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Tag Archives: book review

Which means, I totally should, right?

If you’re a reader, then you’ve probably come across that book that stays with you and leaves you unable to think but you want to rant and/or rave about it to the closest person. I’ve come across three such books that rendered me useless afterwards. I refuse to review them because I couldn’t do a proper job of it. I refuse to read them again because that’s a scary idea. Maybe after I’ve rambled at you, dear reader, you can help me find my courage to do so. These books are definitely worth a second read.

a conspiracy of kings

Title: A Conspiracy of Kings
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
On Goodreads, I rated it: 4/5 stars

Megan Whalen Turner is a fantastic author!! I discovered her back in seventh grade and like many other fans, I’ve been waiting for her next book to release after this one. This one, it just, was everything and nothing of what I expected. I WANTED MORE GEN. I got Sophos. Who is a very endearing character but GEN. After my *extreme* initial disappointment I enjoyed the story completely, especially towards the end because while it had a few cliffhanger strings to keep us wanting, it was a stand alone by (I love those books that can be part of a series but are completely satisfying without needing a sequel) so more GEN. I mean SOPHOS. I became attached to this young king. So read it. All of the books from Megan Whalen Turner are satisfying, brilliant, page-turners.
mockingjayTitle: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
Mockingjay, Mockingjay, how shall I put this? I loved you, I hated you, I fear you. Emotionally it was everything I could have expected but plot-wise it was a bit lack luster. Going at a neck-breaking pace I fear I felt detached from most of the characters for the most part. I’ve not yet resigned myself to some of the fates of these much loved characters. I had a love/hate relationship with the ending. Collins is a brilliant author though and I absolutely loved her previous series, The Underland Chronicles. So I’m definitely eagerly awaiting her next book series.
the fault in our starsTitle: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
A friend highly recommended this and my curiousity got the best of me so I picked up Mr. Green’s book not too long ago. I’d read Paper Towns (one of Rosey’s favorite reads!) a while ago and while it was stirring, I can’t say contemporary is my thing. Sadly such was the case with this book. I had a hard time liking Hazel and I found it quite predictable but I’d be heartless if I said it didn’t twist my heartstrings a little. Augustus and Isaac were more likeable and I appreciate the very real take on terminal illness that didn’t pull back at all with its punches. With a lot of touching moments at the end of the book, I can say this is worth going to sleep at 4am. Great book, easy to recommend.
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the reaverTitle: The Reaver
Author: Richard Lee Byers
Pages: 352 (Ebook)
Rating: 4/5

THE REAVER came out February 4th! I received an ebook copy from Netgalley for review.

In the 4th book of the multi-author Sundering series, Richard Lee Byers introduces Anton Marivaldi—a renowned reaver with an insatiable thirst for bounty and a moral compass that always leads him toward the evil he’s never tried.

Endless, pounding rain afflict the Sea of Fallen Stars and the coastal regions surrounding it. Harvests are failing, travel and trade are disrupted, and civilized forces are giving way to the deluges caused by the storms. In panic and despair, many have turned to the goddess Umberlee, Queen of the Deeps, offering her sacrifices with hope that they will be spared the inevitable reckoning of her perpetual tempest.

Evendur Highcastle, undead pirate captain, risen from the depths to assume the mantle of Umberlee’s Chosen, takes advantage of the people’s desperation to strike for both spiritual and temporal power in her name.

Vying with Highcastle for the hearts and minds of the people is Stedd Whitehorn, a little boy and the chosen of a god thought lost to time: Lathander, the Morninglord. In a time of such upheaval, Stedd’s message of renewal and hope runs in stark contrast to the savage ethos of Highcastle and his waveservants.

When Anton captures the boy in order to collect Highcastle’s considerable bounty, the reaver is quickly caught in the riptide caused by the sundering of worlds.

Start out with a fight scene. Check. Pirates and ships and magic and awesome powers. Check. Keep me interested. Yep, check. Wow, this book blew me away. I loved reading this! I had no trouble picking up where I left off whenever I had to put it down and I enjoyed Anton Marivaldi’s adventure with Stedd and Umara. I love reading from the bad guy’s perspective which made it even better when I got to read from Stedd’s point because it was so refreshingly different. Anton had me swaying between liking him and thinking some of his “kind” acts a bit out of character but I grew fond of him as the story progressed, especially as he teamed up with Umara.

One of my favorite parts were the lions and what happened after Stedd got to his destination. Won’t elaborate more than that. I loved the fight scenes too! Always a new factor to throw in and keep things interesting. Umara definitely brought things to a whole new level of interesting with her wizardry. The events of the Sundering are coming together spectacularly and I’m sure that any long time Forgotten Realms fan is going to enjoy this story as much as I did. Even new fans can pick these books up and dive in without a problem.

Byers brought an excellent tale to the table, one that made me forget about anything but the sea and the not so romantic antics of pirates and their battle for domain and power. There was almost nothing for me to pick at so I say, pick this up! The ending was perfect for Anton and Umara, two not so pure characters and I was really happy for Stedd. Not a heavy tale, it has my praise for being captivating and reaver worthy.

Happy Reading
~Tally


the adversaryTitle: The Adversary
Author: Erin M. Evans
Pages: 352 (Ebook)
Rating: 2.5/5

A bit late of a review, I received a copy from Netgalley for review.

In the 3rd book of the multi-author SUNDERING series kicked off by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the award-winning Erin M. Evans throws her signature character Farideh into a maelstrom of devilish politics and magical intrigue. Captured by Netherese agents and locked away in a prison camp, Farideh quickly discovers her fellow prisoners are not simply enemies of Netheril, but people known as Chosen who possess hidden powers, powers that Netheril is eager to exploit—or destroy. As Farideh’s friends and sister race across the landscape on a desperate rescue mission, Farideh is drawn deeper into the mystery of the Netherese plot alongside two undercover Harper agents. But will her closest ally turn out to be an adversary from her past?

I’m starting to realize why these authors are the ones chosen to take part of the Sundering series. They are *brilliant*. Evans had my attention from the start, I didn’t know if i would enjoy this one, mostly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not knowing who the cast of characters were, I kind of stumbled around lost for a good long while in the beginning which made it hard to sit down for a continuous read. Once I got a grip on the who’s and what’s I think I started to enjoy myself.

Then the middle hit. I had to put it down until I had a chance to sit down and plow through it in one sitting just so I could get it done with. The plot slowed down to a crawl as all the characters struggled internally and while I got a great glimpse to their relationships, it was really hard to not just skim through after a while.On the other hand, the characters! I just loved each and everyone. Most of the characters I had fun reading weren’t human and it was interesting expanding my knowledge of the Forgotten Realms. One particular favorite was Mehen, the twins’ adopted father, a dragonborn. Wish I could have read more about him! The end had some lovely fights and Farideh stole the show. I enjoyed it much more than the rest of the book.

If you’re looking for an author with solid characterization skills and an ability to bring a fantasy world to you completely Evans is the one. This was a decent introduction to her but maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had picked up her other books first. Perhaps in a different mind frame I could have enjoyed this story better. I’m not sure. Have you read it or any of the Sundering books so far?

Happy reading
~Tally


ophelia and the marvelous boyTitle: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
Author: Karen Foxlee
Pages: 240 (Ebook)
Rating: 3/5

I received a copy from Netgalley for review. This book is coming out on January 28th, so you can pick it up quite soon too!

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a truly remarkable adventure that I for the most part enjoyed. I love museum settings and think that this is a story that both boys and girls can enjoy, especially as a read-out loud to a class story. In fact, I started out reading it out loud to a friend but ended up falling quiet and reading it to myself. Oops.

Ophelia was interesting, more so than the Marvelous Boy who I refuse to speak about for spoilerish reasons (also because I might end up yelling about a specific thing again. Which is a good thing, that means the author did good!). She meets him and refuses to believe in his fantastical stories about wizards and keys and the end of the world. I nearly wanted to smack him myself after he kept making Ophelia go after keys, it got a bit tedious. My favorite scene would have been Ophelia and the ghosts, that struck as the Snow Queen’s evilest of deeds. More so than the misery birds or the wolves, or that she wanted to kill a boy. The misery birds were pretty neat and scary, wish I could have seen more of them in the story.

It was a great read though I felt like the ending and the fight with the Snow Queen was rushed and slightly anticlimactic. The Snow Queen gave me the chills and I loved the flashbacks of Ophelia and her mother, but the other characters seemed to lack some character building. The ending came at a satisfying point even though I wanted it to continue for just a bit longer so I could get a few remaining questions answered! Overall though, I was happy to have picked this up and would definitely recommend it to any youngster or young of heart.

Stay warm!
~Tally


fangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 433 (Ebook)
Rating: 2/5

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan,
but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for
every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

The beginning started out fantastic! I’ve very hard to please with beginnings but I was engaged with the story and read it at every spare moment (and not so spare moments). The writing shone and I really liked Cather and her fanfiction, which, personally I found really fun to read. But then, somewhere around the halfway mark, I realized something but crossed my fingers in hopes that Rowell (I’ve not read any of her other books) would have some fantastic twist that I wasn’t expecting.

I was disappointed. I was *highly* agitated. It stopped. Pretty much left me wanting to throw the book (ebook format mind you, I didn’t dislike it enough to throw my tablet thank you very much) across the room. What. Is. This. It meandered from one problem to the next with little resolution and I just wanted to be done with it.
Clearly I am not in the majority, people have just raved about this book and I was optimistic through the first half. Cather’s cute attempts and non attempts at college life were entertaining as were the glimpses of her writer life. Problems with her father, her sister, romantic relationship, finishing her writing class semester assignment, her mother, it all piled up on her. It was frustrating to see her deal (or not deal) with her problems. I could hardly bring myself to care after a point. At the very least I hoped she’d pull herself together. I was glad that she and Levi could bond together over Simon Snow (oh why didn’t you give us an ending on that string Rowell?) and just reading out loud together. That might have been the sweetest part of their time together.

Still. No ending. I am not sure if I need to commend Rainbow Rowell for her genius or wail at her for the injustice of it all. The ending… (or lack thereof) My dear reader, I will let you decide on your own. I will not take back my two stars though. This just wasn’t my cup of coffee but it certainly doesn’t mean it didn’t have any entertainment value.

Cheers,

Tally


the godbornTitle: The Godborn
Author: Paul S. Kemp
Pages: 400 (Ebook)
Rating 4/5

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley.

In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.

Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.

Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.

At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.

 Kemp has found a new fan. One who was left speechless at his ruthlessness and leaving none untouched… Okay, a slight exaggeration but only slight. I’m still speechless at his storytelling power. I’ve spent the better part of a month sneaking in half-moments in which to read and each time I came back to the story it all came back with clarity whether it was just a day or a week since I’d last picked it up. Not all authors can do that. Ruthless, though, he was. From a to-be-mother, to a peddler, to a high priest, and a living dead man, none were spared. He made monsters of men and left me awed. Gore, death, and descriptions of monstrosities that’ll make you want to hide from the dark (aka not for the easily perturbed). Do the rest of the Forgotten Realms writers write like this? I think not, but I’m impatient for Book III of the Sundering series!

Drasek Riven. I read Godborn without ever having picked up any other of Kemp’s books so I didn’t know who Riven was but I was instantly attracted to this (literally) shadowy figure. Godling with some admirable fighting prowess? I’m hooked. Some of the best moments (some that had me teary-eyed) had him in it. (I may or may not have had a fangirl moment when older Cale named him an assassin in the later part of the book.) I need the other Cale books. Now.

The plot wasn’t anything special itself and the ending was predictable. But boy, even so, the ending was a full blown display of awesome. Well, for the most part. I did have a problem with Vasen’s “faith.” Perhaps it was merely that we get told that he chose Amaunator and we’re not shown it. Riven, once again stole the show though there were some moments with the not so good characters that broke me a little. One of my favorite endings in a long while, I look forward to reading more from Paul S. Kemp!

~Tally


the collectorTitle: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Pages: Ebook!
Rating: 3/5

He makes good girls…bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

 Dante’s awesomeness was what made me pick this book up, and at the beginning, made me cringe to no end. TOO OVER THE TOP. But he settled down and I found myself chuckling and shaking my head each time he interacted with Charlie. Half-defensive, half-incredulous to find himself in her company I loved Charlie at the beginning. So sweet and naive. Then I had a bit of trouble liking her toward the end of the middle part, that made me lose interest for a while. And I never did like Blue, I’m sorry to say.

Dante, he’s very cocky but did I find him attractive (you know beside drooling over the cover?)? Not really, he sounded very much like the teenager he is. Though I do believe we’d get along grandly as friends. Maybe… Minus the long, long, and longer inner struggle that he seemed to gravitate towards. Don’t get me wrong, they include some really nice, feelsy moments but mostly I just waited impatiently for Ms. Scott to go on with the story. The ending was a bit predictable and anti-climatic but it did leave me slightly curious to read the next book.

The Collector was a really enjoyable book to read. If you don’t mind a slow-paced plot but with some pretty interesting cast of characters, I would recommend it. The paranormal aspects aren’t really present yet but I can feel Victoria Scott saving up for some neat suprises!

Happy Reading!
~Tally