It’s a rare thing to read the conclusion of a trilogy and consider it in keeping with the series. Into the Still Blue accomplished this feat. Thanks bIt’s a rare thing to read the conclusion of a trilogy and consider it in keeping with the series. Into the Still Blue accomplished this feat. Thanks be!
Into the Still Blue picks up where Through the Ever Night left off. Aria shot, the Tides and Dwellers seeking momentary asylum in a system of caves, and Hess and Sable heading towards the Still Blue with a kidnapped Cinder in tow. Rossi does not waste precious words summarizing events previously presented in the first two books, and this fact is one of several that enabled me to love this conclusion.
What really sold me on this installment was the fact that Rossi provided conclusions to each of the story threads she began in book one. From the moment Aria and Perry solidified their relationship in Under the Never Sky, it was apparent that the next step would be to build rapport between dwellers and savages as they sought out the Still Blue. But there were other, less prominent questions that would need to be addressed on this quest such as the identity of Aria’s father, whether Soren would redeem himself, how Dwellers and Savages would govern themselves and co-exist, would Sable be destroyed, and if so, who would be the one do it, etc. Each of these questions receive answers…and they are satisfying answers.
I can’t say more without revealing major spoilers, but for those who have enjoyed the series thus far, I’m confident you will find peace in this conclusion. Under the Never Sky is still my favorite in the series, but initial installments usually are. ...more
Apparently I have some standards afterall. News to me. Obsidian offers numberous twilight-eque tropes. Mood-swinging hottie who treats the "heroine" lApparently I have some standards afterall. News to me. Obsidian offers numberous twilight-eque tropes. Mood-swinging hottie who treats the "heroine" like le poo, yet she secretly finds him oh so irrisitable while outwardly projecting dislike. Said mood-swining hottie is mysteriously drawn to inextrodianary, simpleton due to her outward projections of dislike and sectretly finds her oh so desireable, though continues to treat her like le poo. Snarky jokes/comments (though I found them to be incredibly lame and juvenille) are peppered amidst all these red-herring feelings of like, dislike, desire, and hatred. Oh and the mood-swinging hottie is an alien. People are out to get him. Scratch that, dark aliens are out to get him. And the heroine is a book blogger.
If this sounds like your cup of tea (I wouldn't blame you, normally its mine too), you might enjoy this read...maybe. But I found it to be pretty bland and typical. Definetly won't be reading the million other installments to this series....more
Yes, I read this entire series and rated it highly. Yes, I know its poorly written. I agree that Juliette is beyond annoying with her lack of self awaYes, I read this entire series and rated it highly. Yes, I know its poorly written. I agree that Juliette is beyond annoying with her lack of self awareness and terrible metaphors. It is frustrating as hell when she waxes poetic about drivel. And don't even get me started on the all too convient xmen esque super powers that allow an otherwise unextrodianary and borederline idiot girl lead a rebellion. I totally get why anyone in their right mind might would look upon me with judgement in their eyes for delighting in this series. All I can say, without the slightest bit of shame, is that the steam and swoon worthiness of this book fogged my brain and allowed me to plow thru the utter non-sense that is the plot so that I could focus on the hottness that is Warner.
If I were capable of feeling shame about books I've read and loved, I would surely feel it for this series. It's awesomely bad. I cannot stand Violet.If I were capable of feeling shame about books I've read and loved, I would surely feel it for this series. It's awesomely bad. I cannot stand Violet. I have to chew gum while reading to offset my gag reflex. And the details around Violet's origin are so absurd, its borderline offensive. BUT I really liked this series. I don't know why, but I do. Its mind numbingly entertaining, contains interesting world building and has a fair amount of swoon. Sometimes that's all it takes I suppose, for me at least.
As for this final installment, it didn't disappoint. There was plenty of action and steam. All the lose ends were tied up and each character was granted an appropriate ending. Lovers of the series will be wholly satisfied....more
Oh dear lord, why do I read these books? The fact that I have read three angel books in the last two weeks is going to require me to add an "angel" caOh dear lord, why do I read these books? The fact that I have read three angel books in the last two weeks is going to require me to add an "angel" category to my shelves, which will throw them all off....all I can say for myself is that this blasted series kind of snuck up on me and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying it.
Before I go further, I should mention that there are several "things" about this series that would make more discerning readers want to toss these books into the recycle bin. The heroine is beyond dense. She has her moments, and sometimes I even like her if for no other reason than for the fact that she tries to do the right thing. However, character motivations remain elusive to her until they smack in the face, often quite literally. The plot points are often entirely too convienient and the world is so ambiguous that it allows for anything and everything, though I kind of admire that last one. Can't call fowl on what is undefined, right? Overall, there isn't much that makes this series any more special than the thousands of other titles within this genre, which may be in part why it appealed to me.
For me, I read books within this genre to be exposed to a new realm, where the comforts of our reality are present, but paired with a fantastical element. I read them to meet characters that I can love, hate, swoon over, laugh with, mourn, cheer for, or all of the above. Lastly, I read these type stories to go on an adventure that allows for youthful characters to save the world, or complete equally heroic tasks. Its oddly empowering. There are dozens of series that achieve these goals, and I enjoy this one because it does as well.
I don't like Violet. I don't feel that she has done anything to earn such devoted adoration from nearly all her fellow characters, and I have already made my thoughts on her intellect clear. I don't swoon over Lincoln because he is entirely too calm and essentially wooden. But I do love these two together. There scenes are tension filled, and sometimes entirely steamy. I'm not angel obsessed, in fact I often shy away from angel lore as it often comes across as preachy and/or hokey. Yet I love the concept of there being no such thing as a good side or bad side, just warring purpose and points of view. And this series possesses my most favorite of elements within this genre...morally ambiguous characters that outshine their alleged hero counterparts. For those of who share my love, you will find your heart's delight in Phoenix, Onyx and Nox.
There is nothing special about this series, but it contains everything I want when hungering for this genre. It may not be the best of the best, but it did make me serial read every book currently available to me and consent to reorganizing my bookshelves. For me, that's something.
P.S. the cliffhanger ending is bullshit. I'm not happy about having to wait to get my ending that I know is coming....more
Few words are needed to describe this read. It's in keeping with Grave Mercy, but significantly less ridiculous given that there are no assassin nunsFew words are needed to describe this read. It's in keeping with Grave Mercy, but significantly less ridiculous given that there are no assassin nuns present. The plot kept me prodding along, (curiosity kills time, not cats) but if the main characters has fallen of a bridge to meet their impending doom, I wouldn't have cared. They don't. Apparently they will be back for the sequel, which lets face it, I will probably read, eventually, because that's what I do. Good read for those in need of a "fantasy" fix....more
There was once a time when I would devour each book of series immediately upon release. I couldn’t manage the anticipation of expected greatness. ButThere was once a time when I would devour each book of series immediately upon release. I couldn’t manage the anticipation of expected greatness. But over the years, series that I initially adored, and authors I thoroughly trusted would let me down with their final installments. I say that so that fans of this series know that I went into my reading of Allegiant with a weary heart. I wasn’t expecting greatness. I simply wanted it to not suck, or somehow taint my view of the series as a whole. All I wanted was a three star book. Queue disappointment.
I really and truly loved books 1 and 2. Tris got on my nerves a bit with her self-defeating suicidal tendencies in book 2, but overall, both were great reading experiences. I felt as though Roth had set a good tone for book 3 and expected things to wrap up in a way that was in keeping with the first 2 books of the series. Wrong. I may be the only one in thinking this, but Allegiant read like an entirely new series. The world was the same, all the characters we had come to know where there, but rather than wrap up her story, Roth somehow made it entirely more complicated. I like the conclusion of trilogies to tie up loose ends, answer my questions, and provide character resolution. Instead the world was expanded tenfold, I was introduced to brand new characters I cared nothing about, because frankly, I resented meeting them so late in the game, and the ending was hurried.
I could continue to rant, but it hardly seems worth it. The book itself is fine; it would be kind of awesome really had it been the start of a series and not the end of one. If I was rating and reviewing Allegiant solely based on this book’s ability to stand on its own, I’d give it 4 stars. But Allegiant isn’t a stand-alone title, it’s the conclusion of a series, and as far as conclusions go, it widely missed the mark. ...more
Sarah Rees Brennan has achieved a rare accomplishment...she's written a YA trilogy that doesn't end in a cloud of suck. Though this book isn't withoutSarah Rees Brennan has achieved a rare accomplishment...she's written a YA trilogy that doesn't end in a cloud of suck. Though this book isn't without its flaws, often defies logic (why did these fools characters not move?!), Unmade was a compelling read, remained consistent, answered my questions and provided a complete, resolute ending that I could accept. Rees Brennan included all my favorites: witty banter and a sassy, independent and intelligent young heroine, and a good touch of swoon. If you read and loved the previous two books within the Lynburg trilogy, I have no doubt that you will find pleasure in the ending....more
One would think that my ever increasing age would make me less susceptible to the wisened ways of authors who create tormented characters in the nameOne would think that my ever increasing age would make me less susceptible to the wisened ways of authors who create tormented characters in the name of swoon. Sadly, it has not.
The Lynburn Legacy isn't the most stunningly written series. There were plenty of scenes that made me roll my eyes and shout mental indignations that no teenagers are so naive and goodly, but once you get past this initial short coming, these characters really worm their way in. And the story isn't half bad either. But I think the characters sell this story more than the plot points. Its refreshing to read about a heroine that is described as average and doesn't lament over her lack of "hotness" but rather rocks out her most prized asset, intelligence. Hoorah! And these characters value friendship and desire to be normal and good and try to obey their parents, which is an almost non-existant concept in YA literature. Not to say this series is without its cliches, because I assure it is not. Our hero is tormented and naturally, all the more attractive for it. Our average heroine has earned the adoration of everyone around her, though, luckily it is made apparent that this is due to her good, sassy nature and not because she is really super attractive to everyone but herself. And the heroines are way to clever with their humor which made it loose its intended effect, but somehow, I was able to overlook these things and really settle in with this series. The concept intrigued me, and I'm not going to lie...I like this Jared Lynburn.
In short, I suggest this series to anyone wanting to read a decent paranormal tale that has its fair share of swoon. But be warned, its frustrating as hell!...more
Today I woke up groggy and exhausted and it’s all Stephanie Perkin’s fault. I began reading the much anticipated Isla and the Happily Ever After at orToday I woke up groggy and exhausted and it’s all Stephanie Perkin’s fault. I began reading the much anticipated Isla and the Happily Ever After at or around 8PM. Every hour or so, I would look at the clock and have a small internal argument, trying to reason with myself to put the book down, turn out the light, and attempt to sleep. Otherwise, I would surely regret my lack of sleep coming morning. As soon as my mind pondered over this logic, I told myself to shut up. I knew, in my heart of hearts, I wouldn’t sleep even if I tried. I was too consumed by the characters. I’d dream about them all night, angsting over what would become of them.
I completed reading Isla and the Happily Ever After at approximately 12:47AM. Though my eyes are puffy, any my head is fuzzy, I do not regret the time I spent in Stephanie Perkins’s world. I was, and continue to, enraptured by Isla and Josh’s story.
We were previously introduced to these two characters in Anna and the French Kiss. Josh was a central character presented to us as the brooding, disdainful artist in a volatile relationship with his smarty pants girlfriend, Rashimi and a devoted and often comical best-friendship to St. Claire. Isla, was a minor character, mentioned only twice. First, when Anna finds her doodling a replica of Josh’s tattoo – which alerts us to the fact that Isla has a crush on Josh, and second when she comes to Anna’s defense during an interrogation with the headmistress. As Anna and the French Kiss ends, Josh has ended his tumultuous relationship with Rashimi, the school year has come to a close, and with it, the impending loss of his friends, all of whom were seniors. It’s left for us to assume that Josh faces what will surely be a lonely senior year.
Queue the opening scene to Isla and the Happily Ever After. In a chance encounter, Isla happens upon Josh at a Manhattan restaurant, aptly named Kismet. What follows is a rather hilarious, albeit adorable meet cute. Isla’s internal dialog quickly makes it know that her crush on Josh is anything but minor. She’s observed him in a way readers of the companion book will know was overlooked by even his best friends. Naturally, the Isla/Josh pairing becomes a ridiculously easy thing to ship. Their budding romance is utterly adorable and I was grinning like an idiot during the first 100 pages of the book. But the love story in and of itself is not what gripped my heart. It was the writing.
Stephanie has an uncanny way with words. She expertly writes each and every scene that allows us to recall our own experiences while sharing in the experiences of each characters. I didn’t just understand Isla’s confusion, hopefulness, anticipation, trepidation, etc. I felt it along with her. For the entirety of this book, I was Isla. And her story is magical and sensual. It was such a wonderful thing to experience. The European setting didn't hurt either.
And Josh…I wasn’t expecting to fall so hard for him. I didn’t think any Perkins character would be able to trump my beloved St. Claire, but I do believe Josh managed the task. Through Isla, I was able to see what I couldn’t see through Anna. Josh is dreamy, romantic, and more assertive- in that fabulous masculine way that sends women’s hearts a flutter.
Another day, another atrocious read....That is so stinkin hot I could barely stand it! Chapter 62, you were totally worth the agonizing wait. I may haAnother day, another atrocious read....That is so stinkin hot I could barely stand it! Chapter 62, you were totally worth the agonizing wait. I may have even been willing to endure a few more poorly written chapters just on the promise of your existence because you were that good. Dang it al if this one didn't end in a mother of a cliff hanger and I'm shocked to say I desperately want to know what happens, even though I rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth the entire last three chapters of this book. Juliet gets on my nerves so bad. And the writing, gah, what's with all the pauses, telling and self reflection?! Stop it...and focus on Warner. He is the only good part of this story. Please don't ruin him, and by ruin him, I mean make the mary sue heroine chicken out on choosing him so that she can maintain her boring status quo....more
I'm not going to sugar coat it, this book is almost appallingly bad and yet mind numbingly delicious. There are so many things wrong with it, I don'tI'm not going to sugar coat it, this book is almost appallingly bad and yet mind numbingly delicious. There are so many things wrong with it, I don't even know where to start. The prose is so purple it's almost black, Juliet is shockingly ignorant and self involved, and the plot goes from intriguing to xmen gone wrong. Yet this book somehow managed to keep me entertained. I blame the bad boy, who is nothing less than enticing when I know he shouldn't be.
I'm not going to defend my like for this one. My brain is telling me I should be ashamed and that I should tear it to shreds, but my hormones are telling my brain to shut the hell up because Warner is hot and it wants to read the sequel to find out just how much more compelling he can become.
Hopefully Juliet won't annoy me to the point that not even Warner can compensate....more
Rainbow Rowell's writing is a time machine and I was grateful for the ride. As any blurb will tell you, Eleanor Park contains the story of a misfit anRainbow Rowell's writing is a time machine and I was grateful for the ride. As any blurb will tell you, Eleanor Park contains the story of a misfit and the boy who saves her. What it doesn't tell you is that he saves her by loving her and by giving her someone worthy to love in return. Its very charming and adorable. Too charming for me to convey well, so I am going to share with you what I loved best and let you determine for yourself if this is your cuppa.
1. Eleanor & Park fall in love slowly, with weary hearts filled with hope, innocence and so much awesome I don't know how they managed not to burst. It transported me back to the third grade, when I would make eyes at Chance Johnson across the classroom, lunch table( anywhere I could see him really) and would talk to on the playground during recess. As I continued to read, it reminded me of my next big crush, and the one after that. Eleanor and Park's story made me realize how fleeting and precious crushes are. And how truly special falling in love can be.
2.Eleanor. She is big girl, with wild, curly red hair. She dresses like a hobo, in worse than hand me down clothes, because Eleanor is money poor. But believe me when I say she is character rich. She's sarcastic, self conscious and stubborn. Intelligent, brave and good. I'm so tired of reading the "I'm a self professed dork, yet every guy thinks I'm awesome and I'm super cool and hip in a quirky way that everyone accepts". It's not real. But Eleanor...Eleanor is real. I was in awe of her and it made me want to give Rainbow Rowell the biggest hug for creating her. Thank you Rainbow.
3. Park. He just might be the nicest, cutest, most interesting teenage boy in recent YA literature. Probably in real life too. He is type of cool that comes to mind when you think of the word hipster, but somehow never manage to meet, cause lets face it, a lot of hipsters are either pretentious or annoying posers. Not Park. Park is intelligent and well read. And by well read I mean that he reads X-Men, Batman and The Watchmen. I don't think he bothered with the likes of Moby Dick or philosophical tomes that make your head hurt while boring you to death. Park cares about people's feelings, likes to fly under the radar, loves his mama and breathes music. I have a bit of a crush on Park. And by a bit, I mean a big one.
4. This book has scenes that made the monotony of moments past feel special. There is a particular scene where Eleanor is flipping thru her dad's records and I was instantly transported to my childhood living room on Sunday mornings where I would listen to my own parent's records as they would get ready for church. Sometimes I'd lie on the floor and day dream, other times I would dance around and pretend I was giving a concert to adoring fans. It was one of my favorite things to do each week and I haven't thought about that favorite act since I was about 10 years old. There are several pivotal memories that this book stirs up which caused me to not only love Eleanor and Park's story, but reconnect with my own.
5. It embraces the concept of less is more. This book isn't preachy, but it shows the beauty of minimalism. It's reflected in the writing via style and description. This might not apply to everyone, but a lot of the things that you gravitate toward in childhood become something to overcome in adulthood. This came to mind when Eleanor describes drinking out of a jelly jar which prompted me to contemplate the idiocy that is glassware. As a child, I had two favorite things to drink out of...A plastic cup that was purchased at the theme park (It had an awesome logo, reminded me of a great day and somehow made my sweat tea taste better) and a glass canning jar because I thought it was pretty. I still have a thing for pretty glass canning jars, but I put flowers in them. And jam. I drink out of glassware because that's what my southern grandmother and mother taught me adult women drink out of, and have on hand to offer guests to drink out of. They would never have a cabinet filled with plastic cups and I can't help but think that's wasteful, plus glass is a pain to clean. This book re-gifted the small joys of childhood that are so easy to loose sight of when you become an adult and can purchase a happy meal whenever you want.
I could keeping spouting out my love list for this book, but I think it's GR rating speaks for itself. Sometimes these ratings really are based on merit, not just popularity and I believe that like me, fellow readers felt that Eleanor Park is special. And lovable. And fun. But also kind of sad. But mostly hopeful and sweet.
The 5th Wave is the epitomy of awesome for 75% of its 456 pages. It’s exciting, suspenseful and very well written. The narrator’s are wonderfully flawThe 5th Wave is the epitomy of awesome for 75% of its 456 pages. It’s exciting, suspenseful and very well written. The narrator’s are wonderfully flawed, distinctly nuanced and likeable. Even the secondary characters are well developed and void of grating stereotypes. The dialog and inner monaloges were just right and always on point. I laughed, I bristled in anger and indignation, and was geared up to rain down hell more than once. I was having an extraordinary reading experience right up to page 365-ish. That’s when Yancy got all Stephanie Meyer on me.
I’m not going to trash The 5th Wave because I pretty much adored everything about it until I hit those last 80 some odd pages. I was 100% convinced about 20 pages in that this was going to be a 5 star book. Unfortuneatly, I didn’t much care for Meyer’s The Host so naturally I did not enjoy the fact that Yancy’s alien beings are an exact copy of her alien lore. And I mean exact. I’m surprised he isn’t being sued. But I digress. My feeling towards The 5th Wave went from appreciation and wonderful , suspense filled anticipation to wariness and overwhelming disappointment. I almost wanted to stop reading. But I decided I had come too far to simply stop, Yancy had done so well and I wanted to believe, as Cassie has to believe, that things could get better. That the disappointment I was feeling wouldn’t last. I read that last page, stewed on it, googled the book, and realized they are making a sequel.
Now I am irritated AND disappointed. Well played literary gods. I am consistently being taught not to believe in a book or series until I have read the last page of the last book. You all almost always win. And I while I’m pretty put out with Yancy at the moment and really really want to eschew this series with a firm hand, I can’t deny the fact that Yancy wrote a mostly amazing book that has me grudgingly curious. I blame Evan Walker. I’ll read the sequel, because I can’t not read it. I lack will power when it comes to chocolate and boys that are bad decisions, but I’m not at all happy about it....more
I never would have thought I would look upon a Gayle Forman book with feelings of regret, but alas, it is so. At least I had been warned by those I trI never would have thought I would look upon a Gayle Forman book with feelings of regret, but alas, it is so. At least I had been warned by those I trusted and was slightly prepared for the waves of disappointment that I experienced during my reading of this latest release. People who know of my love for sappy romance novels, bad boys and adoration of Gayle Forman knew I would not be pleased and I hate to admit that they were right. As far as I can intuit, they were proven right for two reasons, the plot was unoriginal and the characters were flat and inconsistent. What book can stand up to that?
Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book if I hadn't read and loved One Day, but I did and this book, with it's strikingly similar concept, simply couldn't compare. It wasn't epic enough and lets face it, if I am going to agonize over a great love for an entire year, the great love interest is going to need to be someone who didn't act like a complete shit the majority of the time spent in his presence. Our heroine spends18 waking hours with a boy that she spends the next 18 months mooning over, when a large percentage of those 18 hours was spent fretting about whether or not the guy in question was going to ditch her at any second. When that fear was momentarily cast aside, she then had to determine whether or not he had boned every woman that said hello to him as they strolled around Paris. The only thing epic about that is her pathetic need for acceptance by a complete stranger and his ability to screw half the female population of Paris. Not hot.
As for the characters, our heroine is described as a rule following good girl, who is so boring she can't even enjoy a free summer abroad, yet I'm to believe she suddenly becomes impulsive enough to run away with a random guy to a city she has never seen just because he makes eyes at her during a play? I don't think so. Even more dumbfounding is the fact that this girl has sex with him. WTF? Again, I think not.
I failed to see romance where only idiocy and duchbaggery appeared to be present and I am appalled that one of my favorite writers failed to take advantage of a glorious place such as Paris in her writing.
It's taken me nearly a year, but I have FINALLY finished reading Prodigy. The unexplainable thing is, I actually really enjoyed reading it once I finaIt's taken me nearly a year, but I have FINALLY finished reading Prodigy. The unexplainable thing is, I actually really enjoyed reading it once I finally resigned myself to it. It would seem that even books can become victim to the female mood swing.
Prodigy picks up where Legend left off. Day and June are on the run. As fuguitives, they are in desperate need of allies and quickly recieve refuge from a group of vigilantes known as the Patriots. In a world where nothing is free, the Patriots barter their aid in exchange for Day and June's assistance on their plot to over throw the Republic. More specifically, Day and June are to become key instruments inorchestrating an assination attempt on the new supreme/president or whatever the hell the top dog of the republic is called in this series. What transpires is an action filled and emotionally charged adventure.
If you're craving a dystopian adventure, where heroines are intelligent, and a majority of the characters are down for kicking a little ass, Prodigy won't disappoint.
Though I had enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns a great deal, I had rather forgotten to anticipate this series. No doubt due to the onslaught of releasesThough I had enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns a great deal, I had rather forgotten to anticipate this series. No doubt due to the onslaught of releases within this genre. But I recently found myself yearning for a fantasy escape to far off fictional lands that promise tales of adventure, love, intrigue and phenomenal characters, when I happened upon Bitter Kingdom. I quickly realized I had neglected to read Crown of Embers and was immediately thrilled with the prospect of reading not one, but two books to slate my lust. Carson did not fail me.
I am completely confident that readers who enjoyed Kristen Cashore’s Graceling Series, Megan Whelan Turner’s Thief series or Malina Marchetta's Lumitere Chronicles will equally delight and devour this one. The world building is superb and possesses a lore that is unique while possessing traits that are familiar to fantasy readers. Each of these books bursts at the seams with political intrigue, some may even feel daunted by it, but I was not perturbed to read it. For me, these two qualities alone could easily ship a series, but what truly blew me away, more than masterful writing about magical realms and cunningly crafted political land mines were the characters, most importantly our heroine, Elisa.
In The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Elisa offers readers the promise of potential. She is rather annoying and useless at the start of the book, but makes a gradual, steady climb into a likeable and even loveable character. She astounds in this one. While I have read several books that possess worthy heroines, I’m going to dare say that none of them have matched this one. And I say that because all of the worthy heroine’s I have read and loved have possessed intelligence (I could not love them otherwise), but they were all also described as physically capable, and most of all, have been described as beautiful (and almost always possessing and naturally lithe figure). Not so for Elisa. Elisa made strides in improving her physical strength and capabilities in book 1 of this series, and that trend certainly continues. But that strength is not beyond the limits of a natural human being who is only just beginning to test the boundaries of her own strength. She often experiences failure in this endeavor and I found this to be refreshing. Even more jarring is the fact that Elisa is described by her kingdom as portly and most of her friends and family acknowledge the fact that she is far from a “looker”. This simply never happens in books. Heroines are always considered beautiful by others, even when the character themselves may not acknowledge the truth behind it. This fact always lends some power to the heroine, and yet Elisa does not possess this trait in her arsenal of attributes. Rather, she has to rely solely on her intelligence and personality to earn the love and respect of her fellow characters and readers. She certainly earned mine. I was elated to read about a heroine that struggled with all forms of limitations including self doubt and insecurity. Yet Elisa insists upon a continued quest to overcome them all. Moreover, she judges the success of this endeavor by finding these traits within herself, and not thru the validation and actions of others. It made me love her all the more.
But wait, it gets better, because Carson gifts us with even more extra ordinarily drawn characters beyond that of her heroine.
We have the repentant assassin turned spy, Belen who I initially liked, then loathed and have slowly grown to trust and count upon. The fierce and scared lady and waiting Mara, who’s quiet devotion and determination for survival inspires Elisa’s desire to find joy for herself in spite of her predestined service of others. We are also introduced to the enigmatic Inveirno, Storm who remains shrouded in mystery even at book’s end and best of all, the loyal, and moral Lord Commander, Hector. Hector is a man of few words, but they are all the right ones.
“I love you the way a dying man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little”
Swoon. Even better, he loved Elisa before anyone, including Elisa herself, saw something in her to love. Gotta give the man credit for that. But even if Hector was not a leading man due to his love of Elisa, I am confident he would have earned a hero status all the same for he is brave, and humble, and quietly intelligent.
So, be prepared, because Crown of Embers does what all great books do…make you yearn for more. Luckily it’s out, so rush off to the store like I did so that you don’t whittle your nails to nubs in anticipation. ...more