Although it seems like Everless got a fair amount of hype, I didn't hear much of it before picking up a copRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Although it seems like Everless got a fair amount of hype, I didn't hear much of it before picking up a copy. Its gorgeous cover caught my eye and I thought the synopsis sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did because this is one of the more unique fantasy books I've read recently!
Jules was raised at Everless before she and her father had to flee for their lives. After spending years living in a small town, Jules returns to Everless to make enough money to support herself and her dying father. Once she gets there though, she starts to uncover secrets about herself and the Gerlings and things get twisty and amazing! I really enjoyed Jules and thought she was a fantastic heroine. Thank goodness for a MC who isn't irritating! I loved uncovering her past with her and trying to discover who was trustworthy and who was an enemy.
Speaking of which, I loved pretty much every character in this book! It's amazing when I can't figure out who to trust in a story and Everless really delivered! The Gerling brothers are both fascinating characters with complicated backstories (and current stories). I was concerned about a love triangle, but that never happened, thank goodness. Actually, I really liked that the romance was kept to a minimum, although I have a hunch that it might have a bigger part to play in book two (and I can't wait). I also liked the focus given to female friendships and the care that was given to not letting them fall into any of the ridiculous tropes we're all so used to.
Like I said, Everless is a pretty unique fantasy. It took me a few minutes to get my head around time being used as currency, but I thought it was pretty amazing once I got used to it. The world building and mythology surrounding this time-centric culture was really well written and I really can't wait for more magic and timey wimey stuff in the next book! I guess maybe I'm really dumb because I actually didn't guess any of the big twists! In fact, my guesses were pretty far off. Oh well, it makes for a more exciting read.
Let me go ahead and say I loved Everless! There were a couple moments when I felt the story might have dragged just a bit, but after a series of books that dragged A LOT, this was a breath of fresh air. I listened to the audiobook and had a hard time putting it away, which is saying something, since podcasts have been winning for the last few months. I definitely recommend Everless for fantasy fans and I absolutely can't wait for Evermore!
I'll be honest, I had no intention of reading The Cruel Prince. I saw all the hype, I saw the ARCs circulatRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I'll be honest, I had no intention of reading The Cruel Prince. I saw all the hype, I saw the ARCs circulating, and I really didn't think I'll read it. It's not that I don't like Holly Black, I just... had no desire to read her books? But then I had an Audible credit and then everyone told me how incredible this book was and I finally gave in. Halfway through I bought the physical copy so I could read more quickly and here I am with the ARC, the B&N edition, and the Owlcrate edition on the way. What can I say?
Jude is at the center of this story. As a child, Jude is ripped out of the human world, along with her sisters, when her parents are murdered. Madoc, her older sister's biological father and her parents' murderer takes them to live in the faerie world. There she is despised by the fey for being human, and Prince Cardan is the worst of the offenders. He and his friends make Jude's life miserable, causing her to find way to gain power over them, which obviously makes her a total badass. I loved Jude so much! I sympathized with her (how could you not?) and rooted for her to gain the advantage over the fey who looked down on her. And vengeance, of course. I loved that she had suffered such a traumatic past and was still strong, choosing to make her own path instead of following the one she was placed on.
I also loved that I was never quite sure which of the characters was trustworthy. You see, although the fey cannot lie, they can certainly be deceptive, and I was kept guessing who was truly good throughout most of the book. There were some truly despicable characters that were obviously pure evil, but Cardan (the Cruel Prince?) was a mystery to me from the beginning. He's arrogant and just plain mean, but there's also something about him that made me wonder if there was more to his story. I've seen a lot of reviews with people fangirling over Cardan and going on and on about how incredible he is. I'm not quite there yet, but I can't wait to learn more about him in book two!
The story, although at times predictable, was a pretty wild ride! There was a bit of a lag during some of the backstory and world building, but I was never bored. I loved learning all about the faerie world and even found the politics intriguing. Holly Black certainly knows how to set a mood. The Cruel Prince felt both dark and magical and a little dangerous. She also knows how to deliver the twists! Like I said, some things were a little predictable, but there were also several things I didn't see coming.
The second half(?) of The Cruel Prince is where things really get dark. While the beginning is a bit slow (thank goodness I listened to the audio of that half!), things get brutal later on. I was shocked at some of the things that Jude did to protect herself, her family, and those she was loyal to. (Have I mentioned what a great character she is?) There were shocking moments, heartbreaking moments, and then it ended and I immediately wanted to grab book two.
This year has been disappointing read after disappointing read, making The Cruel Prince a breath of fresh air! It wasn't perfect, but I did love it enough to grab a few editions and put book two on my TBR! I definitely recommend The Cruel Prince if you love fantasy that's a bit dark and twisted and brutal.
Reign the Earth is a book I'd seen a bit of controversy over. It hadn't been on my radar before that, but wRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Reign the Earth is a book I'd seen a bit of controversy over. It hadn't been on my radar before that, but when I read the synopsis and saw the gorgeous cover, I knew I had to read it! Lucky for me, I found it as an audiobook through my library. Even in my excitement, I was a bit nervous to read it, just based on some of the claims I'd seen about it in reviews, so I'll try to address some of them as I go.
Shalia is a daughter of the desert who is willing to marry Calix, king of the kingdom her people have been at war with for years, in order to secure peace. Although she is optimistic, she quickly learns that Calix is power-hungry and completely obsessed with completely exterminating the Elementae, a people that has been all but wiped out already.
I love Shalia! She is a strong protagonist who does everything she can in a very complicated situation to improve the lives of others. Shalia is not your typical YA heroine though. She doesn't learn super badass fighting skills and destroy the every bad guy she comes across. Shalia is strong in ways that probably would be more realistic in a real world situation in which a girl is married off to an insane monarch. I loved that this book gave us a strong female who showed strength in ways I wasn't used to seeing in YA fantasy.
Calix is definitely a complicated character. He is easy to hate, but there were also brief moments when I understood his actions. Then there's Galen, the brother of Calix, yet another character that I love. He's kind and strong and accepting and I really hope to see more of him in book two! I also loved Kairos, Shalia's brother. The characters are all so well-written and I loved getting to know them all better, with the exception of Calix, who I hope dies a slow, fiery death. :)
But let me dive into the story and the controversial nature of this book. There were several things I saw in reviews that I'd like to briefly mention and discuss, so I'm switching to a bit of a different format. Beware of mild spoilers ahead!
1) This is more adult than YA - I see where this is coming from. There were certainly some adult situations, but it did still feel like YA. The characters were teenagers and the romance and fantasy all felt YA aside from some of the heavier situations.
2) This book is just too heavy/not happy enough - While there are certainly some heavy topics in this book (arranged marriage, pregnancy, abuse, miscarriage), I don't think that makes it too heavy, but it's certainly heavier than your average YA fantasy. To be honest, I don't think there's anything wrong with exploring some difficult topics in YA and I think they were handled well. Not everything in fiction needs to be sunshine and rainbows. That being said, knowing what to expect going in probably contributed to my enjoyment. Had I not known that this book would be more difficult than my average read, I don't know that I would've liked it as much.
3) This book includes non-consensual sex - Okay, so... I just didn't see it that way. There's a difference between non-consent and non-enjoyment and that's just the truth. There was never an instance of forced sex in this book. There was an instance of sex as part of an arranged marriage that was not enjoyable, but was consented to multiple times.
All of that being said, don't get me wrong! There is certainly mental/physical abuse in Reign the Earth and those topics, while hard to read, are handled well by the author. If you read to escape reality and don't enjoy reading about dark or difficult topics, definitely skip this book because it is not the one for you! But if you're able to go through a difficult, emotional journey with a strong character, you will probably enjoy this, even though it might be hard to read at times.
The magic and the world of Reign the Earth were really well written, although I would have liked to know more about the Elementae and where their power came from. Perhaps there will be more about them in future installments. My main complaint with this book is that it was just so long. Although everything contributed to the story, there were just times when it dragged and it did take me a bit longer than normal to read.
Overall, I really enjoyed Reign the Earth! I really connected with the characters and I'm eager to know the rest of Shalia's story. The romance wasn't a huge part of the book, but I love the direction it's going and can't wait to read more! I did find it to lag at times and I'm hoping that future books will be a bit quicker now that this chunk of backstory is out of the way. If you enjoy fantasy and don't mind books that explore difficult, real-world topics, this is probably a book you'll love!...more
It has been quite awhile since a book let me down quite as much asRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
DNF @ 70% - I just can't do it anymore :/
It has been quite awhile since a book let me down quite as much as And the Trees Crept In. In fact, this book has caused me to break a long-standing tradition of not rating books I don't finish. Having completed 70% of this never ending audiobook (and reading spoilers for the rest), I feel that I know enough to confidently rate this one disappointing star.
And the Trees Crept in is a horror story that follows Silla and Nori to they're aunt's house in the woods. Silla has led them there seeking shelter from their abusive father and an impending war(?). The house is immediately creepy - blood red and creaky - but Silla and Nori enjoy their time there at first. They get to know their aunt and spend their days gardening and reading in the library.
Let me go ahead and say that none of these characters are likable. Silla grated on my nerves with her annoying, repetitive internal dialogue. Nori wasn't awful, but I just didn't find myself caring too much about her, maybe because Silla didn't and it was told from her perspective? And Crazy Aunt Cath was literally the worst, leaving her nieces all alone in her creepy manor. The only redeeming character in this entire book was the (sort of?) romantic interest, but he's not there enough to save it.
Back to the story, things take a turn for the worse when Silla and Nori go against their aunt's rules by going near the woods. This is when the story really started to get weird (and slow). I really, really thought that this book was going to be terrifying. There were moments in the audiobook when there was background whispering, which was really unsettling at first. Then everything started dragging and the rules started getting muddled (can you go into the woods or not??). The trees are creeping closer, but at the point where they completely cover the house, the book is only halfway over! I couldn't believe it when I realized there was so much more to go. It could've ended with a bang there and I would've been happy, so why did this book continue to drag for hours longer?
As much as I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened, I just couldn't force myself to keep reading. I spoiled the ending for myself, although I won't do it in my review, but suffice it to say, it was ridiculous. There was no reason for this book to go on for so, so long. It could've just been what it started as - a horror book with Slenderman and some creepy, creeping trees - but instead the author chose to flesh it out as much as humanly possible and then some.
Was the setting creepy? Yes, absolutely! I was completely entranced by the moving trees and the creepy town beyond them. There were things that the author did right, for sure. The atmosphere is definitely one of those things. I just don't understand why she took it in this direction.
I wanted to love this book SO MUCH! If you want to read a slightly creepy, pretentious book that tries to do more than it ever could have needed to, this is is the book for you! But if you're looking for a horror story that will haunt your nightmares, this is not the one....more
If you've followed my reviews for awhile, then you know I love Marissa Meyer! The Lunar Chronicles was oneRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
If you've followed my reviews for awhile, then you know I love Marissa Meyer! The Lunar Chronicles was one of the first YA series that I followed from beginning to end and Heartless is easily in my top five retellings. Combine my love of this author with my love of superhero movies (okay, really just Marvel movies) and I was SO excited when I heard about Renegades! Unfortunately, it turned out to be a little bit of a letdown.
Renegades is a heroes versus villains story. Nova is an anarchist, one of the villains, and has good reasons for being one. Not only was she born into it, but the Renegades failed her as a child when she needed them most. Adrian is a Renegade, also by birthright. I really loved both of these characters! I could totally sympathize with Nova's reasons for seeking vengeance and wanted to see her succeed. At the same time, I really loved Adrian's sense of moral duty, which could have easily been annoying but never reached that level, thankfully. And for you romance haters, there really isn't much here to annoy you!
I also did enjoy the other heroes and villains, but thought that everyone aside from the main characters was kind of over-the-top one dimensional. Everyone was super good or super evil and there wasn't much in between. For a story set in a world similar to our own, I wish the secondary characters had been a bit more believable.
Speaking of the world, I wish there had been more to it. Everything in Renegades is confined to one city and, although other cities are briefly mentioned, I never felt like I had a good idea about the world and how it came to be in its current state. Reading this book kind of felt like playing a closed world video game, to be honest. I know that Marissa Meyer is capable of incredible world building and I really hope she shows us a bit more of this world in future books because it has potential to be amazing!
Like the characters, the plot was pretty bland and predictable. Villain seeks revenge, villain finds out not everything is black and white. Honestly, the story wasn't terrible, but I think it suffered from being way, way too drawn out. Renegades could have been about 250 pages shorter and still have accomplished everything that happened in the story. A major problem I had with this book is that, while the world isn't very description-heavy, everything else is way too drawn out. Details I didn't care to know are included while details that could've made the story better were left out.
Overall, I thought Renegades was just okay, and maybe that's because I had such high expectations. The main characters were fantastic and the story was interesting, but the pacing was unbearably slow and the world building left a lot to be desired. There was also a ridiculous cliffhanger at the end that I'm sure a lot of people would hate! I'll probably wait until the audiobook is available for Renegades 2. I'm still interested to see how the story continues.
I will admit, I didn't know much about To Kill a Kingdom when I picked it up other than that there was a loRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I will admit, I didn't know much about To Kill a Kingdom when I picked it up other than that there was a lot of hype surrounding it. I expected standard YA fare, maybe some instalove, but this book delivered! Say hello to my first five star read of 2018!
Princess Lira is the MC of this story, and she is a siren. More specifically, she's the daughter of the Sea Queen. Her life has been brutal and she has spent her childhood gaining a reputation as a prince killer. When her mother turns her into a human, Lira is forced to live as one of them in order to get close enough to kill Prince Elian.
I loved both these characters so much! In fact, I loved them all. Lira is brutal and strong and amazing and I loved her. I also loved Prince Elian, who was completely not who Lira (or I) expected him to be. I adored the chemistry between these two characters and loved watching them not trusting each other. I love the enemies to lovers trope so much and, although it goes wrong so often, Alexandra Christo wrote it perfectly! Thankfully, no instalove in sight and the romance is written convincingly, even though you know what's going to happen from page one.
One of the things that makes To Kill a Kingdom so great is the incredible cast of secondary characters. The Sea Queen was honestly kind of terrifying in a way that not many villains achieve and I loved it every time the threat of her was near. I thought Elian's crew and Lira's cousin were all well fleshed out, important side characters and I loved them all!
The world building was also fantastic, blending multiple cultures and mythologies seamlessly. I felt like I could picture each new setting in my mind and, following the characters on their journey, I could almost imagine I was with them! The pacing is also great, not at all too slow. It was just enough to keep me interested with some totally crazy action thrown in here and there.
This brings me to the absolutely amazing plot of To Kill a Kingdom! Confession: I've never read a siren story that I really enjoyed. To Kill a Kingdom did sirens the right way. They are fierce and terrifying. I loved following Lira from that undersea world into one that was totally unfamiliar and watching her go from a girl on a murderous mission to one completely different was thrilling! There were real stakes and urgency and I feel like I'm started into fangirl territory.
To Kill a Kingdom was the biggest surprise I've had this year! I was surprised when it showed up in my mailbox and I was surprised when I absolutely loved it! Although I thought it had an absolutely perfect ending, I am a little sad that there won't be a part two. Alexandra Christo has definitely won a space on my autobuy authors list! Whether you're a fan of sirens and mermaids or not, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this book!...more
Oh, Jane. I wanted to love you, I really did. I actually started reading this book twice before IRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
DNF @ 55%
Oh, Jane. I wanted to love you, I really did. I actually started reading this book twice before I got the audiobook. Each time there was just something that stopped me from getting into it. Still, I knew I would LOVE a story about a weird house and the multiverse. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized I had absolutely no idea what was going on and finally just gave up.
Obviously, this is Jane's story. Jane has lived with her aunt since her parents died, but now her aunt is gone too. Upon the invitation of her friend Kiran (and remembering a promise she made to her aunt), Jane heads to Tu Reviens, a mansion on an island where a gala is being held. Once there, Jane... makes umbrellas.
Jane is a super weird character and I can't quite decide how I feel about her. I didn't hate her, but I was also mildly annoyed for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. She was almost too quirky to enjoy. She made a LOT of umbrellas and she talked about them non-stop. I DNFd this at 55% and I'm not quite sure where the romance was, but it seems like it could've gone one of two ways. Unfortunately I reached the end (yes, at 55%) and I really wish it had been delved into at least a little.
Something I did enjoy was the atmosphere Kristin Cashore created in Jane, Unlimited. From the first page things felt just a little bit off. There was never any one thing specifically that made me feel a little uneasy, but I definitely felt an overall sense of something being not quite right. Although, maybe that was unintentional?
So what did I hate about Jane, Unlimited? Remember two paragraphs ago when I said I reached the end at 55%? I reached the first of several endings. See, this book was first conceived of as a Choose Your Own Adventure story. For whatever reason, Cashore chose not to do that and instead this is a book with five endings. To read this book, you have to read five endings. I can only speak for the first one, but it did not feel complete at all. In fact, I didn't even realize it was the ending until I realized I was reading the same thing that had already happened earlier in the book. From what I've read in other reviews, the endings get weirder as they go, including aliens and talking dinosaurs? Maybe that last one was an exaggeration.
This really felt like half a book. The complete story was only about 200 pages long and absolutely nothing in this book was fully fleshed out. The characters never had a chance to develop, the story never had a chance to reach a satisfactory conclusion. I cannot imagine that with five more endings crammed in the last 200 pages, anything would have changed. I know that some people have really enjoyed Jane, Unlimited, but I honestly wouldn't recommend it. It definitely would have been better as a Choose Your Own Adventure, and who doesn't want to read one of those as an adult?...more
With the promise of a thrilling dystopia, survival, and possibly even conspiracy, The Sandcastle Empire isRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
With the promise of a thrilling dystopia, survival, and possibly even conspiracy, The Sandcastle Empire is the kind of book that is right up my alley. When I saw it was available through my local library, I eagerly snatched it up and began reading. I was immediately sucked in and fully anticipated a fantastic dystopian read to make up for all the mediocre ones I've read this year.
Eden has lived through the war and its aftermath. Formerly a rich, spoiled child, she now lives alone on an island controlled by the Wolfpack, her captors. She has bided her time and finally has the chance to escape, setting course for Sanctuary Island, a safe haven her father wrote about. I thought Eden was a pretty decent character. I liked her, but didn't love her. I thought she was strong without being unbelievably so and, although she was naive at times, she was also sympathetic. I understood her difficulty trusting someone she had inherently distrusted for good reasons. The one thing I didn't understand with Eden was her whirlwind island romance.
If there was ever a book that didn't need romance, it was The Sandcastle Empire. This book is all about the huge mystery of the island and why it exists, its traps and obstacles, and then, randomly, romance. Fairly early in the book, Eden and Co. are joined by three boys, including one named Lonan. He's mysterious and maybe good, maybe bad, and for some reason he becomes Eden's love interest. It never got less awkward to hear about how he compared to her pre-war boyfriend and Eden's lustful reactions to him during life or death situations were completely out of place. Lonan wasn't a bad character, but the romance here seemed extremely forced and should have been left out.
The world building was an area The Sandcastle Empire excelled at! From the work camp island to Sanctuary, all of the locations were amazingly described and easy to picture. I loved the illusions and security features on the island and would loved to have read even more about them. I honestly wish there had been more exploration and less politics.
While the plot was fantastic at first, it slowly became more convoluted and ridiculous. Things moved at a quick pace, but I found myself zoning out in the second half of this book. Without getting spoilery, once the group started towards their final goal, I steadily lost interest in what was happening. There were some pretty cool reveals that I admittedly saw coming, but some that I was completely surprised by were just too far fetched.
I expected a dystopia survival story from The Sandcastle Empire and instead got a more hard sci-fi romance. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's definitely something readers should be aware of when picking up this book. Although the main character was well-written and the world building was incredible, it couldn't completely make up for the out of place romance and far-fetched plot. That being said, if you're a fan of science fiction and don't mind the romance, you may still enjoy this one!
Not too long ago I received mystery package in the mail and inside that package was Pashmina, a beautiful gRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
Not too long ago I received mystery package in the mail and inside that package was Pashmina, a beautiful graphic novel about an Indian-American girl who desperately wants to know more about the country her mother is from. I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened it and I will totally admit this is not a book I would usually pick up, but I am so glad Pashmina found its way to my doorstep!
Priyanka is an incredibly relatable main character. She wants to know more about her background, especially why her mother left India, and isn't satisfied with her mom's non-answers. When she finds an old pashmina in an old suitcase, she finally has the chance to learn something of India, but in a totally gorgeous and magical way! I loved following Pri on her journey for answers about her family and herself, both through her magical pashmina and in real life.
The way this book discusses different cultures, religions, and types of families was perfect. Priyanka was forced to face the non-magical elements of her heritage and daily life in India and the author did a great job of encapsulating the emotions Priyanka felt. I also really enjoyed the different relationships Pashmina explores, especially between Pri and her aunt.
Of course, we have to talk about the art! I absolutely judge a book by its cover and I also judge a graphic novel by its art style. There are some I won't touch with a ten foot pole, but Pashmina was absolutely gorgeous! There was a distinct difference between the real world and the magical world of the pashmina and both had their own merits. I loved the way the art made the story come to life.
There were times I found myself a little bored with Pashmina, but overall I thought it was a very well-written coming of age story. This is definitely a book I would buy for my ten-year-old niece. In fact, I just added it to my Christmas shopping list (but don't tell her)! ...more
I picked up Fresh Romance in early 2016 and had every intention of reading it. Instead it sat on my shelf fRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I picked up Fresh Romance in early 2016 and had every intention of reading it. Instead it sat on my shelf for over a year and I am just now getting around to picking it up. I didn't realize when I brought this home that it was an anthology of short graphic novels ranging in genre from paranormal to historical fiction. My main takeaway from this anthology is that the stories are entirely too short. I was interested in most of them, but they were SO short that it was really hard to feel like I'd enjoyed them fully. Something I really did appreciate though was how diverse most of them were. Here are my thoughts on each of the four (five?) stories included:
SCHOOL SPIRIT This story was cute once I got my bearings. I felt a bit thrown into things, but as I understood what was really going on I really enjoyed the romance and the paranormal elements I totally wasn't expecting. School Spirit is the most diverse out of all of these stories and, while it was hard reading about the reactions to Justine and Malie's relationship, I loved them together! Sadly, this story really had no resolution. School Spirit feels like there SHOULD be something more to it - more volumes - but I can't find them. Overall a sweet story but annoyingly unresolved. (3 stars)
RUINED Completely switching gears, Ruined is about a woman named Catherine, her mysterious backstory with an unknown lover (I'm assuming this is where she was "ruined"? *cringes*), and her arranged marriage to a man named Andrew. I actually really enjoyed this story a lot, but I wish I could find the rest of it! Ruined ends with "to be continued..." and is titled "Volume One," but it seems like there haven't been any additional volumes published and the author has fallen off the map. (4 stars)
THE RUBY EQUATION This story was a little too weird and fast for me. It's about a girl named Ruby who is from some other unspecified world and her mission is to make people fall in love in a coffee shop for reasons. This one just really wasn't for me. Ruby was okay, but the speed with which she changed her outlook and the lack of explanation given for anything really just didn't do it. (2 stars)
BEAUTIES Beauties was another really, really weird story. It's apparently a Beauty and the Beast retelling in which Beauty's father is a prince with two other daughters. The Beast is made the family pet and Beauty falls in love with him for (again) reasons. This story was incredibly short and definitely could have stood to be a bit longer to fill in some (any) details. (2 stars)
FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS Honestly, I don't even know what this is. I tried really hard to understand the point. I mean... at least the art was pretty. (1 star)
While I didn't love every story, this anthology had SO much potential! Unfortunately it seems like it has been abandoned and the one story that ended with "to be continued" will go unresolved. After reading I checked out the website advertised in the back of the book ("Can't wait for more Fresh Romance? Head over to rosypress.com...") only to find that there's absolutely nothing there except a link to an old Kickstarter. Keep in mind, this anthology was published in 2016. I feel fortunate to have gotten a copy for free. If I'd paid for it I would've been pretty irritated.
My rating for Fresh Romance was originally 2.5 stars, but I'm taking off a star because the story that ended on a cliffhanger (the only one I really, really enjoyed) has no next volume and the rest of the stories are so unresolved. I've read quite a few graphic novels over the years and I've never felt quite this irritated over the distinct lack of endings. I definitely can't recommend seeking this one out.
I don't read many graphic novels, but when I do I'll totally admit I pick them based on art. Afar caught myRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I don't read many graphic novels, but when I do I'll totally admit I pick them based on art. Afar caught my eye with its beautiful cover and upon flipping through the pages I knew I had to read it! I hadn't actually read the synopsis before I took Afar home (like I said, I choose based on art), so I was a little surprised when I realized it was about a girl who is able to astrally project during sleep. This is such a unique premise!
Boetema is the heroine of this story and, while her astral projection is a big part of the book, it isn't the only major plot point. Boetema's brother lands himself in trouble while their parents are away and they set out to find somewhere new to start over. They decide to set off through the desert in search of a city of riches where they can find work for themselves and live comfortably. Its during this journey that Boetema learns to control her ability.
Afar has a lot of things going for it! The art is obviously gorgeous and I thought the premise was fantastic! I love the creatures and the different worlds Boetema visits! She and her brother are also really great characters with a lot of depth for such a short book. Unfortunately, there are also some downfalls.
One issue with Afar is that it jumps around in an extremely jarring way. On one page it could be daytime in Boetema's world and then on the next page she's somewhere new in a new body with no explanation. There are multiple unexplained time jumps and I just found it somewhat difficult to keep up with what was happening at times.
My main complaint with this book is that it tries to be too much with too few pages. There were multiple conflicts that needed resolving and I didn't feel like they were wrapped up very well. Some questions were left entirely unanswered.
Overall I enjoyed Afar! While it definitely had its high and low points, it was a great story with fantastic, diverse characters and beautiful art. With 50 more pages it could've been great! Although this book didn't make my favorites list, I'd still recommend it to YA graphic novel lovers!...more
The Cage is a series that I have continued reading despite not actually enjoying it at all. Megan Shepherd had such a fantastic idea with this series,The Cage is a series that I have continued reading despite not actually enjoying it at all. Megan Shepherd had such a fantastic idea with this series, one that pulled me in because of its similarity to my favorite episode of The Twilight Zone. I read the first book expecting to completely love it, especially after loving her Madman's Daughter series, but came away extremely disappointed. Book two was just slightly better and here I am having read book three, even though I swore I wouldn't. I'm happy to report I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.
The Gauntlet picks up just after the end of The Hunt, with Cora and Co. on Armstrong, a planet they've been led to believe will be their safe haven. They quickly learn all is not as they've been promised, however, and the action begins again almost immediately. The original crew finds itself split into three different groups all working towards a common goal - save the humans and win their spot among intelligent species.
Cora remains a character that I'm not sure whether I love or hate. On the one hand, she's incredibly dense to the point of being annoying to read about. On the other hand, her story is the best one out of all of them. I was totally fascinated by her fight to get to the Gauntlet and run it! I still don't really care at all about her love interest, Cassian, and luckily he wasn't in this book until over halfway through. I could really do without Nok and Rolf (whose name I just had to think for a full minute to remember) and their annoying storyline. I didn't totally hate Leon and Molly, but that's about all I can say for them. As you may have guessed, the characters are far from the highlight of this story.
Once again, this book had a lot of good ideas but there were also a lot of really dumb ones. Shepherd's use of evolution and DNA (see spoilers at the end) was so embarrassingly bad I truly can't believe they made it to the final draft of this book. Then there was the awful dues ex machina at the end. I was at least somewhat impressed that one main character died. The Gauntlet itself was pretty cool, although it was WAY too easily beat based on all we've been told for the entire series.
Like in the other two books, the world is really the saving grace of this series. I loved reading about all the different worlds Cora visited and I wish I could find fan art that shows the fake towns and buildings used as fronts from all of these books.
While this book was tolerable, it could have been a whole lot better. I had so many problems with this series that I was never able to enjoy it, which is a real shame considering all the incredible ideas Megan Shepherd has cooked up. I'll probably read whatever she writes next because I think she has great ideas! I just hope it's better executed than The Cage series.
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS
(view spoiler)[> I have no idea what the thought process was behind DNA in this book. One of the Kindred puts together a serum made of all the human DNA she's had access to as the officer in charge of genetics research. By injecting this DNA into Cora, Cora then has access to every memory and experience of every human whose DNA was in the serum. Somehow she communicates with them and they help her win the Gauntlet. So basically she cheats.
> Similarly, the use of the "evolutionary jump" was ridiculous. Apparently once Cora completes the Gauntlet and humans are officially an intelligent species, all humans magically become smarter. Or something. But it's at different rates based on how far away they are. I don't even know, man.
> Cora dies in the Gauntlet, which is required for her to win. She has to be willing to sacrifice herself for the good of the species. But somehow a last minute switcharoo is pulled by people who need her alive for a trade deal and instead of drowning in water, she drowns in some kind of fluid that keeps her alive. I just cannot with the fake dying. (hide spoiler)]...more
I have finally read book nine of The Wheel of Time. The farther I delve into this series the harder the booRead more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!
I have finally read book nine of The Wheel of Time. The farther I delve into this series the harder the books get to review, mostly because it seems like less and less happens in each one. (I just noticed I skipped reviewing book 8.) I'm going to be upfront here - it took me five months to read this even with listening to the audiobook. It's just so damn long and convoluted. I love this series, I do! Which is why I'm sticking it out. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to Brandon Sanderson coming on board.
Rand and Min are by far my favorite parts of The Wheel of Time at this point. Rand is absolutely the best part of this book. I loved seeing him continue to evolve as the Dragon Reborn and I'm excited to see what happens between now and the end of the series. I love his relationship with Min, although I wish all the various other women around him would disappear. I am also really enjoying following Elayne on her journey in Andor! I'm looking forward to seeing whether she achieves her goals and how certain other developments unfold. That's about where my enjoyment of these characters ends.
I am so invested in the original characters that I find myself becoming annoyed when a chapter strays to yet another new character that I have no interest in. I understand that this is a never ending extremely long series and there are tons of pages to pad with filler, but I really wish that, since Robert Jordan insisted on making each book 700 pages, he could've at least spent more time on main characters and less introducing us to the millionth unlikeable female character. To be honest, I'm even losing interest in some of the other originals, namely Perrin, Nynaeve, and Egwene. At this point, they're just in the way of the parts of the story that are actually interesting.
The storyline(s) in Winter's Heart are as convoluted as the characters. There's no reason why several of them even need to exist to move forward the main story, and the others really don't need to be as long as they are. This is a nearly 700 page book that could easily lose 300 pages and still get the point across. I truly hate complaining about this series because I love it overall, but it seems as if Robert Jordan didn't even know where the end was by book nine. (Wasn't this originally supposed to be a trilogy?) Once again, Robert Jordan spends an entire book meandering around a whole lot of nothing, only to end with a big burst of action that's supposed to have me hooked for the next installment.
As always, the world is amazing, but does it honestly need to be described in this much detail this far into the series? So much time is spent on description that it becomes tedious to read. I was happy to return to some previous settings, however.
Will I read book ten? Absolutely. I'm going to go into books ten and eleven expecting them to be more of the same (hopefully it isn't worse!), but knowing that book twelve is where the series makes a turn for the better. I love Rand, I loved the first half of this series! I definitely want to know how it ends and I'm going to stick it out! It may take me a few more years to make it through the last four, but I'll get there eventually!