Book Review: Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone#3) by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 422 (Hardcover)

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The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

The Shadow and Bone series has it all (or did). Great dialogue, gruesome fights, and some of the finest humour out there. With this said, I had very little expectations for Ruin and Rising the third and final novel in the series. The Darkling plays such a large role in this series. Not only as the villain but as an ally and a lover, and I just…I didn’t see his importance here. To be completely honest, I didn’t see anything, no growth from the most beloved characters. Although I admit, Bardugo is the queen of twists and turns, I got very few twists except that one fucking huge one that made my eyes water.

Because in all actuality, what the hell happened? There was so much tension, so much build up in the first book that completely fell flat by the end of this one. This love triangle is just getting out of hand. It’s stupid and I hate it now. Bardugo used a great twist and something unique, to tie everything in a nice, sloppily done bow. How the war goes down is just not logical. It really isn’t. Moreover, the actual ending is not anything special. It’s so unlike the story that I think a lot of her fans are having an extremely hard time with it.

Nonetheless, Bardugo did put in one large plot twists, showing her brilliance through beautiful writing. I do like some of the secondary characters a lot more than before. Like Zoya, who has a great sense of humour and Nikola–everything about him, he’s kind of amazing.

It’s the classic ‘last book in the series’ syndrome. Many second books are cursed with being boring but the last book is always cursed with leaving many readers unsatisfied. And I am apart of that group of readers. I actually had to re-read the war because it was so fast, so clean, I just couldn’t believe it. Shadow and Bone is still an amazing series, just keep your expectations of this book low.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

Click here to see my review of Shadow and Bone.

Click here to see my review of Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone#2).

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Book Review: This Savage Song ( Monsters of Verity#1) by Victoria Schwab

26074170This Savage Song ( Monsters of Verity#1) by Victoria Schwab 

Publisher: GreenWillow Books

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Pages: 464 (Hardcover)

good good

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, GreenWillow Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I’ve read Schwab’s other story, The Archived  and really enjoyed it so I was super pumped to read This Savage Song. But, like, no. So monotone, so unemotional, and just…sad. Pretty much, all I was thinking while reading this was:

 

Nothing matters in the book. And by this, I mean I could not have cared less if the whole city got eaten by monsters. The characters are not well-developed, are extremely flat, and annoying. An example would have to be August himself as he’s supposed to be watching Kate, understanding her tactics, and reporting everything back to his dad yet he doesn’t (or rarely ever does) report a damn thing. He just waits for her to show up. Again,

On top of this, the relationship between Kate and August is so fucking contrived which is pointless Since there is nothing to care about here.

But, I did like the setting. Schwab seems to spend ample amounts of time on world building, which is great because the setting is the best. Monsters! Crawling everywhere! No one is safe. I could completely believe it, feel the atmosphere of the things that go bump in the night, unfortunately, it quickly died because of everything else. Moreover, the only character I actually enjoyed was Ilsa because she is so strange yet cool and AHHH!! Picturing the stars all over her body is just so beautiful and perfect. But then again, maybe I don’t actually like the character, maybe I like the idea of this character. Either way, I’m giving Schwab points for it.

This Savage Song is flat-out a ‘meh’ book. The characters are shit with Leo leading the pack. When he did anything, I took it all in without hesitation or emotion. Moreover, because of this, the plot twists are shit, the writing is okay, and the world is excellent. Although I do recommend this book, I also recommend to go into it with an open mind as you will most likely be let down otherwise.

3 Mediocre Clouds

3 Mediocre Clouds

Book Review: A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing#1) by Rhiannon Thomas

22535481A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing#1) by Rhiannon Thomas

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Retelling and Young Adult

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Pages: 337 (Hardcover)

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One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

opinion

There’s a reason why not many authors write fairy tale retellings. It’s a hard thing to do. What’s even worse is when the fairy tale is the dullest one in the world. So no, I didn’t like reading A Wicked Thing and for readers with a low tolerance for boring shit, I don’t think they’ll like this one either.

It’s boring. From beginning to end, this book was my pal for lulling me to sleep. The writing is also really bad since it honest to God switches from how they would talk back in the day to how we talk ow. I had no patience for this and almost gave up on the book. Bad thing I didn’t because those uninteresting and underdeveloped characters from the beginning of story? They don’t get much better and Aurora is literally too annoying to give even a sliver of a fuck about.

Still, it has some good stuff. Not a lot, but some (thing). The witch part is well done, I felt the suspense and the creepiness. I was actually excited when the witch showed up and started making fun of everything. However, the witch doesn’t appear until the very end. That’s about it as far as stuff that I actually enjoyed goes.

A Wicked Thing was doomed from the start. Sleeping Beauty is a magical tale, sure, however, it’s quite dull and that makes it really hard to work with. I don’t recommend this unless you need some help getting to bed thanks to exams and stuff.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

 

 

Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

19367070Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Pages: 275 (Hardcover)

good good

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinionAfter finishing Kiersten White’s Mind Games series, I can say that she has a strange style It’s at first, really fucking annoying but starts to grow on you. And after reading, Illusions of Fate I say that this roller coaster of annoyance is a good thing because despite hating the beginning of her novels, I always come to enjoy them even if it’s a little which is what happened with this book. It’s all over the place but works itself out. It’s a solid ‘meh’ type of book.

I wanted a more believable world from White. The book and characters get boring fairly quickly in the story because nothing happens but planning for this and that. Also, the reaction Jessamin has when she finds out Eleanor and Finn can practice magic is so unbelievable it’s almost funny. Adding onto this, like I said before, the characters a bit boring. I wanted Jessamin to be a badass instead of only dipping her toe in the water that is badassness. She lets Finn do everything rather than doing it for herself. Moreover, the ending where Downpike explains everything felt forced and not something that would actually happen.

Still, the slow burn romance is actually really well done. As far as characters go, Eleanor is by far my favourite with her sassy tone. And of course the twists in the book are great, White doesn’t tell everything and I liked this because it’s on little things and  I barely suspected a thing.

Illusions of Fate is a solid book. All of my blogger friends like it as well. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing or inspirational but it’s something. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves gothic like stories with magic and evil guys.

3 Mediocre Clouds

3 Mediocre Clouds

Book Review: Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

16007855Sweet Reckoning (Sweet#3) by Wendy Higgins

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Pages: 379 (Paperback)

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It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

All Anna does is cry.

description

Sweet Reckoning is so boring and I couldn’t help but be upset by it. Kaidan, the boy that I swooned over for some time turns into a complete lovesick loser in this book and I understand that he’s in love but come on! Keep it interesting! This is the last book in this trilogy and I couldn’t help but feel disappointed by it.

I also had a problem with the length of the book. I’m being honest when I say that it could have been cut down by AT LEAST 200 pages. Because those first two hundred pages are completely pointless. What makes me even more angry though is how it all went down in the end. I mean, seriously? It’s boring and predictable. Ugh.

Nonetheless, I liked the writing and for the most part, most of the characters. I think that’s it though.

Disappointed is an understatement for what I felt for this book. Sweet Reckoning was supposed to be the big finale, with a shit ton and stuff happening left and right. However, it’s all just sitting around being all cute and whatever. This is still a good series, just lower your expectations when you get to this book.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

Book Review: This is How it Ends by Jen Nadol

20759561This is How it Ends by Jen Nadol

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

good good

 If you could see the future, would you want to? After the disturbing visions Riley and his friends see turn out to be more than hallucinations, fate takes a dangerous twist in this dark and suspenseful page-turner.

Riley and his friends are gearing up for their senior year by spending one last night hanging out in the woods, drinking a few beers, and playing Truth or Dare. But what starts out as a good time turns sinister when they find a mysterious pair of binoculars. Those who dare to look through them see strange visions, which they brush off as hallucinations. Why else would Riley see himself in bed with his best friend’s girlfriend—a girl he’s had a secret crush on for years?

In the weeks that follow, the visions begin to come true…including a gruesome murder. One of Riley’s closest friends is now the prime suspect. But who is the murderer? Have Riley and his friends really seen the future through those mysterious binoculars? And what if they are powerless to change the course of events?

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Not a bad book at all! I really liked it, especially because of the characters that are well-developed. All in all, great start however, it could have been better if the story was scarier.

This is How it Ends is described as a suspenseful thriller with a bit of mystery. It’s supposed to be scarier, not romantic. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the story, it’s great and really held my attention but I was expecting something other than what I got. Adding onto this, I wanted more, I wanted the woods to be freakier instead of just there. I wanted the relationship between Riley and Trip also. They’re friends, best friends and I never really got the feel for it. The explanation for the binoculars is really bad and felt rushed. Nadol has a knack for putting things in a fresh light but not when it comes down to the ending.

Despite those things, I loved the writing. It’s fresh and smooth and goes well with Riley’s character. Moreover, Riley himself, is a great character that I could easily connect with. All of the other characters are well planned and thought out too. The visions are also cool! They could have been a bit creepier but I loved them. They’re all different and mysterious, Nadol keeps the readers in the dark especially when it comes to one of the characters.

This is How it Ends is pretty awesome. The characters and setting are well described and I could picture it all. However, and this might not be the author’s fault, the pitch to readers is all wrong and I have to deduct points because of that. Still, I recommend this book to anyone looking for something to read and love realistic characters.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

3.5 Interesting Clouds

Book Review: The Accidental Highwayman by Ben tripp

20519011The Accidental Highwayman by Ben tripp

Publisher: Tor Teen

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date:October 18, 2014

Pages: 304 (Hardcover)

good good

 In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows….

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher,Tor Teen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Growing up as a kid, I would watch some classics with my sisters. It was our bonding time and I loved it. The fact that The Accidental Highwayman is compared to The Princess Bride grabbed my attention at once! I love that movie! And in a few ways, this novel is like that movie (sorry guys! Haven’t read the book!). There’s a ton of action, helping the story stay interesting and on point with the potential of never-ending danger.  The different types of mythical creatures that Kit and his friends face are all creative and unique.

Despite how fun this novel is, The Accidental Highwayman has a lot of info-dumping that only drags out the story. I found myself skipping a bunch paragraphs because they went on and on and on about random crap. Kit, the protagonist is adorable, however, he sounded more like a ten-year old boy than a sixteen year old one.

Still, Kit and Morgana’s relationship is beyond adorable. It’s a roller coaster of emotion, them constantly getting angry with the other yet trying to move forward. I felt for them and their little crushes! In addition, the little notes in the margins are great and makes the story feel realistic because I don’t know phrases and words used in the 19th century and getting summaries on them helped me understand. The illustrations are beautifully done. Tripp knows how to artfully draw readers in with his visuals. I kept skipping the pages, looking around for the pictures, the full ones that have so much detail and so much emotion, and then I would gawk at them all before returning to the page I was on.

The Accidental Highwayman isn’t a bad book. It does have a few similarities to The Princess Bride with the action, the friends and foes and I loved it. Still, it does feel a bit odd with the abundance of information and the characters feeling too young and things working out just…too well in some cases. I recommend this story to anyone looking for something sweet and fun, with great illustrations, an old yet well described setting and love when the good guy wins! (Sort of). I’m so tempted to go watch every classic movie with villains in it now…hhmmm.

3.5 Interesting Clouds

3.5 Interesting Clouds