Sword and Verse impressed me from the very beginning. First off, the writing was lovely and quite polished — this story did not have that *debut* feelSword and Verse impressed me from the very beginning. First off, the writing was lovely and quite polished — this story did not have that *debut* feel that many other debut novels seem to have (especially in YA). It was a rich and well-written story with many delightful layers.
I love stories that incorporate new and different languages or ways of writing within the worldbuilding, and this had plenty of both. One of the main mysteries in Sword and Verse involved Raisa trying to learn a whole new language and way of writing, just so she could decipher a special message from her past. This had me hooked right away, and I was an anxious as Raisa to figure out what it said!
This book was full of tensions -- between groups of people and between individuals -- that felt real and vibrant. Worlds where one group of people is enslaved to another always carry plenty of moral questions, intrigues, and opportunities for danger. Sword and Verse totally delivered. It was satisfying to watch as Raisa tested her boundaries, tried to maintain (and figure out) her loyalties, all while going through some very challenging ordeals that put her life and many others in danger. There was a hefty dose of character growth here, especially for Raisa.
Another aspect that really piqued my interest was the whole religious threads that bound this world together. Each chapter began with a snippet of a story from their religious text, so as a reader you come to understand the lore that these people revolve their lives around. It was very nicely woven into the story, and I enjoyed seeing how these ideas were challenged, believed, and where it took the people.
Overall, this was a wonderful read, and I'd recommend it to fantasy fans or anyone who wants to dive into a very different world, full of interesting lore....more
For once, I actually wanted to read a book because of its description — that's right, I actually read the description for this book! Empaths are one oFor once, I actually wanted to read a book because of its description — that's right, I actually read the description for this book! Empaths are one of those topics that always entice me, so I knew I wanted to give Burning Glass a try, even though I knew absolutely nothing else about the book, author, hype, etc. This book was a total win!
Burning Glass was intense right from the beginning, and I really liked the way that I was led through a series of strong emotions to sort of set the tone for what was to come. I knew I was going to be in for a dark, gritty novel and that the story was going to visit depths one doesn't often see in YA novels. I was hesitantly hooked... But as I kept reading, and reading, those dark claws just kept their hold on me.
Here are some of my favorite things about Burning Glass: - The darkness explored in Sonya and other characters - The different types of friendships that evolve among the characters - The "magic" system, if you will (the empaths were fascinating) - The breakneck pace, tempered perfectly with some sweet, soft moments
Here are some things you may not like about Burning Glass: - There is a bit of a love triangle - Some choices made by some characters — possibly
Look, the bottom line is that I absolutely L-O-V-E-D this book, I'm dying to read its sequel, and if you like fantasy, I think you should read it too!...more
Okay, let me just say that this book was my first experience with Sophie Jordan’s writing, and I think it confirmed some things for me. First3.5 stars
Okay, let me just say that this book was my first experience with Sophie Jordan’s writing, and I think it confirmed some things for me. First, it confirmed that her style is not exactly my favorite — BUT, she definitely knows how to tell an entertaining story (hence the 3.5-star rating).
Reign of Shadows has many things going for it, which really tickled my fancy. The world was dark (literally), dangerous, and had a distinctly fairytale-like atmosphere about it. The relationships between the characters were vivid and palpable. Each person felt distinct and like they had a life of his or her own, right down to the random strangers that were encountered along the way.
I enjoyed experiencing a story through the perspective of a blind main character. I think many times, the way Luna experienced the world felt realistic and eye-opening for a reader who definitely isn’t blind. I do think, though, that there were other times where Luna’s thoughts/desires/experiences/actions as a blind person did not seem realistic, and those really bothered me.
The storytelling was a bit confusing at first. It’s told from the perspectives of both Luna and Fowler, but it took me several chapters to get used to. It doesn’t alternate equally from one to the other, and their voices were hard to distinguish from one another. Sometimes I would have trouble remembering which character was narrating (and you’d think it would be easier, since one of them is BLIND).
In the end, the story was entertaining, but wasn’t quite as rich with detail and… thought… as I would have liked. It’s also on the short side, so beware that cliffhanger ending!...more
As expected — just like everything Leigh Bardugo writes — this was brilliant. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed getting this glimpse into the DarkliAs expected — just like everything Leigh Bardugo writes — this was brilliant. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed getting this glimpse into the Darkling’s past. Into his childhood (especially after finishing the whole series)! I loved every word of it and I really wish there had been more. I truly would have read a whole full-length novel from this perspective!...more
I'll be honest. After my pretty neutral experience with Mindy McGinnis's debut novel, I didn't have high expectations for A Madness So Discreet. I'm pI'll be honest. After my pretty neutral experience with Mindy McGinnis's debut novel, I didn't have high expectations for A Madness So Discreet. I'm pleased to report, however, that I absolutely loved this book!
What makes A Madness So Discreet such a great book?
The writing is poetic - in more ways than one! You know when you're reading a book and you get to a point where you understand the title on a whole new level? This one, for me, was subtle and beautiful and poignant. Not only are there some lovely passages, but there are layers of quiet poetry to the whole story.
The setting is fascinating. A 19th century insane asylum. Murders and mysteries and investigations. Lobotomies and sinister figures. Are you not intrigued?!
The relationships - particularly female friendships - are beautifully done. It was truly refreshing to read a YA with such a wide and deep pool of relationship exploration. I'm not even a little bit saddened by the lack of romance! I loved seeing the ways Grace connected with people, but the strength of female bonding was my favorite.
The bounty of thought experiments within. Sure, the book has mysteries to solve, but what impressed me more were all of the ethical and just... thought provoking situations that arose. How would you handle this situation? Is it right to treat a person like this in a certain way? Should one feel remorse for doing that?
The levels of darkness within. Maybe this aspect should be tied in with the previous two bullet points, but several times I was delighted to see that McGinnis "went there" in a YA book. Nothing shocking, but just... I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the maturity level of this book is spot on for teens and adults alike.
It made me laugh out loud more than once. That's right, this book has everything. The humor is so brilliantly laced throughout this story; it keeps the pace perfectly.
It's hard to find a flaw in A Madness So Discreet -- at least for me! Recommended for anyone who's even partly interested!!!...more
I liked this one even better than the first volume. The stories just seemed to get even more intense, with deeper wells of emotion and some really imaI liked this one even better than the first volume. The stories just seemed to get even more intense, with deeper wells of emotion and some really imaginative storylines. I really enjoy the artwork, and there are even card illustrations from various tarot decks (fully credited, of course), which only fuels my obsession with collecting them all! This volume got me totally hooked and bout I bought the next three immediately!...more
As soon as I saw the title, I knew I was going to be buying this manga! The story focuses on a tarot reader who helps all kinds of people — includingAs soon as I saw the title, I knew I was going to be buying this manga! The story focuses on a tarot reader who helps all kinds of people — including mystical creatures like fairies and cats that can use their lives like wishes. Each reading/tale was unique and fascinating; some were about love, or loss, or family. The explanation of each tarot card was spot-on, both in the notes and in the storytelling. Nothing stood out to me TOO much, but I enjoyed this manga!...more
When I finished Trial by Fire, I was basically aching to read the next book in the series. Lucky for me, my darling friend Nikki sent me her4.5 stars
When I finished Trial by Fire, I was basically aching to read the next book in the series. Lucky for me, my darling friend Nikki sent me her ARC from BEA (thanks again, Nikki!!!). I finally got to dive into this baby — amidst my move to Austin and everything! — and it was even better than I expected!
I have to be careful here for fear of spoilers, so let me try to be vague with my reasons for why this book is awesome:
The level of intensity does not abate. This book put me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. Angelini is a master at riding that wave of urgency and relief to keep me reading!
The cast of characters grows and shifts slightly, and the dynamics between all of them was just perfectly done. It was nice to see such a range of interaction between everyone, much like in the first book.
There were plenty of moments that made me laugh or giggle. You know when you get to that point in a series, where you know the characters so well, that you enjoy their subtle quirks? Oh, this book totally gets you there.
The overall plot revelations and mysteries — HOLY MOLY. I absolutely LOVE where she is going with this series, and the amount of growth that Lily is experiencing along this journey. My curiosity and generally inquisitive nature has been effectively piqued!
I don't even know what else to say. This sequel TOTALLY kicked ass and now I REALLY need the final book! YOU GUYS. Have you read this series? Do you like fantasy stories with great character interaction and plenty of things to get you thinking? Yes? Then you NEED to read Trial by Fire, and then immediately read Firewalker!!...more
As soon as I saw that there was a Rowan novella for this series, I pre-ordered it (which sounds kind of ridiculous, I realize)! I dove into t2.5 stars
As soon as I saw that there was a Rowan novella for this series, I pre-ordered it (which sounds kind of ridiculous, I realize)! I dove into this immediately, and was thrilled when it seemed to be a very lengthy novella. I loved getting to see the events from Trial by Fire unfolding from Rowan’s point of view. But then, at 20%, something horrible happened… The novella was OVER and then began a preview of the books in the series. WHAT? Nooooo! I wanted WAY more Rowan. This is the first novella I’ve regretted paying money for because it was SO SHORT. I liked what WAS there, but damn, what a let-down....more
Everyone had been drooling over Six of Crows for what seemed like ages, and I was interested - I mean, it's Leigh Bardugo for Pete's sake! -4.5 stars
Everyone had been drooling over Six of Crows for what seemed like ages, and I was interested - I mean, it's Leigh Bardugo for Pete's sake! - but for some reason I wasn't truly sold on it.
...That is, until I read the first page.
This book is an impressive piece of work. It takes a lot of skill, planning, and creativity to write a good heist story. It takes a dedicated and careful writer to do that from five different points of view! Six of Crows delivers with flying colors.
It was really cool to be back in a somewhat familiar world, but get to experience it from completely different perspectives than before. The world building is rich and layered, as any fan of Bardugo's has come to expect by now.
But the best part - my favorite part - about this whole experience? Yes, it's a thrilling heist story involving a rowdy band of thieves, but what truly won me over was the people. Six of Crows is a profound exploration of character and of relationships. Each character got their story told. Each character had plenty of back story. Each character had meaningful, revealing interactions with others. THAT is what made me truly love this book.
Whether you're a fan of the Grisha trilogy or you've never even heard of this author, whether you like crime stories or not, I'm recommending Six of Crows to YOU!...more
I had been somewhat skeptical about this book, but when I got the opportunity to listen to it on audio, I figured why not. And I’m really glad I did bI had been somewhat skeptical about this book, but when I got the opportunity to listen to it on audio, I figured why not. And I’m really glad I did because this book was thoroughly enjoyable! Each character was quite well fleshed out, especially Echo (I loved her spunk and sarcasm!). I think the things that knocked a star off of this one are that I wanted to see more of the supposed best friendship between Echo and Ivy (although I have read other reviews that seem to think it was explored quite well), and I want to know more about the Ala. Maybe in the next book?...more
Holy moly, dude. This book. THIS BOOK! So much happens in this freaking book, I don’t even know how she crammed it all in there and made it feel wellHoly moly, dude. This book. THIS BOOK! So much happens in this freaking book, I don’t even know how she crammed it all in there and made it feel well paced and perfect. I don’t even know what to say except Cinda Williams Chima is *brilliant*. Each arc was so well done that I was left just bubbling over with glee by the end of this one. No complaints. I am SO glad I read this series!...more
Okay, this is the book where I REALLY, like… COMPLETELY got invested in this series. I know, it’s book THREE, but yeah. Everything is buildi4.5 stars!
Okay, this is the book where I REALLY, like… COMPLETELY got invested in this series. I know, it’s book THREE, but yeah. Everything is building up to some seriously freaking awesome and intense and super cool and scary and OMG moments! I absolutely LOVE the slow burn romance of this series, and the way that the stakes just keep being raised for both of the protagonists. (I also like that the title gives you a hint as to the theme of the book, but the story goes SO DEEP with it.)...more
This book was a lot of fun! It was really cool to see some new places among their seven realms, some of which were dangerous and some of which were coThis book was a lot of fun! It was really cool to see some new places among their seven realms, some of which were dangerous and some of which were cozy. I’m beginning to really fall in love with these characters, and it’s been great to see some new faces coming into the forefront, providing mystery and comfort. This was a really enjoyable sequel to The Demon King. It will be interesting to see how these characters get out of their current predicaments in the next book!...more