Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms) by Morgan Rhodes- 10 out of 5! AMAZING

The Queen Morgan Rhodes never ceases to amaze me. This book was as epic as all the other books in the Falling Kingdoms series.
That cliffhanger though... my heart is in tatters! I AM NOT OK WITH THE ENDING! What's up with the queens of YA this year (Sarah J Mass and Morgan Rhodes) and their 'thing', 'obsession', 'prone to torture tendencies', or whatever it is you want to call it at the end of their books? 2017 is going to be, to us YA readers, a year of healing. And a well needed one! Between Empire of Storms, A Court of Mist and Fury and now Crystal Storm I am truly done with book series and their mean cliffhanging endings for a while. I shall only read stand alones this january. I need a brake! Luckily for me my tbr list is huge and I can give myself that time. Seriously guys... the ending is very disturbing! I am with Cleo 100%: "I don't think this world will survive my grief".

Ok. so...the book...
It starts with King Gaius 17 years prior and than it picks up where Frozen Tides left off, beginning with Jonas.  All the characters stories move forward towards one epic ending.
Not much happens to Jonas until half way through the book. He is an important piece of the puzzle and I guess we will have a lot more of him on the last book in the series. The same can be said about Lucia, and since their lives are somewhat connected, even more so.
Cleo and Magnus work in their new found relationship, but needless to say there are complications. Also, Cleo is very careful with her feelings and her heart, a lot more than Magnus. He wonders at times if she is playing him, not without reason may I add...It is not until the very end of the book that things change (although who knows... might be too late for that. Hurry up Nov 2017!).
Ashrur is an idiot. The only time he does graces us with his presence is to do something utterly stupid.
Amara is still trying to take over the world. That being said, I like her. She has sass and determination and she is not straight up evil. She has her reasons to be the way she is. Not good ones...but still!
King Gaius is still as evil as ever. But just like Amara, not without reason. I love how Morgan Rhodes made the evil characters in the book somehow relatable and hard to hate. The only evil character easy to hate is Kyan.

Now lets go back to Magnus... this whole book is worth reading just because of him. The man has been through a lot. Changed so much and so little at the same time. His smartass comments are priceless and every time you finish one of his chapters you are dying to get to the next.
I must say I particularly love that it is Magnus and Felix that have the sass in this book. There is a whole 'girl power' thing going on on YA lately and the boys are sometimes just the broody males and nothing more (don't get me wrong here peeps, I like the girl power too, just not all the time). I like how Morgan Rhodes portrays him, how much heart she gives him. How much light she gives to his inner thoughts and insecurities as well as to his dangerous-broody-moody person! The complexity of Magnus' inner battle between his more soft side and his prone to violence side makes for a very compelling read. He is a well though character from every angle.

Conclusion: I hate you (due to the ending) so very much Morgan Rhodes that the saying love and hate walk hand in hand must be true. Because gosh I love yah woman! Yet another amazing book and I can't wait for the Falling Kingdoms finale! Hail to the Queens of YA!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor- 3 out of 5

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series


Gosh this is a hard review to write!
I loved the series.
I hated the series.
Both statements are equally true.
Let's start with the easy part: The first book was great (read previews post). The second book was a good enough follow up! Maybe a 4.5 out of 5, a little slow but still good.

Now to the hard part: the third book: Dreams of Gods and Monsters.
It was the worse book in the trilogy. There were good moments, but not enough good moments to make me EVER want to read it again.
I loved Avika's and Karou's interactions. Mik's and Suzana's. Ziri's and Liraz's... you know, the characters we met on the other books and loved!

But I absolutely hated the new characters (Eliza, Dr something, her annoying work mate, Nightingale, Scarab, etc...). They were ALL unnecessary and distracted from the story that the reader had now come to love. And the worse part? The new characters destroyed and obliterated the ending.

I found myself, a few too many times, stuck into someone else's mind lamenting the absence of the characters I fell in love with on the previous books. I am a very fast reader, a trilogy in a week is easy. yet, this book alone took me over a week. Every chapter with the Eliza character put me into 'read slump' mode.
The previous books built momentum for the third. It had everything to be perfect. This awesome fragile army of Angles and Monsters was ready to face evil on earth, the terrain was set for an epic battle. And it was epic! BUT ONLY IF you remove every single chapter that introduced new characters.
The book would have been a lot shorter and million times better.
The further into the book I got, the more annoyed I got. I was no longer reading an entertaining and amazing story but was now being lectured by the author on some random kingdom that has nothing to do with the story at hand or the previous books. Oh, and humans suck! What a wonderful underlying message hey?!

Laini Taylor had (about 100 pages before the end) given all our lovely friends a perfect ending in the book. There was, like in real life, no happily ever after, things were still in progress, Chimaeras still needed to be resurrected, etc. But it was good! Karou and Avika were finally ready to go resurrect everyone, Liraz and Ziri were getting to know each other, Mik completed his third task! It was nice and sweet and I even got teary. BUT THEN came the last 100 and so pages... they are an attempt to explain the existence of certain characters (Scarab and others) and it consequently turned a beautiful and even teary ending into a boring monotonous unnecessary CRAP! I am SO disappointed and SO angry right now. Why oh why?

so.... do I recommend reading it?
I don't know. Truly.
Read the first book. It was great! Read the second book, it was good.
Hummm... read the third... but simply skip every chapter with Eliza on it and stop 100 pages short. There, that will makes this a good book!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Daughter of Smoke and Bone: 5 out of 5

Daughter of Smoke and Bone ended up being a lot better than I expected. After I finished reading the Lunar Chronicles (and loved it!) I wasn't sure this was going to be as good. It Was!

GoodReads synopsis of the book:
"Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her had that color. Who is she? That is the Question that haunts her, and she is about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Avika fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?"

There are many reasons why I loved this book.
The first:
"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well"
The story goes against ya fantasy norm. There is nothing cliche about it.
The couple does not end up together (and I can say that because that little quote above is the first page of the book, so not really a spoiler)
And it is not just one love story. First we meet Karou...and then we meet 'another' girl...Both love stories are beautifully written and work together perfectly.

Two: the book is not however a love story. It is not about angels or demons. That's what you would expect out of that very first page, but it is not what it is. There are love stories in it, there are angels, monsters, but that is not what the book is about.
Family, friendship, growth, betrayal! Those are the books real themes. And revenge! Lets not forget Revenge.

Three: the characters aren't predictable.
Avika is not the usual good pure angel you would find in books, he is bad-ass set in revenge. His wings burn, he is merciless. He has a very tortured soul...
And Karou is not Devil itself. Neither is her family. They are monsters, but even monsters have a heart! That being said, revenge changes people. We shall see what book two has in store.
The fallen angels are...well... fallen, I wont say more. 'Yuck' is enough!

Anyway... there are many reasons to love Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Those were just a few. Hopefully it gives you enough of a glimpse into a great world and you will not resist the temptation to read it too!



Friday, December 2, 2016

Winter: Lunar Chronicles 10 out of 5?! ;)

Aaaaahhhh!!! what an epic finale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you are a lover of ya and fantasy there is no way you will not like this book.
It was exciting and full of twists and turns. LOVED it!
By far the best book in the series.
Cinder: 4 out of 5
Scarlet: 5 out of 5
Cress: 4.5 out of 5
Winter: 10 out of 5

I will miss Iko's sass; I will miss cray cray Winter; I will miss my dear Wolf! His bravery, his softness; I will miss Thorne's sarcasm and banter... etc etc etc.
The last book brings it all together in wonderful unexpected ways. It was exactly what one would hope of a finale: intense, intense, intense!!!!!
If you are like me, and dive into a book with all you've got, you will have your heart on your hands the whole time. There wasn't a moment in the whole book where something wasn't happening and someone was not in danger. The story kept on moving.
Wolf and Scarlet are my favorite characters in the series. I love Wolf's dynamic. His hard exterior and soft wooshy personality. It is adorable. And Scarlet's strength is admirable. They are perfect!
Thorne is hilarious. Who doesn't love Thorne? It is impossible not to. We get you Cress! And hey! How brave is she in this epic finale?! awesome
Winter is craaaaaaaaazy. In a beautiful loveing and annoying way... if that makes any sense. Jacin is one strong minded male!
Cinder has been my least favorite in the series, but that is not to say I don't like her. Her last few appearances are fantastic. Her relationship with Kai is not forced upon the reader, it is not far too cheesy to handle. It is just right. And their respective endings are great.

Go read guys!!!!!