Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Update- Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

About a week after I posted my original review of Dauntless, I received a new copy from the publisher (which was super nice of them!). It took me a day or two after to be able to read the 20 or so pages that had been missing from the original, but I have now, and I can tell you what I thought. In those missing pages were basically two things of note: the first was an incident which is mentioned later in the book (which cleared up my confusion over that), and a hint at what will occur in the next book. While neither of these things changes my opinion of Dauntless, the later does have me far more interested in reading the sequel.

Rebekah Gyger

Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm Going to JORDAN!- Guest Post Sign-ups

That's right, this summer I will be interning on an archaeology dig in Jordan, excavating a Roman fort. If you want to know more about this dig, you can look here, or I will be posting more information in a month or so.

Ayn Gharandal Site in Jordan

Since I will be in Jordan for nearly two months, I will not have as much time to review or post on Backing Books in that time. So I am opening up June / July for guest bloggers. Here is what I'm looking for:

Bloggers who-
* Wish to post a review on Backing Books - or- talk about writing on Backing Books.
* Want to advertise their own blog at the bottom of their post.
* Suggest their own idea.

Authors who-
* Wish to plug their own book -or- talk about writing on Backing Books.
* Want to advertise their own website at the bottom of their post.

Requirements for Posts-
* Must follow my guidelines found on How it Works.
* Books must be clean and posts must be suitable for YA readers.

What This Means for You-
Before hand, I will be posting a schedule, detailing who will be taking part, as well as what their posts are titled. Posting as a guest will bring you visibility to other posters' fans, as well as my own followers. There will be at least one giveaway, hosted by me, which will run the length of the guest posts, and hopefully bring in more views. 

If you want to take part in the June/ July guest bloggers, please email me at lotsofbooks1@live.com telling me so. I will respond with a document which you will need to fill out to let me know what all you want to do. Based on how many responses I receive, I will send out a schedule, list of content, and a deadline for your post be sent to me for upload.

On May 15th I will be closing sign ups, so please email me soon!

Rebekah Gyger

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dauntless- Dina L. Sleiman

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Description: Though once a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village. Dubbed "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest," her band of followers soon become enemies of the throne when they hijack ill-gotten gold meant for the king.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, will he choose fame or love?

My Thoughts: The story which takes place in Dauntless is entertaining, if a bit less grand of a story than Robin Hood. The message to it is far more personal, about the choices we make in life, rather than national, the distribution of wealth and power.

There is a love triangle, and for once I found myself on the side of the guy who you know wont win the girl. I had liked Allen for Merry far more than I had liked Timothy. Unfortunately, this might have been because Timothy was described in the beginning in a very feminine way (soft, with hair pretty enough to be a girls), where Allen was more masculine. It took me a while to believe that Merry could have found Timothy so handsome, and then even longer to decide what else she liked about him.

As an "enemy" to the King, Merry constantly had to worry about being arrested. I believe most everyone remembers King John from the Robin Hood stories and how tyrannical he was, so Merry's concern was well justified. That and her being a thief, a crime punishable by hanging, made the conflict very real. However, I was disappointed when, toward the end, the villain Hadley served as the climax (or at least the final conflict, as my book was missing about 20 pages before this). It was disappointing after the continued reminder of just how dangerous the king was.

There is a good bit of the story to love. The kids are adorable, Allen's pretty awesome, and the danger is historicallyaccurate. Unfortunately, the ending disappointed me. I would have liked a little more conflict, as well as some more loose ends left to be tied up in the next book (which will probably be about Allen).

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beneath the Forsaken City- C. E. Laureano

My Rating: 3 Stars

Description: Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but in the midst of their escape, he and Aine are torn apart once more. Surrounded by despair and thrown into as much danger as they left behind, Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and the homeland that depends on their survival. But at what cost? Will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely? Or will they give up hope?

My Thoughts: I love Eoghan. He has offically become my favorite character and I sorely wish he had been the main character in this series. However, I do understand that Conor and Aine were far more involved in the large scale view of world. Still, I found Eoghan to be a relatable character for all his skills and imperfects (particularly his pride).

The major theme in this series is trusting Comdiu, even in the hardest of times. It is an admirable theme which I did appreciate, however, at times I felt it went a little too far. The characters are constantly pushed to the edge, into situations where the average person (and most of the other characters) would give up. Yet somehow, these two manage to only doubt Comdiu for a couple paragraphs before they rally their faith. It would have been far more believable if they had doubted more, and still Comdiu brought about a good end.

I also struggled with Conor and Aine's romance. For most of this book (and the last) they were not even together, so the reader has little opportunity to actually see their relationship as something real and substantive.

The themes and unique setting make this series worth trying. I really enjoyed where Conor kept his word to Haldor, even when everyone else expected him not too. Unfortunately, both Conor and Aine's continued encounters with people of nobility and rank (even in the middle of nowhere), rather than common people, seemed all too perfect.

I wish I could say I loved this book. The idea of a married hero and heroine was what first drew me to this series, but I was disappointed by how little time they spent together. Maybe they will be together more in the next book.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.