Tag Archives: steampunk

[Review] The Gauntlet – Karuna Riazi

Book Title: The Gauntlet
Author:     Karuna Riazi
Number of pages:  298


When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.?

(re: Goodreads @ The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Middle Eastern Jumanji; board game with puzzles although present in third person re: readers may find difficulty in participating in the game too
– The culture and heritage of the characters just are and are not trivialized
– Challenges lack urgency and reads as though failure is rarely a possibility; some plot holes left unresolved
– Protagonist/heroine is one to look up to; a role model of wit and resourcefulness
– Lots of inclusion of food

Initial Thoughts

I had so much excitement for this book yo.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Gauntlet from Simon and Schuster Canada.

Continue reading [Review] The Gauntlet – Karuna Riazi

[Review] Metaltown — Kristen Simmons


Book Title: Metaltown (Standalone)
Author:     Kristen Simmons
Number of pages:  380


metaltown - kristen simmons - book coverMetaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.

(re: Goodreads @ Metaltown by Kristen Simmons)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Steampunk Newsies meets Les Miserables — if this intrigues you, go for it and read no further
– Dark, dirty, and visually compelling, Metaltown weaves the themes of social inequality and classism through its infrastructures and character dynamics
– Non-protagonist characters (e.g. antagonists) lacked depth that made conflict of striking very easy and convenient to attain
– The instalust/instalove/romance can feel as though it hi-jacks the plot.

Initial Thoughts

I must have hyped this book to myself way too much because it was a flop for me.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Metaltown from Raincoast Books re: TOR Teen.

Continue reading [Review] Metaltown — Kristen Simmons

[Review] Heir to the Sky — Amanda Sun

Book Title:  Heir to the Sky (Standalone)
Author:      Amanda Sun
Number of pages:  384


heir to the sky - amanda sun book coverAs heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

(re: Goodreads @ Heir to the Sky by Amanda Sun)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– An interesting world/premise that loses its steam as it doesn’t really sustain the early intrigue
– Solid action sequences against mythical beasts
– Instalust driven romance all day everyday.
– Doormat supporting characters who have no other mission than to support the protagonist


Initial Thoughts

After much consideration, this book is either not for me or I just didn’t understand this story at all.

Full disclosure: I borrowed an ARC of Heir to the Sky from Amanda @ Brains, Books and Brawn received at Ontario Library Association’s Superconference.

Continue reading [Review] Heir to the Sky — Amanda Sun