fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young adult

Jinxed – Amy McCulloch ★★★★

Blurb; Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the  “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one. 

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

My Review; I was kindly gifted this by a friend recently so I had to read it. The author wrote the potion diaries series which I started and loved so I had high hopes for this. This is book one in a series and I already can’t wait to get my hands on book two.

This is a very futuristic, young adult read, set in the future where robotic animals can communicate to humans, send messages and basically do anything a phone or Internet can do. Fancy right? But they’re also used to fight/battle with which kind of reminded me a little of robot wars.

Lacey is a lovely character who just wants to get into the best school and get a high level Baku (robotic pet) she soon gets more than she bargained for when she fixes up what she presumes is an old, beaten up and abandoned Baku. Meet Jinx… Jinx is not like any other Baku. He’s his own boss. Cheeky. Unique. Different.

A brilliant read. Loved every minute of it. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

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fantasy · Magic · mystery · romance · Young adult

The Potion Diaries – Amy McCulloch ★★★★

Blurb; (Contains: potions, princesses, peril, a magical quest and a serious crush)

When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn. Enter Samantha Kemi – an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam’s family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they’ve fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the Zoro Aster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime? And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news. No big deal, then.

My Review; This is book one in the Potion Diaries series and I absolutely loved it. A race against time to save the princess from her own love potion. A race to win with the cure, but not everyone is going to play fair in order to win. I devoured most of this and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for this series.

Sam was determined to win and never gave up no matter how many times she got knocked down. Maybe in the end she just needed teamwork & to come together to win. A beautiful outcome and ending. I look forward to book two. Highly recommend. Magical. A well deserved four stars from me.

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