Jacqueline was a good main character. She was strong, yet thrown into these trials and the world of the fae, she wasn’t the most experienced, especially with magic. She learnt as she went and found out she is strong enough to make it through.

I liked the fae characters and how Orin turned out to be the one she could trust. He’s a mysterious character, but as the story progressed, we slowly got to know him.

I like the fact that there was a bigger storyline going on besides the trials with her sisters disappearance and all.

Overall, this was a fun story. The characters were good, the plot developed well and the storyline was good. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series. I would definitely recommend recommend it.

My rating: 4/5*

Finch Merlin and the Locked Gateway by Bella Forrest

This is the 13th book in the Harley Merlin series and the 4th one in the Finch Merlin series.

Few have found this fabled city.

One final ingredient. With a mapped location and vials of Sanguine blood, Finch needs one last component to unlock the gateway to the lost city.

If only that didn’t mean returning to the place he despises most—Eris Island.

After learning his chances of escaping servitude are next to nil, Finch vows to find another out. And his only shot means chasing after his greatest enemy. Plus, a certain Goddess of Light won’t stop sticking her nose into his business…

Ryann realizes that Erebus sees her as collateral for coercing Finch—but, oh, how he underestimates her. She’s helped Finch before, and she’ll do everything in her human power to make sure he survives this mission. At the same time, she can’t continue keeping secrets from Adam. He’s the perfect boyfriend, but Finch… he’s the one who makes her feel most alive.

I love this series. This book was brilliant. The storyline was great, the plot developed well and the characters are great.

Finch’s journey continued to developed well. I love the interactions between him and the children of Chaos. I enjoyed reading the journey he had to go on to find the gateway and I loved his interactions with his sister, the rag team and Ryann.

Ryann having her own point of view chapters was brilliant to read. I loved the insight in to her head and seeing how she thinks of the whole magical world. I also loved seeing how she thinks about Finch and how her feelings are developing.

The ending of the book was brilliant to read. There were some unexpected twists and turns and I’m looking forward to reading the next.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this series. I absolutely love it. It’s a brilliant storyline, the plot develops well and the characters are brilliant.

Finch Merlin and the Djinn’s curse by Bella Forrest

This is the 12th book in the Harley Merlin series and the 3rd of Finch Merlin.

The lost city lies beyond a locked gateway. But the key is not what it seems…

Now a map-maker extraordinaire, Finch must find the place Erebus so desperately seeks—although the “how” and “why” remain unclear. And a certain vengeful Necromancer is bent on beating Erebus to the punch, and he’d be more than happy to make Finch collateral damage.

With his friends’ lives on the line, Finch will fall back on his old trickster ways to get his hands on the gateway’s key. In secret, he plans to uncover a loophole, a way to end his servitude for good. The answer might lie in Erebus’s past servants and their storied history with the djinn…

The djinn have lost their connection to Erebus, and Raffe doesn’t know how much longer he can cope before his alter ego goes insane. That’s the only reason he agrees to travel halfway across the world to find answers for Finch. Raffe aches to end the djinn curse that threatens his future with Santana, but he’d have to achieve the impossible: separate himself from the demon within.

I absolutely love this series. Everything about it was great and I love the characters.

I love Finch. He is such a good character and is having such a hard, unlucky time with things. I’m glad he’s slowly letting others help him.

Raffe’s point of view in this book was brilliant. Having Kadar as well is what made this book brilliant and I’m glad they got a good chunk of the book. Their storyline in this was brilliant to read and I loved getting an insight to a Djinn. It was also great to have Santana involved.

The plot developed well in this book and I like how Lux has slipped in the story. It’s interesting to see how important the mission is to Erebus, and what he’s willing to lose to get to the end.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this series. The storyline is brilliant, the plot developed well and the characters are brilliant. It’s one of my favourites and this book was a great addition to the series.

My rating: 5/5*