Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Last Superhero by Astrid Cruz

Title: The Last Superhero
Author: Astrid Cruz
Series: N/A
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, New Adult, Superhero, Superpowers
Source: ARC
Rating: 2 Stars.

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Even heroes have the right to bleed... 

Everybody knows that Steven S. Waldorf, the last superhero to roam the Earth, died twenty-eight years ago. What everyone ignores is that not only is he still alive, but being kept under the protection of the United State's government.

That is until, one night, he finds himself saving a young woman from getting mugged.

Giana is no ordinary twenty-nine year old, though. She's witty, badmouthed, and once she's set her focus on something nothing can make her stray from her goal.

Even if that means putting her life on the line to save the man she's come to know and love from the nightmares that torment him. 


My Review:

The low review for this novel is a mixture between my personal taste and actual problems with the book. As a reviewer, I only ever take off one star maximum for issues that I personally had with the book, but they are issues that make it difficult for me to read through and enjoy the book in question.

Starting with said personal issue, most of this book is written in something akin to internal dialogue. You experience all the random thoughts the main character has (her opinions, fantasies, questions, random thoughts), mixed with the actual narration of the novel. Because both internal thoughts and the narration were in first person point of view, and their was no formatting variation (i.e. Italics, bolding, or ‘single quotations’), I sometimes got confused as to what was actually happening, and what the main character wanted to happen. Thus, my flow of reading was constantly interrupted to take a minute and reread to figure out what was going on. I personally like to get fully immersed into my reading, usually finishing a book in one to two sittings; this book however, took me several sittings because the writing didn’t draw me in enough. Again, this is a personal reading issue of mine, this may not apply to other readers.

The major problem I found with the book itself was the pace of the story line. Everything between the main character, Gina, and our romantic interest/ superhero, Steven, consumed the first third of the book. The romantic aspects of this book happened EXTREMELY fast, with little to no sexual tension (or any tension) that makes the reader desperate to read on and find out what will happen between them. As for the conflict, it pretty much takes a back seat to the love story. You don’t really get a sense of the major conflict of the novel until much later. You get snippets here and there of the actual plot outside of the romance at the beginning, but these snippets felt more like an after thought than anything else. It was almost as if they were added later on to have the plot make more sense and flow better without much success.

HOWEVER, there were some great things about this book as well. The main character, Gina, is a big fan of poetry (as mentioned near the beginning of the novel). With the novel written in her point of view, in certain areas, the writing would turn very poetic to match the passion and excitement of the scene. This was popular with more of the intimate scenes. It’s a creative choice I would never have thought of, but I found to be very interesting and added a different layer to the book that I haven’t seen in many other novels. (One book I have seen it in is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and it was just as satisfying in The Last Superhero).

I also really liked most of the underlying story outside of the romance, specifically Steven’s story and even Steven himself. A mixture of his superpowers, his family history, his nightmares, and his rivalry with his brother make him such a dynamic character that really felt real to me. I don’t know if it is the sucker in me who loves a tortured male lead or what, but Steven was by far the best-developed character in this story and my personal favorite person to read about.  Props to Astrid Cruz for a job well done there.

Overall, it wasn’t a BAD book, but it definitely wasn’t great either. I do believe that with a few read throughs and some edits to the speed of the story line in contrast to the romance, this book could really be something. I will have to keep a look out for Astrid Cruz’s future writing to watch her writing grow and develop into something wonderful.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Defy by Sara Larson

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B Larson
Series: Defy #1
Genre: Medieval, YA, Romance, Magic, Swords
Source: Kindle
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 stars!

Available at:

Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

My Review:
The non-spoiler section:

I was in the mood for a good Romantic YA novel as my Christmas vacation is nearing its end, and Defy by Sara B. Larson was the perfect fit for my mood. There was the perfect amount of suspense and mystery, and a subtle release of information to the reader that both satisfies you, and keeps you wanting for more! The characters are so well defined and the author really stayed true to them while leaving room for them to develop throughout the book. And of course, the plot, was fascinating with very few complaints from my end. I would definitely recommend this books for Maria V Snyder lovers out there!


Let’s talk characters first. Damian was perfectly crafted and I believe was written out the best. You slowly learn his past and the reasons he is so secretive and acts so closed off from the people around him and its both heart breaking, but understandable at the same time. His character had the slowest developmental time, and I think we will see much more of that development in the second instalment of this series. The main character, Alex, was also really well done. My only complaint with her development was having her twin brother die too soon. The reader just starts to scratch the surface o their relationship before he was killed off, and while I felt sympathy for Alexa, I wasn’t saddened by her brothers passing myself. I would have liked to see at least another chapter before he moved on.

That was a great transition as I move on to talk about plot now that I think about it! As far as the plot went, the only major complaint I had was the speed by which it went by! Sara Larson has so much to offer this book, and while I completely believe she did a great job, I believe that another 100 pages (or even 50!) would have made it so much better, especially as Alexa trains to learn how to defeat other sorcerers. The book was going at a great sped up until that point, then everything moved a little to quickly for my taste.  However, the writing was fantastically done. It flowed excellently and I never felt that there was any awkward wording or dialogue that took me away from me really getting into the story.

Let us not forget the juiciest part though; can we say love triangle ladies? Although it wasn’t a TRUE love triangle (with the female lead having romantic feelings for both interested men), I think that we are going to see a lot more of this in the second book. I think that the forbidden aspect of Alexa dating the Prince-turned-King adds a lot of tension that will push her toward Ryland, even though her heart lies with Damian…. Of course, this is just a prediction! I can’t wait to read the second book to find out if I’m right!

Overall, a great YA book. The second book was just released a few days ago (thank god I don’t have to wait!), so I am going to go read that as soon as this is posted. Once again, this was a great book for Maria V Snyder lovers out there! There was something about it that had a faint touch of a Snyder feel, possibly some inspiration from her books? Regardless, a solid 4 stars! Now, I am off to read Ignite, book 2 of the series!