(This is a partial review-- see the link at the bottom to read the full review at my blog. Thanks!)
I thought In the After was good, more of a well-eno(This is a partial review-- see the link at the bottom to read the full review at my blog. Thanks!)
I thought In the After was good, more of a well-enough read to spark a curiosity in continuing the series to see where it was going to lead. But I had no idea what to expect when I picked up its sequel, In the End.
To be fair, I have to admit I didn’t remember much how the first one ended. I had bits and pieces of memory, and In the After didn’t provide an over-abundance of refresher in the beginning, but a nice small one. Just enough for me to recall what I couldn’t, and I was glad for that. Lunetta did a great job with the little details to remind the reader of what happened in the first book in case there was any need for a refresher, without making it too clear or obvious. It tied in nicely.
It’s also pretty rare for me to love a sequel so much. There are few authors on my list that have done this, and now In the End is one of them. I like this second installment even better. It was gritty and chaotic and I loved it so much. When I turned to the last page, I was sad I couldn’t continue. I want more! I’m ready for more. This series is the kind of sci-fi futuristic weirdness I’ve been looking for since I started blogging.
The Forever Song, the final installment for the Blood of Eden series, didn’t give me as much oomph as the first two books-- the second still being my favorite, I think-- and while it was still great, I felt it flat most of the time. I’m also in a terrible reading slump, so most of the books I’ve been picking up lately, I’ve not had much desire to really read anyway (it’s a tragic situation to go through for any reader or book blogger).
**Also, there might be minor spoilers ahead. It's hard to avoid that when reviewing a later installment for a series.**
We finally get Zeke back into the story. Most of my followers and reader friends already know I haven’t been a Zeke fan since the beginning. He was a lot more tolerable in book two… I was even emotionally impacted by the ending there because I finally felt a mild attachment to his character.. But once again, The Forever Song gave me a Zeke I couldn’t like. Much more of an annoyance than anything, to be honest. I get that he’s upset… I just didn’t want to spend over half of the book reading the back-and-forth between him and Alison on this when I felt like there were more important things going around the characters. It wasn’t terrible enough to completely affect my enjoyment of the story, but I could have certainly done without a lot of it.
I particularly liked the further development of Jackal. He became a key character that I got attached to easily, despite his brutal honesty and sometimes hardcore style. Often, I felt like he was much more the type for Alison’s personality. But I don’t remember his description or how “old” he looks. I just have my own imagination when his character is speaking. Haha.
Kagawa also knows how to make you hate a bad guy when you really need to hate one. That’s for sure. Characters are put through some hell and torture, and there’s a lot to endure, and by the end you’re likely to be left saying “whoa.”
I also really liked the attention to details and ideas of family strength. Kagawa painted great pictures for the readers with her words and actions to develop a story about bonding, family, loving unconditionally, and sacrifice.
If you haven’t yet started this series, I don’t know what you’re waiting on. It’s one of the best vampire reads out there. Read it. Come on....more
I completely adored the first two books of this series, but couldn't find myself all that attached going into this installment. Maybe it's been becausI completely adored the first two books of this series, but couldn't find myself all that attached going into this installment. Maybe it's been because of the recent reading slump I've been in--haven't had much the desire to do much reading or anything at all--and it's left me feeling all meh toward this one. My largest problem was the first hundred-fifty pages or so, I felt I was getting too much detail into how Avery felt… I MEAN ALL THE FEELS, Y’ALL… And the action seemed to seriously slack. It left me bored the majority of the beginning, despite the gorgeous writing and tension build-up. Despite how excited I'd been to return back to Snyder's world and these characters.
I also have to be honest to say that I completely missed the ending. I'd been about 60 pages away from it when my e-galley expired. Ugh. So it's definitely going to deserve a re-read either way, and when I do maybe I won't be in such a slump and will have a different opinion about a few things? I was such a big fan since book one, so it was sad that things felt off to say the least at this stage for me.
I'm still not thrilled with how a few things turned out from book two (a few readers might know what I mean-- character 'reunion'/reincarnation thing, ya know? Mixed feelings on this.) and this continued to transition into Taste of Darkness. Would have loved some different scenarios, but things still worked and I enjoyed visiting Avery, the 'Monkeys', the unusual fantasy world, and others yet again.
To see my full review, visit my blog at The Bookaholic since this is not the full-posted review/just an excerpt. I also highly recommend this series if you're a fan of Sarah J. Maas and other like authors. :)
What a great ending to one of the best series I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Definitely going back for a complete re-read of all the books becaWhat a great ending to one of the best series I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Definitely going back for a complete re-read of all the books because how can I not? It's that good. It'll be one of those sets that I'll always find myself revisiting.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 So So So SO SO glad there was a continuation to Scarlet. Also glad there will be a third book, but hate that I'll have t<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 So So So SO SO glad there was a continuation to Scarlet. Also glad there will be a third book, but hate that I'll have to wait. Ugh... the waaaiittt... siiigghhhh..
Excerpt of review: To be honest, I have a hard time reviewing Lady Thief without revealing spoilers or speaking of how much pain it caused. So much happened that I want to gush about or cry over. My poor heart. And then to leave off with that kind of ending? How could that happen?! GAUGHENNNNN!
Requiem was both amazing and frustrating all at once. There was a lot going on. Characters coming together. Reunions that made me rejoice. POV shiftsRequiem was both amazing and frustrating all at once. There was a lot going on. Characters coming together. Reunions that made me rejoice. POV shifts I loved and wanted to see more of. Action. Romance. My eyes were glued to these pages for twenty-four hours and I couldn’t put the book down. I wasn’t particularly fond of how the triangle was treated, with Lena toying around with Julian’s emotions to watch and see if Alex would get jealous. I mean, she did have more important things to worry about after all. *facepalm*
However…the closer I got toward the end, the more I realized something was terribly wrong and frustrating. I screamed. I cussed. I almost pulled out my hair. It was nothing I expected. I would expand more on this but it would probably contain spoilers--just know I loved most of every bit of the book EXCEPT the ending. What. Was. That?! So aggravating.
Nonetheless… I still liked it. Maybe I like torturing myself. I don’t know. But I want more. I don’t want this as the end.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn’t the first time I’d read anything by Holly Black. I knew going into this book what her style was like, and she’s beThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown wasn’t the first time I’d read anything by Holly Black. I knew going into this book what her style was like, and she’s been a favorite since I started reading more YA in my early 20s (having read the Modern Fae books first and absolutely fell in love with them). Nonetheless, I also knew that it’s been hard to attach the word “original” next to vampire anything in recent years, so this made me curious. I hadn’t read the short story and didn’t know anything about it before going into it. I was still insanely excited to pick it up and it’d been one of my most anticipated reads of the year.
I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact, it went above my expectations. I stayed up well into the night on the edge of my seat because I couldn’t put this one down, and for days after I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Ms. Black crafted a dark, unique world full of excitement and horror, twists and gasp-out-loud cover-your-mouth OMG moments. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown won me over from the first scene--a frightening heart-racing beginning that started off with a bang--and I wasn’t able to let go of this addictive story or its characters from that moment on.
This book blew my mind. I am mind blown. I am still practically speechless and flustered and I don’t know how I’m able to even write this review properly.
I found Gavriel just as forbidden and charming and mysterious as Tana had. Gavriel is my new favorite hero. Anti-hero? He’s not all fluffy bunnies and flower hearts, that’s for sure. But he does know how to certainly charm some. And while Tana had had it rough through the years since vampires revealed their existence, her character showed so much determination and strength that I just had to love her and hope nothing but the best by the end for her. These characters had spunk and a realistic appeal to them. Though the blurb may make it feel there’s a possible love triangle, there’s not. An awkward ex-boyfriend friendship, yes, and for that I was like “thank you!” Because really, how often do we see that? The romance overall was exciting and different. And I adored it.
I’m curious though: Is this a stand-alone or a series? The ending left off a bit open-ended, though could have been considered pretty well wrapped up at the same time. As much as I love stand-alones (and we all know we probably could use more of them), I’m sincerely hoping this is going to be a series because I want MORE. There are so many feels. And just gah… I need to know what’s happening to Gavriel and Tana and Pearl, and what’s going to go on next in this crazy-imaginative world. Please?!
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is hands down one of my favorite reads, not just for 2013, but in years. Not hard to make that decision. Holly Black has once again delivered a unique cast and imaginative, fresh world not to be missed!
When I entered into the second installment of the Throne of Glass series with Crown of Midnight, I found myself surprised by an entirely different tonWhen I entered into the second installment of the Throne of Glass series with Crown of Midnight, I found myself surprised by an entirely different tone and feel to the story. Maas had transitioned the world easily between the two installments to show how much had changed with the growing conflicts, and Celaena’s new position as King’s Assassin made for an emotional ride not just for herself, but for characters around her. While it started a bit on the slow side for me, it didn’t take long to pick up and take me for the non-stop page-turning just like the first installment had.
There are twists and I admit they were a bit predictable. Did it affect my enjoyment? No. I’d already pretty much figured them out well into the beginning pages of the book I think, so when it came of no surprise, it didn’t really bother me. The ending "reveal and big surprise" that was supposed to be the shocker, I'd already guessed long before as well, but not an issue either. There'd been some speculation from the first installment even, and when little hints started through the first half of this, I was actually rather glad at the direction it was taking. I am certainly fascinated to see how it will play out for the future installments though and what this means for the characters and their world.
I’m torn between deciding if I liked this installment better than the first or not. Now that it’s been a few days since I finished and I’ve had a few days to mull it over, I just don’t know. While the first is where I met and fell in love with all of the characters and the story, the second is where things do start to come into play. I also finally understood what was so evil about the King. Something I couldn’t quite get in the first installment because it was never really touched upon (and I discussed this last year in review and with a group topic on the blog). But I get it now. Instead of telling, it is really shown how power-hungry and evil the man is, and I felt it. The action I felt lacked in some places in Throne of Glass, were prevalent throughout in Crown of Midnight with detailed scenes--some that made me gasp out loud. The romance I felt lacked in areas in ToG, turned into scenes of passion and well-written beauty here.
Be prepared to have your heart ripped to shreds, too. There’s a shocker in there. I wasn’t prepared. And now every time I think about it, I want to start crying again. My heart hurts. But when these turn of events happened, I certainly saw the emotion come out. The anger and hurt. And I learned more about Celaena. It was some of the most emotional reading moments I’d done in some time, and everything was so easily visualized for me that it was as if I was there with the characters in their world, and it hurt me also. Because let’s face it: We get attached to characters as if they’re real people sometimes, right? At least, I know I do.
With all that said, it’s easy for me to say that I adored this sequel and that makes me happy. I usually have a hard time with sequels and I admit to being a little worried before I picked it up. No worries anymore. I know now for sure that no matter what Maas writes, I’ll be grabbing my hands for it.
Once again, I found myself immersed in the world and characters, caught up in a whirlwind of romance, and at times agonizing heartache. I didn’t want to let go when it came time to turn the last page.
Now I have come to the conclusion of the Ashes trilogy. I am saddened by this. I kept my pacing timed so that I could savor the finale. Obviously, you’re gathering from these sentences that this trilogy is a favorite. I don’t think I’ve loved a set of books so deeply in years. And maybe that’s saying something. It stacks against my love of Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Hunger Games, and Wicked Lovely. It’s on my shelf of life-long favorites and there to stay.
I have to admit, though, that this conclusion had bumps in the road and this was where I had no problem with my own pacing goals. These bumps caused me to get a little bored during some moments, to be honest, and some areas I felt like it may have been too much of an info-dump or too much unnecessary detail to just add more pages to the already long (821 pages to be exact) installment. A small issue, but something I thought to mention nonetheless.
Readers who don’t like multiple characters and/or several character view points, might possibly be turned off yet again. To remind you of Shadows: it’d been written the same way, changing up from the way Ashes had been (Ashes having been generally in only or mostly Alex’s POV). However, once again, I adore this style. I love love love the multiple characters and getting to see what is going on with each one after I’ve come to know them. Particularly because Bick gives them life and personality. She makes me loathe some. She makes me love some. One character, that I shouldn’t name because I’m trying to avoid spoilers in this review, is a character that made such a unique impact on me I’m likely to remember that one for the rest of my life.
There’s really so much more I’d like to ramble on and on about but I’m afraid to give away even the tiniest spoiler that those who’ve read even Ashes and Shadows might not appreciate. Shadows had left off with lots of unanswered questions as to character situations, etc. and if I so much as to mention particular scenarios in Monsters, it could give something away unfortunately. Ack. It’s always so hard to refrain from just gushing about books like a starry-eyed fanatic when you really want. The love. THE FEELS IT GIVES ME.
The details are fantastic. It feels like I’m reading and watching a movie right in front of me. After I finished, I was even internally asking “Why can’t these be movies?!” Yes, it gets graphic and gory and like with the last two books I probably cried more for the animals when there was any mention of that (these are zombie-like creatures, so keep it in mind that there is a good deal of death--animal and human--at times) because I always have a soft spot when it comes down to loss of animals in a book or movie. Ack. But the gore in the long run, the “zombies”… it’s not the deep part of the story. There are messages throughout… about humanity and life… and they’re heavy, and make you really think.
At the beginning, it’s an immediate go into the action from the end of Shadows. So if it’s been some time since you’d read the books, you might want a quick little refresher if your memory isn’t quite up to speed with it. That’s another thing I did enjoy… I wasn’t bogged down by a lot of beginning repetitive info that can tend to be tossed in with some series installments. I feel like something like that shouldn’t usually be worried about, and just to go right into the action/story of that installment in most cases. Obviously if the reader is picking up that installment, they’d read the others, am I right? Ha! K, mini rant over. :P
Where I felt the start had been strong and propelled me through well over half of the book (until I hit a few various ‘bumps’ as mentioned above), I found the ending on the weak side--a tad disappointing to be the ending to the trilogy--and left me yelling at the book for MORE. Even though I know I won’t get more. Sad. I still had to take half a star because of the ending though. My biggest reasoning was that the buildup of the big ending didn’t have quite the KA-POW as I’d expected. Lot of tension. Lot of action to get the suspense and excitement built, but when it came to it at the end, it was over so fast. And then some other things felt open-ended, leaving me to thoughts. And I can’t sit here and voice them or ask questions because there would be spoilers! Ah! Otherwise it would’ve been a straight 5-star read. Which would’ve been my first full 5-star set. Ever. (Ashes and Shadows were both rated at 5) No big, of course! It’s still one of my most highest-rated, and I’m usually telling everyone I know to read the books, even when it’s not their thing. =D
Oh goodness. You see? You see what these books do to me?! I can’t stop talking once I start. I love them.
This is one pre-apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic thrill of a ride I’ll never forget.
Oh Adrian. I'm sorry I've neglected you. I was playing catch-up with all of my other books, and then I realized I had this one of my shelf and I hadn'Oh Adrian. I'm sorry I've neglected you. I was playing catch-up with all of my other books, and then I realized I had this one of my shelf and I hadn't even read it! For shame! Well, problem solved now.
After having been an initial fan of Vampire Academy from the beginning and for so long, I can't believe I'm actually saying that I love this series a bit more but I do. There's just something about it.
This installment though was not quite my favorite of the bunch so far though. But I'm certainly glad I picked it up and got back into the series again. It reminded me how much I missed the "crazy fangirl" in me to rush out and buy a Mead book on release day. I'm so behind. And now I need to catch back up on my favorite characters.
Sydney has so much depth, and even displays a lot of emotion, throughout this installment that it show a whole other side to her character. Unlike the first three books, I think the reader gets a real look at her here because now she's in a serious (and forbidden) relationship--and she's truly showing her vulnerability to us. I like where Mead has taken her character. Truly. Sydney is an all-around badass in more ways than one. Just like Rose had been in Vampire Academy. But with her own voice. She stands out on her own. And I ADORE her. Which is funny, because in Vampire Academy, I couldn't stand her character. LOL. This was initially why I had been wary to even read the Bloodlines series when I first heard about the spinoff announcement way back when and learned who it was going to be about. It all worked out though. :)
As always, Mead sticks readers with an ending that leaves us on the edge of our seats, too. THANKS.
It’s really tough for me to decide if Quicksilver was better than Ultraviolet or not. Oh my. I’m at a loss of words here really. These two books. ThIt’s really tough for me to decide if Quicksilver was better than Ultraviolet or not. Oh my. I’m at a loss of words here really. These two books. The love. The feels I get from them. Yeah…I just speak a bunch of gibberish and fan-girling awe over how much I really love this set. So, you’ll have to excuse me here.
If you weren’t around the blog at the time, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Ultraviolet in summer of 2011. It took me by surprise. That book not only became one of my favorite books that year, but one of my favorites of all-time. And by now, most have already figured out I’m not a big fan of science fiction books. It takes a lot to get my attention in that genre. Well, Ultraviolet took the cake on that.
After an exciting interview with Ms. Anderson later that year, I learned there was going to be a sequel/companion novel, and I’d been waiting since with so much excitement. I never thought waiting was going to drive me so crazy. Haha! Then finally, FINALLY, I had my chance to read it after almost a year and a half of waiting. Thank you so much to Ms. Anderson and Carolrhoda Lab for the e-ARC and the opportunity to read and review.
Let me just take a moment to gather my brain together again. All my words are jumbled up. Reviews like this are so hard to write!
This book. THIS BOOK.
In Quicksilver, the readers are getting a glimpse at Tori instead. Allison isn’t in the picture too much here since this is Tori’s story, and it takes place months after Ultraviolet’s events. I admit, at first I was wary of this, but then it just worked. It was stunning. I loved it. Quicksilver is intense and in your face. I admit that I totally “eeped” out loud at some reunions. Laughed out loud. Gasped. Teared up. I couldn’t stop reading once I started reading.
The writing… Ahhh… the writing. I know why Ms. Anderson has climbed her way toward the top of my list of favorites. She can write. Her words provide stunning visuals and makes you feel exactly what the characters are feeling. There’s plenty of twists and turns, and your mind will be left spinning in amazement.
I may not know which of the two is my favorite, but I do know Quicksilver still wowed me as much as the first did. I also know there will never be a day I turn down reading a book by Ms. Anderson. Every book she writes will be on my shelf. Absolutely stunning.
If you’ve read and enjoyed Ultraviolet, you really don’t want to miss out on Quicksilver.
You can read more on my blog as I took part in the tour: The Bookaholic
Chosen Ones became one of my new favorite dystopias last year, and I sat on pinYou can read more on my blog as I took part in the tour: The Bookaholic
Chosen Ones became one of my new favorite dystopias last year, and I sat on pins and needles waiting for the sequel. I’m excited to say that Naturals was just as amazing and didn’t disappoint, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next yet again!
The world that Tiffany Truitt has built is intense and gritty. It’s in your face from the moment you begin reading. The most noticeable thing in the sequel would be the character changes. Where Tess was a bit naïve and still learning a lot in the first book, by the second, she has developed and grown into a strong and smart character full of edge. At times she felt a bit too judgmental or clingy to things/ideas, and I found this underlying message through this development. Henry aggravated me often and I don’t want to go into detail in fear of spoilers because of this being a sequel review--but I wasn’t a fan of his character. This sequel was more about the character development than the action for me I think, though the action was still there, the details gritty and gripping, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I particularly liked learning more about the wider part of this world outside of Templeton, the Isolationists and their lifestyle, and the dangers that kept me on edge and reading.
Before I begin my review of Shadows, I have two warnings for you:
1. This may be a long review. 2. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers from Ashes, but IBefore I begin my review of Shadows, I have two warnings for you:
1. This may be a long review. 2. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers from Ashes, but I really can’t promise this right now. It’s hard to review sequels sometimes, ya know?
Okay, back to it then.
Shadows freaked my freak. It’s so rare for me to pick up sequels and love them as much as I do the first book. I only have a few authors that make this list actually, and now Bick is on there. I can see where every reader might not enjoy this sequel as much though. It’s quite busy. There’s a lot going on, and many characters, but there was something about it that just kept me glued to the pages. Ashes was one of my favorite books last year. Shadows makes my favorites for this year.
People, I really had nightmares. I quickly discovered I couldn’t sit up real late at night reading this book, because my imagination ran so wild and it went right into my dreams. It was frightening.
Bick has created this post-apocalyptic world where zombies have taken over. The thing is, they’re not your typical zombie. This is a unique new type of species I think, Changed from the EMP event that happened in Ashes. They’re not all mindless, shuffling, groaning monsters. In this world, most are rather intelligent. They handle firearms, travel in packs, have ways of communication amongst each other. It is so creepy and frighteningly realistic that at times I had to remind myself I was reading fiction. What I also really like about this whole series in general so far is that while it fits in YA, it has major cross-over appeal. It is mature, wild, boldly graphic, and raw. I find it incredibly suitable for most audiences, men and women. Fan of The Walking Dead? You just may love this trilogy, too. Though, I’m in no way comparing because I find the trilogy to be a completely unique story in itself to stand out on its own.
Details are graphic, yet well-crafted. They are easily visualized. And damn, Bick is a master at writing descriptions through smells and scents. This might not be a read for someone who has a weak stomach if you want my honest opinion. But my gosh, the action that is put into this. It’s just BAM- in your face. I loved it.
There are many new and old characters introduced in this installment. I’ve seen some reviewers find complaint over the vast amount of characters, but I personally didn’t have a problem because they didn’t blur together for me. The main ones that played the larger roles had their own stand-out personalities and were memorable in their own ways. With Ashes, it was mostly told in Alex’s view if I remember correctly. Here in Shadows, it was told from multiple views so that the reader could get a better grasp of what was going on with some of the various main characters and around them. Again, this wasn’t a problem for me at all, and I rather liked the format of the story. I found it to be broader, and I was on the edge of my seat so much wondering what was going on with these characters and what would happen next. I think in this area, it depends on the reader’s preference.
One of the characters I found most interesting was Wolf. He was a Changed guy and never had any dialogue, but there was something about him that I found extremely Anti-Hero. Sure, he was still evil. He tore people apart. But he held this strange almost protective interest over Alex and I just kept thinking of him as this potential anti-hero that I kind of hope to see more development of in the next installment. I really don’t know if it was Bick’s intention to create an anti-hero out of Wolf, but that was my complete interpretation of him. I’m really looking forward to seeing what other readers think of him, too.
Often times, I forgot this installment took place within months after the EMPs from Ashes. I kept wanting to imagine that it was a couple of years later or more. Mostly because the world I was envisioning was so vastly different, destroyed, or whatever from all of the Changed. I’m curious about big cities. I would be really interested to see some characters perhaps travel through one and see the difference between before and after. The details, however, in the descriptions during everyone’s travels and unfortunate events are astounding. Sometimes extremely graphic, sometimes really sad (yes, some there are some detailed animal deaths, I’m sorry to say, but I expected it for this dark world), and sometimes just horrifying. I found that Bick’s take on the human mentality during chaos was spot on. Humans can be just as evil as the monsters. You have to be careful who to trust. It’s extremely realistic at how much people change, how much of their true nature comes out, and the terrifying thoughts of what kind of power could take control if/when some kind of devastating disaster strikes. While there’s an entertaining and compelling story to be read, underneath, I found hidden messages here and there that really made me stop and think. Once again, not sure if that was the author’s true intention--only my interpretations.
The ending nearly had me in tears. And I was left with yet another wild cliffhanger that tore me to shreds. While I love cliffhangers, I can really hate them sometimes too. Especially when I’m so ready for the next book NOW already. Argh. Another long wait for me again until the next. It’s going to eat me up.
Please, please, please hurry, book three. I might go a little bit insane waiting.
You can also find my review on my blog The Bookaholic as part of the VALKYRIE RISING Blog Tour!
I’ve always been big into mythology stories. Just adoreYou can also find my review on my blog The Bookaholic as part of the VALKYRIE RISING Blog Tour!
I’ve always been big into mythology stories. Just adore them. There’s something special about how you can take these amazing legends and stories that have been passed down through the centuries and twist them around in so many different ways. Valkyrie Rising isn’t any different there, and it’s refreshing and beautiful.
Now, I do admit that I’ve never been real into the Norse mythology area. Normally, I like Celtic and Egyptian mythology. I’ve also enjoyed some of the typical Greek mythology--but to be honest, I see so much of that in literature, that I’ve been waiting to pick up something that’s just seemingly new. I immediately felt that with this book and I was smiling like a kid in a candy shop (or maybe just feeling that high you get when you pick up a book you know will be good) from the first page. Paulson has made a fan out of me. I want more Norse mythology now. And after the amazingly gorgeous descriptions, I want to go to Norway SOON.
Ellie and Graham’s sibling bond strikes me to the core. I love, love, love seeing strong sibling relationships in books. I relate to them. I have a brother myself. I felt for Ellie when she was fighting for Graham. I would go to great lengths like that as well, and I’m glad that her reactions to events and emotions around her were realistic. He was always protecting her, but when it came to her turn to protect him, she didn’t hesitate. Ellie was a fighter, confident, and a good leader. Though had her small flaws as well. There were times she wanted to give up. She was scared. She continued to push herself. I also liked that she was hesitant and thought things through first, rather than just constantly jump ahead recklessly. She wasn't a stereotypical female character for sure.
Oh Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. Tuck. Well…what to say about him? He is exactly the idea of a girl’s swoon-worthy crush. The brother’s best friend. And it just so happens that he travels to Norway with Ellie and Graham, and ends up on the adventure with Ellie. Lovely. Of course, this makes things a bit predictable, but I really enjoyed seeing the relationship slowly build between him and Ellie while they were on the rescue mission for her brother. It’s quite obvious from the very beginning he cares for her, and will protect her, just as much as he cares for his best friend. I liked this development. It wasn’t insta-love because they’d all grown up together. They were starting to see each other in a new light. And in reality, this happens. Paulson did an excellent job developing all of the characters, their traits, and growing relationships. I also really liked Ellie’s grandmother--who was protective and fierce, though gentle and caring.
You guys, I sat down to read this book and I finished within a matter of a few hours because I could not stop reading. I could just talk and talk about this book. I really could. There’s so much I could continue saying.
Like for example: There were these kick-ass beings called Valkyries. Not being too familiar with Norse mythology, I found them extremely fascinating. I think I could compare them to sirens or succubi in a weird sort of way. They attracted young males with their otherworldly beauty and would steal them away. Now I just want more. More, more, more.
There are surprising twists throughout. It’s unique. It’s fantastical.
I think it’s a stand-alone? Which is awesome. I love stand-alones just as much as I do series books. But here's the thing: for once, I really wish there was a sequel in the works for this one. The ending was left a bit open-ended, though well resolved, and could easily turn into a fun and much loved series. I think I just wanted more Tuck and Ellie. Le sigh. Either way, I'll keep my eye out on future work of Ms. Paulson. I'm sure to love anything else. ^^
It wasn’t long enough!! That’s the only thing where I felt like it hurt me. I wanted it to be longer. I know...repeat..but I just can't get over it. I've waited a while now to share my thoughts on it, and since finishing the book, I can't stop thinking about it. It really struck me. I don't find many in this genre that can stick out like that. I remember texting a friend halfway through reading with these exact words: "Holy hell, you HAVE to read this book the first chance you get!"
I loved the romance and the tension and the suspense.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Maria V. Snyder is perhaps one of the most awesome writers I’ve encountered in the last year. And unfortunately,Let’s get this out of the way first: Maria V. Snyder is perhaps one of the most awesome writers I’ve encountered in the last year. And unfortunately, so far I’ve only read this series of hers--but I’m remedying that by buying all of her other works and starting those soon. Touch of Power (book one) is toward the top of my all-time favorites’ list. I love it. I read it just after release in back in January and have been unable to stop thinking about the characters and the world and had been sitting on the edge of my seat all year waiting for Scent of Magic. So, I was pretty excited when I snagged an e-ARC from NetGalley (thanks to Harlequin!) and started reading soon after.
Unfortunately, I felt like it lost some of its magic compared to the first. Maybe it was just me. I’m not sure. I wasn’t a big fan of the switching view points constantly, especially since it didn’t happen in the first book, and while it did help to get to know Kerrick better, I think it made the story weaker in comparison to before. I love Kerrick. He’s rough on the edges, loyal, and determined. I did like reading about his struggles throughout along with Avery’s, but there was a slowness to it and as a reader, I had to be patient at times. I didn’t rush through this one like I had with Touch of Power, and maybe that was a bit of a let down in the end for me.
Also, sometimes, there’s a need for characters to die. And I understand this. It’s an emotional thing, and it carries into the reader. We get attached to these characters. We loved them. We remember them by their deaths. I kind of don’t feel it if they suddenly come back to life. I get this--there’s a story plot here, and something for Avery to work with in the future, but there were times when I wished it had been a different character, maybe a newer character, for the emotional reasons I wanted to hold on to.
The writing is always solid and beautiful and so descriptive I can easily visualize the scenes. And the characters are fantastic. There is no denying that. Each on has their own uniqueness to them.
Once again, I’m left with a cliffhanger (and I hated the cliffhanger) that leaves me nail-biting for the next, too. Scent of Magic was fantastic. I adored it and will be anxiously awaiting the next, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Touch of Power. And I’m really looking forward to reading more Maria V. Snyder.
Go to my blog at The Bookaholic to see my full post for this review. It was part of the Throne of Glass blog tour and a review for the BEA Book Club.Go to my blog at The Bookaholic to see my full post for this review. It was part of the Throne of Glass blog tour and a review for the BEA Book Club.
Throne of Glass took me to a new world full of magic, action, mystery, and romance. I could not put this down!
It’s not often that I read “high/epic” fantasy, but I’m proud to say I picked up a gem to add to my list of pleasant surprises this year. What I found really appealing was that it wasn’t a struggle to read, which is usually the problem for me when it comes to this genre. Admittedly, I had doubts before I requested this book due to all the hype and the genre. I’m so thankful I took the chance anyway or I would’ve missed out on this fantastic story!
Calaena is a character worth rooting for. She’s tough, intelligent, and determined. But even with the hard-edged exterior, there’s a softness to her that comes out for the reader to see--a vulnerability--and she has flaws. She starts out as arrogant, sometimes rude and too sarcastic for her own good. At first, it’s a bit hard to like her. Until she proves herself and begins to grow into a more admirable person with certain things she does and says. I loved that development for the reader. She’s also a bit more girly than you’d expect some edgy assassin to be, and that’s what I really loved.
I had some minor issues with the story though. Nitpicks maybe. But they weren’t enough to distract me away from my enjoyment overall. There is budding romance and hints at a love triangle. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle idea. That’s the only thing in the entirety of the story that messed it up a little for me really. I adored both Chaol and Dorian as characters on their own, but throughout the entire story, I had a hard time seeing the romantic interest with either of them for Calaena. Chaol would be her best match though, that much I could pick up on, due to his background and their chemistry. I liked Dorian’s personality better though. Sigh. I felt a bit of a tug of war--maybe my own fictional triangle when it came down to it. Because of the personality and my fondness for him, I think I’ll be Team Dorian. Haha.
I felt the world-building was solid and easy to visualize. I’m such a history geek that even when it comes to fantasy, I like to know the history. There was enough to satisfy my inner nerd here, but I would have been thrilled with even more. I wanted to especially know more about the magic and Wyrd marks. It was fascinating. I became invested in the characters easily. Sometimes there were unanswered questions or areas where I felt could have been worked out some (especially with the king). I’m hoping a lot more will come for the next book.
I’ve said it before. I guess I’ll say it again. I should read more into this style of fantasy. It seems that over the last year or so, I’ve had a lot of luck in this genre and have found some good ones. I really love how an author can pull you right into their crafted world and make you feel as if you’re there with their characters. Maas does this perfectly.
For me, Throne of Glass was genuinely breathtaking. When I sat down to start reading, I had no idea or intention to finish in only a matter of hours…but that’s what happened. I only find books that do that to me a few times a year, so I’m glad this was one of them.
One of my favorite quotes: “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.”
** I want to thank Bloomsbury Children’s Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review, as well as to be a part of the Throne of Glass blog tour.**
There was no doubt in my mind that Daughter of Smoke & Bone was probably one of my favorites last year. It’s a rare occasion for me to go out andThere was no doubt in my mind that Daughter of Smoke & Bone was probably one of my favorites last year. It’s a rare occasion for me to go out and buy a brand new, just-released book due to hype, but I felt an instant pull to it and I’m glad I’d given it that chance. I think it’s well worth the hype. So, needless to say, I grew antsy the last year waiting for the sequel to come out so I could just find out what’s going to happen to our blue-haired heroine and this strangely unique angel-being of hers. I was nervous. I get this condition I call “second book syndrome” almost too easily when it comes to series. I often find it hard to continue a series because of this, unless the sequel is just as good as the first…or better. And I didn’t want my awe from Daughter of Smoke & Bone to be taken away with a bad sequel. I was terrified of disappointment, but I went rushing right to it anyway.
Days of Blood & Starlight did disappoint me in some ways. Unfortunately, I can’t go into many details. I want to stay spoiler-free, and that can be difficult when it comes to reviewing sequels. I can say this: the writing style felt different from the first page. Perhaps it had a lot to do with the new style in general. Days is told in a few POVs from characters, rather than only Karou’s like it’d been in Daughter. The writing itself is still beautiful and crafty, very visual, but it’s slow. That’s a warning. It takes time and patience with this one before you may find yourself back into the story. It took me almost two hundred pages before I finally started to truly devour the book. I can understand any frustrations a reader might have if their book is slow-going in the beginning. But hang tight. Once it gets there, it really gets there. And then you’re off with a bang into Taylor’s amazing characters and world-building all over again. By the end, I found myself wondering if I liked Days better than Daughter, and I honestly can’t answer the question, even now…weeks after I’ve finished reading. Days felt different to me on some levels, but in a good way. It was thought-provoking. I learned to love new characters. I lost some and felt a deep heartache. I laughed. I cried. I learned.
If you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, don’t miss out on Days of Blood & Starlight. It’s completely worth it.
Immediately from the beginning of Pandemonium, I noticed a difference in the storytelling and tone. I’d gone into the second installment with no knowlImmediately from the beginning of Pandemonium, I noticed a difference in the storytelling and tone. I’d gone into the second installment with no knowledge, managing to stay away from the spoilers (thank goodness), and was pleasantly surprised by the change of setting, characters, and world. Lena felt like a much stronger character. I met new characters I grew to like through the progression of the story, and things happened that felt much more detailed than the first book. It had a heavier feel--with an edge--and I thoroughly enjoyed that.
I’m likely in the minority when it comes to Julian because I just didn’t like him much. Cool character--nice guy, but he didn’t click with me…and I didn’t really feel the chemistry between him and Lena.
The best quality of Pandemonium is there isn’t any sign of some “middle book syndrome”, but it’s even stronger…. Often beautiful and heart-wrenching. And by the end, I was thankful I already had a copy of Requiem because I couldn’t wait a second longer to find out what was going to happen next.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever had to write. Not because it was a baYou can also find my review at my blog The Bookaholic
This is perhaps one of the most difficult reviews I’ve ever had to write. Not because it was a bad read--but because it was such an emotional one that I’m still reeling from it even weeks after reading. The Fault in Our Stars is memorable. The story, the characters…they’re going to live with me forever in my mind.
This was also personal and very relatable. I had cervical cancer--that was treated--when I was twenty-one years old. But it wasn’t even that part that I found relatable with Hazel exactly. It was the thyroid cancer and condition. Since I was eighteen, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease that is a life-long condition. I’m on meds, checked every three-four months with blood work, etc. for threatening signs that include cancer signs. Every other year, I have to get thyroid scans with this weird pill on this crazy machine for extra measure. I’m a “risk”, blah blah blah.
Anyways, not to go off on some long off-topic rant, The Fault in Our Stars hit home is what I’m trying to say. It was realistic. I had it on my shelf for almost two weeks though before I could bring myself to pick it up and read it because I was honestly a bit scared. I didn’t know exactly what it entailed, other than it was about a girl with thyroid cancer, and that the few reviews I had read said it was “tragic” and “heart wrenching”. I kept looking at it and thinking, why do I want to put myself through that?? But finally, I took the plunge, and I’m glad I did.
It’s not all about tears and some sob story that will have you pulling Kleenexes until the box is empty, having wet tissues drowning you on the couch. This is a story about LIFE. Not death. And Hazel and Augustus may just be characters, but they’re inspirations. No matter the situation, the facts, they don’t lay down and wait for it. They live…normally. As if there’s nothing wrong at all. And that’s how it should be.
It’s hard for me to like characters the instant they’re introduced in a novel. Normally, I have to give them a few pages or chapters, get to know them a bit or that sort of thing. I didn’t have to do that here. I liked Hazel immediately during her narration on the first page, and instantly fell in love with Augustus when he was introduced. There was just a connection right away with them. What I also liked is the cleverness and their intellectual conversations. He teaches her new things; she teaches him new things. They both taught me new things. It’s a beautiful, fun relationship that I enjoyed watching blossom throughout.
I was laughing out loud from the first few pages, and from there, many times after. This book brought light and laughter, and so much love. My heart swelled. I don’t care if I sound like some clichéd fan girl right now. I was speechless when I finished--left at a loss of words, and John Green left me hanging at the end too, I couldn’t believe it. I felt it was such an open-ending. I was already crazy with heart-break that I couldn’t believe when I felt like the ending just didn’t seem to…end.
This was my first John Green novel too. I’ve heard many rave on and on about his other work so I guess now it’s time I check it out--because I definitely will. The Fault in Our Stars is on my “Forever Favorites” list officially, and will be recommended to many.
I was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. BI was completely surprised by this book. It didn’t completely blow me away, and I had to take a while to adjust to the unique style of the language. But that’s what made it so intriguing and page-turning at the same time as well. It was unusual in its style--no dialogue tags, and because the MC is the narrator (first person) and she’s not as educated, everything flows in her own voice and language. It does take some getting used to, I must say, but once I did and got into the story, I was bound to it and the world-building.
I didn’t quite get the Hunger Games reference. I hate when people try to compare all the new popular dystopian/post-apocalyptic books to The Hunger Games just because it’s a bleak, future world. There’s nothing else to compare it to other than that and perhaps a strong female heroine. But seriously, the reviews with the comparisons I’ve read just have to stop… it’s annoying. It stands out as its own story, with its own unique characters and world. Just saying.
I really liked the pet crow. Haha. Like our everyday pets now like our cats and dogs, the crow had a personality all on its own. I thought that was beyond awesome--and I normally don’t say “awesome” in my reviews too often, but it really was. The details were nicely done, though sometimes scarce I felt, because I did struggle at times to envision the scenery. It was the emotion that really kept me into the story. A sister/brother bond can be really close, and I felt Ms. Young did exceptionally well at showing this. I would go to the ends of the Earth for my own brother, too.
Maybe I’m just picky, but I would have really enjoyed it more if I’d known what led to this world. There are bits of the old past laying around, and Saba describes it when she stumbles upon it (old airplanes especially perplex her), but I was left wanting to know what had happened to our life. What led to our world to be in this state? Of course, this adds to the mystery of the story, and gives the reader a sense of gloom, I guess…and I can only add more kudos to the author on this building tension. It’s suspenseful and the plot paces nicely. I couldn’t put it down once I was engaged, despite the unique and strange narration that took a little getting used to. In the end, I grew to love the style and felt like I had Saba sitting beside me in person, telling me everything herself.
Pardon my following sentence if you don’t like my language:
Where the hell have I been to just getting around to reading Maria V. Snyder’s work?
Have I been under a rock? Seriously, I think so!
Welcome to 2012 for me! Touch of Power was so absolutely astounding, I still can’t stop thinking about it. This was a fantastic start to the year for me truly and I want to slap myself for just getting around to reading Snyder’s work. I must go out and buy more books… Like. Right. Now.
Lilies are my favorite flower, by the way, but in the world of Touch of Power, Snyder immediately takes this gorgeous flower and turns them into something to be feared. There’s no “Honey, I brought home some lilies from the garden today” in this one. If you come across them in this world, well, you just better back off! And that is what Snyder floored me most about this book-- the unique and imaginative detail, and the emotion.
It was a powerhouse of emotion and rich detail. I was wrapped into the world and characters. I cried (I cried a lot to be more accurate). I laughed. I wanted to hug Poppa Bear! It was magical and compelling and so utterly beautiful, I just didn’t want it to end.
Avry is one of my new favorite heroines now.
Unique and brilliant--I’m begging for more, please!