I had low expectations, very low. I loathed Hush Hush and it's successors and Black Ice mildly captivated my interest but still lacked a great deal.
DaI had low expectations, very low. I loathed Hush Hush and it's successors and Black Ice mildly captivated my interest but still lacked a great deal.
Dangerous Lies held, oddly enough, exactly what I needed. The pacing, characters and story were, overall, better than anything Fitzpatrick wrote before. The twists were predicable and expected, but not bad either. Chet is the first decent guy that the author created, while not perfect, is actually trying to make himself a better person. Which is saying a lot considering Patch and Mason were both pretty horrible people in her previous works. The romance was handled well, developed at a decent pace and by story's end, didn't make me see red. I enjoyed most of the background characters, even if they remained static and stock.
There were times where Stella grated on my nerves, the whining and judgement were the worst offenders and typical for a Fitzpatrick lead heroine. During her first week at her job, she wonders about her pregnant co worker if she '.....ever wished it would die. No one wanted to give birth to a dead baby, but then again, no one wanted to be pregnant at sixteen, either.' It just seemed a little extreme that she'd jump to conclusions like that despite not knowing her coworker that well. There were many instances like that where she makes these brash judgements about the people she meets. Though I'm somewhat thankful that a stock best friend was never in this novel. I don't think I could take another full length Fitzpatrick novel where we spend the entirety of the novel in the leads head as she mentally rips her bestie apart. Despite her whining and judgements, Stella wasn't nearly as bad as Britt or Nora.
Dangerous Lies wasn't all bad despite Becca Fitzpatrick's writing fails in the past. Here's hoping she can keep this up. ...more
Hollow City picks up right where Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children leaves off, 10 orphans setting out to get help for their caretaker Miss PeHollow City picks up right where Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children leaves off, 10 orphans setting out to get help for their caretaker Miss Peregrine who's trapped in her bird form.
I don't have a lot of great things to say about Hollow City.
The plot itself suffered from middle book syndrome. The whole plot was mostly hide and run, making it feel like there was no room for a lot of action. Sure, there's a couple attacks from the antagonists but thanks to Jacob's powers, they made quick work of them and in most cases, just barely as most of the kids didn't use their own powers until the last second. It made for a very boring read.
However, the biggest disappointment in Hollow City, was of course, the children themselves. In Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, they were utterly fascinating, each unique with different voices to match their out of this world powers. Whatever characterization any of them had, was completely stripped away, save for couple character traits each. This could have been a time saving cost on Ransom Riggs part as when the group started to grow, certain characters that had bigger parts in the first novel, barely had any speaking lines in Hollow City until their peculiar power was needed for a hasty get away. The new characters themselves were quickly developed lumps of malformed nothing that I couldn't get invested in any of them. I can't, for the life of me, remember any of their names or their powers. The romance between Jacob and Emma was a continued bane to the story and added nothing to either character, demoting Emma to love interest while Jacob defended her honor.
All in all, Hollow City is filler between the first and third books with the few twists at the end barely being worth it. ...more
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children has a lot of mystery and intrigue that can keep any reader deeply embedded in the story and fans of fictionMiss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children has a lot of mystery and intrigue that can keep any reader deeply embedded in the story and fans of fiction surrounding events set during world war 2 and time travel may also find a home here among the peculiar children. The strongest part of Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, for me, was definitely the first half even if it read a little slow for some. The side characters were well rounded and interesting. Most of the pictures were eerie, just as promised and I loved the introductions to the island and characters.
Control over the elements, levitation, invisibility, and super strength made the characters read like X-Men fan characters and at times, it made for a boring read, especially when the lead character had the most plot convenient power out of them all with the ability to single out the antagonists for the series. The romance in here also is a major draw back and happened way to fast. The fact that Jacob noted at one point it felt almost incestuous to go after the girl a relative had affections for was enough to make me cringe. Regarding the leads, Jacob was a little too bland, not really coming into himself until he found his place among the children and Emma is the cookie cutter Tsundere, running hot and cold until her and Jacob become a 'thing' before evening out.
There were moments that ran flat, but when tensions ran high, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children was one hell of a ride. ...more
Heir of Fire sits weirdly for me. I can't say I liked it better than the first two books but I can't say it was worse off either. I gave it 4 stars soHeir of Fire sits weirdly for me. I can't say I liked it better than the first two books but I can't say it was worse off either. I gave it 4 stars so, by all means, Heir of Fire was beyond a good read for me. There's not a great deal I CAN say about it that hasn't already been said.
Heir of Fire reads a bit slow. Plot does happen but all the same I can't say that 'Oh, 100 pages could have easily been cut here, this scene should have been omitted' because I see how everything fit into it's place and by taking anything out it would have just messed with the flow and it would have felt cut short. It still felt slow, but there most likely wasn't anyway to make this a quicker read. The 3 leads needed to dig themselves out from the avalanche of plot from the last two books and that was bound to happen at some point and having it done in one book would probably work out far better than stretching it out over the course of the rest of the series.
Celaena, by far, had the most character development, though I can't say it was 'the best'. It was mostly what I expected and her development was like watching an '80's training montage and not at all surprising. I liked her interactions with Rowan at first, but once they became a 'mated pair', I rolled my eyes and groaned audibly because, on top of Rowan being her MOST compatible mate, a person/fae cannot be single in this series for more than a month, it seems.
Both Dorian and Chaol were on the back burner for the most part, the former more than the latter. With Dorian having a lot of secrets kept from him, it was understandable. On top of that Chaol was in a position to do more so than the prince because of his status on the guard. Both made progress, but I was still a little annoyed that Chaol and Dorian found ways to let their minds wander back to how awesome and pretty and kick ass Celaena was when there were bigger things on hand that should have been taking priority.
With Nehemia no longer with us, her position was filled in by 3 new characters. Manon was by far the best. If there is anything Sarah J Maas can do, it's write strong female characters. I'd go as far to say that I enjoy Manon far better Celaena and it helps that there isn't a gaggle of men swooning after her and even if there is, it's not like they were important enough to spend time in their heads, listening to their thoughts on how pretty she looks against the moon light or how her eyes sparkle in the sun. Her entire part in the novel would make an awesome companion series. Just saying. Aedion had a lot of decent parts and I did enjoy his character immensely and I like him better than both Chaol and Dorian at this point. Rowan I felt nothing for and he's pretty much in the same spot I put Chaol in previous reviews. He serves no other purpose than to be 'heterosexual life mate 5ever!' I feel bad, to some degree, that I see the guys as nothing more than love interests, but it just feels like they were written that way. They guys seem to be nothing more than eye candy for the readers and arm candy for the female leads. Walls of manly muscle with male intentions and chiseled features and broody overprotective stares. They are Harlequin romance hero's through and through. It's not entirely a bad thing, but if it's not your thing you're probably going to have a bad time. Or perhaps you're like me and here for the ladies.
I know I nit pick a lot, but I did enjoy this book even if it was a little slower than it's predecessors. Looking forward to Queen of Shadows. ...more
The Ravens by Katie Faith is an awesome effort for a first time author writing for a genre I feel has grown stale over the years. There's a fascinatinThe Ravens by Katie Faith is an awesome effort for a first time author writing for a genre I feel has grown stale over the years. There's a fascinating world behind two leading factions, lots of intrigue to the characters pasts they'll leave you wanting to learn more about their fates as the series is set to continue in late 2016 with it's sequel The Slayers.
I appreciate the effort that was put into The Ravens in regards to editing as it feels really smooth and put together with close attention paid to grammatical and spelling errors. I've read a lot of self published works where pacing, characters, and plot went slack half way through. All to often a lot of self published works go unedited, are left unpolished, and are pushed for publishing for the sheer fact that the genre it was written for is selling well at the time. I don't get that vibe from the author nor anyone working on the project with her had the intent of making a quick buck off of it. The Ravens feels organic through and through and it makes for an enjoyable read.
However, The Ravens does suffer from being a little too cliched with it's tropes at times. If you're not a fan or tired of: the girl who's job is to fulfill a prophecy, is gifted with all the powers to do so, who needs to hone her skills in a set amount of time to bring people together, and has a secret past then The Ravens may not be for you. Because of these tropes Marry comes across as a mixed bag of Celaena Sardothien, Alina Strakov, Tris Porter and Clary Fray. Though I really do appreciate the effort to make her a strong female character. It should be noted, as well, the the character self injures at one point in the novel, the scene is a bit graphic and could be considered triggering to some.
The Ravens is a strong start to a promising series and if you feel like picking it up, The Ravens can be found at Amazon.ca available in both paper back and ereader. ...more
Crown of Midnight had loads going for it that made it better than it's predecessor, yet there was so many problems that were carried over from ThroneCrown of Midnight had loads going for it that made it better than it's predecessor, yet there was so many problems that were carried over from Throne of Glass that's it's difficult for me to come to a conclusion if it's better or worse off.
Unlike Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight actually shows us Celaena doing her job. At times she does make rather stupid choices when the plot demands it but it's at those times I was invested in the story as when Celaena was doing her job the plot made progression and I'm more invested in the over all story than I am in most of the characters in this series so far. There was shady business happening outside and inside the castle and who better to take care of it than the Kings Champion? I enjoyed Celaena's character which is surprising as I expected to not like her at all. I totally don't believe for a moment that her love of very feminine things was unbelievable or broke her character as it made perfect sense to me. She works in line with death, her world is covered in blood. For her to want to put on a dress afterwards and eat cake takes the edge off that, I feel. Dorian also stepped up his game in this book and had some decent character development as well.
Between the story itself and Celaena, there were some things that fell short for me.
My main problem is that Chaol's character just didn't do it for me, yet again. I found him way too broody and at times where I should have felt sympathy for him, I felt nothing. Most of his time was devoted to watching Celaena and being in awe of her beauty. He didn't do a whole lot aside from training and laying in bed with her. When he wasn't being Celaena's number one fan, he spent time on the other side of the field completely boggled on how much she had changed into a horrible monster, it seems. Why was this man so confused by the worlds most awesome assassin being *gasp* the worlds most awesome assassin? She was trained by the best, survived a year in hell and boasted about her skills and when she finally was able to show them off, Chaol's boner ran for the hills. I get how seeing her coming home with a severed head would be alarming, but why was it so surprising to Chaol? I don't 'get' him as a character and I don't 'get' him as a love interest.
Crown of Midnight was predictable. Not that I mind a predictable read, but I wasn't expecting all the twists to be seen a mile away. From the moment they introduced finding the lost queen of Terrasen all fingers pointed to the most obvious culprit. Things like who was betraying who, deaths of certain characters, supposed secrets. Not much was surprising and it was frustrating in some parts to know what was already around the next turn.
Even with the few things I didn't like, I still found Crown of Midnight enjoyable....more
I went into Throne of Glass expecting to have the same reaction Red Rising and Fangirl gave me. Both were over hyped, in my opinion, and both failed tI went into Throne of Glass expecting to have the same reaction Red Rising and Fangirl gave me. Both were over hyped, in my opinion, and both failed to impress me. Throne of Glass was an honestly great attempt at a first novel for Sarah J. Maas. The lead Celaena is a great character and that touch of femininity to her was nice, the story barely faltered and rarely stalled on itself, and had a great supporting cast. There was enough about the outside world to make me intrigued about future installments and where these characters will take me.
However, Throne of Glass is not without it's faults.
While I did like Celaena's characterization, I felt like one aspect of her wasn't given enough 'screen time'. For a ruthless, kick ass, assassin, she doesn't get to show case a lot of that side of her. We read that she's the best in her league, there's no match to her awesome powers. Celeana can kill someone with a variety of weapons from great distances, yet, we kind of just have to take the authors word for it. There's novellas that are set a year before this novel, but I wish Throne of Glass was more contained then that and I wish I didn't have to go searching for background stories or extra information on a character when it should have been given here. Not that I needed entire chapters of Celeana painting the walls red with the blood of her enemies, but more depth to that side of her would have been nice instead of just the gentle reassurance that Celaena could kill a man ten ways before his body hit the floor. I get that she had to hold back early in the competition for the sake of hiding her true identity, but it feels like much of what made her character was glossed over in favor of how good she looked in dresses and how pretty the boys were.
Which brings me to my second point of where I think this book needed a little help. The competition was a little lack luster. Murderers, assassins, thieves, criminals.... all competing in a contest that could change their lives and most of it, again, felt glossed over in favor of Celaena's love interests fawning over her. It's not to say that nothing happened in Throne of Glass, there was plenty going on, but for what felt like was suppose to be the main event, the competition felt like an after thought. A task would happen and we'd hear about it in passing and how Celena did well. Then a competitor would be murdered and it'd be given page time, but I feel like there was a lot of time dedicated to the love interests instead and honestly, I didn't care too much for either one.
Regarding the love interests, While I can't say I hated either one, I can't really say I liked them either. Both Choal and Dorian were pretty boring and it comes down to the two generic teams: the funny, charming, playboy or the distant, aloof, hero type. Typical Team Edward or Team Jacob business. I didn't swoon for either and was much more invested in Celaena's struggles and friendships with Nehemia and Nox.
First and foremost, if you're going into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child expecting an 8th novel, prepare yourself instead for a rehearsal script. WhFirst and foremost, if you're going into Harry Potter and the Cursed Child expecting an 8th novel, prepare yourself instead for a rehearsal script. While it does say that it's a script on the cover, Cursed Child is being marketed as the long awaited '8th novel' that we've all been waiting for. The script makes it an easy read, most anyone could get through it in a few hours. Personally, it didn't allow me feel much for the characters as descriptions were minimal and there wasn't a lot of emotional impact behind the words. Cursed Child is something to be seen, not read.
If you're looking for a magical adventure with familiar faces, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child may not be for you. That sounds horribly ominous, but Cursed Child just didn't feel like a Harry Potter book. It lacked a lot of, what I feel is, the magic of the Harry Potter universe. The faces were the same, but old and tired and unfamiliar. The writing was lackluster and disjointed, although, a fast read. Many characterizations that were established throughout 7 books weren't the same; Ron is nothing more than comedic relief, Harry can't father his way out of a paper bag when it comes to Albus while Hermione and Draco seem to be the only reasonable characters here. Harry may have been the worst for me, I can't believe that Harry bought into certain rumors surrounding Draco and I can't believe that Harry would be such a horrible father to one of his children, going so far as to say he sometimes wishes Albus wasn't around. Claiming that he had no father figure to learn from and apologizes that Albus wasn't easy to father. Albus may not have been an easy child to work with, but Harry is so far out of line here, that it's hard to actually see him as THE 'Harry Potter' most of us grew up with.
I mentioned that the script format killed a lot of the impact the story had, but the story itself also fell flat. Honestly, it read like 'What If' fan fiction and if that was what I was looking for, I'd go to any one of the fan fiction websites available online and choose from the thousands of results. I could get something better from the fans. There's things like Scorpius' parentage, time traveling to save Cedric, cracky 'what if' subplots, Voldemort's child. Again, this doesn't feel like it should be considered part of the Harry Potter story. There's the magic that the Harry Potter world has and then there's this weird mish mash of ludicrous ideas that Cursed Child brings to the table.
I was let down that a lot of other characters weren't mentioned. Where was Luna? the other Weasley's? Teddy Lupin? Their friends children? Where was Hermione and Ron's other kid Hugo? I get that the stage play is set to be a one off, but a lot of the side cast in the original 7 books is what won me over. It's a shame that they weren't around and i would have liked to see the fate of their offspring.
I don't know if I can recommend this to Harry Potter fans, yet I didn't entirely hate it. I liked Scorpius and Albus was alright. Draco was a great voice of reason among the mess of the Golden Trio. It being a quick read was an added bonus as I was glad I didn't have to spend a lot of time in the mess, no more than I should have. It really isn't a happy ending to the original 7 books and you probably won't gain much from reading it that you can't already get from fan fiction. ...more
Red Rising isn't a bad book, but it failed to meet my expectations, much how The Grisha Trilogy failed to live up to it's own hype. There's lots in R Red Rising isn't a bad book, but it failed to meet my expectations, much how The Grisha Trilogy failed to live up to it's own hype. There's lots in Red Rising to like. While a little bland, the writing is fantastic. It flows well enough and the story rarely stalls on itself. For the most part, it gets right to the point with putting Darrow straight into his role as the face of the rebellion and twists aren't dressed up as something bigger than they are. While a little predictable, it's otherwise serviceable. My key problems with Red Rising is the pacing, a lot of 'tell not show' writing, lack of genuine characterization if the character wasn't Darrow, and the piggy backing on ideas from other books from the genre.
The most minor of my problems was the pacing as it felt off. Months or years would pass in exposition and I had to read certain passages over again to get clarity on how long a certain event took place and It surprised me that Red Rising took place over a span of two years upon the books resolution. Something happens and then the snow starts to fall, sitting in caves until the grass starts to grow, gain an army of 200 and the leaves start to change colors which brings me to my other point in regards to the writing is the over use of 'telling'. I found myself uninterested in characters or not feeling any emotion to certain characters deaths or even Darrow's own feelings towards his own wife as telling became a way to gloss over certain events and feelings. Despite Eo being the trigger for what's to come in the series, setting her up as a martyr did nothing for me, I lacked sympathy towards her situation. I never became invested in her as a character despite how many times Darrow told me how fantastic and beautiful and loving his wife was.
It's been said that Red Rising has similar components from novels of the same genre and I agree. There's caste systems similar to Divergent and The Selection, a Harry Potter like sorting into houses. There's even a 'to the death' competition like The Hunger Games. Are any of these game enders, even if they are overused? With a scifi, dystopian world set on Mars, there's going to be some overlap in ideas and tropes passed around in the genre and if handled well, it makes for an enjoyable read. In Red Rising, its not so much that it reused ideas from other books I enjoyed far more, Red Rising made them boring. Especially things borrowed from The Hunger Games. Imagine if The Hunger Games were battled with the Capital favored districts? It felt like rich, spoiled brats playing war games for spots in the most sought after jobs in 'the real world'. I felt no tension, no dire need for the hero to win, just a lot of exposition with rich kids flaunting their status and money their daddies have. If there's suppose to be some sort of political statement in this book, it missed it's mark.
On the topic of Darrow, for me, he was incredibly bland on top of being a Gary Stu. He's chosen out of so many Reds to infiltrate the Gold society and realistically, there shouldn't have been anything to remarkable about him yet he's smart, strong, fast, and just so suited for the job and is quickly pumped full of enhancers that make him smarter and stronger and faster than he already is. His character never breaks free of this psychical and mental perfection before or after his transition, save for a moment where he sees an attractive female naked for the first time outside of his marriage and blushes. This is bad, apparently, because Golds are suppose to be super alright with nudity. I didn't find it cute nor endearing. Darrow is just a boring character over all and when the lead is a bore, it makes for a long and tedious read.
While I'm in no hurry to get into Golden Son, there's enough in Red Rising that make it a solid read and while it does take a while to get into, it's a decent setup that's sure to get better in future installments. ...more