Tag: Fantasy

The Institute by Stephen King

Today Kim brings you a video review of The Institute by Stephen King. This was her first ever King book she read and she has so much to catch up on!  She does go on a little bit of a rant about how King must think about people from South Carolina and how he must not know anyone from that state.  

The Institute
Author: Stephen King
Published: September 10, 2019
561 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

Kim’s Video Review:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

**Goodreads is currently running a giveaway where 25 copies are being given away. This giveaway runs through November 14th. Check out Goodreads if you are interested!

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Author: Nadine Brandes
Published: May 7, 2019
337 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them, and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are to either release the spell and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya has only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction to Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her.

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second book of Brandes that I’ve attempted and the first that I’ve read all the way through. The problem that I had in Fawkes came out a little in Romanov but thankfully not enough for me to DNF it. It’s honestly my only real criticism. Brandes has a habit of writing books that need a prerequisite. She throws in details about magic and culture that have no context and I automatically felt like I was missing something important. As I said, I felt that a little in Romanov but not as bad. I’ve also studied the last Romanovs so I understood the historical context. Brandes seemed to try to stick as close to history as possible and I liked that a lot.

The unfortunate side effect was that the Romanovs’ boring lives in Ekaterinburg and Tobolsk bled through into the story and there were times that I wanted things to move a bit faster. However, I liked her portrayal of the family and of the Bolsheviks. I believed every word and action and I would be the least bit surprised if it all happened exactly like in the book. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction. It’s also safe for teens to read, but due to the slow pacing, I’d save it for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Sorcery of Thorns

Author: Margaret Rogerson
Published: June 4, 2019
456 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Kim’s Review:

This is a great story! I get really tired of all the same stories told over and over again, and Sorcery of Thorns is refreshingly unique. The cover is also gorgeous! I love everything about this book. The characters were all larger than life and were still realistic and relatable. I related to Elizabeth really well, especially her sheltered background. The story would have suffered greatly had Silas not been included. He was one of the most complicated characters I’ve seen in a while and I loved him! The setting was beautiful and those libraries; I would totally visit those libraries! One thing that stood out to me was the pacing. Everything was well spaced out and after every calm sequence, action followed. The reading was easy and quick. Overall, an excellent fantasy book for anyone, especially for teens!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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