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  • A fun adventure a la Hunger Games x Amazing Race

    Crown of Oblivion is my first read from the author but it was surely a fun adventure! I have to admit I took on the chance to join this blog tour because I was enticed by the cover. The illustration is beautifully done and I really love the fact that illustrations are being the go-to trend for book covers. Based on my mini-research, credit goes to Jason Chan for the art and Joel Tippie for the design. Now, let’s dig in to the book. This novel is about Astrid, who was the surrogate for Princess Renya of Lanoria. At first, I was confused on what surrogate meant, but it means that she is a stand-in for punishment whenever the princess does something she shouldn’t. Some messy things happen and to save her brother, Astrid decides to join the Race of Oblivion, which is basically what the story revolved around. This read is a surprisingly fast-paced novel that opened into action even in its first few pages. What I felt with this read was a mix of The Hunger Games and an extreme version of The Amazing Race. This book was engaging at the start and the author did a fairly good job of world building in what I felt as a high-tech dystopian world with a mix of using magic. In terms of reading, this book was an easy one to read. The prose was simple yet engaging and there was so much action in every spot of the race that even I felt crazy with all the twists and turns. For the main character, Astrid, I had a little of a love-hate relationship with her. I loved her strength, smarts, bravery and she was a likeable character. She has her own principles that she still stuck through even when her memory was erased. There were decisions she made that made me frustrated about her, but that’s what make reading even better. Characters like this challenge me and made me even more interested to see what happens next. If there are things that I didn’t like, I could probably say the romance part. I felt like I wouldn’t ship Astrid with who she ended up with in this book. I didn’t feel chemistry or a spark between them and I don’t think the romance was necessary for the plotline to be delivered. Also, I don’t know if it’s just me but I felt more spark and tension between Astrid and Princess Renya. I guess that would’ve been a better romantic arc for this story. Overall though, reading this book was still a great experience. I was left with a few questions, though, so I’m curious if this book will really end up as a standalone like was originally planned. It could do good as a duology, as I feel like there are still things left to be said.

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  • Great For Hunger Games Fans

    A book perfect for anyone looking for an adventurous escape. The story is pretty straight forward but adds some twists that make for an engaging read. The race is filled with traps and enemies that kept things exciting for poor, exhausted Astrid. There were plenty of twists that I didn't expect, especially near the end. Though the race and the quick pacing of the action didn't leave a whole lot of room for character development, I did enjoy Astrid's determination and focus. She had questionable choices in men, but I think she was a good character choice. I'm not sure how I feel about Darius or any relationship she might have with him, and I definitely did not see enough of Jayden. The world is interesting but I'm not sure I fully understood the powers or how they were used. I really liked the times they were used in action scenes but I think the details were left a little too far behind. The story had some truly great moments, but some larger ones seemed to be pushed into the background, and the ending just kind of ended. While it had some flaws, it is generally very well written and is perfect for anyone who just wants an action-flick book to dive into. If you're a fan of the Hunger Games and looking for a book to scratch that itch, this is one to try!

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