Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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Crown of Midnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: Throne of Glass)

Novel Summation:

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt. But her heart never wavers. After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes. Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.  Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

My Thoughts:

So I liked this book a lot. It wasn’t as action packed as the first one but it had more drama. The novel mainly focuses on Celaena’s feelings towards Chaol and an underlying hint of revolt within the city. Calaena was just as strong as she was in the last book, maybe even a bit more dangerous. She could be a little frustrating with her unwillingness to take any responsibility for the fate of many but her reaction was understandable. Still we knew she was meant for bigger things before she did.   Chaol is still strongly loyal to the Crown but when Celaena becomes involved we get to see him feel conflicted. He’s very passive that I don’t find it to be an endearing quality. I really like Dorian and we definitely get to see a more vulnerable side of him as he is dealing with his own issues but there was so little of him in the book. Since it was clear who Celaena was leaning towards romantically I had hoped Nehemia was a possible love interest but that didn’t work out so I was a little disappointed in the romance in this book. Celaena’s and Chaol’s relationship was gradual and I guess that was supposed to make it more realistic but sometimes love is at first sight is (like with Dorian). I’d recommend this series.

Future Books:

There will be another book coming out in 2014.

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The Arrivals by Melissa Marr

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The Arrivals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novel Summation:

Chloe walks into a bar and blows five years of sobriety. When she wakes, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world, The Wasteland. She discovers people from all times and places have also arrived there: Kitty and Jack, a brother and sister from the Wild West; Edgar, a prohibition bootlegger; Francis, a one-time hippie; Melody, a mentally unbalanced 1950s housewife; and Hector, a former carnival artist.
None know why they arrived there–or if there is way out of a world populated by monsters and filled with corruption.

My Thoughts:

This was a really interesting and creative book. I first thought this book was going to be like the movie Predator and be about an alien race that brought people and creatures from different times and places to this one place and then hunt them and instead I got something just as cool. The setting is a very western feel with elements from other genres and times. We have a mafia gangster character, someone from our own time period, a cowboy and saloon girl, a hippie, and vampire like creatures. The world is creatively unique and very captivating. There is no real main character but the book does follow the perspectives of Kitty (Katherine), Jack, Chloe, and briefly Ajani who is the antagonist of the book. I liked Kitty but sometimes I found her to be too standoffish (such as when she had thoughts of shooting Chloe for making her brother have feelings for her). Jack was a strong leader though it seemed silly that he thought he was immune in a way to love. Chloe was the new arrival to the group and her acceptable to her new life was a bit strange but you find yourself enjoying watching how she handles things and people. Ajani wasn’t very intimidating and for the apparent villain he wasn’t seen doing much bad things (it was just assumed he was bad from what others say). You almost get the feeling after reading this book that there should be more to this book or a prequel that goes more in depth of the interactions between the Arrivals and Ajani and the Arrivals and the Monks/demons. We are just told that there is animosity between the two groups and while the glossing of the past dynamics might be find for other readers I was hoping for a bit more depth and substance to the book. I didn’t like the explanation for how the Arrivals arrived and maybe would have preferred something more spiritual (like this is their opportunity for a second chance or some higher being brought them for an unknown and never known purpose). Overall I would recommend this book because it is just so different from what is out there but still finds a way to combine the things you are use to (like vampire like creatures, westerns, modern issues, action, romance/sex, magic, demons).

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

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Boundless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 3 (Book 1: Unearthly, Book 2: Hallowed)

Novel Summation:

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life. Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California – and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place. As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

My Thoughts:

So I’m finding myself really like action packed school adventures entertaining. I like the fact that they are solving issues and battling while maintaining a school life. This gives the feeling that even though there is supernatural things going on these people are just like us and deal with issues just like us (such as tests, making friends), in essence it gives some humanity to the otherwise supernatural story. Clara spends most of her time deciding whether she likes her apparent soul mate Christian or the boy she fell in love with from the beginning, Tucker. I feel so sorry for Christian in this book. In the first book I didn’t care for him much, I grew to love him in the second book, and by the third I was really hoping something good would happen for him (in terms of romance). I continue to dislike Angela a lot. A lot more angel training was done and you really get a feel for the types of characters (fallen angels, half bloods, three quarter bloods) and what they can do. While learning about all these types of angels and part angels the information is so brief that it doesn’t feel complete. The fallen angels were more incorporated in this book but there wasn’t much fighting or battles like I was expecting from this constant mentioning of wars. I’m finding these angel theme books (like Fallen by Lauren Kate) are more about the romance and self discovery then action. I don’t like the way the romances ended up at the end of the book. It was very expected and disappointing. I recommend this series and I wish there was more books that are more action based but I don’t think there will be.

Belladonna by Fiona Paul

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Belladonna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: Venom)

Novel Summation:

Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he’s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass’s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose-the only evidence that will prove he’s innocent.

My Thoughts:

First I’d like to say I didn’t really like the cover chances (from mask’s to silhouettes).  As for the story I found it to be very interesting. It had a lot more mystery and had some things answered while leaving plenty other questions for another book. The pace was a lot more fast paced and with action but it does slow down three quarters in for a bit. The book is once again very beautifully written and you get a strong feel for the imagery and the time period. Cass was both her usually inquisitive, somewhat reckless self while also growing and taking more control. This was especially true for her quest to save Luca.  She was very much on her own in this book and that’s where you see her character grow. I didn’t like Falco in this book because he seemed very superficial. He was like the embodiment of lust and he came off as very weak willed when it came to protecting/explaining things to Cass and when dealing with Belladonna. Luca isn’t in the book in person but more in the thoughts of Cass so there isn’t really much to say on his character. Belladonna was an odd character and very much gave off the creepy cult feel. The whole random mention of vampires was ridiculous and I would have preferred if they just said someone was going around murdering people and draining their blood. By adding the ideas of vampires it ruins the feel of the book even if it is an idea. This book is definitely a step up from the last book and I would recommend this series.

Future Books:

The final book in the Eternal Rose trilogy is called Starling and comes out March 20, 2014.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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Bitterblue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 3 (This is the sequel to Graceling and companion to Fire)

Novel Summation:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle–disguised and alone–to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

My Thoughts:

So I really enjoy Kristin Cashore’s writing. She created a world that is unique and beautiful. This book had a very medieval feel unlike  Fire (which was beautiful landscape) and Graceling (which was a thrill ride). We get reintroduced to past characters such as Katsa, Po, and a brief appearance by Fire. I liked Po a lot from the other book so it was nice to see him again. I liked Saf but wanted much more of him. Bitterblue who is the protagonist didn’t do much for me and I found her frustrating and very immature (in terms of not knowing things). The plot parallels Fire a lot since it deals with the young daughters dealing with their father’s past actions. The story was overly complex. Issues were mentioned and then abandoned and then readdressed. Things could have been more quickly addressed if they stuck with an issue and solved it. The book may have been overly long because of this. I did like the mystery surrounding what Leck did in the past but then once again solving it no longer became a priority. If they wanted to get over Leck’s reign they should have either figured out everything he did and then make amends or completely wipe out any lasting things from his reign (such as getting rid of all of Bitterblue’s advisors, Leck’s art, etc.). The romance in this book isn’t a priority which is similar to the other two books but it’s even worse. A romantic interest is provided but then disappears for a large portion of the book and nothing further develops. I know that romance isn’t big in these books but it would have been nice to see at least one case of romance sticking (I know Po and Katsa are still together but it’s a very complex relationship). I recommend this book but it’s not a stand alone like the others.

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

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The Lost Prince

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 1

Novel Summation:

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them. That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for. Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten

My Thoughts:

So I really enjoy the world of the Fey that Julie Kagawa created and I couldn’t wait to get into this book. The first third of the book starts off in the human world and for the most part I didn’t get into the book until they left the human world and started to get more involved with the Fey and the Nevernever. The book is told from the point of view of Ethan, Meghan’s younger half brother. It was interested to get the book from a male point of view and it is a very male point of view (over protective, macho man thoughts at times). Ethan seemed overly antsy and moody at times that it was a bit annoying at times but he has the makings of a great hero. Kenzie was Ethan’s love interest and I found her really annoying. It wasn’t until the end of the book, when we find out why she seemed so annoying that I did a complete turn around on her character. I understood her and found her no longer annoying. I liked Keirran (who you might remember from the Iron Knight) but there wasn’t enough of him. Also, his thought process about the The Lady and the Forgotten at the end seemed random and out of place.  Lots of familiar people return such as Leanansidhe, Grimalkin, and a brief appearance by Meghan, Ash, and Puck. It was a little disturbing how Meghan and the others hadn’t aged and were around the same age as Ethan, including Keirran (who’s relationship with the main cast I won’t spoil). I definitely recommend this book.

Future Books:

The next book in the Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series is called The Iron Traitor and it comes out October 29, 2013.

Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

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Phoenix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2 (Book 1: Black City)

Novel Summation:

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth. When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.
But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

My Thoughts:

So I liked this book a lot. This book is way more action packed then the first. It’s full of rebellions, escapes, and exploring new places. In terms of romance the book was a lot like the first. Ash and Natalie are still together and then Ash does something stupid, threatening their relationship but very quickly all is forgiven. I understand that being bloodmates makes them soulmates but that appears to be an excuse as to why they are supposed to be together and I would like to see something stronger. They get conflicted with their feelings so much that you could use a reminder as to why they like each other besides being bloodmates. Ash sort of annoys me in this book. I understand he is the face of the rebellion but he didn’t do too much to deserve that, other than dying in the previous book. He does participate a lot in terrorist like acts but I want him to really do some good, such as find the Ora, be shown helping people rather than causing destruction, and confronting Rose. I think the next book will really bring out his potential. Natalie is enjoyable and I suspected what she was dealing with throughout the book. ie By the end of the book though I suspected that she might be pregnant and only the next book will tell if I’m right or if she’s just experience some symptoms. I’ve always like Natalie and she continues to be entertaining, both smart and fearless. I really love Elijah as a character though he did disappoint me a bit at the end. Hopefully there will be more of him. I found him to be a sexy and kind hearted character.  I would have really liked their to be a glossary explaining all the different types of darklings and other creatures. The book ends really climatic and shocking and I can’t wait for the next book.

Future Books:

There will be another book in this series.