Thursday, 28 January 2016

Book Review: The Red Queen

THE RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard 
5 Stars 
Verdict: Depth of epic fantasy, speed of YA.

The silver blooded are gifted, magical, and prideful. The red blooded are nothing in comparison – well, except hard workers sent to die in a war that won’t bring them any power.
Mare is a skilled thief. It’s the only way she can help her poor, red-blooded family, even though they are uncomfortable with her ways.
This book is all about power in society – what the many can do... What the few can destroy.

Mare’s outlook starts off grim. I felt sorry for her being cast in her sister’s shadow. She clearly cared for her family and tried to do what she thought was best at the time. Unfortunately, her well meaning decisions tend to have disastrous consequences.

Each chapter curves the story in a new direction. It starts fast and doesn’t hang around - just the way I love it.

THE RED QUEEN had the potential depth of epic fantasy with the speed of young adult. I rarely say this, but the book could be longer: the details of the world could be richer, and the character could have been fleshed out more, and the story could have used more of what it set up. I almost felt like a lot of the side plots were glanced over, but at the same time, I knew the author has all the answers, just not the space to write it in. With the pace, there just wasn’t room.

Romance isn’t the centre of Mare’s unfair world - it's vital to the story, yet not overpowering. Mare made some stupid mistakes, but in the end I realised I was rooting for her. Not any of the guys – just her and what she wanted.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the names. Mare, Mareen, and Maven – oh my. And Grey Town... because it’s a grey town. This hardly detracts from how awesome this book is. It’s just an observation really.

When the good guys are also the bad guys, it’s really hard to pick sides. If you like the way moral-grey makes you think, then this could be the book for you.

Source: Bought the ebook, and loved it enough to buy the paperback!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Book review: Throne of Glass

THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
5 Stars
This is a series I want on my shelf!

Hmm, yes, this one is interesting. Dark and cunning are just how I like lead characters to be, and Celaena the assassin is exactly that. If only there were some forbidden romances and –

But wait. Yes, we have two. Maybe even a future third. It’s practically a love triangle.

Okay, I’ll stop that. Maas has style. Voice. Her writing is strong, and her characters even stronger in all senses of the word. I can’t wait to read the whole series, especially with such as dark leading gal to follow through it.

Celaena Sardothien, notorious assassin, has spent the last few years in slavery. She’s snarky, arrogant, and lethal, which is exactly why she’s chosen by the Crown Prince to compete in a competition to become the king’s champion, or personal assassin.

The third person POV also hovers over the shoulder of Dorian, a cocky and charming prince who is nothing like his ruthless father, and his best friend Chaol, the stoic Captain of the Guard. Both spend enough time with Celaena to realise she’s fascinating… I bet you can see where this is going.

There was always something to keep me reading., like the tension between the characters with blossoming romance, as well as the characters who I wasn’t sure whether they could be trusted. There’s danger, a competition with few rules, secret passageways, violent murders, and more than one great line to make me really appreciate the writing too.

This book is probably best for those who like the idea of epic fantasy, but don’t want to get bogged down with place names, unpronounceable characters, and lengthy world building which is more for site seeing than plot. I can see why there was a lot of hype around this one!

Source: Bought it!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I'm still alive!

Hey everyone,

The last few months have whipped by. Over Christmas, I moved into a cosy flat. It's not a time of the year I'd recommend for this sort of thing, but I'm happy to call this new place home.

Mini announcement: I completed my reading challenge for 2015! I ended up reading 53/52 books last year...which is why I'm yet to finish a book this January. I need a little time off reading, which naturally means I'm writing again.

THE CLEARING has exceeded my expectations too. So many of the comments have been super supportive, so thanks everyone who's taken the time to let me know. I can't believe how many people have found it and read the whole thing within a day. It even reached #5 on Wattpad in the paranormal section for a bit - I really didn't see that coming!

I've edited through yet again, putting the old version to shame, or at least that's how it always feels. I could edit it endlessly, which is why I'm sliding my focus over to the sequel for now.

Anyway, I have a review of THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas lined up for tomorrow. A lot of the book I read from October to November have yet to be reviewed, so I need to get my thoughts articulated before I forget what happened!