Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless

Synopsis(From Goodreads): Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My Rating: 5/5

Warning: Some spoilers, particularly if you aren’t familiar with the synopsis from the book cover.

I loved this book so much. It starts out slow and Cath kind of bored me to begin with. When her handsome, mysterious would-be-lover Jest starts appearing regularly, however, things really pick up.

Obviously, reading the book-jacket synopsis, you know this is going to be about how the  Queen of Hearts became the Queen of Hearts. Miss “Off-with-her-head” herself is just a simple baker who wants a quiet life when Heartless begins.

Up until the final words, even knowing who she was and know what would ultimately become of her, I was hoping for a happy ending. I had even read reviews that told me exactly what was going to become of her and I still hoped they were messing with me. It is an adaption after all, right? Why can’t it end just a little differently?Marissa Meyer had me in the palm of her hand the whole time.

There are fun little nods to the original source material that come up. Some are obvious like the hatter who comes from a family of hatters who all went mad, and then there are some that are more subtle. If you are familiar with Alice in Wonderland those things make the book even more enjoyable but if you’re not nothing is lost in translation.

This made me sad that this was a stand-alone.

I would really like to see Cath redeemed somehow in a follow-up. Alice comes into wonderland and meets the Queen of Hearts of the sisters and things are able to turn around.

But it won’t and that breaks my heart because I loved her and the world so much. Even knowing the Mad Hatter would go mad-had to go mad-it was still upsetting to watch it happen and see the reasoning behind it.

All-in-all this was a fantastic book that ended far too soon for my liking.

A Court of Wings and Ruin Review

ACOWAR

Synopsis(from Goodreads):  Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Warning: This will contain minor(very minor) spoilers.

Let me start off by saying I *did* enjoy this book. Not as much as the second one but A Court of Mist and Fury was a character driven book and this was more plot driven. SJM is better at writing characters than plot.  In the following paragraphs it may sound like I didn’t enjoy reading it but keep in mind, I did. It just had some weaknesses that I couldn’t look past after 3 books with the same issues.

Her “erotic” scenes have not gotten better. If I were a teenager who had never kissed a boy and spent homeroom fantasizing about a boy loving me someday then I might like it better than I do being 26 and engaged.  The sex scenes also served zero purpose to this book other than fan-service.  In ACOMAF there was sexual tension. There was the dynamic of the “will-they-won’t-they” Even though when they eventually got together it was not well written, it served a purpose.

There is a lot of lazy writing in this book. Particularly as we get closer to the end. There are spells and prayers and whatnot that are super important to the plot (like…saving the whole world type important) and we never get a word of those spells. For one of them, after Feyre says an incantation we don’t at all get to read, she thinks to herself “if I change one word it could work…” but we don’t know what the word is and we don’t know what the spell says. There is another spell that Feyre HAS TO LEARN IMMEDIATELY in order to save someone she loves. Rather than her learning it at all, SJM dismisses it by writing that Feyre didn’t hear anything the person teaching her the spell is saying but eventually she got it right. That bothers me a lot. She had 30 pages left in the book at that point. Rather than doing such a disservice to the story as a whole, make it an extra page longer and show us what happened.

She stops showing the audience anything, in fact, as she gets closer to the end and instead just starts hastily telling everything.

There was a lot of messy tie ups because this was the end of Feyre and Rhys’ story while other things were left blatantly open ended so she can write about them in other books.

She also still loves certain descriptors and her editor, apparently, never said “Stop it” Which he/she should have. There are only so many times in 700  pages I can read the same descriptors, i.e. “moon-pale, night-dark, purred, gobbled, etc…” without wanting to rip my eyes out.(It gets worse when you read the almost 2000 pages to the whole series back to back and she uses the same descriptors every. single. time.) There is also only so many times I can read “cleaved in two” before it I begin cringe every time it comes up.

We also never find out what happened in the cauldron with the sisters. We are teased that we are going to find out many many many times but it never actually comes out.  Perhaps in an upcoming book but as of now…

I was going to do a re-read of the Throne of Glass series after I finished this series but this book made me tired of her writing and I had to completely switch gears to recover.

ALL THAT SAID:

For the most part the story moved a long at a good pace. I liked most of the final battle. There were some surprises that I loved.

I liked that, while I was able to call a couple of the twists from the beginning, there were a few that still took me by surprise. I teared up at most of the moments I was supposed to and I felt relieved for the characters at the end.  I wanted Feyre and the courts to win rather than being indifferent to it. I wanted to know more about what happened with the characters. I stayed up a couple of nights reading late because I was entrenched in their story.

Elain and Nesta’s- particularly Nesta’s- character development comes along nicely. I feel like SJM intends on writing more about them in the upcoming books because Nesta got cut off from telling us why she is so protective of Elain over any and everyone else. Elain/Azriel/Lucien’s stories are all left open to be continued as well. I hope we get more of Azriel and Lucien’s back stories and get more information on the Autumn Court. I think we will get more information on Eris, Lucien’s brother, because he was also cut off in the middle of an explanation of his torture of Mor.

All in all, this was the weakest of all 3 books but it’s worth reading to close out the series. It has it’s up’s and it’s down but it is not, in and of itself, a terrible book if you can look past the weaknesses. It can just be tedious. Especially if you have just read the previous two right before and notice her lack of a thesaurus.

I still gave it a high rating because I did enjoy reading it. Mostly.

 

-M-

 

A Court of Mist and Fury Review-Spoiler Free

ACOMAF-cover1

 

Stars: 5/5

Synopsis(from Goodreads): Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

This is my second time reading this book and A Court of Thorns and Roses that comes before.

I started to re read this (and the one before it) because I started the 3rd book and realized I couldn’t remember anything about the politics of the courts and what-have-you that I know are going to be important. I barely remembered Ianthe and couldn’t remember what her relationship was with Feyre and Tamlin. So I decided to start over. I was not looking forward to starting over because I didn’t want to have to re-read this book again. I remember feeling the first time like this book was slow and boring and drug out and I was dreading slogging my way through it again.

I don’t know why I felt any of those things. I could not put this book down and even though I knew what was happening with Rhys and Feyre it made my little heart happy as it took shape and I just wanted to hug Rhys constantly.

I will say that SJM LOVES the word”gobbled” in inappropriate settings and it can be very distracting. I swear one day I am going to re read this and count all the “gobbling” that happens. (Like people “gobbling” up views…no. Just…stop it)

And as an adult her sex scenes are somewhat painful to read. More in this book for some reason that in ACOTAR. Maybe because she tries to get more explicit in this book. But the dirty talk hurts my soul. Truly.

Everything else is amazing.

There is no character in the Inner Circle that I don’t completely adore and ultimately hope they all get to see the peace they’ve been struggling for for at least a couple of centuries.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to finish this series and, if the reviews are to be believed, be completely devastated by it.

 

-M-

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

Title:  A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Rating 3/5 

Synopsis(from Amazon) 

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

Warning: There will be some spoilers ahead.

 

This book…perplexes me. There are so many elements that are exactly what I want in a book.  Magic, humor, secrets to unfold…The plot moves at a pace that isn’t snail-like in its nature…

But I didn’t love it.

I mean, it’s fine. I will read the next one and probably the one after that. But where I feel I should have felt compelled to keep reading, like when a character dies or when they are in the midst of hitting the novel’s climax…I couldn’t be bothered to keep reading. Where I should have been anxious to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next, I just wasn’t.

I wanted to be. I did want to know what happened next. I just didn’t care when or how I found out.

The bones are there. It was a compelling plot but it wasn’t written compellingly.

At least not for me. I know this book is loved and I can see why. I just didn’t love it. I liked it, and there are enough mysteries and theories I have about Delilah Bard that I will keep reading. But I’m not in a rush to read them immediately. I’ll read them when I read them. I bought the second one but I haven’t decided if it is the next book I’m going to read yet.-

-m-

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh Review

Hyperbole and a half

Synopsis(from Amazon):

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative—like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it—but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

Pictures
Words
Stories about things that happened to me
Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
Eight billion dollars*
Stories about dogs
The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

Allie Brosh is a phenomenal writer and web artist whose stories are laugh out loud funny, touching and introspective. When she talks about depression it is the most honest account of depression I’ve ever found. Something anyone who suffers from depression can relate to. She also talks about getting lost in the woods and when she and her significant other get trapped in their house by a goose. (She even provides real photographic evidence in case you doubted her comics)

All told through the comics you have undoubtedly seen before as her artwork has been memed many times.

clean

All in all it’s just a fun compilation of stories that you can read as you want to.  I used to read it at work when I worked nights between calls.

I just love this book and, if you love smart, thoughtful humor, I think you will as well

-M-

Allie Brosh’s Website

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Book Review

Scarlet

Synopsis (from Amazon):

Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison–even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does–in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.

My rating: 3.5/5

Scarlet continues where the Lunar Chronicles left off but it adds a new character. In addition to Cinder we have Scarlet. Continuing with Meyer’s fairy tale theme, Scarlet’s storyline parallels that of The Little Red Riding Hood.

Some of the ways Meyer tries to draw those parallels feel shoehorned-far less natural than how she incorporated the Cinderella myth into Cinder.

The romance between Scarlet and Wolf (yup) also feels far less natural than the romance between Cinder and Prince Kai.

What kept me reading, however, is we are still following Cinder as she discovers the origins that have been a mystery to her for years. How she became a Cyborg and who she was before she was the mechanic in new Beijing with the wicked stepmother.

The world continues to grow and characters who previously had nothing to do with each other manage to collide into one another. Two plots become one and the race is on.

Scarlet suffers from second book syndrome.  Cinder was so strong of an entry for Meyer but Scarlet, unfortunately, fails to keep up. In the grand scheme of the series, though it may be a weak point, but it serves to give us a lot of important information about Cinder, the Lunars, Prince Kai and Queen Levana that we need to continue into the next installment: Cress.

-M-

If you are an author and would like your book reviewed please send me an email at ekuinbox@gmail.com with an introduction and a brief synopsis of your book and I will get back to you. 🙂

Cinder by Marissa Meyer review

Cinder

Synopsis (From Amazon):

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My rating: 5/5

Cinder is the first book in Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicles” series, all of which are retellings of classic fairy tales set against a steampunk future background.

Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella(never would have guessed that, huh?) where Cinder is a part Cyborg living where Cyborgs are hated and feared. How she became a cyborg is a mystery to her. She woke up with no memory in the life she now lives as a renowned mechanic when the prince of New Beijing comes in to her shop looking for help repairing his damaged personal servant robot which is what starts her on a path filled with treason, secrets and danger.

Cinder has all the classic moments you would want. Her shoe(leg) that comes off. The running down the stairs at the ball. Prince Charming and the wicked step mother. It does all this while also managing to be completely unique. The plague running rampant through the streets feels dangerous as do the secrets and history Cinder uncovers as she works to fix the robot for the Prince.

It’s a great read with amazing mythos attached but be prepared to get hooked and read the whole trilogy currently available in a weekend.(the 4th is due out November 10th and there is also a prequel out) The world, though alien from our own feels real and tangible.

It’s a great deal of fun both as a YA novel and as fan of classic fantasy and I have nothing but high praise for Cinder and the Lunar Chronicles series.

-M-

 

If you are an author and would like your book reviewed please send me an email at ekuinbox@gmail.com with an introduction and a brief synopsis of your book and I will get back to you. 🙂

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson book review

Elantris

Synopsis (from Amazon):

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

My rating: 4.5/5

Elantris is one of my favorite Sanderson books. It’s a great stand alone Fantasy if you are looking for a break in reading series. (He does have more books planned in this world when he gets around to it but Elantris stands on it’s own and no ends are left untied) It also has what Sanderson is famous for: a unique and intricate magic system.

It’s also the only book I’ve ever read where the magic system is broken.

Once upon a time, people were randomly chosen to become, basically, Gods. They would wake up and have glowing skin and be able to make things out of nothing, or heal with just their hands. And then, it seems, the magic turned on them. They became gray, their hair falling out and they were unable to sate their hunger.  They were condemned to the city they had made-Elantris-and the people of the city below them-Arelon-tried to ignore them. But people still wake up as “Elantrians” But now that is a curse rather than a blessing.

Which is where the story opens. With our hero, Raoden, prince of Arelon,  awaking to find that his skin has turned gray and rotting. But, this is Sanderson, so it gets much more complicated than that very quickly.

Of all the story lines, Raoden is my favorite. Watching as he copes with being an Elantrian, forsaken by the people he was going to save.  In his story line you can see a lot of Kaladin from the Stormlight Archives being developed. Especially in how he deals with his fellow Elantrians.  Having read Way of Kings first, it was fun to see a similar character. He is slightly cliche (the kind hearted prince who was going to save his people from his father, the evil king, but something gets in his way) but as he unites the previously divided and warring Elantrians (and how he does it) he shows a strength and subtle wit which was delightful to read.

But we also follow a few other characters.

The Princess Sarene from across the Ocean who comes to marry Raoden as part of a peace treaty only to find he has “died” and she is a widow as well as the High Priest Hrathen who has been given 3 months to convert all of Arelon to his religion or his God is going to destroy it.

Sarene has to adjust to a whole new land while finding herself widowed to a man she had never met but thought she might be able to love.

Hrathen is the character who shows the most growth, to me, throughout the story. He isn’t a bad guy, necessarily. He is, in his heart, doing what he thinks is best. He wants to save a continent of people from total destruction. No matter what that means. He may go about things in a bad way and it’s hard to condone all of his actions, but he is doing what is best. Which is a fascinating trait to have in a character. Normally I think other authors may have had him as a villain. Which he kind of is in Elantris but it also goes deeper than that.  Sanderson once again proves his writing prowess with the detail he has put into the characters he has written.

The three stories start out separate. You hardly think they would touch at all (especially Raoden) but as the story goes on, the web is weaved and the three character arcs start to merge into one. Lines start connecting, holes start getting filled and the mystery of the broken magic starts to come alive.

Elantris is a great ride from the first page to the last and is one I know I will be re-reading a few times in the future.

 

-m-

 

If you are an author and would like your book reviewed please send me an email at ekuinbox@gmail.com with a brief synopsis of your book.

Review: Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist

Synopsis(from Amazon):

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing–kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery–one that will change Rithmatics–and their world–forever.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors who rarely fails to deliver in his books. They are fast paced, enough character and world building to entrance you and leave you wanting more each time you are forced to put down the book for pesky reality like food and laundry without ever being overwhelming or overly wordy.

‘The Rithmatist’ is no exception.

As per usual with Sanderson the magic system is impeccable and unique, based in chalk that can move and, with the right spells, become three dimensional. It’s hard for me to write reviews of Brandon Sanderson books without going on and on and on about the magic systems (notice I haven’t put up a video review yet? That’s because every time I film this review and the review of Elantris it’s 10 minutes long and all about the magic system) so let me just leave it at: Once again Sanderson delivers a unique and refreshing magic system that is fully flushed out and stunning in it’s intricacy.

In a day where there are so many Fantasy books being published all the time, I find myself getting bored with the magic systems and the villains as they get repetitive very quickly. But what other book can you name that has 3 dimensional chalk as the villains and chalk runes as the main form of magic while a war is waged between human and killer chalkings?(It may not sound like it works but trust me: it does.)

The only critique I have for The Rithmatist is the same problem I have with many of Sanderson’s books. He doesn’t write women well. He has one woman character that appears over and over in all of his books and it’s just a bad “strong woman” trope. If you are new to Sanderson it may not be overtly obvious because he hides it better than many authors but once you read a couple of his books it kind of screams at you.

Also, in this book, women are just now allowed to become Rithmatists. This struck me as out of place because the Rithmatist takes place seemingly in the future in America. In the “Epic Fantasy” or “High Fantasy” novels it kind of comes with the territory that women will not be treated very well or, at the very least, will be looked down on.  But it felt wrong in the setting of ‘The Rithmatist.

But that is my only problem with The Rithmatist and it isn’t enough to keep me from recommending this book. I love everything else about it and went through the book in under a day.

I loved the world and Joel is very believable as the hero thrown into a world he has studied and longed for but never been a part of. It’s a lot of fun if you are looking for a quick read or something a little different than your average, every day YA Fantasy novel. With how it ended I really can’t wait for the next installment.

-M-

If you are an author and would like your book reviewed please send me an email at ekuinbox@gmail.com with a brief  introduction and synopsis of your book and I will get back to you.

I Made a List…Part Two

Photo by me. The Lunar Chronicles(thus far) by Marissa Meyer
Photo by me. The Lunar Chronicles(thus far) by Marissa Meyer

In case you missed my previous blog, a few weeks ago I decided to try an experiment. I was going to pick up ten Kindle samples of books that I would never have bought on my own but that keep being recommended to me over and over again by book sites, book blogs, friends etc…

Initially when I planned this out it was going to be in four parts. Now it’s going to be longer. Rather than reading all 10, reviewing all ten, reading the next ten and reviewing the next 10  I’m going to limit the reviews to five books each while the initial lists of the samples will remain at 10.

I’m not going to re-insert the links and synopsis for each of the books. If you want more information on the books visit the link above to my previous blog.

1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone:

The sample of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor is…a conundrum. Sometimes it sounds like really badly written fan fiction:

““You’re impossible to scare,” (Kaz) complained, giving her the pout he thought was irresistible. Until recently, she wouldn’t have resisted it. She would have risen on tiptoe and licked his pout-puckered lower lip, licked languorously and then taken it between her teeth and teased it before losing herself in a kiss that made her melt against him like sun-warmed honey.”

I don’t used this phrase very often but: Ew. It’s not well written or smart or endearing at all. Romance and love and lust and sex can be written well, don’t get me wrong. This, however, is not an example of that.

Then she has moments where Karou(the main character) is talking about myths and magic and things not known to the world at large and it’s fascinating and I want to hear more about the Gods and her teacher who lectures her, literally, on not putting unnecessary things (like penises) inside of you.

I’m not kidding. These are things that happened.

Karou also seems to be a Mary Jane character. She’s smart and she’s “strong.” (depending on your definition) She has magic and her drawings and writings-based on her real experiences in her “secret life” are the talk and envy of the school. Oh, she is also absolutely gorgeous.

I’m not interested in her. The best thing she does is make Kaz-her cheating ex-boyfriend, itch in some very uncomfortable places while he is nude modeling for an art class.

Overall I’m not impressed. I do want to know more about her “secret life” I just don’t care if she is in it or not. I very likely will not be purchasing this book unless I find it used at a book store for pretty cheap.

Which is sad. I keep seeing quotes from Daughter of Smoke and Bone around and I’m like “That is really nice. I really like that.” But I don’t think enough of the book-based on the first 3 chapters-is actually like that or worth suffering through to get to those little moments.

2) Cinder:

The download of Cinder I ended up getting was a five chapter long preview from the publisher since that was available for download more easily (for some odd reason) than the actual Kindle sample.

I was actually amazingly impressed by this sample and will definitely be buying the whole book.

It is a Cinderella spin-off(obviously) that doesn’t feel like you’re reading a fairy tale. The Sci-fi blends beautifully with the fantasy and the characters are interesting. Cinder is a character you can root for almost immediately and the secondary plot that deals with a plague infecting the world is just as engaging as the main storylines.

I actually can’t wait to continue this story.

(Side Note: After finishing the story before posting this blog, I actually bought the trilogy. I read Cinder in a day. Reviews for that trilogy coming soon)

3) Angel Fall:

I don’t have a lot to say about this particular book.

The sample of Angel Fall, while feeling very much like the Last of Us game sans Zombies and with several dystopian cliche’s thrown in, is actually fairly engaging. It is not terribly memorable and, while I doubt it will ever be a book that is in my top 10, definitely has the potential to be a fun and quick weekend read. I will, at some point, likely be buying this one.

4)Throne of Glass:

This sample was another one, similar to Angel Fall, is not really a memorable sample. While I didn’t hate reading it, it isn’t likely to stick with me for very long. The author seems to want us to believe the main character is tough but she doesn’t give the readers any reason to believe she’s tough other than she’s well known for being tough. Admittedly, the sample was only three chapters long so the main character doesn’t have A LOT of chance to show us what she can do. That being said, there was more talk about her strength than proof of it. The prince, who you meet rather quickly, is very cliché. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing. He’s the good prince born to the evil king who is just trying to make it right. That character can be done well. Whether or not he was will only be told with time.

I will, I think, eventually pick this up. I am interested enough in some of the allusions to past events that lead to the main characters imprisonment that I’m willing to give the author a chance to show me what the main character can do. It’s not high on my priorities to read but I will eventually get there.

4) Bone Season:

I was actually shockingly disappointed by the sample of Bone Season. It felt clumsy and awkward. Way too much information about the world that just didn’t matter or make sense at one time and then not enough information about the world at other points. I have no idea how anything in this world works, despite the overhanded attempts to make me understand. Shannon showed politics but not the relevance of the politics to the situation she was describing. And then, information I really did need to understand a scene-things like character abilities and how that effects the people around them-were left completely untouched. Unlike some of the other books on this list that I was disappointed by, I will not be picking this up. Books like Throne of Glass and Angel Fall at least gave me the hope that they would be good books over the long term. I have no such confidence in Bone Season.

5) City of Stairs:

City of Stairs is one of the books I was most looking forward to. I have heard great things about it from some of my favorite fantasy authors since before it was even available.

I read the sample and it is very different-at least so far-then what I was expecting. Not in a bad way. I’m actually really intrigued by the premise so far. The “Divinities”-Gods, from what I can gather, have all more or less been shunned. Any image of any kind depicting anything that could be construed as representing the Divinities is strictly forbidden.

On top of that there seems to be a murder mystery type storyline that is going to come in.

It’s different than what I was expecting but I’m still excited to pick up the full book.

So that’s the first five from my samples list. I intend to work through the next five faster but I also have several full books I’m reading and already engaged in.

See you next time,

-M-