0

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

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

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.

Advertisements
0

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

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

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. . .

0

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

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

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. . .

0

Mini Mondays – Cruel Crown, Hush Hush, Zenith

.

Title: Cruel Crown [Red Queen 0.5]

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Length: 208

Rating: 3 Star

Series Reviews: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I both liked and didn’t like the two separate stories in this book about things that happened before Red Queen. I liked learning about queen Coriane in Queen Song. It was really interesting learning about the events that set up the whole of the series. I did feel that we rushed through lots of it though. Yes it was a short story and it wasn’t supposed to be a full length book but I think it could have been longer than it was.

Now Farley’s story in Steel Scars was a bit less interesting. It really bored me up until Shade started appearing in the story. I liked hearing about how he was spending his time while Mare was off doing her thing. I didn’t get nearly enough of it because I would have really liked to know the moment he worked out he was different. I think that would have been great. In terms of parts I really didn’t like about this part of the book though would be the letters back and forth. I don’t know if it was because I was doing the audiobook I couldn’t really keep up with who was talking to who and I tended to zone out when they did it quite a bit.

Title: Hush, Hush [Hush Hush 1]

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Young Adult

Length: 391

Rating: 3 Star

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

There were times in this book when I was into it. I liked some of the romance and the story was interesting enough at some parts. The thing that really killed this story for me was the writing in general.

I found myself getting really angry when the characters were speaking. The dialogue was so grating and forced and to me it was all very predictable. I was more into it at the end, but getting to the end was hard. I was posting in my bookish groups on facebook asking people what they had thought, if they had felt the same way as me, and if so is it worth continuing. Despite the fact that I was getting physically angry listening to the audiobook while driving because the writing and the dialogue, I got enough positive feedback to continue on. I did it, its done and I didn’t want to bash my brain in at the end, but right now I have no intention of ever doing the rest of the series and have infact unhauled my physical copies after listening to the first one.

Title: Zenith [The Androma Saga 1]

Author: Sasha Alsberg, Lindsay Cummings

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Length: 534

Rating: 3 Star

Series Reviews: 1, 2

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I really wanted to do a full review on this book as I received the ARC from the publishers for my honest review, but I just can’t do it. I don’t have enough words to do a full review and I think I would be doing more damage to my review and just the book in general if I tried to push myself to do the full one so I am just going to let it be in my Mini Mondays. Thank you Harlequin Teen.

I went into this book with very mixed emotions. I was so looking forward to reading this book that one of my favourite youtubers had been working on for so long, and that I had watched work on it for so long. But then the negative reviews started just gushing in. I don’t think anyone that I really follow in the bookish community gave it a good review, and most of them just didn’t review it at all so I don’t know if they actually read it or didn’t want to hurt their friends feelings. Either way though, to me it seemed like the community in general was not impressed with what was put out. My expectations had dropped to the point where I nearly just didn’t pick it up at all.

But I did. I am glad I had seen all the negative reviews before I entered because it probably saved what there was for me to enjoy in the book because I prepared for the bits that I was just not going to like. You can tell this is Sasha’s first book. She really could have spent a lot more time editing and doing more drafts as you can see just the inexperienceness she was bringing to the table. The dialogue was just so hard to listen to at times, and the plot was at time very predictable, and some of the characters characteristics and ‘roles’ in the story were very forced. There were parts of the plot I enjoyed or got swept up in, but for the most part the main thing I enjoyed were the characters and their relationship to each other. Not all the time mind you, but the majority of the time.

I am going to pick up the next one and I look forward to seeing where it goes and just how much they may or not progress in terms of just ‘quality.’ It was not the worst thing I have ever read, but it was far from being a breakthrough debut.

 

Till Next Time. . .

0

Book Review – Dragonfly In Amber

dragonfly in amber

Title: Dragonfly In Amber [Outlander 2]

Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 743

Rating: 4 Star

Series Review: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

It took me forever to get through this book in audiobook form, and I enjoyed nearly every moment of it. However, if anyone is intending on doing it through audio book over a period of months, I suggest you take notes after each session because its length makes it really hard to remember many details. I apologise in advance if this review is lacking. It took me about 6 months to finish this book listening to a couple of hours a week! Also, this review is filled of spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.

When it comes to writing style, there isn’t anything I can fault of Gabaldon’s writing style. I think she weaves an amazing story. All the settings are brought to life and all the characters are so detailed and have such depth.

But what the hell is with that opening.

Im not saying it was bad. It was brilliantly done. But going from one audio book to next audio book without the above synopsis I had no idea what was happening. Clair has a fully grown daughter and she has gone back to Frank to raise this daughter and Jamie is nowhere to be seen. I was so confused. I thought I had skipped a book so I stopped for ages because I could not understand what was happening. But no, it was the right book. And it took ages to go back and at least start finding anything out.

This whole book had me, because I knew something so so so sad was going to go down at the end because I knew we had to end back at the beginning. I both love and hate that. While is was not as strong for me in this book as it was in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I love this effect in books. When you know where you have to end, but each moment you are just dreading its approach and it doesn’t get boring.

While I did not mind the time that Clair and Jamie spent in Paris, it certainly had very interesting parts, I found this to be the part of the story that dragged the most for me. There were other parts in the rest of the book, but it is so worth getting through these dragging moments because Gabaldon just keeps throwing stuff at you left right and centre.

I adored the new character Fergus. I thought he was adorable and his relationship with both Jamie and Clair was just way too cute. They should really just adopt that kid.

But Clair and Jamie both did such stupid things in this book. I particularly wanted to murder Jamie. At the end out Outlander we find out that Clair is pregnant, and I don’t know about you but I also didn’t believe that Black Jack was dead. So when he came back I was not overly surprised. Clair makes Jamie promise not to kill him yet because she doesn’t want Frank to die and Jamie agrees. Clair also is having a difficult pregnancy and is pretty much on bed rest. But of course, Black Jack does something vile and then we find out that Jamie has run off to go kill him, despite promising Clair, basically declaring that his revenge means more to him than his family, and of course Clair has to chase after him to try and stop him. Then all hell breaks loose, and Clair looses the baby and nearly dies right along with her child.

So much of the pain in this book could have been avoided if Jamie had just used his brain. I pretty much hated him for the rest of the book. I hated Clair a bit too because she shouldn’t have gone after him, but mostly Jamie. After months and months they do end up making up, but I was so mad at Clair for forgiving him for ages. Then to top it all off she had to have sex with a disgusting man to get him out of jail for said duel with Black Jack. SO MUCH RAGE.

Fast forwarding to the end of the book, I did feel bad for Jamie when he has to kill his uncle for Clair and he gained a bit of my forgiveness back then. Then Jamie sends Clair back through the stone and we get their emotional parting, leaving us back at the start of the book. We are at the time with Geillis Duncan is in Clair’s current timeline and I thought she was going to help Clair and Jamie and somehow make it so they never have to separate and warn her so she doesn’t go off to her death but nope. They get there too late and the only thing they get out of her being in this story is that now Brianna believes her mum. I don’t know if I like Brianna or not yet, we shall see…

We go through this whole thing thinking that Jamie is dead but it turns out he isn’t. That is where it all ends. Damn cliffhangers!

Im going to leave this here. This is a very long review about my feelings regarding… mostly one thing that happened in this book, but hey, its the bits that got the most emotion from me and they cannot be expressed in little words!

 

Till Next Time…

0

Book Review – The Accident Season

the accident season

Title: The Accident Season

Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Length: 280

Rating: 3 Star

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear.

But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free?

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This book was a bit hit and miss for me. There are some parts I liked and some parts I didn’t like at all. One part that I enjoyed a lot that really has nothing to do with the actual story content was that I listened to the audio book for this, and I loved how the actually used voice actors with Irish accents. I found listening to them talk highly enjoyable.

The plot for this book mixes in a little bit of magic/fantasy into the reality, and normally I liked this sort of thing as with Ava Lavender, but with this book I was not so sure how seriously I should be taking it. We start off with this amazing concept that every October this family has this Accident Season where they have many simple accidents that gradually lead up to worst and worst ones and in some cases people have died. I know that if something like that happened to me every year I would have been killed off pretty quickly. I am accident prone enough as it is hahah. But as the plot progresses a question of how much of what is happening to the family is actually because of the Accident Season or is there a more real world issue that is causing trouble for the family. The twist that comes along with this is one you go along with. Its not a surprise, but I for one didn’t get annoyed that I already know what was going to happen.

The writing style is one that I love. Its really what I would describe as ‘flowy’ and even though it wasn’t perfect, it did a very good job at weaving the realistic and magical aspects together. I find this kind of writing super easy to get into and go along with no matter what you are actually reading.

Now the characters is where I think the book falls the shortest. While I enjoyed each of the characters enough, I didn’t find that they really had much depth. This lack of depth lead to me not really connecting to any of them. I didn’t want any of them to die or be hurt, but I didn’t love any of them. The character I liked the most is one that Cara and everyone else were looking for most the book and thusly wasn’t really in there.

I also found that all the characters had really weird relationships with each other. I wasn’t into the main love story in there. That kind of story has been done in a way where it didn’t bother me, but this one didn’t manage to do that. I think my weirdness for it was because the characters were weird with each other just in general. They had these secrets when there didn’t need to be secrets, and they were always changing their minds about everything and each other in ways that I didn’t really feel flowed or made sense.

Now I think I will leave this review here. I feel like I am having issues writing reviews that make sense lately, but with this book I cannot really talk about what it happening without spoiling things for you which will be my excuse as to why this one does not flow :D I would recommend this book to people who like a bit of magical realism, and want a book that has a creepy sort of undertow to it without flat out being actually scary.

 

Till Next Time…

 

1

Book Review – Poison Study

Poison-Study-Cover-2

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

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

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…

0

Book Review – Soundless

soundless

Title: Soundless

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Length: 266

Rating: 3 Star

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

In a village without sound…

For as long as Fei can remember, no one in her village has been able to hear. Rocky terrain and frequent avalanches make it impossible to leave the village, so Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink. Many go hungry. Fei and all the people she loves are plunged into crisis, with nothing to look forward to but darkness and starvation.

One girl hears a call to action…

Until one night, Fei is awoken by a searing noise. Sound becomes her weapon.

She sets out to uncover what’s happened to her and to fight the dangers threatening her village. A handsome miner with a revolutionary spirit accompanies Fei on her quest, bringing with him new risks and the possibility of romance. They embark on a majestic journey from the peak of their jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth will change their lives forever…

And unlocks a power that will save her people.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

First I would like to thank Penguin Australia for sending me a copy of this book for review and I am sorry it has taken me this long to post it despite the fact I read it ages ago.

This book… I so wanted to enjoy this book despite all the bad things I had hear about it. I was still hoping that people just didn’t like a story outside of Vampire Academy. But I was really rather disappointed. It had so much potential. I mean just think about a small isolated town that can’t hear a thing and take great pride in their visual works because its their only medium and suddenly someone wakes up and they can hear things! Sounds pretty damn good doesn’t it? So much potential. . .

I will say this positive for the book though. Its still Mead’s writing. She has a way of writing things in a very simple yet still interesting way and lets you fly through her books. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the sounds.

One of the main things that I agree with everyone else about is the world building. There could have been more world building and this probably would have made the story more interesting. However, if I had to pick between what we did get and fixing something else that deeply annoyed me in this book I would leave the world building as it was.

The art aspect of the story was also a bit ruined for me. In this town everyone is divided into three classes, Artists, Suppliers, and Miners. Artists are the highest ranking and Miners are the lowest and thusly in this land with limited food the Miners are given the least amount of food. I can see why they Artists rank the highest since they create and document their history in a visually appealing way, but I don’t get why the food isn’t given out evenly or you know based on each individual. Miners have the hardest job, and supply the Suppliers with the things they need to get them all food so wouldn’t you want to keep them in the best health possible? By like… giving them more food?

Then we have our characters, which I am not even going to go into individually because I don’t remember much about them by themselves. There were not really flushed out, even the main characters. I wasn’t too invested in them and I didn’t care too much about the love that was happening either. It was a bit forced.

Now for the bit that annoyed me the most. The ending, and really the only fantasy part in this whole book. Oh my gods I hated it. I won’t go into it encase there are still some who want to get into this book who hasn’t yet, but it was so random. We had basically no fantasy up until then and it was so disorientating to suddenly have have some. The book could probably have been better had it just accepted the fact that it wasn’t a fantasy rather than panicking about the lack of it at the end and throwing some in.

I think this is where I will leave this review for now. Guys, it sounds bad, and in the grand scheme of things it was, but I really did enjoy at least the first half of the book and it was after than point that it started to go downhill for me. There are others who have really enjoyed it, so if it sounds like you would like it pick it up for cheap and give it a go. Its short, its not like you will be wasting loads of your time. If it sounds a bit iffy for you though just stay away. You wont get anything from it.

 

Till Next Time. . .

9

Top Ten Tuesday – Fantasy For Every Age

topten

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at Broke and the Bookish where every Tuesday, Top Ten things of anything are listed. Todays Top Ten things are:

Top Ten Books for Fantasy Readers of Every Age

I am switching it up a little bit this week, by recommending my favourite fantasy books from each age group.

Childrens

1. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

3. Bad Beginnings by Lemony Snicket.

lightning-thief1 narnia BadBeginnings

Young Adult

I have chosen to leave things like Throne of Glass and Harry Potter off the list because they are super obvious choices.

1. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton.

2. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.

3. Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

4. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

Ava-lavender_march.png daughteroftheforest Cinder_Cover Poison-Study-Cover-2

Adult

Now I am cheating more than a little here, because I haven’t read any of these books, but they are up the top of my reading list so they ight as well be on everyone else’s list too. I chose to leave Lord of the Rings off of this list because its an obvious choice.

1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

2. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

the name of the wind the final empire sandman vol 1

 

 

 

 

Be sure to share your lists!

If you want any of the books listed please click on the thingyami below.

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

 

Till Next Time…

0

Book Review – His Dark Materials

his dark materials

Title: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass

Author: Philip Pullman

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk

Length: 423, 352, 560

Rating: 3.5 Star average

BuyFrom_Grey_160x30

Description/Synopsis:

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I was going to review each of these books separately, they all cover completely different things in their stories since they all take place in separate worlds, but I realised I just straight up don’t have that much to say about any of them all by themselves. I also had one of resolutions that I would do short ones or group reviews on things so that this remains fun for me so this seems like a good place to start.

This first part will be a more overall discussion of the stories without revealing any of the plot points, but after I shall go into more details about things and those who do not want to be spoiled will have to give the second half a miss.

In terms of writing for this book I both loved and hated it. I really liked the descriptiveness of some things and I was really getting into the pictures that were being painted of the world. But then the descriptions didn’t stop, and they went on and on about things that didn’t need to be talked about. I am talking pages of useless description and all of a sudden my nice pictures in my head were covered in words like flies. Then of course there were things I actually wanted them to explain but of course that didn’t happen.

I also found there were a quite a lot of throw away characters and the ones that were not throw away, I found most of them didn’t have much depth to them. The one I thought had the most depth had to probably Lyra, who I actually liked as a character. She had spunk and was not afraid to stand up for herself, but most of all she seemed to learn from the mistakes she made along the way. I also really loved her and Pan’s relationship. I think I liked all the daemon/human relationships. They were the strongest. The next surprisingly would have to be Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. At first I hated them both then all of a sudden there was a switch and the feelings I had for them were not so clear. Mrs. Coulter was the most surprising in the sense she was a gradual and I didn’t expect to have my feeling son her altered, but Lord Asriel was more of sudden switch and I didn’t really get it. I don’t know if I missed a part that had altered things or if I just didn’t understand him from the start.

I know that to some this is considered a childrens books, but I don’t really understand it. If I was not completely paying attention to the ramble, then I missed some complicated political thing that was happening or was being explained and I just don’t see how that is entertaining to or even understandable to kids. I suppose this ‘childrens book’ label can be used as an excuse for the simplicity of the characters, but I don’t really want to let it have that excuse. To me this was a YA book series.

Beyond this point is the more spoiler ridden section of the review, so if you are leaving me here I would give this series a miss if I could go back in time and tell myself my own thoughts. However, so may people rave about this book, so perhaps at the very least don’t do it in audio book.

Ok, can we talk about the huge religious element in this book. It was basically the entire plot and they went on and on about it all the time. That dust was religious and created by original sin, and they were in war with angels and God, have to say was probably the second big downfall for me next to the over description. I felt like I was being preached to in the most complicated way possible. The plot got so jumbled I really had no idea what side I was supposed to be leaning towards or anything. Really it was just very frustrating. It might not have been so bad if it just didn’t keep going on and on.

I also thought the end of the book was a bit sad. I felt horribly for them both, I wont say who, but I liked the book just a bit more because of it because it didn’t go with the standard every book has to have a happy ending. The ending was sad but it left room for hope of happiness.

So yes, again I would not read these books again. There were things I liked, some of the settings sounded amazing and I adored the whole daemon/spirit/soul thing and wish I could learn to see my own, but the writing, the depthless characters, and the overall lack of enjoyment in the driving plot, which by the way doesn’t come up until the second book, just was not doing it for me. Unless you know someone else who you trust their opinion on books and they suggest this series to you, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

 

Till Next Time…