First thoughts: As the conclusion of a wonderful series, A Witch Alone has many moments that broke my heart. At the same time thereMy Rating : 4.5 / 5
First thoughts: As the conclusion of a wonderful series, A Witch Alone has many moments that broke my heart. At the same time there happened many other things that could make me smile again, even though I was constantly hoping for a happy ending, which I could never expect at any moment during the story. If you were hoping for an exciting last installment, don't hesitate to finish reading this amazing series.
... the plot: I was already dying to get my hands on a copy of A Witch Alone after the ending of the second book. Therefore I couldn't wait long to read it once I finally had it and am very happy I did so. There happened so many things that I definitely didn't expect. Twists and turns had me guessing and I'm sure I'm not the only one. While I'm still not completely sure what to feel about the ending, which lacked a certain spark in comparison with the rest of the book, I'm still happy with the conclusion of this series and would love to re-read it one day.
... the characters: Oh Anna, selfless little Anna. My heart definitely broke for her more than once while reading A Witch Alone. But sometimes I wanted to shout at her nonetheless to try to make her see that accepting help can be the better solution. Not wanting to endanger the people she loves, she ends up in situations that aren't better than the ones she feared and has to realize that she can't do everything on her own.
Still, my favorite character of this series is Abe. I fell in love with him during the first book and loved every scene with him ever since. He sometimes reminds me a tiny bit like a rougher version of Adrian (Vampire Academy / Bloodlines), which would definitely explain why I like him so much. His love for his friends is unconditional even though I didn't like some of his reactions toward the end.
Of course I cannot forget to mention Seth, who is the origin of many painful moments, which I'm happy about though. A love story like Anna and Seth's can never be easy and I'm very satisfied with Ruth's approach throughout the books. Both of them make many mistakes, but that's what makes them so wonderfully realistic.
... everything: All in all, A Witch Alone is an amazing and satisfying last installment, even though I still would have preferred a more exciting ending scene. I loved reading this series and can't wait for Ruth Warburton to write more books for me to read. If you want to delve into a world of magic and mysteries, I'm sure you'll enjoy this series!
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review....more
First thoughts: Intrigued by reviews of trusted bloggers, I decided to give Masque of the Red Death a chance even though its summaryMy Rating: 3.5 / 5
First thoughts: Intrigued by reviews of trusted bloggers, I decided to give Masque of the Red Death a chance even though its summary didn't appeal to me immediately. It turned out to be an enjoyable and fast read, set in a scary but interesting world. Despite the diverse characters, I sadly missed a connection to the story though, and even though I'm curious to find out how Araby's story will continue, it was easy for me to put this book aside.
More detailed: Having never read the original story by Edgar Allan Poe, I was unsure what to expect of Bethany Griffin's Masque of the Red Death. The summary already suggested a morbidity of some sort, but I was still surprised by the world Araby is living it. Death has become an everyday-topic after the plague, which is still lethal to everyone who isn't wearing a mask, decimating the population radically.
I've read many reviews that said that Araby was a bit too whiny for the reader. I actually felt different. Her loss was huge and even though she was trying to cope in somewhat incomprehensible ways, I could understand her behaviour. And maybe it was because I was prepared by reading the reviews, but I didn't find her sadness to be too overwhelming or even annoying.
Araby develops to be a fairly strong character, fighting for her life even though she would have given it up freely a while ago. It's great to witness her development and her interactions with the other characters, especially April, Elliot and Will. Their relationships aren't easy and you can never be sure whom to trust and who will turn out to betray someone else.
I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to the love triangle. Elliot and Will are both, complete opposites and quite similar. Their feelings for Araby are intense, but at the same time she's not the only important thing for either of them. I'm glad to finally see love stories that aren't blind - these characters have to make decisions they might not even like, but at the same time they cannot choose otherwise.
My only problem with Masque of the Red Death was the fact that it was easy to put away. While I enjoyed reading Araby's story a lot, I didn't feel the need to spend every free second I have reading it. I liked its characters, but didn't fall in love with them. I didn't crave this story and this is what makes me rate it 3.5 - I was missing a certain connection.
But all in all, it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless. I'm definitely looking forward to find out what will happen to these characters now and I'm intrigued by the world Bethany Griffin built. Masque of the Red Death might not be my favorite novel, but it's definitely one I'm fond of and that I can recommend to others, who are looking for an entertaining read with a great world-building and unusual characters.
I received an eARC of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion....more