The Queen: 2 Stars This one was actually very refreshing to read. It was nice to be able to see the teenage years of Queen Amberly and her experienceThe Queen: 2 Stars This one was actually very refreshing to read. It was nice to be able to see the teenage years of Queen Amberly and her experience with the selection. However, this also proved exactly what I was certain of; King Clarkson was a jerk even as a teenager. What made me happy was to see just how much Amberly loved him no matter what, and it made me really happy to see that Clarkson married her regardless of her caste and child-birthing capabilities, so I found myself a little bit surprised with this one. There were a lot of eye rolling moments though, and at one point I debated whether or not I even wanted to read the full novella, so that's why I rated it so low.
The Favorite: 2.5 Stars Here's the thing, I love Marlee. She was my favourite part of reading the first three books in the series in the first place, and her story was probably the main reason I finished it, but this still didn't fully capture my attention. I really enjoyed getting to see her backstory with Carter, but in all fairness, I skimmed a lot of her past reflections because I found them boring. I did really love the way that Maxon handled the overall situation, which is probably what earned so much appreciation for this novella. I also really appreciated that we got a tiny bit of insight into Maxon and America post The One, so that's another reason why it rated the highest out of the four novellas. Overall, still wasn't something I would've willingly read without being curious of the POVs, but I enjoyed what little this did provide for the story....more
The Prince: 1.5 Stars I found this novella boring, honestly. While it was nice to get inside of Maxon's head, the overall story didn't impress me andThe Prince: 1.5 Stars I found this novella boring, honestly. While it was nice to get inside of Maxon's head, the overall story didn't impress me and the only thing I really gained from it was the knowledge that the King is such a jerk it's not even funny. It wasn't really worth reading, but I did enjoy getting to be back in this timeline again.
The Guard: 2 Stars Surprisingly I enjoyed Aspen's story just slightly more than Maxon's. Maybe that had to do with the fact that the majority of it wasn't recycled lines from the books, or maybe it had to do with the fact that I got to see more into the way the guard worked, but either way, it was okay. I liked the little interactions with Lucy, and I appreciated the insight into the hidden workings of the castle, but once again, the most I gained from this was that the King's a jerk.
Overall, I didn't hate the novellas, but I didn't like them either. Hopefully the others will be better....more
4.75 Shining Stars.This is a spoiler free review. You can read this review and more at my blog, Israis!
Where do I even begin? I've heard nothing but4.75 Shining Stars.This is a spoiler free review. You can read this review and more at my blog, Israis!
Where do I even begin? I've heard nothing but great things about this book since I first came back to Goodreads, and even before that I'd wanted to get my hands on it every time I walked into the bookstore, but why did I wait? I guess it was for a couple of reasons, but when I finally found a copy at my local library, I knew that was going to be the first book I read.
And yet somehow it became the last from the six or so books I picked up.
It's taken me an entire month to read this book because I've been savouring it. When I started it at the beginning of the month, I'll admit it was really hard for me to get into it. I haven't read Leigh's Grisha trilogy, so this was all very new to me and also very hard to initially follow along, but I will say the map in the book helped ground everything, and then the rest of the vocabulary was easily picked up along the way. Maybe that's why it took me so long to push further into the book, but it was initially a slow start. The only other thing that threw me off was the very first chapter of the book. I know that it was important to the storyline and I appreciated it once I got further into the novel itself, but when I first read it and then hit the second chapter and everything was different, it made me a little bit confused as to whether or not I might have missed something I would've easily known if I'd read the Grisha trilogy first.
Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you exactly why I love this book to death.
First and foremost, it's the characters. The uniqueness of the characters' personalities, the diversity of their backgrounds and history, their determination and motives to break into the Ice Court; everything about them kept me coming back for more. From the very first time that we meet Inej, I knew that she was going to be one of my absolute favourite characters, and that was only confirmed with every page I turned. Honestly, I could spend hours raving about how much I fell in love with every single one of these characters, from Kaz's bold attitude to Jesper's sassy remarks and Nina's absolute heroic personality and Matthias's change in thinking and Wylan's surprising dedication... They all mean so much to me, and I found myself wanting to reach into the pages and protect them with all my might and fight alongside them. They're so dynamic and three-dimensional that I really felt that I was being introduced to a handful of people with rich life stories rather than being shown characters that exist to serve as a plot device.
Speaking of the plot, it's phenomenal. Let me just tell you that. Straight off the bat, we're thrown into a gang war which left me on edge as Kaz outsmarted his enemy without a care in the world, and that sold me immediately. I knew that this was going to be big in terms of the uniqueness of the plot and the way that it'd be accomplished, but I had no idea that I was going to step into an absolute page turner that had me hanging on with baited breath, hoping that no one was going to die and everyone would live happily ever after and rich beyond their wildest dreams. The best thing too is that the characters' backstories drove the plot. Sometimes the transitions between past and present were a little bit confusing, but they all had a reason to change the way that they did, and as the book progressed you slowly learn more and more about the characters in the same way that you would if you were meeting someone new.
Honestly, I could go on and on and on about how much I absolutely loved this book. The ending had me desperate for more, because I need to know what happens immediately! There's so many questions I have to have answered! Overall, if you're looking for a great fantasy novel with a life of crime and some awesome teenagers, this one's for you, and if it's not, you're truly missing out.
3/31/16: It has literally taken me the entire month to pick this book up and slowly read it from start to finish, but I think that's just because I didn't want it to end! I fell in love with all of the character and want to protect them with my life, and the end of the book??? Jeez! I need the next book to come out right now because I'm dying to know what happens next!...more
3.5 stars. It was good, but it needed so much more. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I was just expecting something different than what th3.5 stars. It was good, but it needed so much more. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe I was just expecting something different than what the book gave me, but I feel unsatisfied after finishing it. I wanted more for Noah, and I feel like what happened for Jude in the end wasn't good enough. I'm going to do a full review later today or tomorrow, but for now here's a quote I actually really loved:
"I gave up practically the whole world for you. The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything. I gave it all up for you."...more
I would give this book a solid 3 stars, which surprised me because I went into it expecting to drop 1.5-2 stars maximum. This is definitely NOT a spoiI would give this book a solid 3 stars, which surprised me because I went into it expecting to drop 1.5-2 stars maximum. This is definitely NOT a spoiler-free review so you have been warned! You can find this review on my blog, Israis.
First and foremost, Eadlyn had such a personality change from The Heir to The Crown that it gave me whiplash. This spoiled, selfish, brat of a girl all of a sudden becomes a kind of decent person, and while I always appreciate some character development, that was a little too much of a change to happen all of a sudden. The Heir leaves off with her still having such an attitude, although she did change a little bit in the process of book four, but when I picked up The Crown, the first thing I noticed was that she was actually kind of decent? Why? What changed that suddenly made her so willing to be nice and generous and care about her country above all else? That left me frustrated during the beginning, but gradually throughout the book I started ignoring it and focusing on the plot which, trust me, had its fair share of plot holes but we'll get into that later.
My main point of reading this book was for the boys, and let me tell you why. While we really don't get to experience much of them because 90% of the story is Eadlyn's internal monologue on what she's possibly going to do to maintain her position of princess without the people rioting (something that she constantly worries about but we never actually see in the book). They all had such potential to be unique and beautiful characters that I wanted to learn more. It's fair to note this first: (view spoiler)[Eadlyn drops the Selection down to a final six Elite in the beginning of the novel (hide spoiler)]. Having said that, let's talk about the boys.
Hale is so sweet and kind and he develops so much throughout the book that I would gladly read a spinoff about him and the other remaining Selection candidates. Honestly, he does the bravest thing in the book when he shows Eadlyn his dedication to her but expresses his true feelings, and for me that was great. (view spoiler)[Also his relationship with Ean sounded so precious that I really, really wanted another novel just to learn about how they fell for each other. (hide spoiler)] While Ean wasn't my favourite, I approved of him because he didn't have to say much for Eadlyn to know how he felt about her and the palace and the Selection process. Kile developed a lot in this book too. He went from being someone who really didn't care about Eadlyn and the castle and wanted to run away from it to actually wanting to do things to change the castle and better it. Finally, Henri is the cutest little human being in the world. I wanted to pull him from the pages of the book and tuck him in my pocket to protect him forever because he's too sweet for this world and deserves so much better than having to deal with Eadlyn in any context. He was the only one who seemed to do whatever he could to make sure that everything was so bright and cheery, and he tried so hard to learn English for Eadlyn!!! Little sweetheart!
As for the others, they were all okay in their own ways.
Here's where the nonstop spoilers come in. (view spoiler)[Eadlyn falling for Eikko (Erik) was so...not well written? I have to admit when they first talked in The Heir I knew she was going to pick him or Kile, but there was little to no interaction between them that deserved this whole big romantic storyline that she seemed to narrate in The Crown. Having said that, their little romance was cute. I loved the way they exchanged rings in their own way because it showed that they had feelings for each other, but I thought it was downright stupid that Eadlyn kept insisting it'd never be because she was required to pick a boy from the Selection when she insisted in The Heir that she had the ability to call off the Selection at any time when she agreed to it. Also let's once again talk about Henri, because the ending scene where he grabbed their hands and told them both that he loved them and that they had to be together was SO CUTE.
Speaking of that ending scene, the most ridiculous thing in this entire book was King Maxon's declaration about him committing treason. When Eadlyn ran up to him begging to marry Eikko I was expecting some hesitation but then an okay from him because he had his same spiel with America, but no off he goes into this story about how his dad beat him up as a kid and there was a mistress and half-sister drama with Lady Brice and NO. Just no. That was so unnecessary and immediately diverted my attention from an actually semi-decent ending for this overall average series. That was not necessary Kiera Cass, not in the slightest, and it jarred me out of actually caring about the book. (hide spoiler)]
My overall feelings towards the book are basically summed up as cute, but will never read again. The Selection series was overall an average set of books that honestly should've stopped at book three, but that's fine. I didn't mind this book too much, the fourth I could've completely done without. Am I attached to Eadlyn? Absolutely not. I want to know more about the boys, though, but if anything else does come out attached to this series, I doubt I'll ever read it....more
A lot of the beginning of the book was slow, if I'm honest, but once I got past the bits and bobs and the real action started, I think that I slightlyA lot of the beginning of the book was slow, if I'm honest, but once I got past the bits and bobs and the real action started, I think that I slightly fell in love with the books. The ending was much better than I expected, although a lot of it hurt. On to the next one!...more
You know that feeling when you finish a good book and you don't feel anything other than satisfaction? That's how The King's Men left me. All the unanYou know that feeling when you finish a good book and you don't feel anything other than satisfaction? That's how The King's Men left me. All the unanswered questions were answered, all the feelings were properly in place. I don't think I've been more satisfied with the epilogue of a novel before this. If anything, I feel like a weight has lifted instead of aching for more words to read to further understand these characters' lives and stories.
3.5 StarsSpoiler Free Review You can also find this review at my blog, Israis!
Okay here's the thing. I really liked this book, but I'm surprised that3.5 StarsSpoiler Free Review You can also find this review at my blog, Israis!
Okay here's the thing. I really liked this book, but I'm surprised that I didn't love it. I know that a lot of people are either 10000% for this book or are like bleh it was boring, but I didn't feel very strongly towards it either way. I thought that it had a pretty good story, but that it was overall lacking that spark that would've put it over the edge.
The story goes a little bit like this: Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever, a type of plague that hit her world and caused a lot of adults to die. Only children survived the fever and those who did were left with strange markings and called Malfettos. Now some of these Malfettos have special powers in addition to their markings, like the ability to control fire and wind or create illusions out of nothing, and Adelina is one of those marked. By discovering her powers, she joined the cast of Malfettos called the Young Elites and gets whisked away by a small group of them called the Dagger Society to learn how to control her powers. Additionally, the Malfettos are hated in the land and the royal family wants to get rid of them. It's a lot of drama to explain.
Here's the thing. I found Adelina a bit annoying. For a main character, she's a pretty decent one, but there was no spark about her that had me interested in wanting to learn all about her and see what made her tick and what motivated her. As for her story, it's interesting I'll admit, but the way that the novel was written made it feel a little bit choppy. The way that she spoke about her past didn't flow well enough for me to really care or understand the timeline of things, which left me confused when she'd start mentioning her past experiences with her father and her sister, Violettta.
Don't get me wrong though. I didn't hate Adelina but I did find her story confusing. What really kept me interested in this book was the characters in the Dagger Society. The second that we meet them in the book, I was curious about them and the one thing that I wish I'd gotten out of this book was that we'd get to know more about them. Sure, little bits are revealed along the way, but the novel spends so much of the time focused on Enzo and Raffaele (my baby!) that the others seem to fall by the wayside. By the time the novel's over, you don't know anything about Dante or Michel, and Lucent and Gemma just barely get hints of explanation behind their characters. I was craving so much more about this group of young elites that took Adelina in and it saddened me to not really learn about them, when they all could've been such well-developed characters.
As for the story itself, I will say that Marie Lu has a way of writing a good story. The actual happenings of the main plot kept me interested, mostly because I wanted to learn more about Teren and why he had such hatred for the Malfettos, but again there were things that could've been improved. A lot of the time was focused on Adelina worrying about Violetta and wondering when she'd be let in on the secrets of the Dagger Society and a good bit of it had to do with her battling her inner demons and past memories too, but if some of that time had been focused on other things to help further the plot, I think this could've been a stellar novel.
It's sad to me that with just a few small twists this could've easily been a 4.5-5 star rating, but overall I think it was a pretty good book. Will I read The Rose Society? I don't know just yet, but we'll see how it goes....more
I am an emotional wreck. I'm a mess. This book, this whole series....
Give me an hour to get my eyes to stop leaking an ocean of tears and maybe I canI am an emotional wreck. I'm a mess. This book, this whole series....
Give me an hour to get my eyes to stop leaking an ocean of tears and maybe I can actually put something together, but the one thing I can say right now is this: Thank you, Maggie Stiefvater, for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with this little family, because without it, I don't think I'd ever feel this complete....more
This was cute, albeit a little slow sometimes. Also I think if I read the line 'I love you, man' one more time I might've screamed. Overall, a decentThis was cute, albeit a little slow sometimes. Also I think if I read the line 'I love you, man' one more time I might've screamed. Overall, a decent read but not a favourite. Will review soon....more
4.5 stars.Spoiler free review. You can also find this review on my blog, Israis!
Okay, if I thought the first book was good, this one absolutely blew4.5 stars.Spoiler free review. You can also find this review on my blog, Israis!
Okay, if I thought the first book was good, this one absolutely blew my mind. I don't think I've ever been more attached to two completely ridiculously adoring characters as I am with Damen and Laurent.
First things's first: The Writing. Once again, C.S. Pascat did not let me down in terms of such beautiful writing and such wondrous descriptions. When I was reading this book, let me tell you, I felt like I was there. I could see every scene in my head to the point where I was sure that I was one of the soldier's in Laurent's army, watching the storyline unfold (well maybe not, but I like to imagine I was). More importantly, the characters grow with you while you're reading the book. I could see the way that Damen and Laurent's personalities changed and grew in Pascat's writing style, and not only that, but I saw the way that the minor characters each had their own character growth, whether it was small or large, occur throughout the course of the novel.
As for the story, well let me tell you I am in love. The way that Laurent and Damen went into the field together, strategising for a war that neither of them had initially planned on fighting, was just gorgeous. Honestly, I could go on and on about the character development in this novel because of the fact there is just So Much There. Laurent's coldness towards Damen completely transforms, and Damen's initial reactions to Laurent from the first novel completely morph into something that's less about protective animosity and more about true, honest caring. The lengths that these two have changed from Captive Prince has left me in awe still a month after reading the book. If I had the time right now, I'd delve right back into a reread because I want to watch their personalities change and expand once more.
To be fair, once again there were times where I felt the storyline lagged a little bit, which is the only reason that I knock half a star off of this book. Small points during their travels down to Ravenel left me a little bit bored, but the second that I started feeling like there was too much of a lull, things picked right back up. Scenes with Damen and Laurent carefully (or carelessly) eluding danger in towns and their trip into the mountains with an unlikely ally kept me on my toes and helped to drive away some of those sleepy bits of the book.
Overall, I came out of Prince's Gambit feeling two things. The first was OH MY GOD FINALLY and the second was HOLD ON THAT CLIFFHANGER WAIT WHAT????? To me, that's really all you need to know in order to pick this book up, especially if you loved the initial novel. I don't know how else to express just how much I adored this entire series, but most people say the second book is usually not as good as the first, and in this case I entirely disagree. Prince's Gambit was absolutely worth reading, and I'll admit wholeheartedly that King's Rising is too, but that I'll defend in another review. For now, all I have to say is what are you doing still reading this? Go pick up Prince's Gambit!...more
4.5 Stars. Full review on my blog! Spoiler free review.
When I first started this book, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I picked it as a4.5 Stars. Full review on my blog! Spoiler free review.
When I first started this book, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I picked it as a recently-downloaded ebook for an 8 hour train ride back from visiting a friend and figured, what the heck. Why not? Little did I know that I'd quickly go from wondering why I'd picked this book to read to wondering why I would ever pick another book again.
The novel follows the story of Prince Damianos of Akielos after an uprising occurs. He's shipped off to the enemy land of Vere where he's held captive as a slave to the crown prince, Laurent. Damianos, known as Damen in his slave name, has to keep his identity a secret to the lands of Vere, lest he lose his head. That's the general summary, but that definitely isn't what drew me in when I decided to read this book. I'd heard of the book from a friend of mine, who insisted that it was worth the read, and despite the intrigue I found at the summary, had I picked this book up in any other scenario, I don't think that I would have given it the same chance that I did thanks to the recommendation.
In terms of the book itself, I found it a little bit slow at first. Initially when I was reading it, I found myself stopping and wondering if it was worth it, but that doubt was easily wiped away. A lot of the confusion was due to keeping up with all the names and places that the book throws at you early on, but once you start learning how they all connect, it's easy to keep track of them and everything becomes focused on the plot.
My favourite parts of the book are nestled in the dialogue. Laurent's quick, witty words and Damen's biting refusal to play along with the rules of his new home show that there is so much more behind these characters than what meets the eye. Not only are the main characters a treat, but each and every character they interact with has such a distinct personality that they easily reflect the way that humans inherently are. From shy and quiet Erastmus to bold but young Nikandros, the pets of Vere all have their own intricacies to them, and their owners are just as intriguing. There's not a single character that comes to mind that's boring or bland when you read through Captive Prince, and that's exactly what I look for when it comes to novels.
Not only that, but the author's depiction of the scenery of the world is truly amazing. The way C.S. Pascat describes the intricacies of Vere and how they compare to the land of Akelios where Damen hails from is breathtaking, and she uses an immense amount of vocabulary to provide the readers with the best picture possible so you can fully immerse yourself in the book. I found myself losing track of the train that I was on because I was so sure that I was in the palace of Vere, experiencing everything that Damen was.
Everything about this book had me completely hooked on it, and after the first few chapters, I didn't want to put it down. I'd finished the entire thing on the train and started the second one before I'd even arrived home, and trust me, once I was back in my hometown, I didn't want to sleep because all I wanted was to keep reading. If you're looking for an enticing start of a series with witty characters, lush scenery, and a thrilling plot, Captive Prince is definitely the place to start!...more
4 Stars.Spoiler free review. You can find this review on my blog, Israis!
Okay listen, you know that feeling when you pick up a new book that you're n4 Stars.Spoiler free review. You can find this review on my blog, Israis!
Okay listen, you know that feeling when you pick up a new book that you're not quite sure about? The summary sounds average, the reviews are all over the place and you have no idea how to feel, but then you start reading it and you're not really into it and you're wondering why you picked it up in the first place only to find that before you know it you're attached to all the characters and you want to protect them with your life? That's what The Foxhole Court is to me.
When I first picked up The Foxhole Court, I'll admit it was solely due to Tumblr. A couple of people I follow were posting about it, and I figured why not? It'll probably be an okay book, and if not, at least I'll get a chance to see what the hype's about. Now I'm not a sports fan at all; don't care about football or hockey or whatever other sport people seem to constantly be raising their blood pressure about when they sit down to watch a game, so I was wary about actually reading The Foxhole Court, but the more that I read, and once I got somewhat of an understanding of the confusing rules of Exy, I realised that there's so much more to it than that. If you're like me and you aren't a sports fan in the slightest, I'll be the first to admit that this book is kinda hard to get into, but give it a shot, stick around for just a little bit longer, because the way that the Palmetto State Foxes interact and look out for one another is more than worth the read, and you'll fall in love with each and every one of them for it.
The reason that the Foxes work so well together is that they're all dysfunctional, which somehow makes them more violent towards and also protective of each other than they need to be. The Foxes fight, they do stupid things, they mess with each other to the point of wondering where is the line between that's okay and that's not, but at the end of the day they look out for their own. I will admit that the first book doesn't show this as much as the others do, but you still do see pretty clear signs of it in TFC, which is part of the reason that I had to keep reading the series, because when you take ten dysfunctional players, a protective as heck coach, a caring nurse and a helpful psychiatrist, it normally wouldn't add up to a family, but it really does, and that's what won me over.
There is so much more that I could say about this book series and how much I love it, but hopefully I'll tackle that in future reviews for the rest of the series. The things I mostly want to point out is keep an eye on how Neil 'I'm Fine' Josten changes throughout the books, and how much becoming 'friends' with Andrew, Kevin and the others makes the PSU Foxes a much better team. Also, be warned, this is a very triggering book series, so if violence, abuse, drugs, and other things such as those aren't up your alley, I wouldn't recommend reading it, just to be safe.
3/27/15: 3.5 stars. it took me a while to get roped into the novel but once i hit that halfway point i couldn't stop reading. review coming soon....more