Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mini Reviews: Riders by Veronica Rossi and Ruined by Amy Tintera

From Goodreads: Nothing but death can keep eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. While recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen - Conquest, Famine, and Death - are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. They fail. Now - bound, bloodied, and drugged - Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for - not to mention all of humankind - he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him?

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Having loved Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky trilogy, I was really excited to read, Riders, the start of her newest series. Riders began promisingly with the main character, Gideon, being interrogated. Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting that more than 80% of the book would consist of alternating chapters of Gideon’s interrogator asking him questions and Gideon telling his interrogator (and thereby, the reader) how he became War and learned to control his powers and horse. Another thing that I struggled with in Riders was the lack of information with regards to the worldbuilding. Only one character had the answers, and she revealed them slowly. Even that wasn’t enough, however, because many of my questions remain unanswered. Finally, knowing that Rossi is capable of writing a well-developed slow burning romance, I was disappointed to see that Gideon and Daryn developed feelings for each other almost instantly.

Riders was released in February 2016 by Tor Teen.
From Goodreads: Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped. But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family. In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family. Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life - and her family - on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake. 

My Rating: 1.5 hearts

Thoughts on the Novel: Ruined by Amy Tintera was another book I was really looking forward to reading because I had enjoyed Tintera’s Reboot duology. With insta-love and extremely weak worldbuilding though, Ruined turned out to be an even bigger disappointment than Riders. Moreover, the characters in Ruined were underdeveloped, and the plot focused too much on the unrealistic romance. For example, it made me laugh that even after Cas’ father died due to Em, Cas' biggest concern was whether Em was only pretending to have feelings for him. Ultimately, while I have no idea why the Ruined have powers but their neighbours don’t or why everyone wants to exterminate the Ruined, I can tell you that I hate fantasy books where a girl out for revenge promptly falls in love and abandons her quest.

Ruined was released by HarperTeen on May 3, 2016.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Harpercollins) via Edelweiss.


  1. Oh, boy. I wanted to read both of these books for different reasons. First, I've also been a fan of Ms. Rossi due to her debut series. Second, I've been seeing so much love from the Aussie bloggers directed at Ruined. And now, I'm not so sure. I think I will be more disappointed in Ms. Rossi's book, though. :/

  2. Sorry neither of these worked for you Z! I have Ruined on my list for next week, so I'm hoping I fare better than you did with it. *fingers crossed*

  3. I had hoped more from Riders. I know this one had mixed reactions from readers. I do want to read it, but I might have to lower my expectations for it.

  4. Thanks for your honest thoughts, but I'm sorry these fell flat for you! I haven't read anything by the authors before but it sounds like these aren't as good as the other novels they've written.

    As for the romances, I hate when things move too quick or just don't seem realistic. Sigh.


  5. Oh no! I'm really sorry these were both failures for you, especially when they're authors whose other work has been some you've really enjoyed. When you're super excited for a favourite author's next book, and it just doesn't work out? Utterly awful, especially since you then don't know whether you'll like their future work, either. /:

    I haven't heard much about either of these series starters, although I heard a lot about both authors first series, particularly Reboot. It sounds like that one is pretty amazing. I would also be pretty annoyed in Ruined that the romance was- I guess very drama-y? Especially to the point you gave the example of.

    Oh well- I suppose we all have books that just don't work for us sometimes. I hope your next reads are much more enjoyable, and I hope you have better luck with future work from both these writers! x

  6. Sadly, I've heard negative things about both of these and I think your reviews have finally decided for me, I'll be skipping them.

  7. I also loved Under the Never Sky and I've heard so many good things about Reboot but insta-love! Ugh I recoil everytime I hear that word, buuuuuut I was really looking forward to reading Riders and Ruined so I'll still probably give these two a try.

  8. Aw. That's so sad about Riders! The hype was so high. I had these...expectations for it. I was hoping it would be my first official (and complete) read for Veronica Rossi. I DNFed Under the Never Sky, sadly. Thanks for your honest review!

    Precious @ Fragments of Life

  9. aw, sorry these were both a bust. I have both of those Veronica Rossi books you mentioned, and both unread. Thanks for helping me set priorities and expectations for them. Hopefully your next books are better than these two.


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