To say that I devoured Grave Mercy would be putting it midly. Unable to put this book down for the life of me, I managed to read all 549 pages in a si...moreTo say that I devoured Grave Mercy would be putting it midly. Unable to put this book down for the life of me, I managed to read all 549 pages in a single day! While I found Robin LaFevers writing a little bit stilted at first, as the plot line progressed I became too hooked by the actual story to stop reading. Despite how much I tried to pace myself throughout the day, the pages flew by in a blur and before I knew it I had sadly reached the end of the book.
So what was it that I loved so much about Grave Mercy? Let's start with how fast paced it was! Between all of the assassinations, betrayals, and murders, there was definitely a lot of action to keep me interested! I also became quickly attached to the characters, especially Ismae and Duval. I absolutely adored how their relationship started off on completely the wrong foot, only to grow to a heated chemistry that neither of them could ignore. You could have cut the tension between those two with a knife!
Unfortunately, despite the intense rising action of the romance between Ismae and Duval, their relationship never really reached the huge climax that I was hoping for, which is part of the reason I could only give this book 4 stars rather than 5. It seems like the author wanted to keep their relationship as PG-13 as possible, so a simple kiss and declaration of love is about all that we get from these two.
I was also really disappointed to discover that the next book in this series would not be written from Ismae's perspective, but rather a different character. While I can appreciate the author's decision to make Grave Mercy almost like its own standalone book, I've become too attached to Ismae and Duval to just let them go. While I'm sure their story will be continued in the rest of the series, it won't be the same seeing it through a different character's perspective. Hopefully the second book, Dark Triumph, will win me over in the end!
Despite my disappointment at how this novel ended, I would still DEFINITELY recommend it to lovers of YA fiction! It is exciting, gripping, and imaginative, what more could you ask for in an amazing book? While I'm upset about the fact that Ismae's narration won't continue in the rest of the series, I'm nevertheless looking forward to the second book, and will definitely pick up a copy when it comes out. I'm sure the action and adventure present in Grave Mercy will continue in Dark Triumph, and I'll be hooked in once again! (less)
Maria V. Snyder has captured my heart again! After falling in love with her latest novel, Touch of Power, I decided to check out some of her earlier s...moreMaria V. Snyder has captured my heart again! After falling in love with her latest novel, Touch of Power, I decided to check out some of her earlier series and was immediately intrigued by the synopsis of Poison Study. Luckily for me the book was just as magical and fantastic as the synopsis makes it sound!
Things I Loved About Poison Study: Spy Master Extrordinaire: One word: Valek. Although I wasn't sure what to make of Valek for the first few chapters, I fell in love with him pretty quickly! He's mysterious, a badass fighter, and a hero all wrapped up into one super attractive package! I pretty much swooned every time he appeared in a scene!
The Setting: In Poison Study Yelena lives in a country which is ruled by a strict military regime. While I was initially put off by this fact (I mean who wants to be ruled by the military?), as the story goes on the Commander starts to grow on me. It actually seems like this military regime is giving its citizens a somewhat better life then what they had before! BUT I guess we will see if that is actually the truth of the matter as this series continues!
Fast Paced Story: This is definitely a book for people who prefer plot driven stories rather than those that are focused on character development. A lot happens in this book! Yelena commits murder, becomes a food taster, learns how to become a kickass spy, discovers magic, the list goes on and on! And that's only book one! I can only imagine what trouble she'll get into in the next book!
Things I Disliked About Poison Study: Hmm I actually can't think of anything that I absolutely disliked about Poison Study! Being the type of person who appreciates character development I probably would have liked it if Snyder had added a bit more in about Valek's past, but the story was still really great! I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series! (less)
I always love a good fantasy novel filled with fighting, love triangles, and a bit of intrigue, but I was happy to find myself enjoying Throne of Glas...moreI always love a good fantasy novel filled with fighting, love triangles, and a bit of intrigue, but I was happy to find myself enjoying Throne of Glass more than I even originally anticipated! Sarah J. Maas used just the right amount of action, character development, and mystery to keep me on the edge of my seat the entire way through! I love a female character who is physically strong, yet also intellectual, and Celaena possessed both of these qualities and more.
My favourite part of the entire book, however, was the love plot. No surprise there right? The whole time I was reading I kept my fingers crossed that Celaena would eventually end up with the Captain of the Guard, Chaol. It was pretty obvious early on, however, that a love triangle would emerge when Celaena started blushing all the time over the prince’s good looks.Warning: If you don’t want the ending of the love plot ruined you better stop reading now! You can imagine my surprise, therefore, when Celaena ultimately chose to be with neither Dorian or Chaol in the end! While the romantic in me was saddened by this lack of conclusion to the love story, the part of me that had connected with Celaena’s character cheered at this turn of events! I think it would have completely gone against everything that Celaena stands for in the novel if she had suddenly decided to form a romantic relationship with one of the men. So kudos to you Ms. Maas for sticking to Celaena’s guns!
The only thing that somewhat irked me about Throne of Glass were some of the place and character names. I know its a trope of fantasy novels for the settings to have wierd, original names, but they just sounded awkward in my head whenever I read them. Maybe I was pronouncing Endovier wrong, but it just didn’t flow off my tongue. Other then that small issue, I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series, and can’t wait to see what happens to Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian next!(less)
When I was a little girl I was OBSESSED with horses. I had every single Pony Pal book ever written, toy horses were scattered around my room, and I co...moreWhen I was a little girl I was OBSESSED with horses. I had every single Pony Pal book ever written, toy horses were scattered around my room, and I constantly begged my parents to let me take up horseback riding. Unfortunately, they never budged, and so I was forced to live out my dreams of horseback riding through the books that I read. You can imagine my delight then when I found out that Maggie Stiefvater's newest book was about horse racing! While I HATED her first book, Shiver, I held out hope that The Scorpio Races would be a much better read. And for the most part, it was!
As I've read TONS of horse related novels over the years, I really appreciated the slight twist to these typical racing tales that Maggie brought to The Scorpio Races. The idea of an island where creatures known as water horses surfaced from the ocean was magical and alluring, and their vicious and blood thirsty natures was certainly thrilling! I also really enjoyed the alternating perspectives between Puck and Sean, as it helped to lend greater insight into their characters and the motivations that lead them to the races.
The only thing that I didn't really enjoy about The Scorpio Races was the pacing of the actual storytelling. At times I found the book to be a bit slow, and I sat around waiting for something exciting to happen. When the actual race finally happened in the book, I was also disappointed to discover that it was only about ten pages long! After 375 pages of writing about Puck and Sean preparing for this epic race, it was over in the blink of an eye! I suppose that's how long a horse race lasts in real life, but I guess I expected the Scorpio Race itself to be a little more epic, like the one in the movie Hidalgo!
Although I may have found The Scorpio Races to be a bit slow paced, I think its something that my 13 year old self would have loved! I would definitely recommended the book to younger readers who love stories about horses, and those who are fans of Maggie's Shiver trilogy. While none of Maggie's books have yet to personally "WOW" me, I'm curious to see what she comes up with next! (less)
The synopsis of Soulbound was definitely what attracted me to this book the most, so when Razorbill sent me a copy for review I was pretty ecstatic! I...moreThe synopsis of Soulbound was definitely what attracted me to this book the most, so when Razorbill sent me a copy for review I was pretty ecstatic! I tore through this one pretty quickly, and loved the world of Tril that Heather Brewer spun together! Soulbound, focuses on a secret group of people known as Barrons and Healers who are fighting a century long war against an evil King and his army of monsters. Whenever a Barron is born into the world a Healer is born at the exact same moment (and vice versa), and the two are considered to be "Soulbound" together. A "soulbound" pair is crucial in the war efforts, as Healers are able to save their Barrons from the brink of death with just a single touch. Sounds like a pretty awesome concept right? And that's exactly what it was!
Things I Loved About Soulbound
The Plotline: Soulbound was pretty fast paced and kept my attention the entire time I was reading it! I LOVED the idea of a world where Barrons and Healers are"soulbound" to each other, although I wish the author had spent a bit more time explaining how the whole "soulbounded" thing worked.
The Love Triangle: For some people the use of a love triangle might actually be a negative thing, but I love them! If they are done right they can add a certain amount of tension to the novel that makes the story even more gripping. While I have a pretty solid idea of who Kaya will end up with as the series continues, I can't wait to see how everything works out in the end. Darius and Trayton's friendship will definitely make the love plot more complicated!
The Ending: Talk about a cliffhanger! Although I predicted pretty early on what Darius' secret was, I was expecting the author to go into a bit of detail about it before the book ended. But of course she didn't! Instead, Heather Brewer throws her readers off the edge and let's them try and sort out the details for themselves. There is no way now that I can't read the next book! I need to know more about Darius!
Things That I Disliked About Soulbound
The Lack Of Explanation: As much as I enjoyed this book I struggled with it at times. I found the world that Heather Brewer developed fascinating, but unfortunately she falls short when it comes to explaining its history. For example, she mentions quite frequently the fact that this war is a secret from the regular citizens of Tril, but doesn't explain how these details are kept hidden. Are the citizens that stupid that they don't find it weird when random soldiers start fighting each other or monsters leap out of the forest? The whole concept of being Soulbound was also pretty vague. How is it that Barrons and Healers become Soulbound? Why are they born at the exact same moment as each other? These are just some of the hundreds of questions that I had while reading this book.
Final Thoughts I'm hoping that some of the questions that I had while reading this book will be answered as the series continues. For the most part I really enjoyed my time spent reading Soulbound, and think it would be perfect for readers who enjoy stories featuring a kickass heroine. I'll definitely be reading the next book to find out what happens next!(less)
Nothing is more thrilling to a reader than stumbling upon a book that excites their imagination and warms their heart. They are rare, but when they ar...moreNothing is more thrilling to a reader than stumbling upon a book that excites their imagination and warms their heart. They are rare, but when they are found they are all the more appreciated. Happily for me, The Name of the Wind was one of those very books. Rothfuss’s beautiful writing, brilliant plot, and fascinating character development all merged together to create one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read!
Told in his own voice, The Name of the Wind is the story of Kvothe (pronounced Quothe), a young man who grew up to become one of the world’s most notorious wizards. Beginning with his childhood, Kvothe shares with readers the loss of his family to the Chandrian, a mythical group who bring death and carnage wherever they go. Determined to find out the secret behind the Chandrian and claim revenge for his family, Kvothe seeks entrance into a famous university to learn magic and become an arcanist. Along the way he makes friends and enemies, and becomes one step closer to finding the answers that he’s looking for.
I’ll admit, The Name of the Wind and I got off to a shakey start. For the first 50 pages or so I struggled. I even contemplated putting it down and walking away altogether. Luckily for me I stuck around, because once Kvothe actually started telling his story I was hooked! I hate comparing books to other novels, but the feeling I got while reading The Name of the Wind was somewhat akin to Harry Potter or The Hobbit. The story just had a good, heartwarming feeling, even through the darker spots. The plot is intricately planned out, and the background and mythology that went into creating Kvothe’s world is reminiscent of Rowling, Tolkien, and Martin.
As for characters, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Kvothe. Smart, witty, and brave, Kvothe is a hero that you can’t help but cheer for. I was really impressed by how Rothfuss’s developped his character over the course of the book, and held my breath to find out what kind of trouble Kvothe would get into next. The secondary characters were also really interesting and complex, and I love how much I came to hate Ambrose (the Draco Malfoy to Kvothe’s Harry). It’s difficult to pull off a story with just the right amount of plot and character development, but Rothfuss did it perfectly!
The verdict: The Name of the Wind is an imaginative, brilliant story that deserves every ounce of praise it has been getting from reviewers. It should have a seat of honour beside other popular fantasies like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. While it might be a struggle to fall in love with at first, stick around for the 600 other pages, because they are magical!