November 29, 2016

All I Want for Christmas 2016 Is... (2)

It's that time of the year again... when I share the books that have made it onto my Christmas wishlist! I'll probably share one or two a week until Christmas. Feel free to link up your own book picks in the comments!

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study
is an old favourite of mine, but I only kind of skim-read the other two in the series. From what I've read on Goodreads, though, Shadow Study captures the same kind of feeling that the original did. I hope that's the case and I'm certainly looking forward to revisiting my favourite characters of Yelena and Valek!

What books are you hoping to find under the tree?


November 20, 2016

All I Want for Christmas 2016 Is... (1)

It's that time of the year again... when I share the books that have made it onto my Christmas wishlist! I'll probably share one or two a week until Christmas. Feel free to link up your own book picks in the comments!

The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski


Since this is the third and final book in the series, I won't post the book blurb here so those readers who haven't read the first two won't be spoiled. I've enjoyed the first two books (with a few reservations) and I'm looking forward to seeing how everything turns out!

What books are on your Christmas wishlist?

November 6, 2016

The Winner's Crime: A Rambling Review

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I polished this one off in just a couple days. It's quite readable and compelling, despite the fact that for most of the book I just wanted to shake some sense into the two main leads and get them to TALK to each other and get everything out into the open. Of course, if they'd done that, the book would have been a whole lot shorter, but I did feel that all the drama between the two of them was kinda trumped-up, due to Kestrel's insistence not to tell Arin the truth, and Arin's (willful?) obtuseness in ignoring what seemed (at least to me, the reader) to be rather blatantly obvious (spoilers, highlight to read: the reason behind Kestrel's engagement to the prince, and also Kestrel's suggestion to poison the horses instead of burning the eastern plains).

This idiotic behaviour not only caused major problems for their relationship/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, but it also impacted the other stuff going on in the plot. Whereas the first book in the series had a fair bit of action, this one involves less action and more intrigue/secrecy. Unfortunately, as sequels are often wont to do, I felt that this book did not have the same kind of internal story arc that the first did. The plot had less direction and momentum, and there was a chunk in the middle that lagged. It felt sort of like the relationship drama was being used to stretch things out from book 1 to book 3. Of course, along the way we met some new characters and some more plot points happened, but a lot of the difficulties encountered probably could have been avoided if Arin and Kestrel had just sat down and had a long talk.

I also found the writing overused metaphors, and as with the first book, could have provided more description of settings and characters to help me visualize them.

Despite these complaints, I quite enjoyed it! Kestrel and Arin both make mistakes and pay for them, and yet you root for them all the same. The transformation in how Arin views Kestrel as the book progresses is striking (spoiler: he becomes very bitter towards her). Kestrel's gradual change in attitude/perspective regarding slavery, war, and military might that began in the first book progresses in book two, in a way that feels quite organic, rather than being rushed. Her relationship with her father is complicated (boy, is it ever!) and is something I hope book three will delve into more.

September 30, 2016

Short & Sweet: The Rosie Project and The Mime Order (Adult)

17302192The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I tried a couple times to get into this one and didn't get past the first few chapters, but finally this time I was successful! Don's character was a challenge to relate to (he's not your average Joe) but I found myself warming to him more as the story progressed (while at the same time wanting to *headdesk* a lot over things that he said and did). The plotline involving the genetic search for Rosie's biological father was fun (not very realistic, but fun!), and I also generally enjoyed seeing Don try new things and break some rules.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

Seriously, I could not put this book down! So gripping. A tad violent and graphic for my tastes in some parts, but I just had to keep turning the pages to find out what would happen. This sequel really fleshed out the criminal world of Scion London (and the various players involved in it), while still connecting to the bigger picture of the storyline involving the Rephaim. I was occasionally confused by references that weren't explained properly (spoiler, highlight to read: Like the whole thing with the amaranth blooming again...what was all that about? And the poltergeist at the end, is that supposed to be the one that originally scarred Warden?) and I could have used a bit more development of the romance side of things (they are so busy fighting or getting over injuries they never have time for it!). But overall, a very strong sequel that has me wanting to read the next one!

August 20, 2016

Short & Sweet: The Bone Season (Adult)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

17199504It took a few tries to get into this one, and I wasn't really hooked until about halfway through, but once I became immersed in the world and more familiar with the characters, I was riveted to the page! The world-building is confusing (seriously, there are so many different types of clairvoyants) and it was hard to keep track of who was on what side (especially because there are tons of characters and I kept forgetting who was who — a character list would have been helpful), but I really enjoyed the main characters of Warden and Paige, and the progression of their relationship dynamic. The pacing was slow to start with, but then picked up and really didn't drop off for the 2nd half of the book. Looking forward to continuing with the second in the series.

Oh, and I just discovered a glossary at the back of the book for all of the slang terms. Huh, well, that would have been good to know while I was reading it, lol.

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