Very much a mix of Taran the Wanderer and various adult fantasy books. Has a lot of potential though, even if Nihal is a little too sullen and bratty...moreVery much a mix of Taran the Wanderer and various adult fantasy books. Has a lot of potential though, even if Nihal is a little too sullen and bratty for my taste. (less)
Well, I am just...hm. I am very emotional right now and cannot commit to anything that spews out of my mouth either out of rage or just all the feels....moreWell, I am just...hm. I am very emotional right now and cannot commit to anything that spews out of my mouth either out of rage or just all the feels.
I wrote a huge review for this and it just disappeared before I saved it. FML.
So, after I finished reading the third book, I finally noticed that all the covers have the amplifiers on them in order. Obviously the third book is technically wrong, because it should be Mal on the cover instead.
This book was extremely upsetting in both good and bad ways. Let me explain.
Things that made me angry/confused me:
-Alina's hair became shockingly white, which reminded me of Daenerys. Come on, let's stop involving GoT in everything. -Nikolai's sudden situation takes him (conveniently) out of the picture long enough for Malina (Mal and Alina) to figure things out for themselves/get back together grudgingly at first. -If a Sun Summoner is rare, that makes Alina rare. That makes her family special. I thought for sure her theory would, in fact, be correct. When it wasn't, I still wondered about her family. There has to be something about them, right? I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING *gnashing teeth*.
-The amplifiers' transfer of powers is inconsistent. The first two were transferred to Alina no problem. The last is confusing...technically Mal's ancestor was the amplifier and she died. I already take a stance against that because she was raised from the dead and shouldn't she be nearly immortal? When she gave birth to Mal, did her amplifier power transfer to him through her genes (were there FOUR amplifiers at that time or three and she lost her amplifier-ness?) or when she died did it transfer to him through default or nearest live body to her? In which case, I have no idea how these amplifiers work. -The Darkling's merzost-induced traumas lessened and were undone with his death. This makes absolutely NO sense, because you cannot pick-and-choose what is undone. If it is undone, all of it must be undone. CONSISTENCY. Which means that people who died should now be living and all the other injured should be healed (if it was from the Darkling's zombie Dementors). -I like Genya the best and her injuries and ugliness were something I appreciated and knew she was strong enough to rise above. I thought this made her character so much more. But in the end, even this harshness was slightly lessened to make her easier to look at again. -If you think of Alina as a glow-in-the-dark sticker or a solar-powered gadget, shouldn't she have had a little bit of Sun Summoning juice in her after all those months of healing? You don't need a strict source of sunlight. I realize I just compared Alina to a glow-in-the-dark sticker, but...shut up.
Things I loved about it all:
-Nikolai. -Malina's orphanage take over. -Alina losing her Sun Summoning ability. -Alina choosing to be without political power and sway—living the simple life. -Oncat.
But srsly, everyone should read these books.(less)
This felt like a "middle" book. Allies lining up, decisions slowly being made, powers being mastered and realized, and even sides being chosen. You ju...moreThis felt like a "middle" book. Allies lining up, decisions slowly being made, powers being mastered and realized, and even sides being chosen. You just want to take all their separate stories and squish them all together, but it won't ever be that perfect will it?
I had very few issues with this book, and the ones that I can recall were small things. The likeness to The Hobbit was a little odd (a gold ring in a cave with an archaic creature and the Shelob-like spiders). The whole Crochan revelation thing was...confirming of what you probably already knew about Manon and the Ironteeth witches. It's actually kind of comical that they don't know it themselves.
This book was definitely tame action wise, but I think the sheer power shown off makes up for that. I don't want to talk about the ending of this book. The ending of some people's stories or the possible ending of someone's story. I don't want to talk about how angry I still am at Chaol for disappointing me time and time again. Not that I actually dislike him or I don't know where he's coming from...he's just-I'm just-and then he's like-no. Nevermind that.
Also why are the Fae like possessive dogs? I'm not sure if I'm offended by it or I find it adorable.
Anyway, I am frantic to read the next book and the next after that and the bet after that. It seems like Sarah Maas just gets how to tug on my feels.(less)
Initial thoughts: there is no way this is a YA book. If it is I would like to warn people about strong language, sexual situations, and disturbing dis...moreInitial thoughts: there is no way this is a YA book. If it is I would like to warn people about strong language, sexual situations, and disturbing discussions about THINGS. This is basically suited to be a regular fantasy-dystopian-ish book.
Kelsea is a strong-willed queen of a kingdom left in tatters by her uncle, the Red Queen, and those who wish to profit from the poor being poor (sounds familiar).
It's a little long-winded to start with where you really get a sense of the kingdom. By the middle you think you know where this story is headed, and by the end you feel like you just started reading. I suspected this plot would take awhile to develop and I'm excited about the prospect of...that which I cannot name.
In some ways Kelsea is like Katniss, but less hollow. In fact, she's just teeming with terrifying and totally understandable thoughts and feelings.
I'm loving Game of Thrones references people keep throwing around. Arlen Thorne is certainly a near-perfect copy of Littlefinger, but this book reminds me more of Prince of Thorns for women.
With that said, I still recommend this book to all ages and sexes. It's a fun, long read.(less)
This book is like reading the Disney version of The Beauty and the Beast (to the point where you're quoting "you will join me for dinner. That's not a...moreThis book is like reading the Disney version of The Beauty and the Beast (to the point where you're quoting "you will join me for dinner. That's not a request!"), but without all the Stockholm Syndrome BS. Paige is repulsed by her lack of freedom. She doesn't find the her lack of power and abundant helplessness (at first) even remotely sexy.
This is what I love about this influenced work (oh, come on! The flower in the bell jar was a dead giveaway, and as many have argued this story is hardly original).
I wouldn't say this is the next Harry Potter (it's more adult). I wouldn't even compare the author with Rowling. They're not even writing about the same thing or setting or theme. But Shannon knows her way around words beautifully, and these days a mark of good writing is not how much are "original" ideas, it's about how you present a retelling. It's about how you let other work influence your writing in all the right ways. And it's about what you bring to what you've borrowed.
Instead, if you liked the Disney version of The Beauty and the Beast; Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle; Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone; and Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, you will probably find yourself in their displaced and bleak future London with throwbacks to the 19th century. By the way, this whole history of Ireland bit is wonderful. It feels legitimate.
There are very few insignificant and predictable elements, and an abundance of complex relationships (Nick, David, Liss, Carl, Seb, Jax, Warden, Didion...). There is no insta-love or false emotional need for someone else. In fact, at the end, (view spoiler)[they part ways because they have different goals and duties to themselves and others. (hide spoiler)] And this is what I love about this book. Everything feels like it has history; like there is something beyond what you are first introduced to. And that is the greatest advantage Samantha Shannon has honed within her writing. She has played the info dump card so sneakily, it's easier just to assume we'll come back to so-and-so's history at a later point.
That being said, I'm annoyed I have to wait for the next 6 books. I'll be nearly middle aged by the time they're all out. Ugh.
Also, anyone reminded of Gaston whenever they read about Jaxon? Except Jax is clever and is not afraid of thinking ("A dangerous pastime—" "I know. But that whacky old coot is Belle's father, and his sanity's only so-so.")["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
A little slower, a little more infuriating. This book made me really dislike Mal. I do want more of Genya. She is actually possibly one of my favourit...moreA little slower, a little more infuriating. This book made me really dislike Mal. I do want more of Genya. She is actually possibly one of my favourite, conflicted YA non-villains.
Also all the interactions with the Darkling are just...awkward somehow. Also what is it about cult leaders that make me prefer death over confinement with one of them? Amirite? Overall, still so goddamn great. Those weird zombie spirit things give me the creeps. I'm pretty sad for the stag, the dragon and the soon-to-be fate of the firebird (I think). (less)
A folk tale meant for the Shadow and Bone universe. I like the idea behind having a Hansel and Gretel like story, but it was bogged down with too much...moreA folk tale meant for the Shadow and Bone universe. I like the idea behind having a Hansel and Gretel like story, but it was bogged down with too much detail and drama for what should be a short folk tale.(less)
Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and...moreKeywords: Dragons, half-breeds, love, philosophers.
Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and also a crime-free life in Vancouver. That shit be scary.
Review: I'll try to make this review pretty short, since I had barely a complaint. Actually, if I had a complaint I cannot recall it anymore because I am baffled by Hartman. I should say this is an extremely rare occurrence. I never give out five stars.
This novel started at a relatively slow pace, but with good reason. The characters and world building painted an entirely different world from what I've read before and did an extremely good job at it. I had complex questions about the history of some character or saint or weapon or even family with no doubts to there actually being a story. It's like the world has existed for so long and this story is just a minor occurrence in the history of it. A minor story I rather enjoyed, but only minor in the sense of looking at the broader picture of everything.
This is one of those rare reads where you find the two main love interests arguing about philosophers to be some sort of sexy, chemistry-filled conversation. I was practically salivating for more about Archiboros and his pompous ass. Maybe even more about Pontheus, the jurisprudence philosopher; later said to be either genius or mad.
But seriously, how is this turning me on? It must be all that intelligent talk and whatnot.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Seraphina storming about and trying to be pricklier than she is. She's brave, but shy and intrepid. She contradicts herself by loving others, despite their grotesqueness, and having trouble loving her own self.
The characters throughout this entire novel are so well built that it's only too easy to find their imperfections rather than the things that make them flat. Even the "soulless" saarantras and quigutl had me amused, laughing, and possibly crying a little. Even the Ardmagar Cormonot was confusing with his Cybermen-like reactions to emotion.
Okay, but srsly, this spoke to my heart (don't laugh): "do not underestimate the seductive power of math."
Basically, I have nothing else to say except GIMME MORE. And also:
Yeah, come at me dragons. I'm looking pretty sexy now, aren't I?(less)
Sentence: I sentence Leigh Bardugo to making me look half as pretty as Genya. I guarantee it'll take hours. Get to work!
Review: Take a fraction of the complex politics of A Song of Ice and Fire with a folk-ish and historical feel of Eastern Europe, as well as the influence of Asian culture and you have Shadow and Bone.
I was impressed by Bardugo's mastery of making you believe in all these other cultures and languages, let alone monsters and beings of power. For damnation's sake, I wanted to see the frakking clothes they were wearing, so I could better understand keftas and whether these Grisha were actually wearing what appeared to be Japanese boys' school uniforms with coloured capes (I think my mind twisted the descriptions a little).
I guess maybe that's why I can't take anyone seriously, but sort of can. It doesn't help that the main duo are being chanted in my head as "Al and Mal. Al and Mal. Al and Mal."
Anyway, there were similarities to other fantasy and YA fiction, but not to an extent that I disliked it. Alina's relationship with the Darkling seems kind of like a submissive-dominance thing; appearing to give them both a thrill, which I guess will appeal to the Fifty Shades crowd. Oh yes, ladies, there is even a (view spoiler)[collar (hide spoiler)] involved. But that is the extent of the similarities to that fodder.
I think my only issue with it was how Alina failed to see that someone with the title DARKLING could be evil. Let's get real for a second... Actually, I really thought him harmless for like two pages when I misread "Darkling" as "Darkwing" and forever the handsome 120 year old now looks like this in my head:
I seriously need to know whether keftas can include capes. You can whip them about snobbily.
I think I need to take a break from any young adult fantasy. I'll dunk my head in some overrated, hedonistic teen romance. That'll give me some perspective, I'm sure.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)