Blood Warrior: A Book Review

Book: Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga #1)
Author: H. D. Morgan

Blood Warrior (The Alexa Montgomery Saga #1)

Blurb:

When her home is attacked by murderous vampires, 17-year-old Alexa is forced to leave her mother for dead in order to save her sister. She soon learns that she is the last known member of an elite race of supernatural Warriors, and is thrust into a world full of vampires and werewolves who all seem to regard her as some sort of savior. Meanwhile, Alexa battles a monster within herself that seeks to gain control; a monster that seeks blood.

The hidden city she finds herself in appears perfect, but Alexa’s instincts tell her that all is not right within its walls. When she is asked to attend a school of fighters, whose exams consist of gladiator-style competitions, she must decide who she can trust among the smiling faces. And, when she meets Kayden, a vampire she feels undeniably drawn to, she must decide if she can trust herself.

My thoughts:

I picked up this book because of the blurb, and I am sorely regretting it now. 


As a self-pub, I wasn’t expecting too much by way of grammar- but even then, a lot of this book is composed of some very awkwardly phrased sentences. I mean, why use one word when two will do?


Even Nelly, whom I loved more than anything, and who I enjoyed being around more than anyone, didn’t make me happy the way Kayden did. He made me happy in a very different way, a way that made me feel balanced and complete.

That’s a lot of words (and not even pretty ones) to say that she likes Kayden and that he makes her happy.

The world-building was just a dump of information. It’s fairly unique, but I couldn’t enjoy it at all because it was glopped over me at one time. Lamia’s, searhers, werewolfs, warriors- what? This could have been a lot of fun, if Morgan had gradually paced it all out, but it was poorly executed and I was left confused. 

I couldn’t enjoy the characters because they were emotional robots. Where is the sense of betrayal, the anger, the confusion- when the MC realises that her sister and best-friend have been hiding a secret from her, and she’s the last one to know she’s non-human?
When her mother dies- she almost forgets about it, after a day or two.
Seriously, I know she’s not human, but she doesn’t even act humane.
Sure she says she feels happy after she kills a blackbird, and she admits she feels jealous of her sister. But, it’s merely lip-service. I don’t ever see her experiencing any real emotions.
It just pisses me off that she goes through so many weird, life-changing events, and she doesn’t get mad, she doesn’t feel excited, she doesn’t get sad. She just stays in one emotional state- robotic. I think this is what got to me most. 

Another thing which really got me was the stereotyping and the total employment of cliches. There’s the fact that Alexa is a special snowflake (obviously, she doesn’t know it) who’s been mistreated her whole life. Of course, that means she’s got several hot guys vying for her attention, a lot of girls who inexplicably hate her, and a younger sister who depends on her to ‘protect’ her. Yawn. Cliche. Yawn.

Even the setting was screwed up. There was royalty and there was a boarding school. Needless to say, this confused me. It’s like the author took a bunch of idealised YA settings and mushed them all up together in the hopes of making something that would sell instantly. But it felt very transparent.

Ultimately, I had to stop reading the book.
Life’s too short to waste on such misery.

If you want any sort of character development- or even characters at all, don’t read this book

Overall Rating: 1/5

Books to Read Instead of This: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Pretty much any other book

Hidden Huntress: A Book Review

“Here lay the gateway between worlds, the divide between reality and fantasy. A dream or, depending on who waited, a nightmare.”

Book: Hidden Huntress (Malediction trilogy #2)
Author: Danielle Jensen

Hidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy, #2)

Blurb:

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…

My thoughts:

Oh! I wanted to like this book so much more. This book was possibly my most anticipated book of 2015, and while it wasn’t bad- it wasn’t spectacularly mind-blowing like the first book, the Stolen Songbird (I love the titles and covers of both).
I think my main problem with the book was that I had built it up to be so much better than it actually was. There was character development with Cecile becoming a little braver and coming into her own and Tristan learning to trust others and eating a bit of humble pie.  But I just wasn’t as invested in their story; I didn’t feel and want for them , since half the time they had no idea what they wanted themselves!
Another thing: the main characters were separated from each other for at least  80%  of the book. I’m sorry, but the Cecile/Tristan magic only works when they’re together. I did like the insights we got into enigmatic and mysterious Tristan’s mind, but I think their characters would have shone a lot brighter if they were near each other. What can I say? They bring out the best in each other.
Also, there was a serious lack of banter. And I love banter.

The side characters were brilliant, but some how Anais, Marc, Chris- I wouldn’t say they faded into the background, they just weren’t instrumental to the plot.

And while we’re talking about plot, let me just say I was pretty disappointed with it. The whole book revolves around figuring out the identity of the witch (Anushka), and I had a pretty good guess from the last book (I was right, by the way). Yes, we got an impressive backstory for her ( I just love it when the villains get awesome backstories), but honestly, I think a novella or a short-story would have showcased her point of view a lot more impressively.

Another disappointment was the setting. Trollus was an enchanting and interesting place I fell in love with the second I started reading about it. I loved the magical concept of the tree, the mines seemed appropriately terrifying and the problem on essentially being trapped under a huge rock seemed very real. I loved the intrigue and the layered secrets of the palace as well as the complex relationships the characters had with each other. Unfortunately, only the last two were present in this book.
Now that Cecile’s back in the real world, her days are filled with balls, the opera and faux-witchery. When she’s not pining away for Tristan, she’s pondering her complicated relationship with her mother or feeling guilty for using her brother. This all combined to somehow seem artificial and contrived, nowhere as moving and honest as her emotions towards Tristan and the Trolls in the previous book. Also, the human world is kinda…boring.
Tristan’s story is set in Trollus, but he barely seems to notice his surroundings, and he honestly has no reason to explore the magnificent place (that he grew up in, so we assume he’s familiar with it). Instead he spends his days plotting to one-up his father, steal the throne and keep Cecile safe- all the while pondering who his greatest enemies and allies are. Honorable objectives, maybe- but it felt a bit much.

I did like this book, but it didn’t meet my expectations; this book suffers from middle-book syndrome. If you’ve read Stolen Songbird, then you have to read this too- but honestly, if you skip it, you wouldn’t miss much in terms of plot. You might miss a couple of awesome (and I mean this in the very real sense of the word) quotes.

Overall Rating: 3/5

Books Like This: Court of Thorns and Roses, Crimson Bound

Quotables:

“I’d admired him, and yes, lusted after him, but then I’d fallen. Fallen for a man who felt too much and took on too much, who believed if only he worked tirelessly and ceaselessly enough, that he could improve the lives of an entire race of people. And I’d had that depth of passion turned on me – seen it in his eyes, felt it in my heart. He loved me, and I loved him. And I’d love him as long as I lived, and if my soul endured, I’d love him for eternity”

“It seems to me, that no matter what we do, no matter what choices we make, there isn’t a happy ending waiting for us at the end of the long road.”
“But that doesn’t mean we give up. It doesn’t mean we stop fighting.”

Cracked: A Book Review

Book: Cracked (Soul Eater #1)
Author: Eliza Crewe

Cracked (Soul Eater, #1)

Cover:2/5

Plot:4/5

Blurb:

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

My thoughts:
As soon as I read the blurb, I knew I was going to have a ‘bad’ protagonist with tons of sass and attitude. Have I mentioned that they are my favourite type of books? I usually love books with angels and demons…especially when they don’t get too religious. So, it kind of felt like Eliza Crewe wrote the book with me in mind.

I enjoyed the new take on the Crusaders;instead of ancient knights searching for the holy grail to protect it, they search and protect something just as rare- noble individuals. When Meda accidently runs into a group of full demons and is saved by the crusaders, who mistake her for a Beacon (a noble individual) she goes along with it in the interests of self preservation and for information. Hilarity ensues as Meda tries to keep her cover (yep, unfortunately that means no soul-sucking) and her life and figure out what the hell Hell wants with her.

Characters:5/5

Meda is the reason that this book works. She’s so bad that she’s great. We meet her as she’s in the middle of a meal. For her, that means the soul of some depraved individual. At times, she can be sadistic, manipulative and annoyingly egocentric. She is always shamelesy self-centred, downright rude, and all kinds of dark and witty. She is the body-ripping, soul-eating main character that I never knew I wanted.

Death is my art form–when I fight, I’m a ballerina. Graceful. Chi lacks my grace, but makes up for it in energy and enthusiasm. His fighting style is like breakdancing–strong and frenetic with some really sweet moves. Jo’s is . . .the Macarena. Ugly but gets the job done.

Jo and Meda have a rocky relationship at first.This may or may not be due to the fact that Jo distrusts Meda. Of course Meda purposely tries to antogonize Jo by flirting with her not-yet-a-boyfriend.With her snarls and threats, it’s impossible not to love Jo. Even though Jo is as thoroughly good as Meda is bad, both are equally cynical and jaded. She (and everyone else around her) sees herself as an invalid but despite her disability she is still one tough chick. After reading this book, the world Doctor will have a whole new meaning for you.

“I’m pretty sure Jo couldn’t talk about the weather without somehow including a threat. Forecast today: cloudy with a chance I’ll kick your ass

Chi is not-Jo’s-boyfriend. He has a great sense of humor and loves playing the knight in shining armor role. Meda finds it very easy to manipulate his desire to protect the weak by portraying herself as weak. But despite his naivete where Meda is concerened, he is a genuinely likable and three-dimensional character.

I consider the many tools at my disposal, eyeing his large blood-splattered frame, and settle on my weapon of choice – one so infrequently used I need to dust it off first.
My eyes fill with tears. “Wha–” I swallow hard “– what were those things?”
“Demons.” Thanks, Einstein. I got that part. I let a tear trickle over.
He hurries to reassure me. “Don’t cry – I’ll protect you.”
Humiliating. Absolutely humiliating.

Romance:N/A

Um… no romance. Not really. Sure, Meda flirts with Chi but that’s more to annoy Jo than anything else. And of course there’s the hot half-demon, half-human demon spawn but he makes an appearance for,like, eight pages. But this book is so good it doesn’t need romance. Or maybe it’s good because of the lack of romance. I think I’d lose a lot of respect for Meda if she started following some guy around like a good little puppy. Ew, no i can’t even imagine that.

Ending: 5/5

Cliffhangers and Death. If you somehow missed the message that Eliza Crewe was an evil genius, you’d get it as soon as you finished the book. You have no idea how desperate to read the next book, Crushed.

Plotholes:4.5/5

I’m still a bit surpirsed that Meda managed to keep her cover for that long ( I mean hello, her attitude was way obvious) but the balance between good and evil was perfect in this book (unlike most other books about demons). And the world built was mega-interesting. There were plot twists but they actually made sense. So 4.5/5 for the Plotholes in this book.

Overall Rating:5/5

Consider me awed. By the world, by the characters, by the plot and by Eliza Crewe. I am surprised this book isn’t more famous. So go ahead and read it and help this book become a little more famous. But yeah there’s quite a bit of cussing in this book. If you aren’t fine with that, I wouldn’t recommend this book to you.

Born Wicked: A Book Review

Book: Born Wicked (Cahill Witch Chronicles #1)
Author/Authoress: Jennifer Spotswood

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)

Cover:3/5

Plot:4/5

Blurb:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

My Thoughts:

No offense to whoever decided the blurb was a good description of the book but it definitely is not. The discrepancies start in the first line. Contrary to what the blurb suggests, this book is not full of Mary Sue’s who are way too pretty, way too smart and way too mysterious. The sister’s are all pretty relatable; they have their own flaws and foot-in-the-mouth moments.

A large part of the plot relies on the worldbuilding, and Oh My God! What a world! Set in an alternate version of the US, where witchcraft exists and is stifled. The history of the world is confusing at first, but here it’s in a nutshell.  Around 100 years ago, the Brotherhood gained power, killing all the witches and then setting  up a Puritan-like regime under which women have no power and very few rights. They use the witches’ power to justify suppressing  women and making them subservient.

But what I liked most about the book were the sibling dynamics. Favouritism, jealousy, teasing, rivalry- this book had it all. Though the sister’s sometimes go out of the way to get on each other’s nerves, at the end of the day, they’d do anything to keep each other safe and happy.

Characters:4/5

As far as characters go, Cate Cahill is as good as you get. An admirable character despite all her flaws;She’s fiercely protective of her sisters, but at the same time somewhat resentful of them. After all, she has to play disciplinarian to her two contrary, wilder, free-spirited sisters, and it sucks the life out of her to do so. She’s angry with the Brotherhood and the rules of the world, and though she tries concealing it, it shows. She’s distrustful of the world around her and deeply paranoid that someone will figure out the secret of her sisters. As a result she keeps everyone at arm’s length but she tries (she really tries) to help people who are unable to help themselves. She hates her own magic because she hates that it puts them all in danger of being found out.

Maura and Tess have less screen time than Cate does. But Maura is a very interesting character. Sometimes spiteful and petty, she’s jealous of Cate. Unlike Cate, she fully embraces her magic and resents Cate for cautioning her. She’s a true romantic but at the same time, she’s resolved to marry pragmatically. The reason for this becomes clear near the end of the book. Tess is the sweet, bookish younger sister. Precocious, quiet and wise- both of her older sisters adore her. Yet, Tessa seems to be closer to Cate than Maura.

Elena is another fascinating character. She’s a governess sent from the Sisterhood (a convent like organisation). Right from the start she’s unpredictable. The sister’s expected a governess who was old, traditional and stuffy ; instead they got Elena’s pretty, intelligent and fashionable. She pushes the sisters towards entering the Sisterhood instead of the more  conventional marriage route. She’s a manipulative and cunning women who quickly wins Maura’s favour. Cate dislikes her for thoroughly winning Maura over (part of it is jealousy), and distrusts her motives.

Romance:2/5

Yuck! There’s a love triangle. On one side, we have the best friend, Paul-  a successful architect and someone who understands Cate’s thirst for adventure. On the other wee have the bookish, deeply loyal, mostly innocent gardener- who’s thoroughly unsuitable. Oh angst, angst, angst. Who will Cat choose?  That was sarcasm, by the way.

Ending:3/5

Where did that come from? Out of nowhere, that’s where. I can honestly say: I did not see that coming. But if there’s one thing that the ending succeeded in , it was in making me impatient for the next book .

Plotholes:4/5

The blurb is a bit iffy and I’m not on board with all the romance in this book. But I really did love the complicated relationship between the sisters as well as the firendiships developed in the book. I think that more than balances things out. The strong feminist messages in the book also scored the book a couple of points (or more than a couple, really) with me along with all the diversity ( we have Japanese, African-Americans and some lesbian characters in the book- all who play a major role)

Overall Rating:3/5

A fun read, that can get pretty intense at times. Don’t read this book for the romance; read it for the familial relationships.

 

 

Juliet Immortal: A Book Review

Book: Juliet Immortal
Author/Authoress: Stacey Kay

Juliet Immortal (Juliet Immortal, #1)

Cover: 5/5

Plot:4/5

Blurb:

An intense paranormal love story featuring Romeo and Juliet, literary history’s most tragic couple, who meet again, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

My Thoughts:

Me? I’m the kind of girl who think’s that the Romeo and Juliet love story is not an epic romance, but an epic case of insanity. At the very beginning of the drama, Romeo is obsessed with a girl named Rosalind but as soon as he sees Juliet, he instantly falls in love with her (and we all know how I feel about instalove). Moving along, Romeo and Juliet get married. I know that people got married early in those days but please keep in mind that these were 14 and 15 year old kids who met and fell in love within 3 days. Crazy, right? If you think that’s bad- I haven’t even started yet. A mere few hours after getting married, Romeo goes ahead and offs Juliet’s cousin (in the name of self defense). But the part that irks me most about this loony story is that both of them commit double suicide. Even worse is that this willingness to kill one’s self for the sake of love is glorified and touted as proof of ‘twu wuv’.  So as soon as I saw this quote in this book, I kind of fell in love.

“Glamorizing death, making dying for love seem the most noble act of all, though nothing could be further from the truth. Taking an innocent life—in a misguided attempt to prove love or for any other reason—is a useless waste.”

 

This was after I realised how much I liked having Romeo and Juliet locked on opposing sides of a war with Juliet protecting young lovers and Romeo in his batshit crazy way, coercing them to kill each other. Like, woah! I really, really liked the idea of Juliet attempting to annihilate Romeo instead of sighing over him.

Characters: 3/5

Juliet had a very clear, unique and easily identifiable voice. She was a seven hundred year old cynic who had died at age fourteen but was stuck inside a  sixteen year old’s body. When you finally wrap your head around all that, you’ll appreciate how hard it had to be for Stacey Jay to portray Juliet. Even though Juliet, as a rule, has a hard time trusting people, for an immortal she shows an unprecedented amount of compassion. Surprisingly, despite the fact she’s beemake even though it made her so jealous.

Romeo…Oh! Romeo was totally and completely crazy. If there was an asylum for immortals, Romeo would have a place. Perhaps the most frightening thing about him was his utter disregard for humans and their ambitions. Or maybe it was the fact that he could lie without telling a lie and then when caught in the act, justify it all. Despite his evil ways, Romeo, like all seductive players, has a charismatic sort of  narcissism. You can kind of see why Juliet fell for him in the first place. Well that and the poetry.

Romance:1/5

Ugh! No to the romance. Ben is a sweet enough character I guess (who would have thought that he had anger issues? but the romance was love at first sight. How could Juliet be stupid enough to think that love at first sight was possible, again? I mean she must have seen where insta-love had gotten her in the first place: With a knife in her back. Literally. So why was she masochistic enough to go and do it all over again?

Ending: 2/5

The ending was as terrible as the romance. It was a quick, abrupt deus ex machina which made no sense at all. The rest of the book was beautiful; why did the ending have to spoil it all.

Plotholes:3/5

The insta-love. And the fact that Juliet’s going thorough the whole fiasco a second time. Enough said.

Overall rating:

At times, this book was beautiful and poignant. I loved the whole new take on the epic Romeo and Juliet romance. I loved the setup of the world. So yeah, this book IS worth reading. 

However, the book has a few flaws- most notably, the instalove. I guess you can’t escape instalove if you want to read YA paranormal romance. <sigh> Pity.

 

 

Corrine Jackson: Crazy…But in A Good Way or Bad Way?

Corrine JacksonAuthor: Corrine Jackson
Where From: Haxton, Colorado, Untied States of America
Books: If I Lie, The Sense Thieves trilogy (TouchedPushed and Ignited)
Awards: If I Lie is on the ALA Rainbow List, 2014

If I Lie:

If I Lie

Blurb: Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise

My thoughts:
This book was a very emotional one. Not only is it a story about bearing burdens, guilt and the knowledge of the real truth. It’s about facing shame, anger and the fact that you may have damaged a bond that was supposed to be unbreakable Quinn lives in a town where practically everybody is either military or related to someone in the military. They know what it’s like to be in a war-zone in constant peril and wonder if your life at home remains waiting for you. And they can’t tolerate the people who can’t cope with a husband or boyfriend who’s away. So when Quinn cheats on her boyfriend and a picture of it goes viral, she is ostracized by the town who is aghast that she was disloyal to the ‘town hero’. But she didn’t cheat on Carey. Not really. However, she can’t bring herself to tell anyone that she didn’t because if she did that, she would have to reveal the fact that Carey was gay. And there’s not a lot of respect in the military for gay people.

At the same time, she has to cope with the abandonment . She caught her mother cheating on her father and told him.  Her mother dropped her off at her grandparents house and left. The book If I Lie is about torn families, friendship, and the army; it is also a story about hope and perseverance and the ability to find strength and courage even in the darkest of times.

Sense Thieves trilogy: Touched, Pushed, Ignited

Summary: Remy O’Malley is different. She can heal people. You would think that would be great except every time she heals someone, she absorbs their injuries into her own body. Only when she arrives Blackwell Falls does she realize just what she is. She’s hunted –  both by Healers and Protectors, because she’s half of both and she’s got  the best of both worlds. She needs to be exceptionally strong –  both physically and mentally – if she wants to acquire a stable life. This is her story.

My thoughts:

Touched: I liked the first book even though at points it resembled a fanfic with huge parts of it based on angst and abuse (trust me, fanfiction frequently overoses on angst, trauma, abuse and all sorts of clichés). But Remy was a paradoxical character who while physically weak had a great deal of mental strength. The take on healing abilities was new and innovative and the romance was relatively simple and uncomplicated. As was the enemy. On the whole this book was imaginative, simple and sweet in certain places.

Pushed: Boy,was I surprised by the next book- in a good way. It lightened up on the angst and self-pity but the plot became increasingly more complex. A love triangle was introduced. But don’t worry; it was the good kind. Remy and Gabe develop feelings for each other in a gradual way, bonded by a shared loss.  At the end of the book it was not at all obvious who she was going to choose because both men (yes men, not boys) had their strong points but didn’t fall into the cliché good guy and bad boy roles. The enemy in this one was more complex as well. You don’t find out who he is until the middle of the book and even then it’s possible to say that he is more passionate about his cause than evil. But you won’t walk away from the book thinking that.

Ignited: As far as conclusions to trilogies go, I think this is as good as it gets. This book was my favourite one. The ending was surprising but not completely unexpected if you paid attention to the foreshadowing in the previous books. In this book Remy struggles to keep her mental strength as tense arguments arise, the stakes change and awkward moments abound amongst her allies. At the same time she has to keep herself focused on defeating the enemy from the second book (I’d tell you who he is, but it would spoil the second book beyond reading) and detangling herself from her complicated love-life. At the end of the book, we don’t get a perfect ending. But it comes pretty damn close.

So if Corrine Jackson is crazy, it’s definitely in a good way. I’m planning to read her next book as soon as it comes out.

Throne of Glass: A Book Review

Throne of Glass: A book review

Book: Throne of Glass
Author/Authoress: Sarah Mass

Book Cover:5/5

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)            Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

I feel that the first is a more accurate representation of the book. We have a pretty but mysterious-looking girl in the foreground and a forbidding but beautiful ice city (it’s actually supposed to be glass, but it looks more like an ice city) in the background. Yes, there is some action in this book but most of this book deals with court intrigue, ball gowns and flirting instead of the hardcore action that the second book suggests. Although they’ve kind of gotten that wrong, because like any girl with long hair knows, long hair is impossible to keep down while doing anything-much less fighting.

Plot: 3/5

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

I had my misgivings on the plot. For one thing the names were horrible. Calaena, Dorian, Nehemia and Chaol are the kind of names you would find in a disgusting medieval love story. And to an extent, I guess this was a medieval love story but it had some twists.
Another thing that made me leave this book untouched for so long, was that it looked eerily similar to The Selection by Kiera Cass (and we all know how well that worked out). I mean, a Prince and a guard in the same castle as love interests. (love triangles- you can never escape them). I got a flashback and it definitely wasn’t the good type. But an assassin- that’s an interesting,cool premise. And a ex-prisoner? That’s even cooler!

And the mysterious murders? Something told me nothing ordinary was behind them. Yes, we have another paranormal romance on our hands here. I’d skip the romance if I could (in this book) but the paranormal in this is undoubtedly good.

Characters:3/5

Sarah Mass gets a lot of flak for creating Calenea but what we need to remember is that Throne of Glass is in first person. Yes, she may be inhumanly (that was a major spoiler for the nex book, by the way) beautiful and  good at everything-fighting, dancing, music, etc. but it’s all in Calaena’s point of view. And she’s something of an unreliable narrator. Sara Maas has created nothing close to a Mary-Sue. Calaena herself has admitted that she’s shallow and a little bit cowardly. And from her thought’s, we’re able to derive that she’s very vain and a bit of an egotist. She knows she’s pretty and she’s not too shy to use her beauty to get what she wants even if her methods may be a little bit…morally lacking. So either you really like her, or you really don’t. There’s no happy in-between. Maybe this quote from the book will help you make up your mind. Beware though, she acts like this All the time.

“Nor had she missed when they zigzagged between levels, even though the building was a standard grid of hallways and stairwells. As if she’d lose her bearings that easily.

She might have been insulted if he wasn’t trying so hard

 

Chaol is constantly on his guard whenever Calenea is around. And for the first part of the book I’m just as intrigued and annoyed with him as Calenea is. But as Calenea spends more and more time with him without slipping-up (ahem, killing someone), he starts to relax some in her presence. And then we get to know more about him and his life. He’s the strong,stoic type but his back-story (to me) is kind of boring. Maybe I let my expectations get too high, but Chaol was one character that disappointed me.

Dorian seems to be a flirt at the beginning of the book. But he’s witty and not boring. Like all royalty in books who become love interests, he’s actually interested in the protagonist and not a stuck-up snot. Meh. I didn’t have much hopes from him so he didn’t disappoint me much. But neither did he surprise me.

Nehemia….Ah, she’s probably my favourite character in the book. Rebellious, beautiful, mysterious, exotic and intelligent- the book might have actually gone better if she was the MC. But her friendship with Calaena was good  enough for me. Both are mischevious and get along well.

The Villain

About 100 pages into the book, you’ll easily be able to tell who the villian is. I won’t spoil those 100 pages for you though by telling you who exactly the villain is. Just know that the foreshadowing is not subtle at all. At one point, Maas does try to steer the reader in another direction, but it’s just a ploy.

Romance: 4/5

I’m usually against love triangles but the love triangle in this is a surprisingly good one. Both guys actually have a chance and both are very different from each other. On one side we have the sweet, funny Prince Dorian and on the other we have the tough, strong leader of the Guards, Chaol. Despite their weird names, they’re actually pretty believable characters. My main problem with the romance in the book was it’s quantity. There was too much of it! Although really, I shouldn’t have let the assassin-plot fool me; This is a harlequin teen novel and I should have expected all the romance that usually comes with these books.

Worldbuilding: 2/5

For the first half of the book or so, I’m almost bored with the world. We have generic, boring lands ruled by a just as generic, boring tyrant. I start to sit up and take notice when Wyrdmarks are mentioned and so are portals. Quite frankly, the introduction of Queen Elena and the history of Ilrea just bored me. So the Worldbuilding in this just failed. It’s been a week since I read the book and I can barely remember anything about this book’s world.

Writing: 4/5

It’s in first person so a lot of people will dismiss this book after a few pages but once you got past that,the sailing was smooth.  It was a quick, breezy, fluffy read with minimal weird and awkward sentences. The banter between the characters alternaed between cute, flirty, profound and witty.

“She moaned into her pillow. “Go away. I feel like dying.”
“No fair maiden should die alone,” he said, putting a hand on hers. “Shall I read to you in your final moments? What story would you like?”
She snatched her hand back. “How about the story of the idiotic prince who won’t leave the assassin alone?”
“Oh! I love that story! It has such a happy ending, too–why, the assassin was really feigning her illness in order to get the prince’s attention! Who would have guessed it? Such a clever girl. And the bedroom scene is so lovely–it’s worth reading through all of their ceaseless banter!”

Calaena’s internal monologue was hilarious to read too.

Plotholes:3/5

This book doesn’t suffer from plotholes. But that’s not to say that it’s perfect. In fact, it’s skewed in the other way. Everything is just so obvious. We don’t have to make great mental leaps to figure out the ending.But there were no plotholes so I am giving this book a 3/5 in this category.

Overall Rating:3.5/5

A badass heroine with boring love interests. An interesting plot premise with terrible world building. Very cool writing with very unsubtle hints. The second book was better (I know from experience) and so were the prequels (But I suggest you wait until you’re done with this book to read them. Else you’ll be really disappointed with this book. ) but I’m not rating those books. This book gets a three because I was interested enough to read the sequel but not interested enough to re-read the book.