The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is the first book in a new YA series.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she, her twin and elder sister were whisked off to Faerie. Ten years have passed and although Jude hates the man who killed her parents–now her step father–she wants nothing other than to belong. But mortals are looked down upon in Faerie, if they are even looked at, at all. And Jude has caught the cruel eye of Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King.

Jude will do anything to win her place in Court and give up more than she realizes. And so begins Jude’s journey into the intrigues of Faerie, where politics play and secrets rule. But Jude has one talent that the fae do not… she can lie.

Will Jude find her place among the fae? And as she journeys down this path, what will she learn of herself and what will she do with that knowledge?

I read this book in two, spaced out, sittings. And for some reason, both times, I was hesitant to start. I’d heard great things about this book but wasn’t so sure it was up my ally. When I finally started, I got sucked in but my loan expired and I had to wait for the book again. Three weeks later, I knew I liked what I’d read so far but still was hesitant. Then I started reading again and got sucked in again. I don’t know what it was about this book but even though it took me a while, it was worth the read. Especially, the last quarter of the book.

I liked this book. I think a lot of people will like this book. BUT I don’t have much else to say about it. I did really like this book and a lot of the reviewers I follow are saying some really great things about it but not much else comes to me other than “I liked it.” I’m not really sure what that says about the book but hey, I’m still giving it 4 stars.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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Iron Gold

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown is the fourth book in the Red Rising series.

Iron Gold takes place 10 years later. Ten years of war has raged. Ten years of politics and planning. Ten years of integrating the colors and attempting to forge the world Darrow and his friends dreamed of. Ten years, it seems, wasn’t long enough.

Darrow is determined to finish this war once and for all, the republic be damned. But ending this war could lose him the very family he was fighting for in the first place. Will Darrow give up his wife, his son, and all those he loves to save everything else?

Entwined with Darrow’s story is three others…

A young red girl filled with tragedy and brimming with hate, who has become disillusioned with the republic and any hope for change.

A grey ex-soldier with a broken past that has lead him to a life of crime and the biggest, most dangerous heist of his life.

And an exiled heir, haunted by what might have been and what may still be.

Iron Gold expands upon the universe we know and begins a new saga and a new battle. But this time, we aren’t sure who the winner should be.

Sooo… I could have sworn this series was a trilogy. I was so, so happy and content with the way the the third book ended–questions and all–that I was thrown when I found out that there was a fourth book. Fine–I thought–it’s a book set in the same world but with different characters, I can deal with that. Nope. This was the same characters, plus new ones, only ten years older. Because of this, it took me forever to get into this story. I was so stuck with the idea that this was becoming another series that would drag on when it should have ended, that I almost ruined a book that I ended up actually liking.

I really liked the new storylines that were introduced. These were interesting and dynamic and I want to know where they were going. I was less enamored with Darrow’s continued saga, although I did like seeing the fatherly side of Sevro. Darrow’s internal struggles just didn’t make me feel anything like they did in the first three Red Rising books. He just doesn’t feel like the same Darrow to me.

I don’t really have much else to say about this one. Overall, it kept me entertained, even if it took me awhile to let that happen. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah Maas is the fourth book in the ACOTAR series.

In this one we pick up, what seems like a few months after the final battle. Feyre, Rhys and their court–their family–are attempting to put back the pieces of their life. Velaris and the Night Court is recovering from the brutal attack that ravaged it’s people only a few months prior and all of the courts are rebuilding and trying find their places in this new world without a wall and without an all-powerful tyrant.

This book shows us the aftermath… what comes after the battle to end all battles. We glimpse each of our favorite characters and see how they are fairing both mentally and physically.

This book can best be described as the afterword you’ve always wanted. Often, you are left wondering what’s next for your favorite characters… well in this one you find out. We see the love between Rhys and Feyre, the distance between Elaine and Lucian, the explosion that is Nesta and Cassian, and all of our favorite Night Court friends and allies. If that is all you wanted, well, then this is the book for you.

It was not the book for me. I felt like I was promised a continuation of the series I have become invested in. I thought we were getting that insight into the sisters and a farewell to a story that was branching off in another direction. Instead, what we get is a 250+ page fluff piece, with little action and too, too much emotion. The way everyone was talking about this book, I expected it to be so much more. The only time I felt like I was entering a new story, set in this world, was the sneak peek we are given at the end.

I know I am bashing here but the book ended and I literally said, out loud, what was that?! I just kept waiting for something to happen. Yes, we get hints at struggles to come but we primarily get fluffed up emotions and not much else. We glimpse other characters but we don’t learn anything about them. This is all Rhys and Feyre and their love that will never die……..

Sigh. I didn’t get what I was looking for and I felt like I was promised something else. So this one gets 2.5 stars from me. Please give me more of the Maas goodness I know and love in the next one! And action! More action!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Deranged Angels and Cannibal Hearts

Deranged Angels and Cannibal Hearts is the third book in the Dead Things series.

*Spoiler Alter-Don’t read this review if you intend on reading the first two books*

We pick up after the disastrous end of the second book. Quinn is with Silas and still soulless; Mace is still a ghost and Ember is devastated, and Evangeline is dead; there are missing limbs, kidnappings, PTSD and more death. Our ragtag pack of misfits are in pretty dire straights.

One thing is for certain, the pack will only survive the coming battles by working together as one. But this is easier said then done. Secrets are running rampant, omissions and lies hide the truth, and mistrust leads to fractures within the group.

Can the pack overcome their differences and fight together for the good of their town? For the good of everyone? 

So, I started my review of the second book by saying that a lot happens over the course of the book… Like a lot. Which, if I am being honest, got me a little lost in this one. I couldn’t for the life of me remember who Evangeline was, except that she died and when I went back to the character overviews in the beginning, of course there was no recap of Evangeline. After finishing this whole book, I still can’t recall her a 100%.

The individual stories in this book work for me. The pairings, the drama, separately they work. However, there was something about the flow that didn’t quite bring all of these stories together. Could it be that there was just so much going on that I was waiting for the pieces to all fall together… maybe. Maybe everything will be summed up and tied into nice little knots in the last book and all will be well in the world. But for now, I feel like I am playing the waiting game. Waiting for all the pieces to fit.

The characters are still quite realistically sarcastic, which I like. We use sarcasms and snark so much in the real world that it is good to see an author who can use it correctly. Although Kai was starting to annoy me a little bit with his whinny, but well-founded, panic/fears. Two couples I do like though are Ilsa and Wren and whatever is going on with Tristen and Tate.

Finally, I had a really, really hard time getting past the editing. For two pages, the wrong characters name was used–I mean really? There were also a lot of… wrong words. Using he instead of him, I’m instead of I–that sort of thing. I just have a really hard time looking past that sort of thing, which often makes my reviews a bit harsher than they would be otherwise.

I am invested in this story and need to see where it ends up but because of the above (mostly the editing), this one only gets a grudging three stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Traitor Born

Traitor Born by Amy A. Bartol is the second book in the Secondborn series.

We pick up where we left off in book one. Roselle is torn between her duty as a second born, the gardeners who want to change the fates by instilling her as firstborn sword or the gates of dawn, a rebel group who wants to tear down the whole institution. Any move she makes could mean her life or the life of one of the people she cares about.

As factions scheme and plot for power, Roselle must pick a side but is she strong enough to do it? Will she cave under the pressure or will she rise up and play the role everyone seems to think she is destined for?

This was one of those audiobooks that I couldn’t stop listening to even though I kept telling myself what I didn’t like about the book. It’s in no way a bad book but it’s more of a guilty pleasure in that I can’t stop reading the series even though the merit isn’t quite there for me.

For one thing, I was so certain that Roselle was going to be in the Secondborn trial by the end of the book. I was so sure that was where this was going. There was such a focus on the trial that you knew something was going to happen and even though I didn’t mind what did happen, I was still disappointed.

My MAJOR problem with this series, but this book in particular, is that Roselle is described as this strong woman. She’s basically Xena Warrior Princess in her fighting skills and we are told that she will do what she wants, that she can change the world, that she’s brave and strong…I could go on. BUT she isn’t. She is surrounded by men who are constantly making decisions for her. She is manhandled more often then she kicks butt. And she basically goes weak in the knees for every male… Oh and ever male in the book is super hot and basically irresistible… sigh. That being said, I was sort of getting into the Raken / Roselle ship but I need her to give him a good beat down first, to really get on board.

I will say, there was a twist at the end that I didn’t expect but after it happened, I could actually remember the hints that Bartol gave throughout the book. This is something I really like and rocketed this one from a 2 to a 3 for me.

This one gets a grudging 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is the first book in a new West African inspired fantasy series.

Zélie Adebola was only a little girl when magic was taken from Orïsha. She was only a small child when her mother was taken away in chains and murdered for her maji blood. But she was old enough to remember the way the world was and what was lost.

Zélie and her people are treated like “maggots;” they are taxed just for breathing and when they can’t pay their taxes they are thrown in the stocks. More than ten years later Zélie and her family are still living with the consequences of “the raid” and under the thumb of a ruthless ruler.

When chance–or fate–leads Zélie on a journey to restore magic, will she be strong enough to be the hope her people need? With her brother and rouge princess in tow, Zélie must trust in the gods and in her own abilities to save the maji from persecution and death.

Children of Blood and Bone is really unlike any other. I’ve been really interested in fantasy books that take place in different settings lately. Recently, I’ve read ones that take place in Russia, the Middle East, Japan and now West Africa. I just love the diverse settings and the different feel these settings give to the genre.

The world building here was well done, although I felt that some history was lacking. Lots of allusions to the past but not many “facts.” One of the things I like to know, when entering a new world, is hints to how that world came to be. Maybe we will get more of a backstory in book two.

The plot is action packed and racially charged. The pace feels quick to go along with the plot and the violence, persecution and more can relate to today’s society–which if you listen to the author’s notes, was the intent.

My only hesitation with this book was the romance. The story started out so great and then there was this all consuming romance that I was really scared would take over a stellar plot. Fortunately, it did take a back-burner but for some reason this is a series where I want the romance to be in the margins.

The narrator of this audiobook was great. I think she really helped to create this world of Orïsha in a way that just reading might not have done. This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Hero At The Fall

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton is the third and final book in the A Rebel of the Sands series.

In this third and final book we pick up where we left off in book two. Amani and the rebels are in dire straights. Several of them have been killed and many captured, including their rebel prince. The rebels that are left are trapped in a city with a blood thirsty sultan, who wields unnatural power and a mechanical army, all while their friends and leader are dragged away to a mythical prison.

With only a the skeleton of the rebellion left, Amani has taken over as leader, a job, it seems, only she can do even though she doesn’t want it. Now Amani must make hard decisions that could forever change the course of this war.

Will Amani be able to lead this rabble of rebels who are quickly losing hope and heart? Will she fine the rebel prince and be able to put him on the thrown? And when everything is on the line, will Amani be able to give up everything she loves, even her own life if necessary?

I wasn’t total sure about the first book in this series. The second picked up speed and the third was the conclusion. I don’t know if it is just me but I felt that each of the books in this series had a different narrative feel/pace in the first half and the second halves of the books. Each book I started, I was like “womp, womp” but after a hundred pages or so they pick up and get a lot more interesting. It is almost as if the author took awhile getting into the flow of things. But I made it through the series and it wasn’t a made read.

One of the things I did like about this book was how the author handled myth. This story was like a myth in the making and how myths and legends don’t always meet the reality of what happened. It was also kind of neat to see who was telling the “story” at the end of the book.

I actually don’t have much else to say about this one, which may tell you more than anything. It was a read that kept me entertain but not one that is going to stick with me for the long haul. This one get’s 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-