Book Review: Dreadnought

Rating: ★★★★☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

In a world where superheroes and villains are a regular occurrence, Danny finds herself being the passed the power of Dreadnought when he falls out of the sky and dies right in front of her. The side effects of this transform Danny’s body into what she thought it should be. To Danny, she now looks like the girl she knows she is even if everyone around her says otherwise. Dreadnought is her origin story which follows her first few weeks of superhero living. While trying to juggle her new life, she’s also trying to find the old Dreadnought’s murderer, who is still threatening the streets of New Port City.

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Book Review: The Inquisition

Rating: ★★★★☆

* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

After spending a year in prison, 16-year-old Fletcher finally receives a trial but the outcome doesn’t appear good either way. Either he’s convicted for allegedly ordering his demon to kill Didric or they have him on treason for attacking a soldier. After a quick trial and learning a shocking secret about his past, Fletcher soon joins his old friends and enemies on a covert mission into orc territory.

I really enjoyed this one. It did take me a while to remember who was who and what had happened at the end of The Novice so it did take me a while to get into the story but once I did, it was great.

Looking back, I did prefer The Novice, plot-wise, but The Inquisition has faster action and higher stakes with a close look at the enemy Orcs. I’m quite glad the courtroom drama doesn’t drag too long in the first few chapters. It’s quite neat meaning that we learn what we have to know and then it moves on to what’s really important. I’m quite divided about this book in the sense that I enjoyed the great detail of everything as they venture on in their journey but at the same time but I also preferred the more character-driven parts where we see Fletcher interacting with his friends. This conflict for me made it feel like it as partially suffering from Second Book Syndrome just the tiniest bit. But I think I’m a bit too invested in this world and characters to care. There’s also a hint of romance that I guessed would have happened but at the same time, I was still surprised because this book never really focuses on the romance.

This fantasy world is one of my favourites –  it’s so vast and filled with so many different creatures and people. The plot itself only focuses on certain parts of it but there’s potential for the story to reach even further as this world finds itself almost on the verge of war.

The only real criticism I can really say is the sudden influx of new characters. There’s a point where there’s new people and demons alike come in, with new demons comes new demonic descriptions, so that can overwhelm some readers. But I would love to see Matharu release a handbook of some sort featuring all the demons in the series.

Overall The Inquisition is a solid sequel that builds and developed well, leaving you wanting more in the end. If you enjoyed the first book, you should definitely continue reading this series. (Also, R.I.P. me, I seriously died at that cliffhanger)


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Book Review: Every Heart A Doorway

Rating: ★★★★☆

Every Heart A Doorway has one of the best concepts ever. We all dream we can be whisked away through a wardrobe door, fall down a hole and be transported to entirely new worlds. But Every Heart is about the kids that come back, whether they want to or not. Here come Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children where desperate parents send their children who they want back to ‘normal’. But Eleanor is someone who has also returned and commits her life to providing a safe place for them. Tragedy strikes the day Nancy enters the home, and with her new-found friends, they try to stop it before it gets them.

For a story so short, it tackles and includes so many topics: gender issues, what we perceive as wrong or right, mental health. There are so many lyrical and poetic lines in here, it was amazing.

“Because ‘boys will be boys’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Lundy. “They’re too loud, on the whole, to be easily misplaced or overlooked; when they disappear from the home, parents send search parties to dredge them out of swamps and drag them away from frog ponds. It’s not innate. It’s learned. But it protects them from the doors, keeps them safe at home. Call it irony, if you like, but we spend so much time waiting for our boys to stray that they never have the opportunity. We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.

McGuire knows how to write creepy.  I went into this thinking it was like Miss Peregrine’s Home, but Every Heart is much eerier and strange. But you can’t mention this book without mentioning the diversity. It makes me so happy to see authors really understanding how important it is for our fiction to be diverse. While I was excited to see such a diversity of characters, and all of them have such well-built tales and backstories, I struggled to feel for them. I think it maybe due to its length, but this concept was way too big to fit into such a small novel. I would’ve loved to have seen more worldbuilding. The High-Logic and High Nonsense confused me at first, but it interested me. There are so many concepts that are introduced but not much of it is actually explained. But I believe the third novel will continue the events in this one, so I’m definitely excited to see what happens next!

Overall, I definitely recommend Every Heart A Doorway since it’s a strange yet entertaining read. 


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Book Review: Soundless

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Soundless takes place in a remote, closed off mountain village in ancient China, where all it’s members are deaf and receive food via a delivery in exchange for sending the metal that they’ve mined. Fei is a talented artist, who fears for her sister’s life as she slowly loses her sight. Until one day, Fei regains her hearing and joins her childhood friend on a mission down the mountain to find help.

I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed when I finished this book. I’ve only read two of Mead’s books, Vampire Academy and Frostbite, and I actually really liked them. A lot. If I can recall, it was brilliant albeit cheesy. But it had the action, drama and intensity and I was expecting all this to come in her new novel that is supposedly “steeped in Chinese folklore.” But nothing really jumps out as remotely Chinese about this story. Aside from the pixiu, you could change the names to Rose, Lissa and Dimitri and this could be set anywhere else.

I get this seems harsh, but I don’t have anything good to say about this book and that’s difficult for me, as someone tries to find redeeming qualities in even the worst books I’ve read.

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Book Review: Queen of Shadows

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

*Note: this review has big spoilers for QoS and the previous novels*

In Queen of Shadows, Celaena Sardothien embraces her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen but, in order to reclaim her throne, she must fight and confront her past.

I think I’ll start with what I did like with Queen of Shadows. First, Lysandra. She’s one of my favourite parts in this book. But Lysandra and Aelin was a great female friendship that saved the book for me. Maas could’ve easily made them be so petty towards each other but they both realise they’re much stronger together than they are against. I was overjoyed once they started working together against Arobynn Hammell. (I know it has been a couple of books now, but I’m still bitter over Nehemia and everything that could’ve been.)

Secondly, the improvement in Maas’s writing. She had developed really well throughout the series. There’s a lot I hate about this series but she can write really well. She’s grown as a writer but it’s a shame that I didn’t like this series as much as I could.

However, during the first half of this book, aside from Aelin’s scenes, it felt like a repeat of Crown of Midnight. I was bored and detached from the story. Here I was thinking maybe it was time to ditch the series all for good. But I’m so thankfully that it does pick up towards the end and the series has finally reached the point I’ve been waiting for: Aelin’s return to Terrasen. Empire of Storms better not disappoint, I’ve been waiting for her return for ages!

In my last review of the series, I said I was #TeamDorian but I’ve realised that I’m now #TeamDorianandChaolBOTHDESERVED BETTER. The romance in this series has seriously gone downhill, for me. While I found Celaena/Chaol cute, I wasn’t heavily invested in them so when Aelin/Rowan happened, I wouldn’t have cared as much if Maas hadn’t changed Chaol so much so that Aelin/Rowan could happen. Rowan is interesting but I hated that Chaol had to suffer in terms of his development to benefit Rowan and Aelin. I take back when I said Chaol needs to trust Celaena once I realised how much Maas structured it so Chaol looked bad. (using Nehemia, blaming everything on him, working for the King yet never killing him) In blaming Chaol for a lot of things that were out of this control, Celaena came across as a hypocrite. It’s also painfully obvious that Nesryn Faliq was introduced to soften the blow for Chaol fans and so Chaol doesn’t end up alone.

Overall, I would say Queen of Shadows was okay. I could’ve rated this more, but so much of it felt unnecessary and the only part I did enjoy was the ending. While I think nothing in this series will be as great as Crown of Midnight, I’m much more compelled to see this series to its end.


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Book Review: Initiate

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

* I received a proof of this book from the publisher. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.

Initiate is set in a world where humanity has retreated below the ice sheets of Antarctica as the land above is completely inhabitable. Riga Garrison is a mere member of this restricted society until she sees a whale. An animal once thought to be extinct. She begins to question the very institute that controls her life and realises that everything isn’t as it seems.

I think a tricky thing is with books with these hidden societies underground is that there’s so many of them. You’d have to sift through a lot to get to the ones you’ll truly enjoy. I’m not saying Initiate is a bad book. I actually quite liked this. The premise of this story reminds me of our current environmental situation, a bit of a cautionary tale, it would seem to us.

“We were the people who had polluted our own planet so much through our persistent, never-satiated greed that we had caused irreversible and extensive damage to our planet’s climate through global warming. We were the people who had allowed our own waste emissions to consume us, to poison the very air we breathed and the water we drank until we had to build bigger machines to purify the water needed by an out-of control world population hungry for an ever-increasing demand of clean water, energy, and fuel. We were the people who had had decades of research to warn us of environmental collapse, yet who ignored it in the noisy distraction of political bargaining..”

Initiate is quite inventive in the world it’s created in. While I thought it was very stereotypical at first, it had my interest, especially when Rigs encounters the whale which triggers off a reaction she could’ve never expected. She finds herself on the run and having to a make a life-changing decision which could change everything. She handles things quite maturely and her development was enjoyable.

Her love interest is … okay, I guess. While I never found myself swooning over them, they made sense to be together but I think it would’ve worked much better if they were already together before the start of the novel.

When the big plot twist and secret is revealed about the world above I was very confused. I think it may be due to the fact I had a very different impression of how this book was going to go because it’s a complete 180 to what I had expected. And I think because of that, I’m quite intrigued with how this story will carry on.  Because I actually have no idea what to expect!

The biggest issue I had was pacing. I think the events happened quite quickly which meant there wasn’t much suspense, in my opinion. And there could’ve been better development of what the Initiate actually is because they didn’t really come across as threatening as they could’ve been.

Overall, as I said before, Initiate is imaginative and in a world which has captured my attention. Around 3/4 of the way, my interest did drop but the ending and the preview of Book Two has certainly made me want to keep track of this series.


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Book Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)

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Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Oh, man. I’m re-reading my review of Crown of Midnight and I’m cackling. I loved how excited I was to read it and how hyped I was to read this. But now I have, it was a damn disappointment and I really feel like I hit my peak with this series on CoM.

Heir of Fire was a bore.  I was so excited for this so you can imagine how shocked I was I realised how much I actually didn’t like this. Nothing really substantial happens. I was so bored with how this book spent so much time on things I just didn’t care about. Celaena’s training could’ve easily been shortened like many other scenes.

This book focuses really on new characters. We’re introduced to so many new characters, and I just couldn’t care less. While the development of old and new characters were fascinating. I was shocked at the death of a certain one. But I still couldn’t bring myself to feel for these characters. Rowan, Sorscha, Manon. Looking back, they were all interesting characters but my lack of interest in the plot left me not caring a single bit.

I have to give Maas some credit. HoF was written really well and the way she portrays friendship is what I like about this series. Give me more platonic relationships between male and female characters!

I will be reading the next book just because I feel compelled to see this to the end, but my expectations aren’t as high as they were when I finished Crown of Midnight.


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Book Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Oh wow, I don’t even know where to start. I think I enjoyed Crown of Midnight more than I did Throne of Glass. There was just so much more of everything. More drama, more action, more complication and the best part for me, no more love triangle! (My soul weeped with happiness when I realised it was no longer there) Consider me impressed, is it possible to enjoy a sequel so much, that you feel the first should be rewritten to be considered even as great as this one?

Crown of Midnight takes a huge step, jump seems more fitting, away from the plain drama and unnecessary romance. I had a feeling that the whole competition to be the King’s Champion ends up being less significant in regards to the entire plot. Maas opens the story to a bigger, badder and bloodier book, now that we start the book with a blank slate. All the mysteries and trouble evolves into something even worse than a competition and I still can’t believe how much better this was than book one. I finally understood Celaena as an assassin.

The characters are just so much better in this book. While Celaena did irritate me in certain moments, she was still a good character. Dorian, my precious, favourite character, emerges stronger and better with his own secrets and his importance becomes so apparent and so exciting. Chaol, in my opinion, needs to take a damn break and learn to trust Celaena. #TeamDorian here in case you didn’t know.

However, I do believe Maas tends to treat Celaena the Assassin as an idea and makes her more Celaena the Private Investigator. She acts a bit too foolishly sometimes for me to take her assassin title seriously. Overall, Crown of Midnight was a still wild ride. A fast-paced journey that sees Celaena reaching her breaking point and we start to get a glimpse of just how big Maas is making this story.


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Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve, Blue. Either you’re his true love…or you killed him.”

Those were the words of Blue Sargant’s aunt on a cold night in spring while the two were waiting for the dead to make their way past the churchyard. Usually, Blue can’t see them, but she does see this one. From then on, Blue is thrust into a mystery with the privileged Raven Boys from Aglionby Academy.

While the story starts out from Blue’s POV, it shifts to a third-party omniscient style which is necessary given the many characters we get to know, particularly the raven boys. Gansey is searching for a dead Welsh king, Adam wants a better life than the one he has, Ronan’s anger hides a dark park and Noah, a secretive member who holds a much bigger secret than I had anticipated. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with their extremely complicated relationship. Their good-hearted jokes and concerns for each other was heart-warming. The strongest part of the book was the relationship between these boys. But Adam and Noah are my favourite of the Raven Boys from a landslide. And I don’t think that will change. I also guessed what was going on with Noah because of Tumblr but it was still a shock to read and watch it unfold. It makes it even more interesting reading it again, now that we know the truth.

There were multiple mysterious going on, all at one, which were a bewildering to keep track of since there’s so many characters and plot lines to keep track of. The second half of the book is much better than the first. But I liked the consistent humour Steifvater has in this novel and her way of describing some things were quite nice.

Everything about this plot was decent for me until that whole “kissing your true love will kill him” thing. While the reason why these boys were searching for this dead Welsh king was so slow, I was still invested in that part of the plot.(While I have to admit, the last 25% of the book was what got be hooked and the reason why I didn’t DNF the series) But the kissing your true love thing lost me. Maybe it’s because my tastes in books have changed a lot in the past years but I just wasn’t interested at all in that part of the plot. I know a big critique of this series is Steifvater’s overloaded writing style. But if I’m honest with you, I liked it. Steifvater has a great world here, it’s a shame the plot and some of the characters didn’t grip me as much.


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Book Review: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) 

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Celaena Sardothien, previously Assassin of Adarlan, is retrieved from a prison camp by Captain Chaol Westfall, to represent Crown Prince Dorian in a tournament devised by his father  to find a Royal Champion. If she succeeds, Celaena will be the king’s personal assassin for 4 years before being pardoned and freed. But there is something evil lurking in the kingdom, that Celaena must destroy…

Throne of Glass has a lot going for it. I quite enjoyed it, at the first. It was action-packed and mysterious. The world the Maas has created was what got my most attention. There’s so much magic that’s trapped and potential is what’s really holding my interest. It will be interesting to see how Celaena, Dorian and Chaol navigate this world. Despite being caught into, what seems like, an unfortunate love triangle. But I have to admit, this one has my attention, mainly because I wasn’t sure who Celaena would go for. Both men were on an equal footing and there was no annoying “oh you can obviously tell who she’ll pick in the end,” at the very beginning. But it wasn’t enough to change my opinion on Love Triangles. It was nice to see her interact with anyone, mainly because she’s so snarky and funny. (If I was stuck in a mine for a year, I would definitely eat all the chocolate cake I could possibly find) Nehemia was a favourite of mine. She starts off quite mysterious and her devotion was so understanding. You can feel her rage when her people are at stake and she can’t do anything about it.

On the flip side, it also has a few tropes that I usually make me want to yawn. And the lack of focus on the actual tests that Celaena has to go through was disappointing. That’s probably my own fault because that was where I wanted the story the to focus on while the love triangle tends to butt in one too many times for me.


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