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Book Review – Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows [Throne of Glass 4]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 648

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 0.512, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Sorry for the late review today everyone. I stayed up late to finish it last night before work and thusly I have been brain dead all day and it has taken a really long time to put my review down in a way that actually makes some sort of sense. Plus this is a huge book with so many people in it so it takes a lot of words to actually cover everything. For those of you who have been following me the last month or so know that these reviews are coming after my second read through of the books in time for the final book in the series coming out this month. This time around I did this book in audio book form, and I would highly recommend the audio book, as well as the book in general. Where the last book was a bit slow, things never really stopped happening in this one. For those who don’t want spoilers, I will say goodbye to you here. Go into this book knowing it was great and sets up all whole new chapter for the series. I will see you later after you have read the book.

Our character list in this series just gets longer and longer with every book we get. The main new one we got this time was Elide. I didn’t mind Elide but I wasn’t jumping up and down every time we got one of her chapters. I cared more about how her interactions affected the characters around her. I am so looking forward to her seeing Aelin again I think thats going to be a touching reunion, and I just loved the way she helped bring out the feelings within Manon. I started liking Manon when she started having feelings with Abraxos, but in this book she is firmly placed as a favourite character as having to interact with Elide who questions her about how things are, and she is faced with things happening around her that is destroying her on the inside cause she doesn’t understand why she is feeling things. I was horrified by the description of the yellow legs that were being experimented on and tortured, I was cracking on the inside when Asterin was confronting Manon about it, and it broke completely when Asterin told Manon about how she fell in love with a man and become pregnant, later giving birth to a still born witchling and Manon’s grandmother had beaten her, branded her, burnt her baby and didn’t allow her to see it, and cast her out to die because of it. I am so glad that Manon is feeling things now and is silently rebelling against her grandmother and getting her own idea of what is right.

Kaltain was so freaky in this book. She was mostly a broken doll the entire time with this truly scary shadow fire power, but then we find out she has had control of her demon within for ages now and chooses the moment when Manon is saving Elide from also being experimented on because of her witch blood, and blows herself and all the demon babies and all the suffering witches up. I thought this was a really worthy ending to her story arch.

The big Aedion rescue scene. We all knew it was coming and it was everything I wanted. He was trying to kill himself so that Aelin didn’t fall into whatever trap the king had set and that had me freaking out and just praying he would stay alive long enough for him to see her again and for her to get him out. I loved how she snuck in with the dancers and their rose props were smoke bombs and she got him out in a big chase scene. Then when he recovered enough they had their touching moments together. I felt so bad for him though when he started talking about the blood oath and about how it meant everything to him and she sort of just mumbled about it and he had to find out from Rowan that he had already taken the blood oath. This is the only part that upset me but the rest of his story in the book was just lovely.

Aelin. I thought she grew so much in this book. She is still running around and doing sneaky things and not letting people in, but she becomes more queenly to me and is getting better at actually relying on her court. We get Lysandra from Assassin’s Blade back in this book, and while I hated her in the other book I loved her in this one. That moment when they just decided to be friends and plot Arobynn’s demise together and eat chocolate. It warmed my heart. Then when she came back when magic was freed as a snow leopard and basically saved most the group was a bloody amazing scene.

Every scene with Arobynn unsettled me. He was creepy and that scene when he slipped that Valg ring on her finger and I thought he had control of her for moment before we found out it was all part of Aelin’s plan had me freaking out. I loved the part though where he sent Aelin almond oil to put on herself before their big dinner as some kind of ownership, but then when Rowan meets him he thanks him for the oil because his skin was getting dry and was wearing it as well. That had me cracking up. I loved how his whole story arch ended as well. I loved how badly Aelin ruined hum and framed him for a bunch of stuff she was doing around town, she let Lysandra kill him, and then she changed his will so she got all him wealth. Amazing end to that whole plot point.

I didn’t think we were going to get much Rowan in this book but I am glad that we did. We actually got to know him as a character and I connected with him in this book and I am more happy now with him and Aelin being together than I was in the last book.

Chaol. I know a lot of people were probably waiting for me to talk about him but I just want to give a big fuck you to Chaol. The first half of this book I was just seeing red the entire time he came on. He was blaming everything on Aelin, even her being away when he was the one that sent her away. He become a little bit more bearable in the second half of the book, but I had already written him off at that point. I cannot believe how bloody stupid he was. First he stops Aelin from killing Dorian (thankfully but still), then he gets it into his head that he is going to do it but stuffs up so bad that instead of running after Dorian he somehow runs after the witches and nearly gets everyone killed. Sure, this leads to one of my favourite scenes but still. How goddamn stupid. Aelin was also quite stupd though because she had talked Manon down and the witches were going to leave them alone, but Aelin had to open her mouth and tell them she killed Babba yellowlegs leading to the Manon and Aelin showdown I didn’t know I wanted. Manon nearly dies when the temple they were fighting in collapses around them and Asterin’s cry for her touches Aelin and Aelin ends up saving Manon, which leads to Manon telling them that Dorian is still alive inside.

Then last but not least we have poor Dorian. My heart was just breaking for him everytime we got one of his chapters. When he was giving up because Aelin didn’t kill him when she had that first chance. Then Manon’s eyes give him that moment to actually have control of him body for a brief moment, which is what really leads to Aelin being able to free him. When she slipped that ring on hims finger that protects from the Valg I was so damn excited. I didn’t have any idea of how they were going to get him back and I thought this was done really well. She tries to call him out and keeps telling him that she came back for him just like she promised, but then it ends up being the King telling Aelin that he killed Chaol (which I was fine with even though it didn’t actually happen), that snapped him out of it. Then he and Aelin join hands and just bring the world down, Dorian killing the king who tells them how he blocked Magic to try and protect Dorian and fought the Valg in him with all his might and that the Valg king is in fact inside the Duke, and destroys the glass castle. Aelin uses her powers to protect the city from the destruction, but takes the blame for killing the king so that the people don’t hate Dorian.

The ending to this book was so good. The only thing I would question was the decision to leave Dorian alone so soon after all his trauma.

Since this is such a long review I will leave it here. I know I have missed things but I really tried to cover all the important things, and there were so many great moments with all the characters. If I missed a spot you think is important or loved let me know so we can talk about it!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire [Throne of Glass 3]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 562

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 0.51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

God I am really enjoying my rereads of this series. For those of you who didn’t read my last review I am currently rereading the series in audiobook form in time for the last book, and reviewing them as I go since I didn’t end up reviewing them the first time around. So these thoughts are coming after reading all books except the last book in the series, but I will try and only comment on things I know I thought the first time around.

So because this is a first book in the series, there will be spoilers for the other books, I suggest you go read them and this book before you read my review. For those of you who want a spoiler free review, I enjoyed this book though not as much as the last one. The start of this book is very slow and while not hard to get into we are introduce to a few new characters that I wasn’t really interested in knowing anything about at first. It picked up more towards the end because Celaena has epic moments of course, we are left on a huge game changer, and some of the new characters seem like they are going to actually become interesting. Thats all I am going to say for those who don’t want spoilers, so come back when you have read the books!

Lets start at the beginning. The very slow beginning. Because Celaena is off to a whole new world filled with new people there was a lot of set up in the start of this new book. The main ones we get there would be Maeve and Rowan. Maeve didn’t really interest me all that much other than just being another sort of corrupt power than Celaena has to overcome. Rowan I warmed up to a bit but he is not my favourite. He was very stuffy and boring in the beginning but as we got to know him more and he and Celaena got more of a relationship I warmed up to him a bit. I really liked the moment when she nearly burned herself out and he picked her up and ran with her to the baths even though her skin was burning his. I also liked the way he was helping Celaena become more of a bad ass, though lots of the good early moments where just her exploding. I liked how he got her to shift by biting her, and I loved the moment where they are running from the skin walkers and they jump off a cliff and she burns them to pieces. I both liked and was really stressed out how he taught her to control her magic by taking one of her new ‘friends’ tide him up over a frozen lake and she had to get him out without burning the ice, and he accidentally put them all in danger because he didn’t realise there was giant bloody monster in the lake, but I was really happy with how she beat him up a bit after that. I know he is being set up as the new love interest for her, and while the moment he was so happy that she didn’t burn out in the end and exploded into Aelin to defeated the kings monsters and then freed him from Maeve, I am not onboard with it. I think he is an amazing friend, but I only want him to be a friend. At this point in the series I will go down with the Dorian and Aelin ship.

On that note lets talk about Dorian’s world right now. He has also found a new love in Sorcha. I was so not into that. At all. She was to me a very obvious filler character to try and help move the story along, and I saw her death coming from pretty much the very beginning and other than it upsetting Dorian I didn’t care at all. Then poor Dorian gets that awful collar put on and a Valg prince put inside him at the end. I am so stressed out for Dorian. How is Aelin going to help him now? Gah I am just so stressed.

Chaol was just wandering around being really in the grand scheme of things pretty useless. He found out some things with the help of other people and moved things along, but he was too busy really freaking out that the two people closest to him have power. Chaol is a bit of a magic racist. I was only really interested in his scenes because he spent a lot of time with a new character Aedion, who is Aelins only family member she has left, who has been working for the king letting him think he has control over him. Aedion is a new favourite character, I just love him so damn much. All he wants is to just see her one last time because he loves her. I seriously just can’t with how much I want them to see each other again. Aelin is going to come burning in somehow in a blaze of glory and save him from the chopping block and they are going to have a beautiful ruin and it is going to be everything. I actually forgot about how much I loved him until I reread this book it has been so long.

The only other character that is new that is worth mentioning is Manon the witch. Later on the series she becomes one of my favourite characters, but in this book she is just kinda there. The first few chapters of hers I could not give two fucks about what was happening with her. As we kept going though I grew more interest as she got her wyvern Abraxos. I loved that moment where she is furious at him because he is supposed to be a blood thirsty beast but all he wants to do is sniff wild flowers. I loved getting these relationships and seeing her develop more as a character that wasn’t so black and white. While her story interest did increase towards the end and I was interested in what I was reading. Abraxos made her and everything in that plot so interesting.

Aelin, she takes so many steps forward in this book and I have already mentioned a few but I loved all her back story parts where we get more details about her life and how things went to hell, and then all her loved ones come back to her in her mind to tell her to get up in a key moment. She stopped being scared in this book, and I cannot wait to see what she brings now that she is working towards saving her people.

That is where I am going to leave this review. I know it was more talking about the characters here but this one was really more about the characters. I touched on the main points that all pretty much happen right at the end to all the characters, and thats about all the story progress we got. I hope you are reading along with the series as well and you enjoyed this review. Let me know your thoughts on the story, have you read it more than once and did you like it more knowing more things about certain characters than you did the first time. I did find it more interesting knowing this information but overall it didn’t change anything for me.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Crown of Midnight

Title: Crown of Midnight [Throne of Glass 2]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 418

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 0.51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This review is coming after my 2.75 read through. I read it once and forgot to review it, picked it back up at a much later date intending to give them all another read through and got about 3/4 of the way through it and then for some reason got distracted and read many other books before finishing it, read Tower of Dawn and realised I seriously need to read through them all before the final book came out, and just decided to start this one again from scratch. This final time though I did the audiobook and while not the best audiobook I have listened to it did a very good job at drawing me into the story.

Despite my basically 3 reads of this book I find I still don’t even know were I want to begin! There are just so many things that happen in the second half of this book. The first half of this one is a lot like the first, slower and you aren’t so attached to what is going on. But there is a very significant turning point in this story, and everything just keeps happening from that point on. The rest of this review is going to be spoilery, so for those of you for some reason have not yet picked up the series yet, now is the perfect time to start. The final book is coming out very soon so you can just smash through them all at once. Go read and come back so we can discuss.

Ok for those who have already read this book lets start somewhere simple. Romance. While I don’t mind Chaol in this book and think he good for Celaena in someways, I do not get the Chaol and Celaena ship. I don’t even know the ship name. Between him and Dorian, I like Dorian far better for her. He actually brings fun into her life, where Chaol is just so serious all the time. I think Celaena needs that more and Chaol is a huge idiot at very key moments in this story. Just so fucking stupid.

In terms of character development we didn’t really get much from Chaol, but we did get quite a lot from Dorian and Celaena. Celaena while really spending most of this book feeling very scared internally about what is going on around her and the things she is or is not doing, we do get a lot more of that bad ass and bloody thirsty assassin we were promised in the first book but didn’t really get. Her action moments in this book are just amazing. Dorian is also pretty much always freaking out in this book. At the start is feeling a bit sorry for himself because he isn’t with Celaena anymore, but in the grand scheme of things he accepts that pretty early on. Then we move onto what the hell is happening??! Dorian. He starts to develop magic powers and he just goes into freaking about the how and the why and what will happen if his dad or anyone found out. I really liked the direction his story started taking.

Ok now onto the moment, my favourite moment and the turning point for the whole book. Nehemia’s death. I feel horrible saying that it is my favourite moment because I really liked her and I am sad she is dead, but its because of those things that its my favourite moment. When I picture a moment to sum up the glory of the series, I always picture this moment. Chaol gets kidnapped and Celaena leave the castle and turns into a shadow of death and kills so many people to get him back, then the people who took him tell her that he knew someone was after Nehemia and stupidly didn’t say ANYTHING and that he knew the king wanted to question/kill her tonight and STILL DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING!!! and by the she got back it would probably would be too late. Then she basically flies on the wind to get back to her and is presented with her mutilated corpse. I loved the way Chaol described to Dorian how even though he stole a horse to return to the castle and Celaena had still outran him. I loved the way she snapped and nearly killed Chaol and Dorian had to save him with magic. I loved the revenge she took on the people involved in all its heartlessness. I both loved and hated the way her and Nehemia had fought before she died and how badly it tore Celaena up for the rest of the book and because of not being able to face Chaol anymore brought her closer to Dorian again even though they are still just friends. I loved and hated how she allowed if not plotted her death to push Celaena in the right direction. Just everything about this turning point is everything to me.

Then we have the other big moment right at the end where we find out that Celaena is the lost heir of Terrasen, Aelin Galathynius. Even in the first read through I sort of saw this coming. We had this devastatingly sad moment when Chaol catches her singing over Nehemia’s grave in a language we find out is Fae, how she was so certain that the people who said they were working with the lost queen were lying, and of course when she actually turned Fae. I loved how she told Chaol just enough to work out who she actually was without actually saying it. That ending was amazing.

Then we had the story progression plot where we wind out about the magical gateways and their keys. We didn’t really get too much in this book but I like how much bigger this idea is going to make the worlds. I of course know where this goes in other books so I don’t want to say too much on my thoughts here because they are tainted. Even though I was really annoyed with how long it took her to work out that one of the keys was kept in the tomb. It was so obvious. They creature they found in the library was really freaky and it made me so scared of what kind of things the king was making in all those cells.

And thats where I am going to leave this very long review. If you have read the book lets discuss, I always love to talk books. If you ship Chaol and Celaena present me your argument. Were you surprised by things? What was your favourite moment? Obviously I think people should read this series so there isn’t anymore I can say on that matter.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Inheritance Cycle Series

Title: The Inheritance Cycle

Author: Christopher Paolini

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 503, 704, 748, 860

Rating: 4 Star [series overall rating]

Movie Review

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Description/Synopsis:

Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders?

When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself. Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds. Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands. . . .

Book Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book review is coming after my second time around reading this story, so obviously I enjoyed it. I didn’t review after the first time because I left it too long, and marathoned them all at once and couldn’t really remember each book individually and at the time it was important to me to give each book a full review. Since then though I have decided to be kinder to myself and realise that if I don’t have enough to say about a book by itself or only want to give a series/book a short review I am allowed to do it.

With the series overall there were a few things that I had issues with. I listened to the audiobooks both read throughs, and while it was better the second time around some of the voices really bothered me. Saphira’s voice was the first one that I encountered that just brought me straight out the story. She was female but her voice was just so deep. As we got into the later books this stopped bothering me as we got some voices that were deeper than hers and I could see how hers was a females voice but it still bothered me for a really long time.

The other main thing that really bothered me for both read throughs but again got used to was some of the overall writing style. The series in general is meant for a younger age group and you could really feel the pandering for this. Many of the events or situations in the book are over explained or described for us, and things are quite often repeated. Just because its for a younger age group doesn’t mean you have to dumb down the narrative for that.

Other than the voice acting and some of the writing style I really enjoyed the series though, obviously since I have done it twice in the span of a few months.  It had a really diverse and likeable set of characters that had me laughing with some of their antics, though I was never really too worried about any of the ‘bad guys’ other than wondering how they were going to kill a ‘god’ like Galbatorix. There were some shocking moments that surprised me, but I didn’t have a really strong feeling of tension. The first time around I didn’t see the big twist coming at all, and I really liked the way things panned out for the most part. I would say there are two ends to this story, and there is a lot of filler between the two endings. Some of it I think was needed but I also think it was a bit too long.

SPOILER – I liked how Eragon overcame Galbatorix by just showing him how much pain and suffering he has caused everyone which ultimately made him end his own life. I also really liked and didn’t like that the ending was happy and sad. After all Eragon has been through, I found it so heartbreaking that he has to leave everyone and everything he has ever loved to do the best thing for the dragons. He has to make all the sacrifices. Just as Arya starts to see him the way he has always dreamed, he has to give her up. I liked that Paolini didn’t just give us the easy happy ending, but god damn, I sorta wished he had. Eragon deserved some happiness, and other than Saphira and knowing that the dragons will be safe, he doesn’t get it and it eats me up. He deserved the standard happy ending. – END SPOILER

If for some reason like me you haven’t done this series yet, I would highly recommend it. It surprised me how much I ended up enjoying it. If you have kids that like action with dragons, or if you yourself want some action with dragons, then try this. It is worth all the hype it got, even if it has fallen off the radar as its gotten older.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince [The Folk of the Air 1]

Author: Holly Black

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 370

Rating: 4 Star [3.5 rounded up]

Series: 1, 2, 3

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Description/Synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I can’t quite settle on how to express my thoughts on this book. This might be because I have very mixed thoughts on this book. I went in with rather high expectations. I had heard middle ground to high reviews on the book, and about the author herself. This was my first time experiencing one of Holly Blacks works and while I am now interested in picking up more of her books, I wouldn’t put her on my auto buy author list after completing the book.

No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.

That I hate most of all.

The pace of the plot was a bit mixed. The start of this book was very very slow, so slow infact that for a brief moment I considered dnfing it because it had yet to grab me. I decided to continue on because I had heard good things, and it hadn’t made me angry or started boring me to tears. Once we get to the part where Jude starts playing a larger part in the going ons of court it started to pick up and become more interesting. I am glad I pushed through this first part because the way the book progressed and ended has made me really interested in getting the next book in the series when it comes out and seeing where Black takes it.

I really liked the whole set of the book. The idea of a raging Fae coming and killing his ex mortal wife and her new partner, then taking his Fae child and her two mortal siblings because of some some sense of honour. I liked reading about how Jude, Taryn, and Vivi interacted with Madoc based on this event that brought them together. I also just really liked reading about how Jude had to interact with the Fae in general, living in a world of magic that isn’t really suited to humans. I was really expecting to like Madoc’s character as the book went on but as of right now he is just sort of someone who just there. I might like him later.

What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me.

Love interest wise I wasn’t really on board with any of them. I guessed straight away who Taryn’s mystery lover was right away and I can’t say it gave me a very good opinion of her. I know everyone is on the Carden and Jude ship but as of right now I’m waiting to see where the story goes before I get on. I think that there is more depth to Carden than what we really get to see in this book, but I don’t know if I like Jude as a character. I like her interactions with others and I like the role she ends up playing in the general story but she is pretty bloody stupid. Some of the choices she makes and just the way she thinks was rather frustrating.

I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.

The thing that finally hooked me into the story was the very ending. The twist that Jude but Carden through I didn’t actually see coming and I am so eager to see how it affects their relationship. If I was Carden I would be really mad and Jude should be a bit worried I think.

If you are a fan of Holly Black I think you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy stories about Fae I think this is one to at least give a try. Get past the very slow start and then you will be left with a very interesting ending.

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Book Review – King’s Cage

Title: King’s Cage [Red Queen 3]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 507

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Oh my god I don’t even know where to begin. If my heart wasn’t ripping in two I think I would have a better time at formulating sensible and understandable thoughts, but it is so I am sorry in advance if nothing makes sense and its just me yelling into the void.

The crushing weight of silence hangs heavy as always. For a moment it’s too difficult to breathe, and I wonder if this is how I die. Drowned in this bed of silk, burned by a king’s obsession, smothered by open air.

For those about to go into this book, the first half is almost unbearably slow. It starts off where the last book finished off, with Mare captured by Maven and we spend six months with her as she is being tortured in various ways. I both really liked and didn’t liek this part of the book. I found it was a bit repetitive in its slowness, and I can fully understand why because as we are in Mare’s head and nothing very much is happening to her other than being tortured, dealing with PTSD, and trying to stay alive as she learns as much about Maven and the court as possible while she is there. I did enjoy learning more about this real Maven we are presented without mother or him pretending to be a golden child to her. Their relationship is really interesting to me because of how alike but different they are, and how they both sort of end up relying on each other to keep each other sane but at the same time breaking each others mind.

I would like to go on record at this point that I do not get all the Maven love that is throughout most of the reviews on this book. Yes, I can understand Maven more now, I can sympathise with more knowing the full extent the job his mother did on him, and I find a lot of his parts interesting. However, he is completely fucked up. There is no fixing that level of fucked or really finding any redeeming qualities in no matter how much this series is about how people are not just good or evil. His mother literally removed all his good parts, he is basically not a real being at this point. He even thinks so. I am interested in seeing how his story ends, but if it doesn’t ed with his death I am going to very disappointed.

Maven Calore is not his own self. He told me as much. He is a construct, a creation of his mother’s additions and subtractions. A mechanical, a machine, soulless and lost. What a horror, to know that someone like this holds our fates in the palm of his quivering hand.

Through all her torture Mare sort of solidifies in her character. Instead of just going from moping about things to electrifying anyone who annoys her, she learns who she is through having to try and put herself back together after truly suffering. She realises where she was arrogant and becomes more likeable. She knows who she is.

The second part of this book basically doesn’t stop moving once it gets going. A lot of political things have been happening in the first half and once the ball of war starts moving it just kept smashing through things and people. The second half of this book is physically epic where the first half was very psychologically breaking.

A new thing we get in this book that I really really enjoyed was that we got two new points of view. In the first half we get Cameron’s point of view of what is happening with the other characters while Mare is with Maven. I really thought I wasn’t going to like being in her head at all considering how much she got on my nerves in the second book, but it actually made me warm up to her. She still isn’t my favourite character but some of the tension between her and Mare is smoothed out and he get more of her inner thoughts that different to just the dumb antagonistic things she says.  The other point of view we got in the second half was Evangeline. Now if I was surprised by how my mind was changed on Cam a bit, you can bet I was bloody surprised when I was excited to get inside her head. I don’t know if I can forgive her for how vile  she was in the first two books, but her points of view were some of my favourite parts of the book.

SPOILER – CAL HOW BLOODY COULD YOU?! I WAS BLOODY ROOTING FOR YOU! I THOUGHT YOU HAD GROWN MORE OF A BLOODY BRAIN! WHY CAN’T YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM YOUR DAMN MISTAKES?! YOU ARE KILLING ME! – END SPOILER

I kiss him for what could be, what might be, what will be—the last time. His lips feel strangely cold as we both turn to ice.

For those who are reading this reviews and the other very mixed ones online, if you liked the first two, you will most likely enjoy this one. Just get past the first half. Enjoy the emotional trauma knowing that everything starts moving once you get passed it. Just get passed it and you will be here sitting with me and my throbbing heart painfully waiting for the next book to come out.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Glass Sword

Title: Glass Sword [Red Queen 2]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 440

Rating: 4 Star

Series: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really enjoyed this story. Not as much as the first but it was still very enjoyable.

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.

In this one Mare sets off to hunt down and save the other ‘new bloods’ as she started calling them. Plot wise this kept me entertained for awhile. She won some, she lost some, and the first few were interesting. This part of the story dragged a little bit for me though so I was glad when it started to move on. I don’t think this book was really supposed to be plot based for the most part. Obviously things do happen or it would be pointless but I think this one was more about character development and the introduction of all the new bloods that are going to hold key points in the story later on.

Oh Mare. I love you, but you tested my patience a bit. There were times in this book I just wanted to shake her because it seems as though as she just hadn’t really learnt anything from anything that happened on the previous book. I get the struggles she was going through, I really do. I also think that there was a lot of the ‘Mare is so evil’ agenda being pushed in our faces again, through fights that seemed a bit pointless and even her own thoughts. But for the love of god, its the same thing that gets her every single time. I am glad she at least she acknowledged just how dumb she was at these moments. I truly hated her a little though when it came to her first interaction with Cam. I just straight up hated Cam though so I can forgive her for it. . . I guess. There was also a part where she killed people who were surrendering that made me sad for the way she was turning.

No one is born a monster. But I wish some people were. It would make it easier to hate them, to kill them, to forget their dead faces.

I really liked the way the new characters changed all the interactions between our old characters, and some of them stood out in their own right as well. Be it because I hated or loved them it didn’t really matter. Shade is by far my favourite side character I think. He is just a lovely person always trying to do his best and he really knew how to speak to Mare when she was taking things too far or being stupid. I really liked his and Farley’s relationship too. I didn’t find Farley very interesting going into this book but I liked the things we learnt about her in this book, it gave her more depth and made her interesting and I want more on her. Kilorn just made me angry most of the book.

SPOILER – Maven popped up in this book more than I expected. I hate him and wish he would die but his popping up certainly kept parts of this book from becoming dull. The first time we see him again and he attacks Mare with the sounder device that pretty much turned her own electricity against her and burnt her up from the inside out was both amazing and horrifying. I was so scared for her and I could almost feel her pain, but I felt so bad for all the people around her who had to watch this happen and then have her beg for death before basically going into a coma for awhile. END SPOILER

The most boring character development person was probably Cal. I feel so bad for him though. He just lost his whole family and his kingdom, the thing he was raised to rule and look after. I think he is completely wrong in thinking its not worth starting a war over change, but he is just stuck between a rock and a hard place. Without turning his back on people who can’t really move on. He has to decide to kill the silver people he loves, or turn against the girl he loves and be an enemy of the people he is staying with. I would probably be just as annoying and mopey if I were in his place. His and Mares relationship annoyed me a bit in this book, the least the both of them could do is decided on their feelings for each other. And Maven. So frustrating to read.

“I’m starting to think you like prisons,” he says, idling knocking his knuckles against the wall. “And that you have the worst taste in men.”

I think I am going to leave this review here. I know it was sort of just a character check in, and it wasn’t even every character, but I cannot really talk about the plot for this one. There are still some unoriginal things going through this book, and to me is seemed slower than the other book. There are things that happen scattered throughout the book, some that make me happy, some that make my heart hurt, but they are all hugely spoilery so I can’t go into them at all. If you liked the first book I think you will like this one and it is definitely worth picking up this book!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Red Queen

Title: Red Queen [Red Queen 1]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 352

Rating: 5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Description/Synopsis:

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This review comes after my second time of reading the book. I thought I reviewed it in the past but apparently not! I did it in audiobook form for the second time around and I really enjoyed the audiobook. Lets move on.

I’m an accident. I’m a lie. And my life depends on maintaining the illusion.

I want to say going into this book knowing how other people feel about it, saying that it wasn’t original and predictable, I was sad. I was so looking forward to the book and then I see all these really negative reviews, I had to drastically lower my expectations. Coming out of the book I can see what they were talking about, the story in a written world filled with dystopian books or hard done by characters who sort of become a chosen one, it was not original and yes at times predictable. But in a way now I am grateful for the reviews I saw going into this book because if I had gone into it thinking how new it was going to be I might feel the same way as everyone else, except I loved it.

The unoriginalness didn’t really bother me, specially the second time around. I decided to reread because I had not read the rest of the series and I am planning on meeting the author this month so now was the time to re-enter the world. Part of me expected to like it less and I think I ended up liking it more. I cannot believe how much I was enjoying being back in the world.

I loved the characters, even when I hated them. They were for the most part really well written and developed. The only ones I think could have used some more flushing out were the King, and maybe Mare’s parents. But that is a tiny gripe in a see of characters I liked.

I loved Mare. She was a flawed human being, but nothing she did in this book that ended up badly for other people was intentionally bad for those people. She is pushed as a very manipulative character a lot, and yes she is but she doesn’t really want to be. She doesn’t start her interactions with people with the mindset of stuffing them over most the time. Something will happen, and then a situation she is already in becomes a solution or involved in something else she is doing. I worry for the way things will go for her. I love the imagery of her power coursing through her, but she is surrounded by people who act first without really thinking about how using that power may affect them or anyone else later on. She is in a world were winning is really the goal in anyones minds and I worry about how that will affect her.

They trained me for this. It’s their own fault. They helped make their own doom.

I liked both princes’ for the majority of the book. Cal and Maven are very different people but I thought they were both very similar at the same time. They are both very moody, dramatic, and powerful. But all these things come out in different ways and it makes them sort of at odd with each other. I felt bad for Maven at times because being compared to the golden child that is Cal, and then also having a whisper for a mother would really mess with his head. I loved and didn’t love Cal. He seemed so good to Mare and wanted to help her but had no interest in helping of the millions of other people like her. I can see why, he didn’t want war, but I couldn’t really get over that.

SPOILER – I knew how the book was going to end the second time obviously, but towards the the last third of the book I was really starting to doubt if I remember right. I remembered from the first time round that you are lead to believe that Cal is actually the more ‘evil’ brother and Maven is sweet and pure, but then Maven is the one that betrays Mare in the end. I knew this, but as I was reading I started questioning this knowledge. Is Maven actually going to betray her? Or did I get them muddled up in my head and its actually going to be Cal? I really loved that about the second time round. Aveyard had written it well enough that after some time between the two reads and already knowing what was going to happen, I had to question my own memory. – END SPOILER

Side character wise I wasn’t too interested what everyone else was doing, but I can appreciate the characters the same. I thought Kilorn was so damn stupid. A well written stupid but oh my god I just wanted to smack him. Stop making bad decisions because you are sulking that Mare in an attempt to save you from being conscripted is now in a life and death situation that isn’t all about you! I can see myself liking Farley more as I get to know her and she doesn’t just seem like a pushy person. She has some guts though, I would have broken for sure going through what she did in the book. Queen Elara was just scary, Julian was lovely and I pray that he is as lovely as I think he is, and just thinking about Lucas breaks my heart.

Anyone can betray anyone.

I know this review ended up being more about the characters, and thats because I liked that development the most. I really liked the world building and the idea of what is going on in this world and why everyone is at odds is so good, but the plot isn’t anything new that we need to talk about here. Despite that though I loved this book, and I cannot wait to dive into the next book in the series. Go into this one with lowered expectations and you may come out like me, a huge fan. If you are looking for something ground breaking then this isn’t the book for you.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Emmy & Oliver

Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 352

Rating: 4 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favourite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Don’t let the 4 stars fool you, I adored this book. It was a bit slow moving at times hence the lack of a star but I don’t think I can fault it in any other way. The more I think on it, the more I want to change the rating to 5 star.

That’s when I first learned about true frustration, that wrenching ache when the thing that matters most to you barely makes a ripple in other people’s lives.

Yes this book has romance in it, but don’t go into this book expecting just another romance story. This book is about all the different kinds of love, how it can hurt and heal in all forms. Its about finding the good in life and moving on.

The story we are told is about two neighbours and best friends Emmy and Oliver. Spending so much time together that they develop their own secret way of communicating after hours from their rooms without their parents finding out, perhaps moving onto something that is more than just friendship. Then one day, Oliver just isn’t there anymore. He ran off after school to get into his fathers car for his weekend with his dad as Emmy watches with a folded up love note from Oliver, not to see him for many years to come because his father kidnaps him.

Then 10 years later hes back, and everyone must work out how to live with the second drastic change in their lives.

I love Emmy and Oliver’s relationship. I love all the relationships in this story. I find everything so honest and realistic. Emmy has cherished the note the 10 years Oliver has been gone, thought about the way he was dressed and their last moments before he was gone, only to have this person she loves come back, the same but completely different because there is a 10 year gap in their relationship. The balance of loving what was but accepting that what has come back is not the same. Helping him come back into the life he has told didn’t want him anymore, dealing with his fathers lies, and just being the boy who was kidnapped.

An earthquake would have been better. At least during an earthquake, you understand why you’re shaking.

The only people that really annoyed me at all were Emmy’s parents. Their reaction to Oliver disappearing was to basically never let their daughter out of their sight again. But while their actions of taking their fears out on their daughter to the point of suffocation is not okay, I completely understand it. I loved the friends and the laughs that come along with them. Every character is written well and you can cannot with them all, even the father.

The only slight thing that gave me pause is why in the age of the internet Oliver didn’t become curious about the mother who supposedly didn’t want him anymore and bring the plot down with it. But I can also see why you might want to forget that part of your life if you believed those people didn’t want any part of you.

I urge any and all people who want something more than just another cute romance to pick this book up. It has very quickly found a place lodged in my heart.

He looked like a stranger, and then he met my glance, and it was like I had never stopped seeing him.

 

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Say You’ll Remember Me

Title: Say You’ll Remember Me

Author: Katie McGarry

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Length: 452

Rating: 2.5 – 3 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated, and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while. Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life. But sometimes love can breach all barriers.Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I received an ARC on NetGalley from the publishers for an honest review but I ended up listening to the audio book!

“You think it’s smart for a guy like me to kiss the governor’s daughter? You need to know who I was before, so you’ll stay away from me, and before, I wasn’t a nice guy.”
Elle studies me too seriously and long enough it causes me to shift my footing. “You want to kiss me?”

This book is just scraping through on the three star mark for me. There are parts in there that I did enjoy and gave me a smile. About half way through the book I really started to like the relationship between Drix and Elle. I liked the way that through looking out for Drix in his very raw and drastically different life to her own made Elle grow up and be herself and stop being so blind to life. They both also had relationships in their family that I really liked. Henry made me want to smack him at times but I know he was filled with love, and the people in Drix’s life where very supportive if not sometimes iffy.

One of my favourite moments is when Elle is with Drix’s family and they are celebrating birthdays in their very undignified way. I wont spoil it for you but it was very fun ;)

The end of the book also had me caught up in its grips. I knew something was going to happen that I didn’t want to happen and I hated to see it come. Sadly this is a down point in the book for me because it served no purpose other than to try and put shock and suspense into the story. But the things that Elle had to go through at the end to get to where they did, I admired her and then and I was worried for her.

And thats where the enjoyment ends for me I am am afraid. I didn’t remotely start getting into the book until halfway through. I found the writing very to be far too simple. A lot of the things are very in your face about whats going on and are spelled out, and the insta love was just unbearable. I don’t mind insta love in some instances, but this is the main reason I didn’t get into the book at all till the halfway point, because they had some history for their to actually be love.

I don’t really know what else to say about this book. I know McGarry has other books under her belt and I would be interested in trying some of those, but this one just wasn’t for me.

 

Till Next Time. . .