BOOK REVIEW: Map Of Fates – by Maggie Hall

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Title: Map Of Fates
(The Conspiracy Of Us #2)
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
First published: March 8th 2016
Finished reading: April 9th 2016
Pages: 311
Rating 4,5qqq

“Do you think all those people believe in fate? Or do you think they’re just living their lives the best they can with whatever’s thrown at them?”

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I think this is one of the first series in a long time where I actually needed to pick up the sequel straight after finishing the first book. The Conspiracy Of Us is seriously addicting! This series by Maggie Hall is basically almost everything I want in a good story, with only the romance scenes putting a slight damper on the otherwise perfection. And while Map Of Fates isn’t as good as the first book and the romance scenes are becoming more annoying (read: love triangle related), the sequel is still very much a solid read. London, India, Venice, Greece, Paris, Cannes… I simply love the internationality of this series. The pace is incredibly fast and the story so engaging that it is definitely hard to put this story down. The main characters are still likeable in general, although what was just a hint of a love triangle in The Conspiracy Of Us has grown into some quite annoying and cheesy romance scenes in the sequel. Luckily enough the rest of the story is good enough to make up for it, and I will be waiting anciously for the third book to find out what happens next. The wait sure will be a long one, since there isn’t even an official title or publish date yet. Sigh…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Two weeks ago, Avery West thought her life was pretty much ordinary besides the fact she had to move all the time. Now she has discovered she is actually the heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, her mother was taken hostage and her future will most likely involve marrying the One. She is determined to change destiny, free her mother and solve the clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle… But she only has two more weeks before it’s too late and both her mother will be killed and her freedom taken away from her. Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues with the help of some of her new allies. Will they find out the truth on time?

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I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot to avoid any spoilers, but what I can say that this series is definitely worth reading. The Conspiracy Of Us series mixes old conspiracy theories with action, international locations, romance and a healthy dose of mystery and plot twists. The result? A VERY engaging story that is without doubt worth your time if you enjoy the genre. One of my new favorites!

BOOK REVIEW: The Conspiracy Of Us – by Maggie Hall

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Title: The Conspiracy Of Us
(The Conspiracy Of Us #1)
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
First published: January 13th 2015
Finished reading: April 8th 2016
Pages: 330
Rating 5qqq

“Toska.” He leaned forward, too. “It’s a Russian word. It has no translation into any other language, but the closest I’ve heard is the ache. A longing. The sense that something is missing, and even if you’re not sure what it is, you ache for it. Down to your bones.”

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I normally don’t like it when a book is compared to the work of a different author, but in this case I totally agree The Conspiracy Of Us bears similarities to one of the Ally Carter books I read last year (All Fall Down). And like with that series, I ended up loving The Conspiracy Of Us as well. I’m so glad my TBR jar decided it was time to start reading this series, because I haven’t felt this way about a fiction read in way too long! It’s true I didn’t care for the romance scenes and the ‘almost’ love triangle, but in this case the rest of the story more than made up for it. It’s easy to say Maggie Hall‘s writing had me hooked right from the first chapter; the story is fast-paced with just the right amount of plot twists, adrenaline and mystery. More importantly, since I love traveling and discovering new cultures myself, I could especially appreciate the Paris and Istanbul descriptions and the many historical references. I liked the main characters and their development as well (if you don’t count the romance scenes), and I’m really looking forward to find out what happens next. In short, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically just about everything I want in a good story. If you haven’t read it yet and like the genre, I strongly suggest trying out this series!

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Avery West grew up thinking her father abandoned them when she was a baby. They have been moving around a lot because of her mother’s job and she always tries to keep a distance to the people around her so it won’t hurt too much when she has to say goodbye again. This time seems to be different though as she meets Jack, and it seems like he isn’t exactly who he claims to be. Soon her life is being turned around and she finds herself on a plane to Paris on her way to her newfound family… Although things are not as simple as Avery thinks. Apparently, her family is part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, and Avery might be the key to an ancient prophecy. While she is trying to unravel the mystery, Avery soon realizes she is in more danger than she thought… And the trail of clues leads her from Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and other places she never would have imagined visiting, let alone with someone chasing her. Who can she really trust and will she unravel the mystery on time?

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It’s been a long time since I have love a series (that isn’t YA fantasy) this much. Besides the romance scenes I didn’t particularly care for, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically an example of what I would call a perfect read. A fast pace, easy-to-read prose, an interesting plot with just the right amount of plot twists, an international atmosphere, characters I can connect to… Check. Check. CHECK! As you might have guessed already, I really enjoyed this first book and I have already started reading the sequel as I’m writing this review. Recommended!

WWW Wednesdays #86 – April 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I actually started the two other books first, but I needed something completely fantasy/romance free after I finished my last read. Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford sounded like it would do the job and so far it’s turning out ot be an interesting and fast read. The other two books I’m reading are A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, with I’m loving so far and I’ve only put on hold because I’m not really in the mood for fantasy and I don’t want to spoil it… And I’ve also finally picked up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I’ll probably finish this one first before continuing with ADSOM

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I wanted to escape the whole YA/love triangle business, so I decided to pick up this mystery/thriller kindle freebie: Blood Orchids by Toby Neal. Unfortunately not even changing genres helped me escape a love triangle and it did ruin the story slightly for me, but the story itself is still quite entertaining in general. There were quite a few things that bothered me though; more about it in my full review.
* I decided to pick up my TBR jar pick next, and boy was that the best decision I could have made! I LOVED The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall despite the hint of a love triangle… Fast pace, international setting, a conspiracy, plot twists, interesting characters: this book is almost everything I want in a series.
* I picked up the sequel Map Of Fates straight after finishing the first book, and while it was not as good as The Conspiracy Of Us and the romance scenes became more annoying (read: love triangle related), I still pretty much loved this one as well. The wait for the third book will be a long one!
* I was actually already reading All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders before I started any of the books mentioned above, but it took me a long time to finish it. Boy, this book was WEIRD! I guess this is one of those where the story either works for you or it doesn’t. I definitely belong to the second group and I wasn’t convinced by this story at all. The plot was all over the place, the pace a bit slow, I didn’t particularly like the characters and the story didn’t really make sense. Also, I thought this was an adult novel, but most of it felt more like a middle grade/YA read; up until a few sex scenes were thrown in. WTF?! I need more time to gather my thoughts…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have been in a weird reading mood lately so I will probably end up reading completely different titles instead, but here’s what I would like to read. First up is Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper since I have been wanting to escape from the whole fantasy/romance/love triangle theme… And I guess both The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah would probably work as well. My new TBR jar pick is The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson, which I’m really excited about since I have been wanting to start this series for a while now. Jack The Ripper twist, yes please!

WWW Wednesdays #84 – March 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started both my current reads yesterday evening, so there’s not much to say about them other than that I have been looking forward to read both. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley has been recommended to me numerous times, so hopefully it’s just as good as I have been told. And I have been looking forward to pick up Ice Like Fire ever since I finished the first book; I love the worldbuilding of this series!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* After quite a few disappointing reads I decided to pick up one of my guilty pleasure books: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. Although I normally don’t like vampire stories, this series has turned out to be an exception. I loved the True Blood TV series and this first book is just as entertaining.
* Another book I really enjoyed was The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. It can read a bit slow at points, but I loved reading about all those amazing-sounding bookshops all over the world. It really made me wish I could open my own bookshop one day…
* I read Apple And Rain by Sarah Crossan as well. After enjoying One earlier this month I was looking forward to read more of her work, but unfortunately this one wasn’t as good. I liked the poetry bits, but the story itself was not that interesting.
* The last book I finished was Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia. I read and enjoyed the first book last year, but the sequel didn’t really manage to convince me. It’s quite a fast read and still entertaining, but the introduction of a love triangle or two and Lena acting the way she does didn’t exactly make me enjoy it as much as the first book.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have been saying I want to read Random by Tom Leveen for weeks, so I should just pick it up soon… But I might just give in and read A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab next (and the sequel A Gathering Of Shadows). If I’m not in the mood for fantasy, I have Stolen by Lucy Christopher on my list as well. I’ve heard great things about it, so I’m looking forward to finally pick it up. My new TBR jar pick is The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall.

Friday Finds #79 – March 25th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Books And A Beat and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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