Mini-Review: Above World, Allegiance, Halflings


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Above World

Title: Above World

Author: Jenn Reese

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Dystopian

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.

But can Aluna’s warrior spirit and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt—growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains—here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.

Review: I saw this advertized as young adult, but it’s more a middle grade read. The plot is intriguing. Aluna is a lovely character – strong, independent, clever. The pacing never stops – Aluna and her best friend Hoku tumble from one fight, kidnapping, and mystery into another. The book is highly creative, and the writing is great.


Title: Allegiance (Legacy #0)

Author: Cayla Kluver

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn’t help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive.

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return…

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn’t truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn….

Review: Sometimes sequels suffer from second book syndrom, but that wasn’t the case at all in this novel. Allegiance is an interesting story about an eighteen-year-old queen, Alera, who is in love with Narian. He’s the enemy of her kingdom, but the true captor of her heart. The writing is rich and absorbing, the characters are intriguing, and the world building is complex. Alera was a fantastic character, and Narian was one of the most intriguing love interests I’ve read about. A fantastic book.


Title: Halflings

Author: Heather Burch

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys powers, as well as her role in their earthly mission, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Review: The writing is rich and creative, but the story itself was rather predictable. Nikki wasn’t as interesting as I hoped she’d be. We’re left in the dark about why Nikki needs all this special protection for quite a while, and while the pacing of the story is generally fast, the mystery part was too slow. The love triangle wasn’t convincing at all, and I was left with mixed feelings about this book.

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