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Book review: The Paradox of Heroes by N. Hanna

| Gifted | NA |

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The paradox of Heroes starts with three seemingly independent stories. The most dominant story is about Danny that with a group of fellow college students woke up in a castle with no memory or information. They are forced to solve puzzles and complete life-threatening challenges in order to go to the next chamber. Then there is Teddy who lost his brother in an accident 18 years ago. One night he went through old belongings of his brother and found an old phone which leads him to a hidden safe.

In the same period of time, he started dating a wonderful woman from the office. One thing led to another and before they knew it, they were together uncovering the truth behind his brother’s death. Last but not least there is the story of Seven, a trained assassin who kills at the order of a secretive company. When he disobeys orders, they turn on him and want to put him down, but he won’t go down easily. In his quest to take on the entire organization he discovers more and more about his true nature.

“Next, he put his hand under Sam’s nose – still breathing, but for how much longer? Time was almost up: they had to get out of this room – now.

The three story-lines were singularly captivating from the very beginning. I was eager to find out where each of them would lead to. As each point of view progresses, they start to complement each other more and more. Some connections you could suspect if you have a detailed eye, but others were definitely shocking. The convergence of the stories is what made the book jump from very good to great.

The series of real-life escape rooms was very intense and exciting. I felt I was there solving the puzzles alongside the characters. It is a very satisfying feeling when you can solve a puzzle on your own before they do. The story on Teddy was also very pulling, but was a little bit less intense on action and had some romance, thus those chapters served as a break from the very intense escape rooms. The chapters on Seven came in less frequently, but were always on point.
The chapters were very short and the alternation between the three different story-lines is on point, which made it easy to follow. It was a fast-paced book where I could not stop reading. There was no lingering or any unnecessary background descriptions. Everything had its place and meaning. Definitely a read that will stick to your thoughts afterwards, I will await eagerly for the sequel.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: The Last Lumenian by S. G Blaise

| Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was pleasantly surprised with this read, Scifi is not a genre I read as much as I would like to (even though my favorite book of all time is scifi), what I really loved about this book is that it was able to keep my attention throughout the whole story, it is a very compelling read. The addition of the glossary on the back of the book was super helpful with the world building and understanding the elements of the story itself. 

The Last Lumenian tells the story about a young girl in a fight for justice, forming part of the rebellion to help the refugees in her home planet. She can’t stand the fact that her people are being mistreated and it needs to be stopped. Lilla has been raised by her father, the king and her stepmother who is absolutely horrid with her. Lilla struggles with anxiety which causes her to have moments where she is vulnerable. It’s great to see real world issues incorporated into a fictional world, this shows us that even heroes struggle with mental health. I have been actively seeking out fiction books that portray psychological struggles and I am so glad the Last Lumenian brings awareness to this topic.

The main character showed traits of determination, bravery, and wittiness. I loved the connection she had with her late mother through magic. I was compelled to keep reading with the plot being fast paced. The elements building the world were captivating! Although I am not the biggest fan of what I sensed was insta-love, which made me a bit apprehensive, the rivalries gave it the perfect touch to steer in an enemies to lovers trope! This was a great addition to develop the plot, the dynamic between Lilla and Arrov was great! I love a good banter and angst in books.

I will be looking out for more titles by SG Blaise! If you are into fast pace and some romance in your books, this is definitely for you!

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Space Between us, by Jamaal Aflatooni

| Gifted | Sci-fi |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The space between us begins with Darwin, who is getting ready for his first day of school. Darwin has a skin condition where white spots mark his skin. Because of this, he feels a bit out of place and gets bullied quite a lot by one particularly nasty boy. Soon he discovers a new ally: Tyler. He has moved here from Washington DC, and they quickly become friends. I loved their witty remarks and funny conversations, you can really see their friendship bloom. 

I enjoyed the plot twists at the end and I am very curious for the sequel!

Darwin has had these dreams in which he finds himself in an alternate universe, but he finds it difficult to know what to do with them. The inner struggle is put onto page beautifully, and you immediately wish you could help him figure it out.

The story really starts to become mysterious when a man keeps popping up at Darwin’s school, and starts to follow him. You do not want to put the book down, trust me, you will want to keep reading this alluring story. I can highly recommend this book, even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi.

You can check out more about the book and the author here.

Book review: Beyond, by M. C Winkkle

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | sci-fi |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Beyond is the first book in the adult sci-fi series Black Tears, with elements of thriller and a little bit of romance. I really enjoy reading dark and intense novels, and this one was no exception. It is definitely a book with a bit of a psychopathic touch, as the synopsis states. It follows the story of Stella, a girl with special gifts who is abducted by the CIA. The government hopes to use her abilities to win the war against the aliens. They treat her like a prisoner, and she is tested on, restrained and humiliated during her captivity. In this regard, since the synopsis mentions trigger warnings, I think the biggest to point out is Stella’s suicidal attempts. As a girl who already suffered from anxiety, her mental health is stressed to extreme levels

So alluring !

The story follows two other characters besides Stella: The Commander and Abigail. At first, it would seem there is no connection between these three characters, but the more you continue reading, the more it is clear where the story is going. I love romance, so I enjoyed reading the one between the alien leader and the human he falls in love with. I found it especially interesting reading The Commander’s perspective. We see him slowly learn how to feel like a human and give himself to love, but also struggling with his duty to his people and everything he has ever known.

photo by @tata.lifepages

You can check out more about the book and the author here.