[So I actually wrote this review back in November, but for some reason, I lost it in my drafts and forgot to publish it]
Replica follows the lives of two seemingly different girls – Lyra, a test subject locked away in a research facility, and Gemma, a lonely teen whose investigation in her family’s past leads to her meeting Lyra and slowly unravelling the truth behind her family.
I tried, really tried, to read and enjoy this. I truly did. Its plot and concept from the outside scream a perfect read for me. Especially with the creative layout, the book can be read from one POV or alternative. I set myself up to read an excellent book, but it just didn’t grab my attention.
You get the impression of an exciting sci-fi novel, but it’s just a very cheesy YA romance with a sci-fi tint. It starts off interesting (I read the chapters alternatively), watching the lives of these two girls and how they differ but you can guess what happens. Nothing is surprising because it’s been done so many times and Oliver doesn’t add anything that makes it stand out, aside from reading format.
* I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.
Can I just say how I love that ‘fike’ was just completely removed from the novel entirely?
I am pretty sure that I said in my review of the first part that I wasn’t going to read this once the book came out. I didn’t request the full version so I could bash it, I wanted to go back into this with the belief it could be better. I felt low key guilty of how harsh I was on the snippet, and now that it’s the full story that has been edited so I thought, how bad can it be now? And it is bad. Which is so disappointing because it has a strong concept and inkling of a decent plot which flopped really severely.
*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.
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.
[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.
~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