Okay that was weird, it was just a really god damn fundamentally strange book.It was like the plot of the book was pretty thought, and the world that the story took place in was very well build up, but at the same time it was like the author wasn t quite ready to write the book, it probably would have been an excellent book, had she waited a couple of years, so the plot of story could have evolved as well as her writing skills, because at the moment it kinda sound like a badly translated book.Also the gay dragon romance was actually not a weird as it could have been, it was a shame it wasn t very well written because the characters definitely had potential, i would probably read one of her books again in a couple of years, but for now i just think she needs to mature and evolve her skills 2.5 stars I hate to say this but I found this book kind of boring Not something I expected to say when I read the blurb gay dragon romance awesome Explaining some of why it wasn t is tricky to do without spoilers, but I ll try Suffice it to say, that blurb up there That s not really what this book is about.Martus is an orphan looking after his much younger sister, which he does by stealing and well, I m not sure what else he does, but it s sort of implied that he seduces young men away from their wives This may or may not be for money, it s hard to tell, because there s something about travelling and pirates too Details are pretty sparse Whatever, his work is far from honest, but he does what he can to take care of his sister Until the dragon comes.After this point I can t really talk about anything without spoilers, so I shall simply say that after the dragon attack things turn a bit disappointing For one thing there is a sad lack of actual dragon time There s the attack and then there s nothing, Hal is human for the rest of the book, which makes me sad Hal s okay I suppose as a character, but he s pretty quiet and passive and not very dragonish As for Martus, well, he does things but mostly runs around not achieving much and I got bored of him.This isn t really a romance either although to be fair it doesn t claim it is Hal and Martus do grow close, but it could just as easily have been completely platonic if not for a kiss In fact this book is as much about the relationship between Martus and his little sister, Elsaben, as it is about him and Hal Everything he does is for El, which is kind of sweet, and she has her cute moments too, but the dialogue is quite clunky and it s hard to know what age Elsaben is because sometimes she seems older than others.Overall this book didn t live up to its billing and the characters weren t interesting enough to make up for it It s a quick enough read, light and easy going with plenty of room for , it just didn t grab me enough to care I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Loyalty And Truth Will Be Redefined As A Young Orphan Undertakes A Quest That Will Change His LifeMartus Is Doing All He Can To Help His Magically Gifted Sister, Elsaben, Living With The Frustration That It S Never Enough They Re Living Hand To Mouth On What He Can Steal, And Under The Table Jobs Aren T Enough For Martus To Fund The Training Elsaben Needs He S Desperate To Find A Way To Help Her, But He S Getting A Reputation As A Troublemaker, Which Will Only Endanger What Meager Living He S Already Scratching ForHis Life Changes Drastically In The Course Of A Single Day When A Dragon Attacks Their Village, Leaves It In Flames, And Then Carries Elsaben Away Knowing There Is Nothing Else For Him To Do, Martus Swears To Rescue Her And Avenge Their Home, Knowing He Ll Either Return Triumphant Or DieWhat He Finds In The Mountains Challenges His Perceptions And Prejudices, Leading Him Discover That He May Have A Chance At A Better Life, Including A Friend Of The Likes He Never Expected This Adventure Could Change His Worldview Including The Beliefs He S Always Accepted As The Norm Ok, I m clearly divided on this book On one side I really like the main characters, Martus, the way he cares for his little sister, the difficulties he went through with his life, the way he acts to survive, On the other side some of them felt a bit shallow, as is Hal, who s quite tormented we get why during the book , but on whom we don t get much informations.I think I ve been frustrated by the fact that I wasn t expecting such a quick end to the book, and perhaps was expecting a bit from it Which made the book quite empty, as by the time the story is starting to head to somewhere interesting, it suddenly ends I think I ve been very frustrated by the fact that the story gets really interesting by the end of the book the way the dragons played their parts in the human wars, the relationships slowly growing between Martus Hal, the way Hal takes care of Martus lil sis, All of this was getting really nice but then it ended all of sudden.So I ll stick to 2.5 stars at the moment, but keep an eye out to see if there s another one coming P.S Also, Martus keep ending all of his sentences by my friend which was really boring as I readed that every.single.time with a russian accent And it felt soooo rusty and weird. Review given in exchange for review copy from Netgalley Martus is an orphan boy who hates the world He bargains and cheats his way through life, trying to support himself and his little sister He hates the rich people who seem to get everything they want, hates the freak of chance that led to his parents death, and most especially hates the dragon who kidnapped his sister.When he goes to hunt down the dragon, he finds himself proven wrong Hal can t control what he does when he transforms into a monster But even as Martus grows closer to him, the plans he made come back to hurt them both.The idea for the story is intriguing a little bit of Beauty and the Beast, and a lot of good messages against thoughtless hate and the damage it can do On the other hand, Martus s presumably posh dialogue felt stilted and fake His emotions were a lot realistic, and it really struck at the heart when he realized how wrong his attitudes were The ending was really sweet and adorably domestic , but I felt it was missing something It doesn t feel like there s much hope that the world is ever going to accept dragons, even though they can be good people just like anybody else. A Joyfully Jay review 3 starsThis is a really clean YA M M fantasy I had a few problems with the story which may be fixed in a sequel but I NEEDED to see Hal as a dragon after Martus had befriended him My first preference is for a romance, and this story is not a romance Martus repeatedly alludes to his sexual prowess, luring husbands to his bed, but the only physicality here is a single, closed mouthed kiss at the end That was disappointing In many ways I was encouraged, feeling as if the story was building, only it didn t pay off on the promise I wanted to see magic on the page More dragons More Hal struggling to maintain his human side As it was, it was a neat little adventure that had dubious goals Elsaben was home Why strike out on a seemingly suicidal quest I wondered.I appreciated that Martus dragonphobic ideas were assuaged I liked the setting, and I loved Martus love for Elsaben I enjoyed how dedicated and doting Martus was of Elsaben, and how he became a fierce defender of Hal against men who could and did beat him senseless Still, I felt the story was lacking in substance and action The vast majority of the book was too sedate and had next to nil conflict, which affected the pacing of the story, for me I am hopeful that we ll see a sequel in which Hal will be displayed in his full dragony glory A little bit of a romance between Hal and Martus would not go amiss I want Martus to REALLY get to know Hal, and for their connection to be solid, even if there is no sex on the page And magic is a must.Read Veronica s review in its entirety here. This book had so much potential it frustrated me that it didn t reach it It almost read like it was a chapter from the middle of the book, missing the beginning, with the introductions and explanations, the plot or story of the story, and the ending, with a resolution.The ideas were interesting and original ish but probably my biggest problem with this book was, if you are going to write a sci fi fantasy book set in a world other than our own or our world with different rules then you need to explain Explain the world, explain the types of people, the magic, the social system Even if its just a couple of sentences for each, it helps root the story in a readers mind, letting them experience and understand.I think the author is relatively new to the writing game and I think with a bit of time, experience and a better editor they could really be someone to look forward to While this book was disappointing I will give Aurora Peppermint another go in the futurecopy from NetGalley for honest review Rating 3 out of 5 I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.This was a solid effort for a first novel by teenage writer Aurora Peppermint There s a lot of potential here, and she does an excellent job of world building and establishing interesting characters And possibly I would have enjoyed this novel if I had been a teenager, but I did struggle in a lot of places to stay invested in the story.Beneath the Scales is a short novel about learning to see past stereotypes and trying to become a better person I really enjoyed seeing Martus growth, as he transitions from anger and revenge to dislike and distrust, and then finally to grudging acceptance and eventual friendship And I like that none of the characters are remotely perfect everyone makes mistakes, even tiny Elsaben, and that s acknowledged and used for the characters to learn from.Read the rest of the review on Just Love Wordpress I read Beneath The Scales as an ARC and since this review is coming out before the book, I ll be warning everybody now that this review is not spoiler free.The book starts out by introducing Martus, the protagonist, and his younger sister Elsaben, along with the city they live in and their living situation as poor orphans dependent upon Martus thievery and the occasional odd job While the first chapter is mainly set up and not necessarily what I would call a hook, it does its job to build up the world and introduce the characters Without that hook, what really kept me going was knowing that the premise of the book was pretty much gay dragon romance, which is not something I d ever pass up While not exactly hooking, the excitement does eventually show up in the form of a dragon attack at the start of chapter two.As far as the plot goes, it s a fairly simple one, with only a few subplots if you could call them that There were a few background happenings, or happenings that were discussed hinted at by characters and not exactly shown or fleshed out The wars before the story took place, the people after Hal, the other dragons who can control the change all of them were interesting ideas and I would have loved to have seen them played out Part of me feels like they will play out, just after the happenings of this book Series I really hope so.When it comes to the characters, there was too few with too little individuality Martus and Hal both had some personality, but I just felt as if it wasn t enough to make them stand out as unique characters And one of them was a dragon From the actions the characters take, is where you get most glimpses of who they are and I felt like I didn t see enough to really get a feel of them In the end, I guess what I wanted was just More interaction between characters, fleshed out personality and romance.And that feeling of wanting a little came into play with the writing as well While the writing style was simple enough, and that worked well for the story, I just wanted length Flesh out those subplots, show what Elsaben and Alexander were up to, how did they feel What about Hal Show him talking to that other dragon, show him deciding to leave Martus alone in the cave Show me of Martus and Hal s feelings for each other Just The end of the book, I think, fit it very well It pulled enough loose ends together that it felt as if the story was wrapping up, but left enough out there to hint at a second book I hope there s a second book In the end, it was a very nice quick read, exciting and interesting were it needed to be and emotion wrought, heartwarming and sweet when it comes down to the way characters feel about each other Even though I wanted , that s not necessarily a bad thing, because it was good enough to make me want I say it s a fun light read for the beach or a long car trip, enjoyable and not too complex. Book Beneath the Scales The Knowledge Effect, 1 Author Aurora PeppermintStar rating No of Pages 150Cover Perfect POV 3rd person, single POVWould I read it again YesGenre LGBT, Fantasy, Dragon Shifter, YAI bought this book a while back, when I first saw the cover, read the blurb and knew that I wanted to read it Then, due to other distractions, I never really got around to reading it and the ratings of reviews slowly crept down and down, with everyone saying it wasn t good It made me scared to read it Then book 2 came up for review and I thought it was the perfect time to sit down, read it and make my own opinion the review deadline would force me to bite the bullet, in other words.So, verdict If you can t tell from my 4 stars, I really liked it I ve read some of the negative reviews and, honestly, I find them a little petty This is clearly advertised as book 1 in a series, it s a YA romance written by a teenager What you re going to get is a book that is PG13 and setting up the characters for future adventures escapades It s not all going to be forced into the first book, especially one that is just 150 pages.In fact, I was so shocked by how quickly I ran through it than I noted that it felt shorted than those 150 pages The writing is simple, effective and to the point there s no pointless flooding of information or description that bogs the story down Every plot point, every twist, is given for a reason and to further the overall plot of the book It didn t need to be than 150 pages, because that s all the story called for And I like that There s nothing annoying than reading a book full of filler scenes or information dumps.When it comes to the writing, it was great Not only for the reasons above, but for the talent and sophistication of the writing I know some adults who could do well taking some lessons from Peppermint about what is and isn t necessary when trying to tell a story The characterisation was a little thing, but otehrwise nicely handled We learned about things like Martus background and the truth about dragons and Hal s background in a nice organic way, told when it was necessary, where it fitted in and in a way that didn t feel forced or in a way that spoiled a later reveal.I liked Martus from the beginning He was an intriguing character, with a far from clean cut past and alone in the world, left as a teenager raising a young girl It bothered me a little that we never found out how old Elsaben was, mainly because at times she read like a 3 4 year old but spoke like she was 10 Some parts of her characterisation didn t add up to a complete picture for me, so that contributed to the 4 instead of 5 star rating However, Martus was well explored, through thoughts, feelings, his own POV taking prominence and his progression through the story from staunch hater of dragons to a protector.Similarly, I loved Hal and how innocent he was, that he didn t recognise sarcasm, that he hated who and what he was There was a lot about him that we never found out, but I have to admit that I like that It s natural to not know a lot about him because he and Martus have barely spent enough time together to know each other that well and, with Martus giving his POV, it would be illogical and impossible to find out all about Hal without their progressing friendship However, I imagine and hope that book 2 will be about Hal and perhaps even in his POV I m willing to wait to read book 2, to find out if that s the case, before judging this book on that issue.The minor characters of the villagers, Elsaben and Anne, are all interesting and do their bit to push the story where it needs to be I do think it spent a little too long on Martus journey through the woods, after leaving Hal s home for the first time I also find it a little too convenient that a woman as alone as Anne, in the middle of nowhere and close to a forest, would so willingly and unquestioningly bring Martus into her home, tell him to read a book while she cooks him food, and then travels a great distance alone with him, all based on the fact that he s just a boy I know that she considers him innocent and alone, but as a teenager in the world that Martus has already introduced us to, it seemed a little too contrived to make sense that she would trust him so readily Especially since we d just read him defending himself against six grown men.When it comes to the issue of dragons, I don t have the problem other people seem to have with this story I ve read plenty of shifter stories some adult and some YA where the character is a shifter but you never actually see it happen on page When I first read that in a review, I thought it meant that there were actually no dragons, at all, in the story However, that s not the case Just because we don t see Hal turn into and from a dragon to a human, doesn t mean it doesn t happen and it doesn t mean it s not an important part of the story Actually, it s the most important part, because he doesn t want to be a dragon Not when it makes him hurt people, so it felt right that Hal never made an on page shift from one to the other Again, it s also logical because we only ever get Martus POV and he wasn t there when Elsaben saw Hal shift.As for the romance, it felt natural and right that nothing happened on that front until the 97% mark, which is basically the last few pages Until that point, Martus and Hal were getting to know each other, really only spending the equivalent of 4 5 days together and not always under the best of circumstances There was some minor flirting between them, which surprised me a little because Martus was made out to be a serious seducer, but it was a nice, slow progression from strangers to friends, then friends to it s complicated Which is how the book ends Considering it s YA, as young chaste and innocent as it could be, in terms of what Hal and Martus share and feel for each other, the level of romance and the way it happened was perfect Overall, I feel like this is a book that has an unfairly bad reputation according to Goodreads reviews It s exactly what it says in the blurb and on the cover Neither the author nor the book can be blamed for readers walking into it with expectations that aren t met.For me, it lived up to what I hoped for It had a bit of action, a bit of romance, and a solid storyline that makes me interested in reading book 2 The world building was handled well, with just enough of a tease of to keep me hooked for another book With the hint of romance, adventures and probably another visit to Hal s dragon friend in the future, I m sure it s going to be great Favourite Quotes In all his years of fighting, Martus had never been faced with a man so desperate to be hurt that he was almost crying over the fact.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 150 pages
- Beneath the Scales (The Knowledge Effect, #1)
- Aurora Peppermint
- 28 September 2019 Aurora Peppermint