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.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE
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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.


GOODREADS | AMAZON | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BARNES & NOBLE

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads | Author’s website | Amazon | Bookdepository
my review:
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

[EDIT 14/01/17: I’m adding link’s to Fatima and Fadwa‘s review of Rebels because I urge you all to read them. Their criticisms were more well explained than mine]

I have never wanted to finish a book so quickly than this one. And I don’t mean it nicely. I was expecting this. I should’ve turned the other way when I saw it in Waterstones. I should’ve trusted my gut feeling and not listened to the random girl talking to her friend who said this was ‘the best book she’s ever read,’

Originally, I was intrigued by the Western/ Middle Eastern concept but only after a couple of pages I realised how terribly clichéd it was and decided that this fusion was a terrible idea and she didn’t pull it off, if you ask me.

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Book Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads Author’s website | Amazon | BookDespository
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~

When Lizzie Lovett disappears mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend, Hawthorn Creely doesn’t care. Why should she? Until she decides to find out why she did and creates a pretty strange theory to explain.

I guess I’m in the middle with THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT. I didn’t absolutely love it but I didn’t despise it either. It was a book that was easily readable and, while I actually didn’t like Hawthorn at all, she was a strangely fascinating character to read. I’m purely giving this three stars because of Sedoti’s writing and the voice of Hawthorn she created.

But for the majority of the book, I was mainly sitting there going, “Really?” Would a seventeen-year-old girl really believe a girl turned into a werewolf? (Maybe if Hawthorne was younger, it would’ve worked but seventeen?) Would the boyfriend of Lizzie Lovett, who is twenty-five, really sleep with a seventeen-year-old girl? And could Hawthorn really fall in love with a missing girl’s boyfriend? Also, Hawthorne’s apparent “Search” for Lizzie is the biggest reach I’ve ever seen. She just followed non-existent clues to solve the disappearance of a girl she didn’t even know. The story dragged on for so long, filled with so much unnecessary details, and explanations. The werewolf theory sounds interesting, and I was hoping it would go somewhere but it didn’t.

While I liked the voice of Hawthorn, everything about her was similar to other contemporary YA protagonists. She’s an outcast, no one will understand her, and she only realises the world doesn’t revolve around her until someone has to yell at her. In some scenes, she pretty sarcastic, using it as a defence against the Mean Girl™ and her group. But was I supposed to be cheering her on when she just slut shames her in front of everyone? I just thought she would rise above that since she knows what it’s like to feel crappy about yourself.

Overall, it was an okay read. A bit strange but it’s not necessarily a book I would go out of my way to recommend to other readers.

Expected publication: January 3rd 2017 by Sourcebooks

Book Review: Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)

you can find the book at:
GoodReads | Serial site | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
my rating: ★★☆☆☆

From Youtube star Sasha Alsberg and multi-genre author Lindsay Cummings, ZENITH is part one of a serialised young adult space opera, following the lives of The Marauder starship as they are forced into a job that could cause a war among the Mirabel Galaxy.

I’ve never had the best luck when it comes to reading books by Youtubers. The backlash I got from Girl Online was almost enough for me to never read another one again. Although I haven’t read a book by Lindsay Cummings and I don’t watch Sasha Alsberg anymore, I was expecting ZENITH to be better. An experienced author, with six books written, and vlogger who has been doing this for years. I guess I’m really underwhelmed by the result. It’s clear that these two work well together since I couldn’t tell who was writing what, their writing voice flowed together well.

As a fan of Sci-fi, I was hoping to enjoy this more. But it felt so predictable to the point it was a bore to read. I always had the feeling that I’ve read this story before. I was interested in the plot, the first chapter follows a person locked in prison, wanting revenge and that had me hooked but then the rest of the whole thing felt unpolished and could’ve done better with a more thorough editing process. There were moments where Alsberg and Cummings dump a whole load of information but leaves us with no explanation.

“Do we know who they are? Black market, Olenian, Mirabel Patrol?” 

This is just one example of where they place words specific to the setting without any kind of description. What’s the difference? Who should we fear the most out of the three? This might just be me being very specific but its drags the story down by dumping in stuff and expecting the readers to understand everything.

I don’t know about anyone else but when a character is described as having “honeyed skin” or “caramel” colour, I automatically go bleh. He was the first POC we get and his skin is described as food. I just think a published author and an experienced book vlogger should know better than to resort to such a lazy and cliche way to say something other than brown… It just shows a blatant lack of originality which might have been changed with further editing.

As I mentioned before, this book needed a better editing and should’ve been thought through properly. And in this case, releasing in parts just didn’t work at all. I understand Sasha at university right now and the two were probably super excited to get this released, but the end result was heavily affected by it and I think it would’ve been better to wait and give themselves more time. (Google search is telling me Sasha is doing a literature and publishing degree, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems sensible to hold back and develop her own skill rather than push it out so quickly.) It’s sad watching her fans assume we’re being mean by rating it low. No one is disregarding what she’s done to get where she is now but if you’re not critical it’s unfortunate for Sasha because that’s no way to help an author grow.

Overall, I see the potential that ZENITH has. While I won’t be anxiously counting the days til the next one but I’ll check out the next ones, hoping it gets better.

Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Mirabel Inc.
ASIN: B01DIIU7DK

Book Review: Desolation (Demon Road #2) by Derek Landy

26791238Note: This review includes major spoilers within the novel.

you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Author’s website
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

my review:
Rating:★★☆☆☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~
In the sequel to Demon Road, Amber and Milo find themselves making their way to Desolation Hill  with the Hounds of Hell close on their tail. Desolation Hill is a small town with a secret to it. Once a year, all hell breaks loose and this year, Amber and Milo are right in the middle of it.

This is a difficult review to write. I’m not even sure how to begin? I really enjoyed Demon Road, but Desolation? Not so much. I know a lot of readers will love this book, and it’s not a terrible book. It’s a decent follow up, and I liked that it was more darker than Demon Road us, going further into the horror genre than I expected.

But I found it so tedious.

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Book Review:Poisonous Touch (Secrets of the Eternal Rose #2) by Fiona Paul

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you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author’s website

my review:
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

*Copy given to me by Paper Lantern Lit in return for a honest review*

In the sequel to Venomous Kiss, Cass finds herself on a dangerous journey to Florence after her fiancée, Lucas, is arrested on suspicion of heresy. The city of Florence is haunted by rumours of vampires and, on a daily basis, people are executed. Cass reunites with Falco and, together, they attempt to find the truth behind Lucas’s arrest by looking into the Order of the Eternal Rose and its eerie leader who happens to be Falco’s benefactor.

One word? Disappointed.
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Book Review: Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

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Note: I'm currently on hiatus due to exams, this is queued.

you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author’s website

my review:
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

~Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

Girls had to believe in everything but their own power, because if girls knew what they could do, imagine what they might. 

I have no recollection of requesting this on NetGalley, but I read it anyway since I hate leaving books unread on NG. But this book just wasn’t for me.

In the wake of a popular high school student’s suicide, it sends tremors throughout a conservative town. Hannah befriends Lacey and, together, they form an intimate friendship, luring Hannah into a lifestyle of rebellion and violence, as they bond over their hatred of Nikki, the deceased’s girlfriend.

While the writing was enjoyable, I just found the plot too repetitive and it became tiresome. I haven’t read much books like these – those bad obsessive girls type of books.  But this showed me that maybe it’s not my type. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting the reveal and it’s ending – mainly because I didn’t expect Hannah to be capable of doing so. But there’s not much else I can say, I’m very picky when it comes to contemporary, and though the writing style was nice, I just didn’t find it enjoyable to read.

Kindle Edition, UK edition, 368 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2016 by Little, Brown Book Group
ASIN: B010RGSET0

 

Book Review: Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat

26036399you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author’s website

my review:
Rating:★★☆☆☆

With a battle looming over the people of Vere and Akielo, Damen must face Prince Laurent again, but not as his slave, but as Damianos of Akielos. His own hope of reclaiming his throne is working alongside Laurent.  But can their alliance stand long enough to achieve their goal?

Okay my original rating for this was 4 but now, looking back on it, I feel really bad for having to drop it down to a 2 but I’ll explain why later on.

For those who are reading this review, and have no idea what CP is, it’s important to note that this series contains many problematic and really triggering elements which many people will feel uncomfortable reading. Just to advise you in case you’re uncomfortable with aspects like that.

Kings Rising picks up exactly where it ends in Prince’s Gambit, and we’re pushed straight into the action. Damen continues to be our strong protagonist while Laurent is still our irritating but lovable anti-hero. Pacat actually does an amazing job with these two regarding their characterisation and development. It’s dramatic and complicated with its twists, adventure and painful heart break.

If you haven’t read the series yet, I advise you to stop reading because I’m going to talk about what I didn’t like which are major spoilers.
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Book Review: Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tales #2) by Liz Braswell

27994605you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author’s website

my review:
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

~ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review~

Once Upon a Dream is a retelling of  Sleeping Beauty with a twist. When the prince kisses Aurora, he falls asleep and joins Aurora, who is stuck in a dream state, and must navigate her dream landscape in order to escape the influence of Maleficent.

As you can tell with my review of the first book, A Whole New World, I had a rocky start to this series. It may not have been as messy as A Whole New World was, but it was still a huge bore.

Firstly, I’ll start with the good, the premise was alright, but not great. I liked the idea of her stuck in her dream state and she has to figure out her way out. And the ending was nice though a bit too nice, in my opinion.(But don’t get me started on how painfully obvious it was from the very start)

As I mentioned before, everything else was a bore. It was so boring. The plot moved way too slowly and was just one big mess. In the movie, I liked Aurora but here, she’s extremely childish. There were an essence of the author attempting to show her growth throughout the novel, but it didn’t work. The style of writing also made it harder to like her. It felt inconsistent and dragged the whole book down. It’s a shame because the writing in A Whole New World was what kept me going, but in this book, it was just so poor. I could rant about Prince Philip and the piss-poor excuse for a romance in this book for days. The story relies too heavily on insta-love that happened previously,unknowingly to Aurora. She has no recollection of it, and technically doesn’t know this man at all,but agrees to kiss him?

Overall, it had some good scenes but wasn’t executed properly. This novel needs a couple of revisions (and maybe a better plot) because I just felt like it wasn’t good enough.

Kindle Edition, 448 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2016 by Disney Press
ASIN: B015PTW43G