Ana’s Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass (#4)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published: September 1st 2015

Summary: “The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.”

Review

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. OBVIOUSLY.

I’ll only say this once: if you haven’t started reading the Throne of Glass series what are you doing with your life? This series is one of the best out there, it’s life itself and come on, everyone has been raging about it since the first book came out in 2012. Sarah J. Maas has done something beautiful with the series and I am now going through a book comatose: the phenomena in which you finish a book and every single book you pick after that feel like crap and you get the feeling that no one else can write a book as good as the one you’ve just read. This is a shitty phase to go through because you want, you NEED to read something else because of all the feelings you have but nothing satisfies you. Continue reading

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Book Review: Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

 

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Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

Series: The Arcana Chronicles (#3)

Published: January 6th 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Playlist: Three Day Grace and Skillet

Goodreads:Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, the Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on the Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first…?”

Review:

I’m going to go straight to the point:

This book was AWESOME, EPIC and MIND-BLOWING.

If I hadn’t read City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare this year I would say that Dead of Winter was the best book so far… And we’re still in January!

I had this book on my bedside table for 2 weeks until I told myself that I had to read it, so I had the brilliant idea of reading the whole series straight. I did it, of course, and I broke my personal reading record, four books in a day *applause*

Yes guys, I’m just that good! I first read Kyland by Mia Sheridan, then Poison Princess, Endless Knight and at last Dead of Winter. I started at midnight and stopped at 8 am, in the middle of Dead of Winter, slept a little bit and continued at 1 pm to finish this masterpiece of a book at 3 pm.

I thank the holly God of Bookworms for making this day happen.

Dead of Winter continues from the part where Death coerces Evie into sleeping with him, in exchange he would save Jack, our hot Cajun boy who was kidnapped by the homicidal Violet and Vincent, aka The Lovers, Duke and Duchess Most Perverse. But our dear Evie decides to poison Aric (Death), and he falls asleep. She then runs away to save Jack, despite being mad at him.

I have to admit that I don’t really intend to fully review this book, as such I won’t go further with it.

One thing I will tell you, this book is so outright amazing, I really don’t have enough words to describe it, I just want the fourth book so much! I had told Ana that I wanted this series to end at Dead of Winter, but after I finished reading it… Dear Miss Kresley Cole, please go ahead and write your heart out *I’ll be dying over here, waiting*

So if you thought Endless Knight ended with a cliff-hanger, trust me, Dead of Winter will make you scream in frustration and want to build a time-traveling machine to go to the future and read the next book. Unfortunately wanting and doing are not the same, so I guess I’ll have to wait another year *cries*.

Thank you for reading, please comment, like or share 🙂

To read my review of Poison Princess click here  ; to read Ana’s review of Endless Knight click here

5 Chibis

Book Review: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

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The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Series: The Pledge (#1)

Published:15th November 2011

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Soundtrack: Eivor (every album)

Goodreads:In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.”

 

 

 Review:

Reading my third Kimberly Derting series opposes no challenge at all.
As usual, her writing is compelling, you don’t really need to read half of the book to finally get into it, 30 or so pages are enough to know this book will be one amazing read.

Ludania is a country ruled by a very old, yet still very lucid and scary queen, a country that is constantly threatened by rebels and the neighboring countries. And in Ludania lives the seventeen-year-old Charlaina, Charlie, who possesses a strange skill, a skill that must be hidden at all costs from everyone and everything. Moreover, in Ludania, its population is divided into classes, which have their own language. It is strictly forbidden for people of the lower classes, like Charlie to speak or understand other languages but their own. Lower classes are only allowed to speak Englaise, the universal language and one or two dialects. Which is why Charlie’s talent must be hidden at all costs… Charlie can understand any form of communication, even if she hasn’t ever heard it before. This talent of hers makes her vulnerable, she must pretend she doesn’t understand any language bu her own, no matter how hard it may be.

Brooklyn, Charlie’s best friends convinces her to go out at night, to some club, there they see the three handsome men they had first seen at the restaurant, owned by Charlie’s parents. Once Charlie approaches Brooklyn, to ask her to leave, she hears something quite disturbing in a language she had never heard… she panics and makes Brooklyn leave. Although she thought nobody had taken a notice… someone did, that someone being the handsome Max, who she later finds out to be someone very important to the Kingdom.

Then there’s Xander, the mysterious man she meets at the club, he is scary and seems to know everything about her.

I enjoyed reading this book, it’s pretty fluid, although I have to admit it wasn’t one of my favorite ones by Kimberly Derting. The Taking and especially The Body Finder series were near perfection. I’m not so sure about The Pledge.

When I finished reading The Pledge I asked myself whether I would read the second one or not. I probably will, but not now.

In my opinion, there was something that this book is missing… Perhaps the problem is with the main character? Or the story itself? I have no idea, because that’s the thing, I enjoyed the book, but I do think it had the potential to be an awesome read and when I finished it I didn’t feel that way. I expected to be one of those “life-altering” reads, but this one wasn’t. In fact, The Pledge was just another book I’ve read.

3 Chibis

Book Review: The Assassin’s Curse + The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Series: The Assassin’s Curse (#1)

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Published: October 2nd 2012

Summary:Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.  To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks–all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic…and the growing romantic tension between them.”

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)

The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Series: The Assassin’s Curse (#2)

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Published:  June 18th 2013

Summary: “After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.”

Review

This is something unusual but I decided to make my comeback to the book community by making a double review! Mostly it’s because I marathoned this two books and, honestly, I can’t remember if this scene or that one were part of the first book in the duology or not. I promise not to make some major spoilers!

After going through university’s awful final’s period, I knew I had some reviews late and had to post something. However, I just wanted to read something new before posting those, just relax and take my mind of school. So I went to my goodreads TBR list adn started scaning it. My eyes fell immediatly on The Assassin’s Curse, mainly because many people were talking about it and I had no idea what to expect from it. The cover didn’t tell me anything and I’m not one for pirate and assassines’ books but oh, well, I just thought it wouldn’t hurt to pick it up. I needed something different, something that would take me to a different world.

And oh, boy, didn’t it. The Assassin’s Curse is a lovely series that I wish would have more books in it. WE CAN JUST NOT BE SATISFIED WITH TWO BOOKS. BELIEVE ME, it will mess with your head and make you call your friends to read it so they can suffer as well. (That’s right Soffs, you will be getting a call soon)

The Assassin’s Curse is about a Annana, a pirate girl who was sent to get married to another pirates’ family, the Harriri. Long story short, she doesn’t want to and runs off which makes the family retaliate and send an assassin to kill her. When he finds her, she ends up saving his life and a curse bounds him to her. He has to protect her until he can break the curse, if she dies, he dies. I have to be honest, to this point I was already getting into the book but I didn’t know if this was the kind of book that would stay with me.

However, while the story goes on you can’t help but be hooked. You get to love Annana for all her craziness and pirateness. She might be childish sometimes, but I guess she has a right to be and it’s not one of those character that annoy you. The assassin, Naji, is this mysterious guy with his blood magic that will be the ultimate victim of Annana’s craziness because his curse makes him get headaches and whatever whenever she gets in danger, which is pretty much all the time since she won’t stay put.

One thing that led me to love this series is the fact that we are not dealing with out of the world extremely beautiful characters. Annana is described as not being the prettiest of the women, let’s say. Naji has left of his face scared and people are constantly afraid of him. This was a change that I welcomed because, well, all those beautiful characters in the books, while I apreciate them so I can drool over all the incredible sexy guys we read about, kind of set high standards and are starting to make us all look at the boys and think, “Hey, that is no Daemon Black! I want an Adrian Ivashkov now!”

While being action packed, this series doesn’t neglet the romance. I loved all sea battles and scare worthy moments but I like me some fluffy scenes and I just want to give Cassandra Rose Clarke a big kiss on the cheek for making me smile like a maniac sometimes. All those touch don’t touch moments, gyahhhhhhhh. (felt like that was needed, sorry) Although those happen mostly in The Pirate’s Wish, The Assassin’s curse has plenty of parts that will make you squeel of happiness.

All that aside, I have to talk about my favourite character. During their mission to remove the curse, Annana and Naji get stranded in an island. There they get to meet certing characters but there was one that stuck with me. The manticore, also known as Ongraygeeomryn, is the best pet ever. Okay, she isn’t a pet, she is a wild creature that will eat you but this one, she just rocks. All in all, I want to have one.

The ending of the first book is pretty standard. Annana and Naji are stranded on that island and are thinking about how to break the curse. The Pirate’s Wish starts right where the other book ended. However, I must say I was pretty surprised by the actual ending. The characters seemed to have grown in personality and suddendly we’re not seeing Annana anymore. To be honest, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. I liked it, better yet, I loved it. It was beautiful, happy and sad at the same time, but I wanted more. I needed that third book! Next paragraph is a spoiler, you have been warned:

How could Naji say he had to stay an assassin in the Order and go separate ways from Annana, Yes they love each other, they managed to get bounded together in the middle of the second book by blood magic, and then, just like that, they decided to stay together, but separate. WTF. Okay, they’ll see each other sometimes but WHY. At least then give us a peek into the future, let us see they meeting again. I finished reading the series and just though Fuck it. I loved it but PLEASE GIVE US MORE. In a way, Annana’s wish came true: she got her own boat and became a captain. But… She needed to have Naji there with her. Not fair *pout face*

Cassandra Rose Clarke’s series is full of wonders and I envy her imagination.

The Assassin’s Curse

 5 Chibis

The Pirate’s Wish:

4 Chibis

(not getting more because my feelings are hurt)

Book Review: Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1)Shadowfell by Juliet Marrilier

Series: Shadowfell (#1)

Published: September 11th 2012

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary: ” Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill–a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk–Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec. 
During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death–but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban.”

Review

I really, really loved this book! It’s so different from what I’m used to read, reading it was like a breath of fresh air or eating a different type of chocolate (very delicious chocolate!).

Juliet Marillier created a world with a strong, female character who has a long journey in front of her.

Neryn, the main character is traveling with her father, walking from place to place, having barely any money. Neryn’s father, like Neryn, lost everyone, they were all killed by a very dangerous military group, the Enforcers, who work for the king, Keldec, king of Alban. Keldec rules Alban with an iron fist, condemning thousands of people to death for having gifts, magical gifts. Those people with special talents are called the Impure, meaning they have to be “cleansed”.

Neryn and her father are running from the Enforcers who are looking for her. However, Neryn’s father decides to play a luck-game (on a boat), he gets drunk, end’s up losing all their money, and bet’s Neryn (asshat). He loses and Neryn is then given off to an enigmatic traveler, Flint. Surprisingly, Flint and Neryn don’t have what would be called a cliche romance. In fact, they split ways.  Neryn travels by herself to find Shadowfell, a place where people like her live. It is also a place where rebellions live.

Neryn faces a lot of hardships, illness, the death of a friend, danger, the Enforcers, and many others. In spite of this, Neryn finds hope in the Good Folk. The Good Folk are a race of (I didn’t want to use this word, but that’s exactly what they are…) magical beings who remain hidden from the outside world. These beings help her on her journey with their knowledge, some even become her friends, others…not so much.

It really touched me to see the evolution on Neryn, some people say she’s weak, but I strongly disagree with them, Neryn is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to “meet”!

Flint is also not your typical boy-crush, he’s a young man, a young man who had to grow up early. I can’t give you much detail about him, you have to read to find out, but once you do find out about him you don’t know how to feel about him…

If you want to read a sweet, oh-so romantic story, I don’t recommend you this book, this book does have some romance, but not the usual kind. This story is not focused on love, but on strength and fight for a better place.

I really loved this book, I want to read the second one right now!! A friend of mine told me to read the Sevenwaters series, also by Juliet Marillier, I guess that’s exactly what I’m gonna do (after the exams T.T)

Playlist: Celtic Woman – album Believe

4.5 Chibis

Book Review: Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Series: Fire and Thorns (#1)

Published: September 20th 2011

Publisher: Greenwillow

Summary: “Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one.  But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will. 

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.”

Review

*This review contains spoilers*

My heart hurts, oh, it hurts. How could a book with such a premise become this? I did not like Girl of Fire and Thorns. Mostly, it bored me and I had a hard time finishing it. Of course, it had some good parts but for me, it fell short of what I had expected. I kept wanting to like the book but meh. Just meh. Something was simply not letting me.

Nothing could stop me from putting this here

Elisa is the rare bearer of the God Stone, a stone that is on the body of a person from time to time. It shows that the person who bears it is going to do something great that will have deep consequences on humanity. I’m not going to go too deep into what the story is because that’s what the blurb is all about and BAM she gets married. suddenly, she isn’t with her husband but with the rebels.

In the beginning I was actually enjoying the plot and the whole concept of Girl of Fire and Thorns but quickly grew bored and sometimes frustrated. Let’s start with the fact that Elisa is always described as a fat person and she is okay with that. Finally, a protagonist who isn’t today’s standards of beauty. She’s puffy okay, she can be badass if she wants too! However, I don’t know what happened, we reach the middle of the book and TATATAM all is about how thin she has become.

It was going so well and then this starts to happen. Then I actually start to  like a character because, just to be honest, all characters were pretty bland to me and not even Elisa (who, while not being an “Immaswoopyourass” kind of character, actually did a lot and got stronger throughout the book) kept me interested, AND HE’S GONE. Puff, no more Humberto. Okay, I had one problem with him. HE COULD NOT BE FREAKING 16 OR WHATEVER YEARS OLD. Unless I was reading about another character, come on, he had to be a little bit older. His actions are not those of a 16-year-old, not even one in that type of world. Nope, never. Oh! I also liked Hector. He might even hold a place closer to my heart than Humberto. He actually stood up for Elisa when needed and was always there for her when possible. 

Another thing that annoyed me profoundly was the fact that Elisa knew Alejandro was cheating on her and she just let him. I… I just can’t peeps, I’d just kick his ass, take the throne to myself and put him and his mistress in the dungeons. There they could do whatever they wanted for all I cared. Not to mention that Alejandro was an idiot and too pathetic to be a king. Can’t really say much about that though because kings aren’t really chosen… And what he said right in the end, that he always loved the other. Sorry, but she was a b***** that was betraying his country and he just chose to be blind to that. He deserved what happened to him. Even his kid was better fit to be king!

I don’t think the Inviernos story was well explained and was a bit confused when they arrived at the kingdom. All happened to fast that even reading twice somethings are still just a blur for me. Even though the series could grow better I know I won’t read the sequel.

1.5 Chibis

Book Review: Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn Johnson

Amulet of Elusion (The Lost Amulet Chronicles, #1)

Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn Johnson

Series: The Lost Amulet Chronicles (#1)

Published: June 12th 2013

Publisher: Self-published

Summary: “Alexa Costa has a life-altering secret…only she doesn’t know it yet.
Confined by law to the kingdom of Alvair until the age of eighteen, Alexa has lived a sheltered existence under the watchful eye of her sword-wielding guardian, Ivy. Her love interest, Caleb Whitman, is exactly the opposite. A merchant sailor and seeker of rare artifacts, Caleb has lived a life of adventure in nearby San Lucero, the long-time rival of Alvair.
After her eighteenth birthday, Alexa’s quiet existence becomes tumultuous, and she realizes she does not need to seek to find adventure. Myths become real, legend becomes fact, and Alexa discovers that she possesses rare abilities which make her a target for both sides in a centuries-old struggle for power. She must use every resource available to her—including her talents with the supernatural Amulets— to help her friends, rekindle her romance with Caleb, and save her island home from destruction.”

Review

I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I started reading it without any expectation and I can only say I’m ashamed for that. Amulet of Elusion is a book that while it started a tiny bit slow for me, it picked up his pace really fast after the first 4/5 chapters and managed to have me neglecting certain things I had to do * cough* study *cough*. I was amazed by how fast this book grew in me, I really am. It impressed me by its character development, its world building, but most of all by the plot. Oohh I love me some kingdom conspiracies, witchcraft and badass heroines with.

As I was talking about, Amulet of Elusion might start a bit slow but when the action really starts and the plot picks up, damn, just damn, it’s soooo good. Alexa lost her family in a fire and was then raised by Ivy, a friend of her parents. Ivy taught her how to fight and, even though she was kind of overprotective, she was always there for Alexa and prepared her eventually for what was to come, even when Alexa had no idea what was happening all around her. You see, there were certain stones, amulets, that had powers and Alexa was one of the few people who could have access to that power. All the powerful people, especially the king, want those Amulets and a complex mix of conspiracies, races to find the amulets and politics start to take place and Alexa is right in the middle of it.

Don’t worry, of course there is romance in this books! And I felt myself completely immersed in it. They already knew each other when the book starts and thank god for that! I think it made their attraction all the more real. I was a bit apprehensive with Caleb’s POV at the beginning but eventually I figured they were essentially to have a better insight of the story and it complemented perfectly Alexa’s POV. They let the reader understand better what is happening and complete the other POV. Sorry, I don’t really know how to explain it. Let’s just say, it’s like Alexa and Caleb complement themselves. I just think Caleb doesn’t seem like a 20yr old most of the times. Wouldn’t mind him a little but older ehehe

However, I resented him when he was trying to protect Alexa in the end. You don’t  force the person you love from going to battle by chaining her to something! That is just wrong. I wanted Alexa to beat his ass for that. He was lucky she loves him so deeply. If it were me, I would use my amazing powers on him.

Urgh, I know I always complain but it’s so difficult to write a review without to many spoilers! So… This is a book based on a battle between kingdoms and the fight for power so you know there is a battle. Arghh it was amazing, I got chills reading it. And I loved the king’s wife, Jada. Don’t get me wrong, she’s as bad as a villain can get, ruthless, emotionless (unless in a certain scene) and pure evil but what happens in the end of the book, how was that possible? She must have some pure inner power to be able to pull a stunt like that (she gets the full power of an amulet out of nowhere it seemed).

I can’t wait to read Amulet of Power, book 2 in the series. Gah, what did Alexa do? What was her agreement with the Jada? I must know!

4 Chibis

*Amulet of Elusion was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review. Thank you!*