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Book Review – You

Title: You [You 1]

Author: Caroline Kepnes

Genre: Thriller, Contemporary

Length: 424

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 1, 2

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Description/Synopsis:

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book creeped me the hell out. I mean this in a good way, but the combination of the writing style, unique character perspective, and the great voice acting in the audiobook left me feeling creeped out pretty much the entire way through the book.

And I will never again underestimate the power of anticipation. There is no better boost in the present than an invitation into the future.

In You, we are gievn the perspective of a sociopathic stalker. You follow his actions as he follows and obsesses over a girl that came into his bookstore one day. I think the most confronting part for me about getting things from this perspective was listening to his interpretation of his actions. He looked into them in a way that fed into his delusions but looking at the same things from my perspective or from the perspective of a sane girl of about the same age, I just kept wanting to scream at him.

“NO! YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON! IN NO WAY DID I DO THAT FOR YOU! YOU ARE WRONG!”

I think the writing in this book was amazing.  I was hooked from the get go and it even made me a little paranoid. I thought it was pretty accurate as to how someone like this would think and behave. I would avoid listening to this book at night because it was just too unsettling.

Other than Joe and Beck, we don’t get very many characters that are really relevant to what is happening in the story. Beck is the main person that Joe is focused on, and he only cares about the other people around them as far as they were suiting his obsessions or if they were getting in his way. I can’t even say I liked any of the characters in the story. There are no golden people in this story. They are all human, and they are all flawed. None as flawed as Joe except for maybe Mr. Mooney who I think just strengthened a lot of Joe’s craziness. But I was so stressed about what was going to happen next, if any of the characters did anything actually good I worried about what Joe was going to do to them because of it.

SPOILER – There was one thing that bothered me about the overall story though. He seemed just a bit too lucky. With all the things he did over the course of the book, he didn’t get busted on anything. He even managed to put some of those things onto other people with seemingly little effort. I don’t know, it seemed to easy. Perhaps I have too much faith in the idea that the bad guys actually get caught. – END SPOILER

The only thing crueler than a cage so small that a bird can’t fly is a cage so large that a bird thinks it can fly.

I am eager to pick up the next book in this duology, but I will be giving myself some breathing space between the two because I just need to get away from the inner workings of Joe’s mind for awhile. If you like thrillers I think you will really enjoy this book. I haven’t read anything with this perspective angle before.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Clan of the Cave Bear

Title: Clan of the Cave Bear [Earth’s Children 1]

Author: Jean M. Auel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 512

Rating: 5 Star (4.5)

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Description/Synopsis:

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly–she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book had been on my TBR since about the time I started reading really. This is one my mum read when she was younger and she was always raving about it and telling me to read it. This however was always followed by “It took me about nine years to finish it because the start is really boring, but the end was worth it.” So as you can imagine I was curious, but also a little hesitant.

But I needed a new long audio book to listen to on my long driving trips I do every day, so I thought why not and picked it up. I am so glad I did.

My mum was right. The start of the book did have one seriously sloe part where the properties of plants was talked about for quite awhile. If I had not had the warning beforehand, and had been reading a physical copy of the book rather than an audiobook, it might have taken me an extra moment to get through it as well if at all. Maybe not nine years, but probably awhile. I think the audio aspect really helped me here, as while I was driving I could start to zone out on the road for the sections that were boring. The voice acting was also very good and easy to listen to.

The rest of the book up until the last chapter was evenly paced and was interesting the whole way. I loved the sort of old magic that came with the Clan and the way Ayla’s new worldness affected them, and her way of thinking about things conflicting with what they have taught her her whole life. Then it rushes at you at the end.

All the characters are well written, at least all the ones you deal with on a regular basis. I love Ayla, Iza, Uba, and Creb. Their family dynamic was so beautiful at times. Ayla’s relationship with the rest of the clan was strained at times but there were shining moments of glory when they accepted her. Brun was a good leading and considering their way of thinking he was very reasonable to her and his act of kindness to her at the end was lovely. Their way of thinking about women though really irritated me and it was hard for my ‘strong independent woman’ brain to swallow the more degrading parts of the book. Broud is everything I hate in someone.

The overall sort of sad tone to the book and the rush of things left me wanting to pick up the next book. I made the mistake to read goodreads reviews though and none of them are too positive and my mum never once told me to read the next one, so now I am oohing and aahing about it. One day perhaps.

If you like historical fiction, don’t mind a bit of plant talk, and are open to history with a bit of magic, I think you will really enjoy this book. The second half is beautiful, and the first half is too between the boring bits.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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Book Review – Empire Of Storms

Title: Empire of Storms [Throne of Glass 5]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 689

Rating: 4.5 star (rounded to 5)

Series Review: 0.5123, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/Synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

At last me reread is completed! For those of you who don’t know after finally reading Tower of Dawn a month or so ago and realising that I didn’t really remember any of the few things we glimpse in Chaol’s book that are happening in Empire of Storms, that I needed to do a series reread of pretty much the entire series before the final book comes out on the 23rd of this month. I am so damn excited for that book its not even funny. But we aren’t here to talk about Kingdom of Ash, we are here to finally talk about Empire of Storms which I didn’t review the first time around. This time I did the audiobook and I really enjoyed them so I would recommend this series in audiobook form. I will also try to talk about the things that happen in this book without influence from what I know from Tower of Dawn, and mostly talk about the feelings that I had in both readings. For those of you who have for some reason not read this book this is where I leave you. I liked this book more the second time around, it was a little slow to begin with but the ending is just everything. MAKE SURE YOU READ ASSASSINS BLADE BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK. Goodbye people who don’t want to get spoilt!

Thank god pretty early on in this book most of our plot points/characters actually converge on one another so this time around my review may be more than just my opinions on characters. Just like in most of the books in this series, the book starts off a bit slow and then explodes into whatever the hell that ending was.

We get a bit more backstory in this book about what happened in the first war. By this I mean we find out that Elena is just a stupid idiot that didn’t bother to ask her father what the Eye of Elena, otherwise know of the wyd lock, what it was actually supposed to be used for, and used it to lock up Erawan. Then because she is an idiot finds out that her mother Mala, the goddess of fire, gave up her mortal life to make this lock to send the Gods back to their own world taking the valg with them, and that her father Brannon was going to sacrifice his life to seal the keys and the gates shut behind them with the lock. But it could only be used once, and Elena blew it locking up a valg king that was just going to get free again at some point. So now someone of Mala’s line and power has to give up their life to to fix the lock and send the Gods and the valg away for good. So Aelin or Dorian has to die now. Part of me sort of felt bad for Elena when we found out that she loves both Aelin and Dorian and had actually saved Aelin that night in the river years ago so that she could experience the full joys of life before she died, sacrificing Elena’s chance of getting an after life with the rest of her family to do so. But still, she was so dumb. So many things in books just wouldn’t be an issue if people would just talk to another human being!

Aelin works this out in this book. She works it out a bit before Elena explains it all to her and she vomits her gutts up because of this realisation. As time goes on though she sort of accepts this fate and goes on to put a bunch of plans in place to make sure that everyone she loves is looked after once she is gone and that her country would have a leader and heirs. Rowan, who is confirmed as her mate and who she sneaky marries near the very end, will rule and Lysandra who Aelin made promise to pose as her for the rest of her life so no one in the country knew Aelin was dead, would have heirs secretly with Aedion because they look so similar, not Rowan. Because of all this Aelin of course is very morose in this book and sort of in the previous one too. I have seen a lot of people say that they didn’t like her in either because she was acting so out of character but I really sort of have to disagree with those point. She is a different character. Celaena was a ‘carefree’ assassin who only had to worry about keeping herself alive. Aelin is a Queen cast out by most of her own lords and had to literally sacrifice herself to keep the whole continent/world safe. The two objectives couldn’t really be anymore different. When she decided to accept her responsibilities she had to let go of a lot of what made her who she was. And while she is so happy to have found all her friends and family and to have had Rowan for as long as she did, she is a woman that for a good chunk of this book knows that the closer she gets to saving them all and giving them all a better life, she gets a step closer to her own death.

One part I did really enjoy in Aelins story though was when she finally gets to Skulls Bay and talks to Ralph again. While in Terrasen Aelin’s group gets word that the witches are flying to take back Rifthold and kill Dorian (didn’t I say it was dumb to leave him behind), and she sends Rowan to save him and tells him to meet back up with her at Skulls Bay to try and win Ralph and his pirates and his secret people that have been in hiding for years, to fight on her side in the war because Aelin and Ralph don’t have good history (read Assassins Blade). Now Rowan might have come to late to save Dorian if Manon hadn’t of turned on fellow witches and kept him alive long enough for Rowan to actually get him out. We will talk about the Manon bit later, but Rowan gets him out and gets him to Skulls Bay and is just sort of chilling with his old Cadre members Fenrys and Gavriel (Aedion’s dad), trying to convince them and Ralph to help them out while waiting for Aelin to rock up. Then of course she does it in style, and while they are going to Ralph’s office to talk some more they turn on the lights and find Celaena just sitting in his seat smiling. I think this scene is probably my favourite Aelin scene because she was Celaena for a brief moment. She could drop all those weights holding her down and act like a part of her old self again. Yes she does have other funny and witty moments, I really liked the part where her and Dorian were talking and he thanked her for sending Rowan and she says:

Rowan is always looking for a chance to show off. Dramatic rescues give him purpose and fulfilment in his dull immortal life.

That line was amazing, but she in those other moments she isn’t as carefree as she was in Ralph’s office at the start.

The scene though where Lysandra was fighting sea wyverns in Skulls Bay though was truly the opposite of fun though. She just manages to kill two babies and then three adults rock up and she can’t transform again to get out of the water because she is too drained and only just manages to kill them. I honestly didn’t think she was going to get out of that scene alive, only her quick thinking saved her.

Manon. I love her so much and I was so stressed for her pretty much the entire book. She killed withces to save Dorian so when she goes home all the other witches are demanding blood for those killed and it was decided that Manon had to kill Asterin for the life she took. Then right as she is about the kill Asterin she tells her and the rest of the Thirteen to run and she swings to kill her grandmother. Of course she doesn’t succeed and her and her grandmother fight and her grandmother reveals that she killed her mother and her father who was infact a Crochan prince and they had hoped that Manon would be the witch to bring peace and return them to the wastes, but her grandmother made her a Crochan killing machine who infact had killed her own half sister so she is now the Queen of the Crochans. Manon gets away just before her grandmother can finish her off thanks to Abraxos and then spends forever just on the brink of death until Abraxos takes her to the safety of Aelin’s crew. There are many fun moments with her and Dorian but she is sad because her whole life has turned upside down and she thinks that the Thirteen are dead, and Aelin wants her to unite the Crochan’s to her side despite the fact she has spent her whole life killing them. But then Elide finally turns up and we have few touching moments with her and Manon until Maeva’s armada comes to nearly kill them all but Abraxos saves the day by having left to go find the Thirteen days before and arrives in the nick of time. Manon isn’t at the battle though because she is off having chats with the gods, Elena and Aelin about how the war needs to be won and she asked the gods since she has valg blood in her does that mean she is going to get sent off to a different world too which we don’t get an answer for and this stresses me out some more because I don’t want a world where Manon isn’t in it.

I am really looking forward to the final battle she will have with her grandmother in the last book.

I think I said that most people get paired off with other people romantically in the last book but they really do in this one. There is a lot of sex, some good and some repetitive. Elide and Lorcan get paired off in this book and I don’t mind it. She actually stands up to his bullshit and puts him in his place when he is being stupid. Their storyline wasn’t one I really felt like I needed though. The moment she see Aelin and Aedion again wasn’t quite as touching as I wanted it to be but was still good. Lorcan’s purpose in this book though pretty much seems to be just to fuck things up which made their whole story a bit hard to swallow. Its basically all his fault that Maeve came at the end when Aelin was drained of most her power because he freaked out over an army that arrived that was on their damn side and called her to protect Elide. Like Maeve was ever going to protect Elide. Aelin just manages to give the wyd keys to Manon before Maeve tortures her and captures her in iron chains, mask, and casket and whisked away to places unknown to be tortured for the rest of her life, which we have just found out is immortal because she will ‘settle’ into her immortality within the next five years, Aelin went through all that willingly to keep Elide safe and because she had set everything up for her friends to finish the job.

Just as she leaves her Ashryver cousin(?) Galan from Wyndlen shows up with all his army, and all the silent assassins from the desert amass in force to help fight for Aelin. Then we also have Ansel from the wastes came just before with her army, we have the army Ralph is putting together, all the guys Chaol is supposed to be getting wherever he is, all the Cousins Rowan convinced to turn against Maeve on the eve of battle and to fight for Aelin, and now the Crochans Manon has decided to rally. She made them a huge damn army to ratlle the stars and I just had to sit there and go ha Aedion, you were such a dick in this book doubting her and you should feel horrible about questioning her what she was actually doing for the country and her people. She set all this up for you guys and didn’t expect any of you to bloody help her in return except Lysandra who is basically giving up her life for Terrasen, and maybe Dorian who might have to use the lock to help get rid of the valg since she is all locked up.

And thats where the book ends and where I am going to leave this review/recap. I really enjoyed this book especially the end, and I am so keen for the next book it isn’t even funny. This is porbably my longest review for the series so far so I apologise if it was a bit hard to get through, and I will say sorry in advance because I don’t think the final review is going to be much shorter. Please, please leave comments down below. All I want to do is talk about things that happened in this book and how everyone thinks things are going to turn out. It doesn’t look like we are going to get a happy ending where either Aelin or Dorian doesn’t die despite Rowan flying off to find Aelin and declaring that he would not stand for an ending where either of them were gone. Maas does like a happy ending though so maybe Rowan will have success. GAAAHHH so many thoughts and feelings. I look forward to speaking with you all!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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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 – 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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From Book To Movie – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

 

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Rating: 4 Star

Book Series Reviews

Description/Synopsis:

When her secret love letters to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet school existence turned upside down.

Movie Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This movie gets 2 separate star ratings for me. 5 Star for sticking to the book, and 4 Star for how much I actually enjoyed it. Netflix did a really good job and portraying this beautiful book and I am so excited for them to continue on with the series. For anyone who is interested in continuing on with this review, know that there will be spoilers, as I will be comparing the book to the movie.

They of course did change a few things, some I liked and some that really made it drop the start for me. The beautiful cupcake scene where Lara Jean and Peter bake together was sadly taken from the movie. Also the introduction scene where he helps her after she had a car crash was missing. I can completely see why they left out these scenes, they don’t have a lot of time to work with, but they were important in my eyes in the book and I wanted to see them on screen. ‘

Other than those small things it was amazing. I think they selected the most perfect cast for the movie and they all fit to a T, even with Kitty ages up a few years they stayed true to her character. The actors did a pretty good job, but in the end the movie didn’t leave me with the overall adorableness of the book. I did feel just as bad for Josh in the movie as I did in the books, and I am so glad that they didn’t kiss in the movie. It made me like Josh more, and Margo and her didn’t have as much of a serious fight in the movie because of it.

I also loved the style and set design, the rooms they give these kids in movies! I would have loved a room like that as a kid. One thing that did blow my mind though was just the general size of everyone’s houses. I get that Lara Jean’s dad is a doctor and they would have a nice big house and nice things, but what on earth does everyone else do?! That house the party was at was massive. Is that what the size of the houses are in America in general, or is it a movie thing?

I think my favourite character would have to be Lara Jean’s dad, and he is was made some of my favourite scenes for me. I laughed so hard at his and Chris’ chat in the kitchen.

“I’m not denying you you’re right to put food on your table for your family or anything, I just think its a little odd that a man would want to be a gynaecologist. Like when you were college you thought ‘ah, I would really like to look at vaginas all day'”

“Gonna leave the kitchen now Christine.”

Just beautiful. I also really loved the condom talk, and all the touching moments Lara Jean and her dad had at the restaurant. One other thing I loved that they actually changed a little from the book was the fact that Kitty kept all the letters that Peter wrote Lara Jean, it sort of made up for the fact that she posted the letters out to begin with. I also appreciated that they solved their issues at the end of the movie rather than the start of the next one, and that little sneak peak of John at the end of the movie. He was geekier than I expected but it got me really excited for what was to come

And this is where I am going to leave you guys. If you loved the books, you will like the movie. If you haven’t done the books though but like cute little love stories with families full of sass you will probably enjoy the movie all by itself.

 

Till Next Time. . .

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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 – Poison Study

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Title: Poison Study

Author: Maria V. Snyder

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 409

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5, 3.6

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Description/Synopsis:

Choose: A quick death…Or slow poison…

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I loved this book.

I picked it up because it was laying around my nans house and had nothing better to do. Not going to lie, I went in with pretty low expectations but this book just so good.

I really can’t say that there was much lacking in this book. The plot was well developed and thought through but there were some parts where I could tell what was going to happen. I loved the mix of fantasy and dystopia. We are in a kingdom which has just gotten taken over by a military regime which has both its good and bad parts which I loved it for. One part I would consider bad would be the part where magic is banned and is punishable by death, and creates much drama and stress for our main characters Yelena who was orphaned, has no idea where she came from and doesn’t understand this power she was born with. You would think that something like that would govern most of the story, but that was no the case. We had the drama of her training/being the poison taster mixed in with political issues, and then we also had the very subtle and not over powering level of the romance that budded in the story.

I have read in some reviews that people would have liked more romance, and I both disagree and agree. With the way this story was written I think that the amount that was in there was good and slow developing which I like, but I do agree with some that if the story had just been an adult novel, which it so could have easily been because of the age of out main characters, you could have gotten much more steamy love, which I also enjoy. I think I agree it would have made a better adult book but I like it still the way it is.

I thought all the characters were well developed, and while there were a few kind of throwaway people in there, I feel like at least some of them will come back and serve more of a purpose in the coming stories. Maybe. I shall see I guess. Yelena I found to be a really realistic and just straight up awesome character. The amount of rubbish she has to go through, past and present,I am amazed she turned out as strong willed as she is. She is realistic about her abilities, and gets saved by others a few times, but not at any point did I think she was just a meek character who just needs to be saved all the time. She is constantly looking to better herself in her never ending struggle to make the right decisions to just stay alive. If anyone just deserved to be left alone and have a boring life if they so choose its Yelena. With the next book I think we will be focusing on her magic and her family back story more so I al really looking forward to seeing where that goes.

I would normally talk about other characters here, but since I think part of the fun of this book is that it surprises you about hwo the people end up being, if you don’t want to be spoiled about those kind of things, this would be a good place for you to end reading the review. You have been warned. All you need to know is that I loved this book, and I think you should read it.

Rand, I knew from our very first interaction with him that he was not to be trusted. I can’t remember what he did exactly that first time that made me think it, but I was like that is weird… This guy is being sus, I don’t trust him. Turns out I was right. I Valek was an awesome character He was just as mysterious as the head assassin of the Commander was supposed to be. I am really interested in how he is not effected by any kind of magic, and I hope we get to explore that more. While he seemed cold hearted at times, he also had his funny moments and cute moments that made me go awww. I love him as a character. The Commander confused me a little. I thought he was a very strong character despite the fact he didn’t pop up much, his big secret and issue seemed a bit lacking to me. While I know its a thing, and I don’t mean to be insulting to anyone who has read the book and knows what I am talking about, his reasoning as to why seemed a bit iffy. Almost insulting… sorta.

I think I am going to stop rambling on now. I thought this book was awesome and I am very put out that my Nan doesn’t have the rest of the series. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes assassins, magic, and political plotlines since the book has all of these things.

On a completely side note, this is one of those series where the cover seems to change with each book, and I went out to try and get it but one of the covers matched for the whole series/collection of books so I have been reduce to getting it on my kindle. Again. I hope that by the time all the books are released they would have worked out their cover drama!

 

Till Next Time…

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon – April 2016 (Hour 5)

DEWEY's

Feelings:

Im feeling rather tired now. I think its time to crack out the V.

What I Read:

  1. Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Special by Georgia Blain

Pages Read: 109

Road Trip Challenge

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Dear Ivy,

I think of you every day. I have found out so much about you and what it was actually like for you those few years at Halton and I cannot begin to go into what they must have been like. I wish I could see you again, but you never came back from the ‘tests’. When everything fell apart Lark and Wren sent me away with a new identity to hide out until things were better. If you are still out there, are you going through something similar? While I miss everyone terribly, I must admit that I am enjoying moving from place to place and seeing the world that I was never supposed to see. Being able to make up my mind about things in a way I was never able to before. Its almost freeing not being Special.

F.

Reading Fortress

 

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Twitter link.

 

 

Till Next Time…

 

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Book Review – The Secret Garden

the secret garden

Title: The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Genre: Classic, Childrens,

Length: 341

Rating: 5 Star

Movie Reviews: 1993, 1994, 2001

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Description/Synopsis:

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. One day she learns of a secret garden in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key…

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Oh this book.

I love this book.

This is one of the books where I simply do not care if I already have two copies of it on my shelf, I will look at other pretty hardcover versions of it because I love it so much. And I will read all those different covers of it too. Right after I purchase them. This is simply just a stunning story.

The only thing I remotely question about this book is that its a children’s book. Its awfully sad and series to be a children’s book to me, but I suppose that is what makes adults love reading it to kids, that they can appreciate it on a deeper level than the children will be able to.

I loved the sad start to this story. The story starts in such a sad place and so does Mary, she is almost just a hollow human being, and she is just forgotten by everyone who was supposed to be looking after her when her parents died. She was nasty on the outside and hollow on the inside. No one gave her any kind of real love, and didn’t teach her how to be a real person.

But then she goes to this dark, cold and wet foreign place and discovers people who actually pay attention to her enough to actually care about the way she acts.  For the first time she sees others as people, and thinks about the way she should be treating them. Then she finds this secret little world that no one loves and no one wanted, and she feels a connection to it and begs to have her little bit of Earth. She wishes to help it grow and become whole again, and as she and the other children go there and grow and become more whole and beautiful people, so does the garden.

I loved all the characters, and I adored the comparisons between the two cousins. How they were different and how they were the same and the different places they had come from in life before they met each other.

I will grudgingly admit that I did feel some parts of the story dragged more then they needed to, but these were only the parts in the story were Colin was going on about how he wants to do scientific discoveries on magic, and how he was going to give grand speeches on the subject, while giving long speeches.

I cannot urge people to read this book more. This is a must read for anyone before they die. Don’t listen to the childrens category, adults will love it. I also think children in school will also love it, I know I did. Just go forth and read it. Just thinking about it makes me want to go read it again, and buy another copy.

 

Till next Time…