The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 4, 2014 / Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I didn't know what to expect from The Winner's Curse. It wasn't originally on my radar, and I only became curious about it once I started to notice all the great reviews it was receiving. After getting the chance to read it myself, I can understand why so many are praising this book.
Kestrel, a high-class Valorian and the general's daughter, and Arin, a Herrani slave purchased by Kestrel at an auction, were the main characters. They may have grown up in different worlds, but they were similar in many ways. Both were sympathetic people, full of quiet strength and determination, wishing for the freedom to live their lives the way they wanted to. I just found it so easy to like them. I also loved how their relationship evolved. They didn't always get along, yet there was a connection between them that made them open up to one another little by little. It was precious and sweet. They each had their secrets though, and it led to devastating revelations and consequences. I have no idea how they will overcome that, but I hope that whatever happens next they are able to survive it together.
I'm so glad I took a chance and read The Winner's Curse because I was immersed in the story from the very beginning. Although it was a bit slow-going at times, it didn't stop me from enjoying it overall, and I'm already eagerly anticipating the release of the sequel.
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Release Date: April 8, 2014 / Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After reading a couple of chapters, I began to realize that I didn't find the story to be as enthralling as I had hoped. I decided to keep reading, though, just to see what happened to the characters. And I'm so happy I did because The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf ended up being a satisfying read.
To me, the beginning of the book started off as if it was a sequel, not the first book in a series, and I think that's why my feelings about it were shaky. However, flashbacks were eventually added to the mixed, and it made me see that the way the book began was necessary for all the revelations that were to come. I was hooked from that moment on! But as I mentioned before, I have the characters, especially the protagonist Ashala, to thank for being the reason why I continued reading. There wasn't anything about Ashala I disliked. I admired her courage and strength, and all I wanted was for her to survive the ordeals she faced so that she could protect her Tribe and the rest of those with special abilities. The way things went down were unexpected and shocking, and I gained even more respect for Ashala and the others who did everything they could to help her.
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf was a story set in the future about friendship, love, and protecting the innocent. It was filled with unique mythology, consisting of people with special abilities, spirits and animals that could communicate with humans. The ending brought enough closure, but there's definitely still more to explore. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I'm giving away my ARCs of The Winner's Curse and The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf to one lucky winner! Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends February 28. To enter, check out my Giveaway Policy and fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!
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