Empire of Storms: A Book Review

 

“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”

Book: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Author: Sarah J Maas

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Blurb:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

My thoughts: 

Trust me, you don’t want to know what I had to do to get my grubby hands on a copy of this book. So, it gives me great pleasure to tell you all about it and you’re so excited about the book, you have to listen because, I think this is what they call a captive audience.
While the title gives me gleeful shivers, I’m going to refer to the Empire of Storms as EoS throughout this post for convenience’s sake.

The plot thickens and there are more names to remember. It feels almost like an authentic fantasy book. We’ve come a long way from the frivolous confection masquerading as the Throne of Glass.  Plot wise, most of this book is about rounding up armies, underscoring how high the stakes are and gathering the major players. It’s also a chance for Sarah J. Maas to solidify her characters because… well, she’s not known for keeping them consistent.
Take the main character: She went from Celaena, spoiled and violent assassin, to Aelin, responsible and self-sacrificing queen.  What really sunders ToG fans  is the fact that she’s been attached romantically to 4 characters. I don’t know how Maas managed, but Celaena/Aelin has had great banter, romantic scenes and chemistry with all of them. Is it any  surprise the fandom will never agree on who she’ll get her happy ever after with?

“Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will always love you.”

Speaking of romance, I don’t know if this could be classified as a spoiler (since it becomes obvious midway), but EoS is a first for Sarah J. Maas because there are no shifting ships. I can’t believe it but Rowan is still with Aelin. Dorian and Manon continue to play with fire (by toying with each other).

There are some ships I saw coming a mile away: Lysandra and Aedion toss some flirty banter back and forth. There are epic declarations and everything.

Lorcan reached out, grasping her chin and forcing her to look at him. Hopeless, bleak eyes met his. He brushed away a stray tear with his thumb. “I made a promise to protect you. I will not break it, Elide.”
“I will always find you,” he swore to her.
Her throat bobbed.
Lorcan whispered, “I promise.”

But guess who I’m shipping?
That’s right, Lorcan and Elide.  I know it seems like an unlikely pairing. Elide is an escaped slave girl and in the last book she really got on my nerves because she seemed to depend on everyone else to save her. However, in this book she starts to stand on her own feet. She is a masterful liar, a conman in every sense of the word. She’s brave and ferocious and weirdly enough, she’s unflinchingly honest with herself.
Lorcan is a vicious fey warrior whose constant companion is death. Until EoS, I thought he was irredeemable. Who would have guessed that he had a gruff, sweet side? But EoS makes it clear Lorcan’s a man of actions, not of words. His strength and cynicism perfectly complements Elide’s cunning intelligence and boundless optimism. Together they’re beautiful. I have to hold myself back from crushing on him; I would be devastated if this ship sank.

Let me end this the way my English teachers have warned me not to: All in all, EoS was perfection. The real question is, can you wait another year for the last book to come out?

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Best Books of 2015 Awards (We’re Halfway Through!)

It’s July now, which means half of 2015 is up. All I can say is 2015 has been an absolutely fantastic year for YA with a whole bunch of great books coming out. I’ve been shamelessly working my way through them, and I’ve fallen in love with a great proportion of them. But there are some which deserve a special mention.
(Note: This only contains books from the young adult genre that were published for the first time in 2015)


Best Debut:

Book: Ember in the Ashes (Ember in the Ashes#1)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Comments:
Possibly my favorite book of the year. Gorgeous cover and worldbuilding. Not to mention that the plot is awesome. So glad a sequel’s coming. Not so glad it won’t be here ’til 2016.


Best Dystopian:

Book: Red Queen (Red Queen#1)
Author: Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Comments:
Ooh! Betrayals abound. With awesome superpowers! This book reminds me of Red Rising- possibly better. Too bad I have a thing for the bad guy.


Best Fantasy:

Book: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

 Comments:
Super hot! Fantasy! Faeries! I don’t know what more to say. Another contender for my favorite book of the year.  Read my review here.


Best Romance:

Book: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emory Lord

The Start of Me and You

Comments:
Cry-fest. Amazing friendships! (one that evolves into something more). My role model in relationships. Read my review of it here.

 Maybe this is unfair. But I had to tie this category.

Other Book: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Helen Demtrios

I'll Meet You There

 Comments:
This book was so wickedly raw and powerful, I had trouble breathing after i was done. It’s surprisingly powerful and relatable.


Best Mind-Screwer:

Book: Made You Up
Author: Francessa Zappia

Made You Up
Comments:
This book screwed with my mind. Love the crew in the book and the *ahem* spiciness of the main character. Read my review of the book here.


So those are the books I loved this year. I’m a bit disappointed I don’t have anything for the sci-fi category or for the historical fiction category. Never fear, I have books on my TBR list which (I hope) I will love.
What do you think about the list? Would you replace anything? Do you have any nominees?

A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Book Review

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)
Author: Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Blurb:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My thoughts:

I absolute adore the Throne of Glass series. So as soon as I knew that S J Maas was writing another book, it went on my TBR list-no questions asked. It’s another retelling of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast along with a good, old-fashioned dose of village folklore and it’s…beautiful.

I really didn’t like Feyre at the beginning of the book. She just seemed so Mary-Sueish as soon as I found out she was single-handedly taking care of her family and they didn’t even appreciate her. What was even more irritating was the fact that she had taught herself how to hunt and how to patch herself up once she got hurt. Not to mention her over the top distrust and cynicism. Cliche, anyone?

But I forgave Feyre quickly enough once she got over herself. The worldbuilding in this book was absolutely fantastic and so was the writing. Here are a few examples:

“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”

“You look . . . better than before.”
Was that a compliment? I could have sworn Lucien gave Tamlin an encouraging nod.
“And you hair is . . . clean.”

Elegant and beautiful, isn’t it?

The love interest’s in this book were a hundred times hotter than the ones in the Throne of Glass series. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Tamlin was sweet and considerate at some times, totally feral and dangerous at other. And he was amazing, but really I’m all-like TEAM RHYSAND. If I read things correctly, we’re going to have a love triangle (normally I don’t like those but I’ll make an exception for this series) on our hands in the next book. Join me on Team Rhysand because Rhysand is dark, mysterious, has scarier powers- Oh! And he gets the best dialogues.

So if you liked Throne of Glass, you’re going to love this book. If not, you may like it but definitely not to the same extent. And I feel the need to warn you: this book is targeted to the older side of the YA audience. While you might enjoy it as a 16 year old, I wouldn’t recommend letting your little brother or sister read this book.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

If you like this book, you should read: Cruel Beauty, Throne of Glass


Pearls of Wisdom from the Book:

“Because all the monsters have been let out of their cages tonight, no matter what court they belong to. So I may roam wherever I wish until the dawn.”

A life for a life–but what if the life offered as payment meant losing three others?”

Summer 2015: Books I Plan to Read

Yes, summer has started for me.
And that means temperatures soaring to 40 degrees, a crazy amount of mangoes entering the house, no school and perhaps most importantly, the time to read a bunch of amazing new material.
So here it is. A list of 5 new releases I want  plan to read this summer:

  1. Things We Know By Heart

    Author: Jessi Kirby

    Release Date: April 21

    Things We Know by Heart
    When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

    After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

    Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.


  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses
    (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

    Author:Sarah J Maas

    Release Date: May 5

    A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)
    When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

    As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


  3. End of Days
    (Penryn and the End of Days #3 or Angelfall #3)

    Author: Susan Ee

    Release Date: May 12

    End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)
    After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

    When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?


  4. The Wicked Will Rise
    ( Dorothy Must Die #2)

    Author: Danielle Paige

    Release Date: March 31

    The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2)To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die….

    But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?


  5. Saint Anything

    Author: Sarah Dessan

    Release Date: May 5 (expexted)

    Saint Anything
    Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

    Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

    The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.