What can I possibly say about Throne of Glass that hasn't already been said? Probably nothing. As usual, I'm late to the party, but that's never stopp...moreWhat can I possibly say about Throne of Glass that hasn't already been said? Probably nothing. As usual, I'm late to the party, but that's never stopped me before, so I'm going to keep on writing because TOG was an amazing story! If you follow my reviews you know that I'm selective (read: stingy) about giving out 5 star ratings, but this book earned it! It's hard to believe that Sarah J. Maas is a debut author or that this epic tale was ten years in the making. Thank hades for persistence!
First and foremost, TOG has an intriguing and original plot. I'm not really into fantasy, but this book sucked me in ala Hunger Games style, and after just a few pages, I was hooked. There are several storylines unfolding as TOG progresses and I loved that Maas allowed us to see the inner workings of the glass palace through the eyes of multiple MC's.
As for the protag? Celaena is a girl after my own heart- smart, strong, and attitude to spare. Oh, and did I mention that she's completely unapologetic? It's hard to reconcile such a young girl with the word 'assassin', but Mass does a wonderful job presenting Celaena as both lethal and endearing. She's proud of her accomplishments and elite status, yet Celaena does not relish in taking lives. She's grounded -or as grounded as a troubled teenage assassin with a penchant for fancy dresses can be. This was another thing I loved about Celaena: although she's survived unimaginable horrors, and despite her less than trusting demeanor, she is not calous or cruel. Celaena has a good heart and is fiercely loyal to those around her.
And the dreaded love triangle? It was done so well I was completely unable to choose between Chaol and Dorian. Both had something Celaena needed and each connected with her in a very different and gratifying way. Ultimately, I found myself flip-flopping with each turn of the page, unable to determine who I felt was best suited to hold the assassin's heart. After all, how's a girl supposed to choose between a guy who radiates heat and one who understands the very fiber of her being?
The only down side? Book two, which is currently unnamed, will not release until next year! This is extra brutal since it's already written! (less)
Fairy Metal Thunder was unlike anything else I’ve read. It was light, fun and refreshing! I’ll be honest, I had really high hopes for this book going...moreFairy Metal Thunder was unlike anything else I’ve read. It was light, fun and refreshing! I’ll be honest, I had really high hopes for this book going in. I’m a big fan of JL Bryan’s The Paranormals series so I was sure that Fairy Metal Thunder would be a great read. It may have fallen a little short of my expectations, but it was a well constructed story and I’m curious to see where the Assorted Zebras go next. Will I be reading more? Definitely.
So what did I like?
The narration: FMT is told primarily from a male POV and that is pretty unique for YA (at least on my bookshelf). I found Jason to be a rather pleasant lead, although he was such a good kid that this book felt like it was targeted at younger readers which I wasn’t expecting. Still, I enjoyed seeing the world (especially first crushes) through the eyes of a teenage boy for once. Especially one that was actually a little immature and just flat out normal.
The imagery: JL Bryan does a phenomenal job of creating a faerie realm that’s understated and beautiful. I don’t read a lot of books on the fae, but it was easy for me to visualize the realm as Jason experienced it for the first time. As the story progressed, I also enjoyed seeing the realm in greater detail through the eyes of Aoide, the secondary narrator, and one of the faeries desperately trying to recover her instrument. I’m hoping Aoide plays a bigger role in book two of the series! I’m curious to see what kind of trouble she can get into with the queensguard at her side and what legths she’ll go to in order to recover her instrument and appease the queen. Besides, there could always be a little romance brewing. But I digress….
The plot: Rock n’ Roll? High school garage band? Magical instruments? Sold. It was a great summer read. You know the kind– you don’t have to think too hard and the overall feeling is warm fuzzy bunnies. The story is fast paced, easy to follow and unique. Seriously. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else like it on the market.
A kickass unicorn named Buttercake: Enough said!
And what left me wanting?
Not much. The story was a little simplistic for my taste (perhaps because it’s meant for younger readers). And while I’m not a stickler for editing, there was one glaring issue that hung me up as I tried to discern the authors intent.
Overall, I really can’t pick out too many things that I didn’t like about FMT. While it wasn’t my favorite JL Bryan book (let’s be honest– he’s got some great ones!), it’s a well crafted story and one I’d recommend if you’re looking for some light summer reading! (less)
Last weekend I tucked in with Last Bastion of the Living for Fraterfest and all I could think the entire time I was reading it was 'How did I wait so...moreLast weekend I tucked in with Last Bastion of the Living for Fraterfest and all I could think the entire time I was reading it was 'How did I wait so long to read this book?' Last Bastion was obscenely good. Now, I'm a big fan of Rhiannon Frater, and I loved the As the World Dies series, but Last Bastion of the Living was so much better. I freaking loved this book! And while I respect the stand alone novel, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wishing for more!
What's so great about it? Nearly everything--the word building, the zombies, the heroine, Maria, who was smart, tough, and completely kick-ass. Last Bastion is fast paced and action packed with just the right amount of romance to add to the storyline. I'm not usually a fan of anything too close to science fiction, but I was enamored with the world Frater built. As she described life in the Bastion, I could easily imagine the crowded streets, defunct transport systems, and the oppressive despair. Heck, I think I could even imagine the smell of the highly seasoned protein lumps meant to sustain the sparse population.
I also happen to be an action junkie so the rapid pace and continuously evolving story had me hooked. Every time I thought I had things figured out, the storyline shifted revealing more lies and deceit. This story- and the zombies- bore virtually no resemblance to the zombies of the As the World Dies trilogy, for which I commend Frater. I love that she took an entirely different route here and created another fantastic story! Throughout, I found myself pulling for Maria and her squad despite the impossible odds. I desperately wanted to see them succeed and couldn't put Last Bastion down.
The only reason I didn't give this book the full five stars? The back story on the creation of the zombies. Now, it's just a blip on the radar and only gets a passing mention, but I just couldn't buy it- at all. Personally, I would have preferred the mysterious Inferi Scourge virus went unexplained in lieu of the truth, but that's just me.
Overall, exactly what you expect from Rhiannon Frater: action, suspense and Texans! An amazing and original read, highly recommended for zombie fans! Treat yourself this Halloween... You won't regret it!(less)