Well, I honestly don’t know what to say after that ending. Quite the twist. Not to mention my heart laying on the floor bleeding (which was kind of thWell, I honestly don’t know what to say after that ending. Quite the twist. Not to mention my heart laying on the floor bleeding (which was kind of the state of it through almost half the book, what with happened with Celaena and Chaol, after that moment of ultimate betrayal). Yeah, that kind of sucked. Alright, it was awful! It hurt so much! Goodness, I can’t believe it even happened. They were finally together, and it was beautiful, then they were ripped apart.
I was pretty surprised by this sequel to Throne of Glass. I loved that book. I loved the characters, and writing, and story-building, and plot. Everything. But then I read Crown of Midnight, and it blew everything out of the water. I was sucked so deep into the book, into Celaena’s story, and anguish. I did not expect to be so affected by this book. But Celaena’s pain, and anger, cried out to me, struck me. Then the storyline deepened, and became more complex, more intriguing, just, more. There is so much more to Celaena’s backstory, and who she is. The twists in the story knocked me off my feet, especially the ending. I love the magical element, how it is threaded into the plot, giving it more meaning, and infusing it with intrigue, and promise of a better world.
I loved all the characters. They all have so much depth to them, and emotions. They’re not just lifeless characters who serve only to take up space. They all have meaning, and they all have an integral part. Celaena, is one tough girl. She had to be, what with her past. And she has so many secrets. I didn't realize how much she was keeping inside, and what those secrets could mean to her, and everyone else.
I loved the romance. I liked it a lot better here than in the first book because I like the male interest better. Well, I love them (Dorian and Chaol) both, but I like the couple better in this book. It became one of favorite romances! I just wanted them to get together. There was just so much tension, and you know that they both want each other, they’re just too stubborn to give in. But they couldn’t hold it in forever. It was bound to come out sooner or later. And it did, and it was fantastic.
The writing was fantastic, the world-building was outstanding. The story just ran along at a fast pace, I could barely keep up. And then the end happened, and it left me breathless, and stunned. Made even more heartbreaking by what happened between Celaena and Chaol. But the twists at the end. Wowzer! did not see anything like that coming at all. And now I cannot wait for the sequel. ...more
I didn’t care for this novel. Like, at all. So I’m just going to keep this review short. The premise is pretty cool, and I did like the base story linI didn’t care for this novel. Like, at all. So I’m just going to keep this review short. The premise is pretty cool, and I did like the base story line to the novel. But that’s kind of where my likes ended. I didn’t like any of the characters, Bishop being the one I disliked the most. He rankled me to no end. There was nothing in his character that I liked, or felt drawn to. I didn’t like Indigo. Reading the book in her annoying voice grated on my nerves. And the fact that she ended up liking Bishop… I would have liked the book better if she hadn’t ended up with him. So, those are my thoughts after reading Hexed. I’m sure some people will like it (some people already do), it just wasn’t for me....more
All in all, The Diamond Thief was a pretty good book. Despite some flaws, I enjoyed reading it. And while I can’t say I loved it, it kept me reading tAll in all, The Diamond Thief was a pretty good book. Despite some flaws, I enjoyed reading it. And while I can’t say I loved it, it kept me reading to see what would happen, so that’s saying something. There were some parts that really stuck out to me, one being the first time we read her pickpocketing a valuable stone. I didn’t think that that was what she was going to do, and then when I realized what she was doing, I thought, “She’s really going to do it?” (with some incredulity in my thought). Don’t know why I didn’t think she would, my mind just wasn’t going there. Anyway, I liked that part.
Now the romance, it wasn’t completely believable. It kind of sprung out of nowhere. In all honesty, based on the character’s persona, I couldn’t see them liking each other, let alone falling in love. If the romance, or the characters, had been developed a little differently, I would have believed the romance much more. That being said, I still liked the love story. I liked the tension between them, and the ending of the novel with them.
The characters were shaped well enough. I never really connected with them, but I liked Remy’s strong voice, and Thaddeus’ caring nature. I actually liked the story line. There were some things that weren’t explained very well, like why some people have certain magic abilities. But I liked the magic spin, and the steampunk take. So, if you are looking for a light steampunk novel with a slight magical twist (but not expecting a WOW of a novel), then you might consider checking this book out.
Thank you to Netgalley, and Capstone Press for the arc. And thank you to Sharon Gosling for sharing your talents ...more
Well, if Seraphina is like this prequel (with, of course, much more), then I believe I will LOVE Seraphina. And I'm assuming Princess Glisselda will bWell, if Seraphina is like this prequel (with, of course, much more), then I believe I will LOVE Seraphina. And I'm assuming Princess Glisselda will be there. I hope so. She sounds fun. I think she's a character I will have to watch out for. ...more
I was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than anI was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than anything else could. When Netgalley accepted my request, I was so anxious to dive right into the story. I was never really worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. And it did. Even going beyond what I was hoping for, and promising so much more.
I find pirates rather intriguing. Maybe that stems from my liking of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but don’t pillaging, sword fighting, treasure seeking pirates have a ring of adventure and mystery to them? Even if some of them are good for nothing scoundrels. The pirates in this here book were fashioned quite well. The story is told from a young pirate girl’s point of view. Which I honestly find quite appealing. A pirate girl isn’t going to be a TSTL heroine who relies on her hero to save her. Ananna was fierce and independent. She takes action, and she doesn’t wait for the dazzling hero to get her out of the situations she gets herself into. And this is what drew me completely into the story.
I found myself falling in love with Ananna’s voice. She was just such fun to read. She was a strong character. She was the fierce, independent pirate girl, but she also shows a soft side. A side that cares about people and that could love. And she shows that she’s not completely fearless. There are things that scare her senseless. But she doesn’t let her fright get the better of her. She rises after the scare with strength and determination to set out to do what she needs to. Then there was Naji. The assassin whose life Ananna saved and now they’re bonded together and they have to find a way to break the curse. Naji was a pretty cool character, and I felt was created really good. He’s an awesome assassin. Black as night that can move without a sound and can kill with precision and skill. But Naji isn’t your typical prince charming who has girls falling over their feet to get him, who dazzles everyone, including the heroine, with his charms and extremely hot looks. Naji is scarred, physically and internally. And this shows the reader his weakness. It shows that he is not just the fearless, stealthy assassin. He has demons he’s trying to fight, and he tries to hide it. And I really did feel for him. I find myself liking the tortured hero, because it shows they’re not perfect, and that they have a past.
I liked the subtle, slow growing romance. I liked that Ananna didn’t immediately fall in love with him (which would be pretty hard to do when he just tried to kill her). I liked that they were forced to be together which they both resented, but that through this bond, this curse, they grew to understand each other. I liked that Ananna was able to see past Naji’s scars, and focus on the man who desperately needs help. I felt that the buildup of their friendship, and potential, inevitable romance was done well and was beautiful. I’m extremely excited to see how their romance will blossom.
And the ending. The ending was perfect! The last line made me smile and made my heart grow warm because of its beauty and love. This novel was beautifully crafted and executed. It was by no means perfect. When I really think about it, there are a few flaws, but I just don’t want to think about those, because the book was otherwise so awesome that I don’t want my love of it tainted in any way. So, I’ll focus on the bright spots instead. K? The characters were very well rounded, and I loved them, the plot was exciting and intriguing, the world was luscious and wonderfully built, the writing was amazing. Pretty much I just loved the whole book. Clarke did an awesome job, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Which should be coming out any day now. Sometime next year. Or maybe sooner if I can bribe the publisher, and find some ingenious way to force Clarke to write faster. Because we all know how readers hate to wait. Anyway, I applaud Clarke for writing an incredible, worthwhile young adult novel that hopefully readers everywhere will love.
Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for the arc....more
Glamorous Illusions follows the journey of a young woman as she tries to discover who she is, and what she can become. At the beginning, she learns abGlamorous Illusions follows the journey of a young woman as she tries to discover who she is, and what she can become. At the beginning, she learns about a secret her parents kept from her her whole life. She feels betrayed by what happened, and that they never told her. Then she is offered a chance to go on the Grand Tour of Europe with her new found siblings, who may just hate her for who she is. She goes a little grudgingly, wary of the man who she knows now as her blood father. But she finds as she travels with her siblings, and comes to accept who she is, that she can’t be mad at any of her parents, her mother or her two fathers, because they each gave her a life that helped shape her into the woman that she is, and is becoming.
Cora was a nice protagonist. I didn’t always like being in her head. Not that she was annoying, or stupid, I just couldn’t quite connect with her. It helped that her narrative was broken up by the viewpoints of Will. I did like seeing Cora’s journey, and how she coped with her new, extravagant life, and having to leave the people she loved. She was strong, and didn’t let her siblings dislike of her keep her down. I appreciated her humility, and determination to stand firm, and her accepting herself for who she is, no matter what her past is. People could treat her however they may, but she knew there were people who cared about her, so their disdain couldn’t hurt her. But, I also felt that she was kind of boring. She’s just a normal girl, trying to find where she fits in; which is, you know, cliché. And nothing terribly original or exciting happened to put a twist on that storyline. So maybe that’s partly why I couldn’t connect with her.
The plot also, was kind of boring. It wasn’t bad, or completely disinteresting, but it wasn’t interesting enough to keep my attention focused solely on the book, so that I couldn’t bear to be stop reading. I did enjoy learning about the history, and whatnot. I can tell that Bergren did her research well, and cared enough to get the details right. It wasn’t until the ending, where the real excitement began, that I became really interested, and excited, and couldn’t stop reading. Too bad that happened at the end, and not sooner. Don’t get me wrong, not all books have to be exciting and adventurous to be worth reading, or to have deep meaning. I love books that are slow, and contemplative, with lush descriptions and wonderful characters who triumph not by fighting a dragon, but by coming to know their heart and the hearts of others. And Glamorous Illusions did do this. It did have wonderful descriptions of the places the characters visited, and well-rounded characters that the reader comes to understand and like. I just felt that something was missing, for me at least.
I did like the romance, and actually, the biggest reason why I would consider reading the second book would be to see that romance develop. I’m interested to see where it goes, and to see Will and Cora fall in love. Will was a wonderful hero. He was a gentlemen who only wanted to teach his clients history, and to protect them on the tour. He just wasn’t ready to have his heart stolen. And he tries to fight it. Cora is above his station, and he isn’t supposed to get involved with the clients. But he can’t help what he feels. I liked seeing his perspective. Being able to see his side and Cora’s, seeing both of their uncertainties, and wondering if the other could possibly like them, but then telling themselves that it could never work. And then there’s Pierre, a Frenchman who falls for Cora, and she can’t help but be pleased by his attention. So, there’s a little love triangle, which will probably be explored more in the coming novels. But this triangle isn’t angsty or annoying, where the girl flip flops between the guys. It’s done well, and is believable.
So, in the end, I liked Glamorous Illusions well enough. I loved the ending, and would like to see more of Cora and Will. I think fans of the River of Time series will like this novel, and probably history fiction buffs. As for me, I’ll just have to see what the next novel has to offer before I invest in it.
Thank you to David C. Cook and Netgalley for the arc....more
This book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager tThis book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager to keep reading. Most of my disinterest was because of the characters. They were flat and boring. They didn’t feel real to me. And Lena was the worst. (which is really bad, because if the MC doesn’t generate enough interest in the reader, her involvement in the plot will seem pointless, and her relationships with the other characters will be stupid and boring).She was one of those too stupid to live ‘heroines’. The choices she made were so stupid. And I know characters make stupid choices all the time, but some authors have the ability of making the reader understand the character’s decision, and can make that stupid choice they did help them as they grow and learn and are shaped into that likeable, believable person. Lena was not this person. She betrayed a few people, and I never saw any real redemption or personal growth in her. I didn’t see how this wrong decision helped her to change, or realize the horrible thing she did and have her try to make things right. She knew what she did was wrong, and she did feel bad, but I saw more of her feeling sorry for herself, and wondering if they could ever forgive her, which, I guess they did right after she committed it, because they never really felt like they’d been betrayed, (at least that’s the feeling I got when I was reading). And here’s another thing I didn’t like about her. She was selfish, and thought more about her sorry self and her disgusting hands and feet, and thinking that Jimson could never love her because of what she is, even when Jimson is kind to her and pays her more attention than she deserves.
Another thing that took me away from the book was the dialogue. It was too formal and stiff, and therefore made the characters feel stiffer. The plot wasn’t captivating like I wanted it to be. Exciting stuff happened, but I didn’t feel excited. The ending wasn’t so great, and didn’t make me at all excited to read a sequel, (if there will be one, and most likely will be).
So this book was rather unsatisfying for me. Hopefully there are people who will like it much more than I did.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the arc....more
Talisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical adTalisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical adventure with a wonderful cast of characters. I have to be honest here. Before I read it, I was never really interested in it. I saw it floating around a little bit, but it just didn’t catch my interest. The cover is, I’m sorry, so bad (at least to me). Then I saw it on Netgalley and thought, why not? So I read it, and I’m glad I did. The cover does not do the story justice. Seriously, if there was a really cool cover with more color and creatures from the book on it, or something like that, I think a lot more people would be drawn to the book. I probably would have. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when there are so many books, and you’re browsing through them, mainly looking at the covers, Talisman of El isn’t one that jumps out at you.
I really enjoyed the story. It was pretty well thought out, and had some great action, and well-rounded characters. I became really interested in the characters’ lives, and kept wondering what was going to happen, and how things would end. I think Charlie was a great hero, and Stone wrote his perspective with tact and realism. He felt like a normal teenage boy who is beginning to learn about the world, and feeling trust or mistrust for adults, and feeling the budding, strange feelings for the opposite sex. Here is a promising relationship that I hope Stone will explore more in depth in the sequel. There’s no love story in the Talisman of El, but there’s the promise of one. A seed is being planted, and I’m excited to see where it could go.
I was a little reminded of Harry Potter as I read. The relationship that Charlie formed with Derkein reminded me of Harry and Sirius. And Charlie’s friendships with Richmond and Alex, was kind of like Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s early friendship. I’m not saying that Stone got her ideas from Harry Potter, because her book is original, and has an intrigue of its own. I could just see her imaginative wheels turning as she planned the story. Talisman of El falls into that fantastical category where we see kids getting swept away from their real world into a whole new world. Stories like Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Harry Potter, and Narnia. And I think Talisman of El fits quite nicely into this group. It’s not as epic as those other stories, but it holds its own, and I see great potential in the story as it keeps going, and as Stone grows in her storytelling and writing.
One thing that I would like to see improvement on is having tighter writing, and having more connection between scenes. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t able to see some things happen, I was just told about it after it had already happened. And it wasn’t anything big, just things like seeing the characters get from Point A to Point B. Not a big deal, but certainly something that could be worked on. I also felt like some parts of the novel were a little slow. Like After Charlie gets to Arcadia and is learning about it, and the Arcadians are telling him who he is. Necessary information, but it was just a little slow, and maybe a little to telling and not enough showing.
After finishing Talisman of El, I found that I really did like it, despite some minor flaws, and was excited to read the sequel. Stone wrote an intriguing, fun, adventurous story that managed to capture my interest (when the cover failed to do that), and showed me what she can do, and what her future novels can be. I’m interested to see where she can take us next.
Thank you to Centrinian Publishing and Netgalley for the arc.