As a lover of dystopian fiction, 1984 is one I've heard about over and over for as long as I can remember. I've always had some interest in reading itAs a lover of dystopian fiction, 1984 is one I've heard about over and over for as long as I can remember. I've always had some interest in reading it, but classics from this time period usually bore me to tears and I was scared to give it a try. When sales surged after the recent election, I officially added it to my TBR and finally decided to read it a few weeks ago. I should've listened to my gut.
This book started interestingly enough, jumping right into the world building. I was intrigued by the disturbing society and attempted to draw the parallels between this world and our society. The main character (I don't remember his name - was it mentioned?) was a bit of a rebel, which I liked. I enjoyed the little tidbits about the world before, but really wished there was more of it. I definitely would like to know more about how the world got to the state it was in.
The other thing I wished there was more of (or any of) was action. So much of what I read was world building, I would have loved to have seen anything happen whatsoever! The world was interesting, yes, but not interesting enough to keep me turning pages.
Alas, I gave up at under 50% in. It's very possible that my issues with this book were solved a few pages after I finally gave up, but I just couldn't force myself to continue. I know that there was a movie made and maybe I'll give that a try to see what happens after I gave up! ...more
I have always loved mythology! First it was Egyptian Mythology throughout my childhood, followed by Greek MRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I have always loved mythology! First it was Egyptian Mythology throughout my childhood, followed by Greek Mythology in high school, and Roman Mythology in college. I've always been interested in Norse Mythology, but too daunted by it to dive in. When I saw that Neil Gaiman was releasing a retelling of Norse Myths I knew I had to have it! Stumbling across the audiobook narrated by Neil himself was even better!
First of all, it was impossible to listen to Neil read this and not imagine these guys:
Of course, there were so many other characters in these stories, but these two were by far my favorites! Embarrassingly, most everything I know about Thor and Loki comes from Marvel, so it was awesome to get so much background about the characters they're based on. Thor was absolutely hilarious! His ego is massive and I was constantly cracking up at the ridiculous ways he got out of situations (e.g. assuming a goddess would marry a giant to get his hammer back and then crossdressing instead when she refused). Loki was also a fantastic character, but (maybe not surprisingly) much more intelligent and crafty than Thor. His children were especially fascinating!
Each story was included separately and broken into chapters. They didn't necessarily intertwine like a normal novel, but there were elements that wouldn't be understood without reading previous stories. Each story could be read individually, but I do think that reading the entire book chronologically is the best way to go with this one, at least on the first read! While I've never read any of these myths before, I've read that Neil Gaiman stayed very true to the source material while expanding upon it and making it his own. All of the stories certainly had the feeling of classic mythology!
Some of my favorites:
» The Treasures of the Gods, in which Loki steals Thor's wife's hair and tries to get a replacement » The Children of Loki, in which Odin is worried about being murdered by Loki's wolf kid » Himir and Thor's Fishing Expedition, in which Thor goes fishing and almost sinks the boat » The Last Days of Loki, in which I became depressed and cried a little
Neil did a fantastic job of keeping all these stories interesting, but they were still somewhat simplistic as myths generally are. There were moments when I was a little bored, I'll admit, but Norse Mythology fully lived up to my expectations! Best of all, I learned so much about the gods and locations! All of the Norse gods became fully fleshed out characters through these stories and I'm honestly a little excited to go see Thor: Ragnarok knowing so much more about this mythology than my husband! (Ha!)
As always, Neil Gaiman is an incredibly narrator! I wish so much that he'd narrate books other than his own so I could hear him talk more... I wasn't totally sure what to expect from Norse Mythology but I ended up really loving it! I definitely recommend this book (and the audiobook in particular) to any mythology lover!
If you know me then you know that A Court of Thorns and Roses is easily in my top 5 favorite series of allRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
If you know me then you know that A Court of Thorns and Roses is easily in my top 5 favorite series of all time. I mean, my dog's middle name (yes, he has a middle name) is Rhysand. So it should come as no surprise that A Court of Wings and Ruin was my most anticipated read of 2017! I set aside time specifically for this book and was at the bookstore before I'm usually even awake getting the exclusive edition. I'm telling you all of this so that you'll understand how devastated I am that this book was actually pretty disappointing.
A Court of Wings and Ruin picks up right after the end of A Court of Mist and Fury, with Feyre back in the Spring Court. Tamlin believes that she has not been acting of her own free will during her time with Rhys and is actually still in love with him. He doesn't realize that she's only with him to get vengeance for what happened to her, her sisters, and her friends when Tamlin and Ianthe sold her out to Hybern. Thus begins a 700 page journey to war and back for Feyre and company.
(view spoiler)[Feyre killing the siblings from Hybern and destroying Ianthe was one of the most epic things I've ever read ever. I needed more of this in this book! (hide spoiler)]
There were certainly things I enjoyed about ACOWAR, so let's start there. I thought that Feyre was a total badass whenever she was facing down her enemies. I love how far she's come since book one and I always look forward to getting to see her fight, especially now that she's mastered her (many) powers! Feyre's flying lessons with Azriel were also fantastic! Although I do think she caught on just a tiny bit too soon (especially based on the information we're given about the difficulty Azriel had learning to fly) it was a lot of fun seeing them go back and forth with each other.
One of my favorite parts of this book were the side characters! Obviously Lucien was my favorite of these. The beginning of his story arc was immensely satisfying, although it would have been nice if he'd been present a bit more throughout. As always, Cassian was spectacular and I his relationship with Nesta is one I am forever interested to know more about! I was glad to get to know the other High Lords better (or at all in some cases) and I loved the Bone Carver and the Suriel! These two have spent the rest of the series being utterly terrifying and I really liked seeing a different side to them. I'd love backstories for either! It's awesome when minor characters such as these are fleshed out.
(view spoiler)[I am so sad that Lucien was basically sent off on a side quest for most of the book that we never got to see! I wanted so much more of him! I am really interested to see what happens with him and Elain since there seems to be absolutely zero interest on her part. I'm guessing we'll definitely get a book about Lucien in the future. (hide spoiler)]
The war with Hybern is what the entire series has been leading up to and it was done (mostly) right! It was tense in the right places and kept me on the edge of my seat. It did seem a little weird that it was over so quickly, but I still enjoyed it - especially the parts certain unique characters played and the havoc they wreaked. The different armies from each court was a lot of fun to read about, especially the Winter Court with its armored bears!
And now on to the things I didn't like... There wasn't a "dislikes" section in my reviews for the previous two books, so this is a first for me. To start, I didn't love what became of Feyre and Rhysand's relationship. I rooted for them and fangirled so hard in ACOMAF! But in this one they've become disgustingly co-dependent, so much so that they're basically the same person. Gone is the strong, fiercely independent Feyre from books past and devilishly charming, cunning Rhys is also missing. Instead, they've become a single unit of wing- and mind-stroking High Fae who have sex at the most awkward times and constantly refer to each other as "my mate" instead of by name.
(view spoiler)[Who has sex in the middle of a war?? Who makes licking dirt and blood off of someone sexy? I just. I can't believe what's happened to Feyre and Rhys. They were my absolute favorite in ACOMAF and I'm so sad that they've morphed into literal Feysand. (hide spoiler)]
Another issue I have is that a lot of characters in ACOWAR seemed quite out of character. Mor is a notable example who seemed to do a total 180 from her character in the last book, spending most of this one being rude and irritable. Even Rhysand was totally out of character for a major plot point. There were characters who went from good to bad to good again so often that I lost track. Characters who would normally trust each other suddenly choose not to for no apparent reason and others randomly reveal facts about themselves that are seemingly from left field. Luckily, Nesta remains her amazing self, but Elain as High Fae is like watching paint dry.
(view spoiler)[A couple huge issues. First, Rhys forcing Mor into a situation with her abuser without at least warning her first and asking her consent. This is so unlike anything he's done until now that it totally threw me off. I felt the same way about Amren not telling anyone her plan for the final battle. What was the point of lying and tricking Feyre to the Cauldron? Why not just tell her what she planned to do?
Next, Mor coming out as bisexual. Like, when? Where? There has been absolutely zero hint of this in the previous two books. Every single thing until now has pointed towards her being in love with Azriel but fighting it for some reason. I really think that SJM threw this in at the last minute because of the backlash she's received for having so few diverse characters. And, you know, good for her for listening! But this was not the way to do it, in my opinion.
Finally, why does every single character need to be redeemed? I can sort of understand Jurian. He was dealt a bad hand and I can buy him going over to the good guys, but Tamlin? Is he good? Is he bad? CHOOSE ONE PLEASE! (hide spoiler)]
Then there's the ending. I can't say too much without spoilers, but it was not what I was expecting at all. AT ALL. Before I reached the end of the book I saw so many people who were in literal tears over what happens at the end and I cannot understand why. There was no real emotional impact, which I've become accustomed to with Maas books. It almost seems as if this book was written in a hurry to try to meet a deadline while packing in as much information as possible and leaving endless options for future novels. I was surprised at the number of new characters introduced in ACOWAR, even in the last few chapters.
(view spoiler)[My main issue with the ending is two fold. First, that not one single main character died in the war. Cassian almost died (or should have died) multiple times, but somehow never did. Rhys dying would have accounted for the people saying this book broke them, but I wasn't even concerned when he "died" because I had a feeling he wasn't truly dead. The fact that Maas brought him back in the exact same way as Feyre in ACOTAR just added insult to injury. Amren would have been a perfect choice to let go, but even she couldn't stay gone! It was utterly ridiculous to me that Rhysand brought her back. I saw someone else compare this battle to Minas Tirith and I couldn't agree more. The multiple armies just happening to show up in the nick of time was laughable.
Second, the end was so much cheese I almost choked. I could not believe the way this book wrapped up like a Disney movie with everyone getting their happily ever after and children literally laughing in the streets! After the emotional destruction of the first two books, I expected a book hangover of massive proportions, but this didn't leave me emotional at all. Except I'm a little disappointed. (hide spoiler)]
I was under the impression that this was the finale of this trilogy, but there were so many loose ends and unanswered questions that it's obvious the series will be dragged out for awhile. I knew there would be more books written in this universe, but I didn't expect so many storylines to be left open-ended. It made this book feel like just another book in a series rather than a true ending. I know my review might make it seem like I didn't like this book but I did enjoy it overall. There were far more issues that I'm used to in an ACOTAR novel and it didn't live up to my expectations. I'll still be reading future books set in this world, but I definitely won't be going in with expectations this high again.
If you know me at all, then you know I love retellings. Sleeping Beauty is one fairy tale that, sadly, doesRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
If you know me at all, then you know I love retellings. Sleeping Beauty is one fairy tale that, sadly, doesn't seem to get much attention. (Maybe because Aurora is usually asleep through the whole thing?) So when I saw Spindle Fire several months back and the premise sounded original, I knew I had to have it!
Spindle Fire is a totally unique take on the Sleeping Beauty tale. Yes, Aurora does fall into a deep sleep, but that isn't the end for her. Instead of the story being taken over by Prince Charming, Aurora wakes up in a dream world where her adventure continues. Aurora is also not the perfect, musical princess you know. In this retelling she has no voice and no sense of touch - both things given as tithes to the faeries. Aurora also has a sister, Isbe (Isabelle), who is blind for the same reason. Spindle Fire is told in alternating views between these two characters.
Both Aurora and Isbe were fantastic, strong characters! Although I've always been a little annoyed by the character Aurora (in the Disney movie and in the couple retellings I've found over the years), I loved her here. Despite finding herself in an unfamiliar and dangerous world, she manages to overcome, sometimes throwing herself straight into danger for the good of herself and others. Isbe is the first example of a blind character I've read who seemed realistic! Often, blind characters are written to have magical abilities to make up for their blindness, but Isbe was stronger because of it. And yes, I loved Prince William! The romance wasn't the main focus of Spindle Fire, but it was utterly swoon-worthy.
I also really enjoyed the world building in Spindle Fire. Like the characters and the plot, the world was (you guessed it) unique. There is no Maleficent. Instead, there's Malfleur, the faerie queen who cursed Aurora and is building an army. Her sister Belcoeur, who is assumed dead, has created a dream world and resides there. Both the real and dream worlds are beautifully described and obviously well thought out. The atmosphere is equal parts magical and unsettling.
The one complaint I have seen over and over about Spindle Fire is the writing style, and I have to admit it took me awhile to get into it. This book is written in third person present tense and it was definitely jarring at first. Once I got used to the style, though, I was able to enjoy it. My only other problem with Spindle Fire was that the story did seem to just mosey along quite a bit. There wasn't much urgency to a lot of the story.
Spindle Fire was not a perfect book, but it was an incredibly unique take on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale and it does a lot of things right. Anytime a story I think I know inside and out is able to surprise me, I call it a success! It wasn't an especially fast book, but Spindle Fire did keep me guessing and even threw a twist out of nowhere near the end that totally shook me! If you enjoy retellings, I definitely recommend picking this up and giving the strange writing style a chance. The unique story and characters are totally worth it!