Review for Cinder
This book exceeded all of my expectations. All of them. I generally become rather wary about super hyped books (I’m cynical by nature, there was that whole Divergent debacle, you understand) so I went in to this one very cautiously, expecting, well, I’m not sure what I was expecting.
What I got was a badass fairy tell retelling about a cyborg. Fairy tale retellings are my favourite thing (retelling in general are my favourite thing), but a lot of times I’ve become wary when it’s the super popular tales that are getting retold (because they’ve been done so many times, how else can you do them, you know?) Well, this one definitely took the story of Cinderella in a whole new direction.
Review for Seraphina
This was an interesting one for me. I had mixed feelings about it as I was reading it, but in hindsight, I really liked what it did.
The world building was superb. (It was very overwhelming in the beginning, but as the story progressed, it worked itself out.) It felt grounded in a way that a lot of fantasy books never accomplish. It also felt like it was set right as the Medieval period shifted to the Renaissance (which isn’t a time period that most choose for their fantasy novels). It felt like a historical fantasy novel, which is an excellent atmosphere to have.
Review for Thief’s Covenant
I started this right on the heels of reading Falling Kingdoms so, needless to say, tentatively. Thankfully, my fears at this being another YA High Fantasy with stilted dialogue and uncomfortable exposition were completely unfounded.
I was so charmed by this book. It was absolutely delightful.
Sometimes, I think that current YA High Fantasy (which is such a struggle to type out, can I just say YA HF? Because that’s what I’m doing now) is always on the border of being overwrought. Everyone tries so hard to be new and different and yet it all ends up being very similar or just being too much (and I’m talking about a genre that still feels so small and always will because, let’s face it, fantasy is hard to write). And it’s the too much that bothers me the most (as someone who just really loves traditional fantasy and traditional worldbuilding). This was none of those things…
Review for Falling Kingdoms
Game of Thrones for teens (because teens don’t read Game of Thrones!! I’m being facetious, forgive me). Well, when I started this I was excited because YA High Fantasy is always my thing, and you in the beginning I was digging it. The prologue is great.
… and, you know, that was about all I thought was great. It’s frustrating when you read a book that is one step away from being good but it’s just not. And I always feel so sad when the High Fantasy books are the ones that aren’t good.
This review has been a long time coming and I’ve put it off because thinking about this book is both wonderful and painful. This broke shattered my heart and it did it in the most beautiful way possible. (Note, it has been some time since I read this, and I don’t have my copy handy, so it won’t be as detailed as it could have been).
I have said it before and I will say it again. I have 2 favourite YA trilogies. One is the stuff of my heart and the other the stuff of my soul. One is how I feel like I write, and the other is how I wish I could write. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy is the stuff of my soul which I would trade in a heartbeat to be able to write like Laini Taylor does.
This is, without question, one of the saddest books I have ever read. If you’ve read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and are expecting more star-crossed romance, that is not the turn the story takes. This is a war narrative, and a beautiful one at that. This book is incredibly profound for me so I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to word how I feel about it eloquently.
"Well, we’re here, kids. We’ve made it. It was a painful journey, thankfully not a long one, and here we are at the end. I wish I could optimistically start by saying that this book was the best of the three, it wasn’t. It was the worst. It was so painfully the worst.
When I opened the book on my e-reader and realised that the point of view was going to switch between Tris and Tobias, my reaction was a groan of despair.”
Note: this review does contain spoilers.
"Well, friends, here we are. I’ve finished the second book and, well, I’ve finished the second book. Well, I’ve finished the second book.
Guys, I’m so sorry I just can’t see what everyone sees in these good god .
At the very beginning of this book I was notably impressed! The writing has improved! Things aren’t so stiff and formal and uncomfortable! Tris is still… well… dull, but hey, you know, there’s some improvement!
It all went so wrong so fast, I’m still spinning from how badly it took a nosedive.”
All right, kids, let’s talk. This book is big right now, it’s getting a movie, people love it, all that jazz and so on and so forth. And if we’re being totally frank and honest, I’m a leeeeetle bit baffled as to why.
Within the first forty pages of this book, I’m reading scraps out loud to my roommate and commenting on the fact that commas are sprinkled in needlessly; there are no contractions to be seen; everything is very stiff and very formal; there is no description. (Now, I’m totally cool with minimalistic description! I get that! I do that! We get nothing which is, decidedly, less cool). So, the writing for me was a huge struggle. It felt amateurish, but not in a first novel kind of way. More in a, you needed to either hire a better editor or write another draft, kind of way.