Friday, June 7, 2019

Sarah J. Maas: Court of Thorns and Roses

In the first of a series, Sarah J. Maas explores what happens when a human enters the world of the faerie:

Feyre is the sole provider of her family, she does the hunting, the meal preparations as well as preparing the hides for market, her two sisters and father rely on her. When she gets a chance to kill a wolf she makes sure not to miss, but this shot will change her life forever. This act leads her to be dragged into the magical kingdom on the Faerie and the land of Tamlin, who is everything that Feyre has been told to fear about the faeries. As Feyre grows closer to Tamlin dark forces emerge who want to keep them apart and Feyre soon learns that she may be the key to save them all from a cursed fate.


Alright, I will admit that I am slow to the party that are Maas' books. This is the first that I have read in any of her series, and overall I was really impressed with this book which had me hooked from the opening pages. From the character development to world building there is not one point that Maas seems to fail at in this book. All of the characters are interesting with their own flaws, the romance/relationship never seemed forced (although you know its going to lead to it) and the drama/darkness that Maas builds into the book is beautifully done. I will admit that did question what I had gotten into with the beginning of the book as the first half is very slow. However, the further you read in the book you realize that Maas did this on purpose as she needed to build the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin as it is a key aspect of the plot and everything else hinders upon it. Normally I would not be a fan of a book that is based upon a romance, but Maas really could not have written this book any other way with the same result.

Within the second half of the book the true plot begins to unfold, this is what the first half has been building up to the "fall" and trial of Feyre and Tamlin's relationship. This is where the book takes a turn towards the Darkness as Feyre is put to on trial and must face a series of tests as well as be humiliated and paraded around like some sort of prize to be won. Here is where we get to see what Feyre is made of and she has to determine who she can trust, who is manipulating her and who can she manipulate.

If I was going to nit pick (and you know I will, lol) I personally found the riddle easy to solve, so I was confused why Feyre was not able to do so maybe it is an age thing.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book I feel like (I've blocked the next part out as it is a spoiler for the book, so if you want to read it highlighting it) I know that there is going to be a love triangle coming up and that's really not my thing and way over done these days (thank you Twilight and the Hunger Games). So right now I'm not sure I will read the next book in this series, unless someone can tell me otherwise (and I really hope you can tell me differently).

Enjoy!!!
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Friday, May 10, 2019

Angela Marsons: Fatal Promise

This is the 9th book in Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone series so you will want to read the previous 8 books before this one (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones and Dying Truth), especially book 8 as there is a connection between the two.

Angela Marsons bring back DI Kim Stone but everything has changed yet the killers still keep coming:

Who Lives, Who Dies? You only need to choose. When a doctor is discovered murdered in a local woodland plus he has a connection to a previous case that the team has worked on, it is all hands on deck. The the doctors son is killed in a supposed car accident could it just be a coincidence. Then a woman is discovered dead and Kim discovers the only thing that connects them is the Russells Hall Hospital. Is that too little of a connection? All they know is a serial killer is on the loose; Kim and her team are at their worst but they need to get ahead of this case as the body count continues to rise.

Marsons has been my go to author for a bit now for great detective mystery reads but authors cannot get it right all the time. This is the second book in this series where I found it was just okay. I did not have that edge of my seat feeling at all from this book and honestly compared to the book before this it took me way too long to read this one.

I didn’t really find either of the cases in this book interesting but if I had to choose between the two cases I found Stacey’s case the more interesting even though I was able to guess what was going on before she was. Although with Kim's case I liked the connection to the previous book and I did not guess who the killer was, I just felt like these was nothing new in that case and that Marsons herself had done something similar before. It felt like this book relied a bit too much on an increased body count to move the mystery along instead of following Kim's gut to move the cases and therefore the mystery along.

I think the most interesting part of this book was seeing how the team reacts and has changed from the events of the previous book especially Kim. It constantly felt like she was off her game and in a way showed some real emotions that Kim does not normally reveal to others as well as how much she cares. As stated before Kim doesn't seem to be able to trust her gut or won't trust her gut and is just going through the motions. Additionally, the team dynamics also changed and Bryant was even more stepping on Kim's toes and trying to "keep her in line".

For me this was one of the weaker books in this series so I hope this is just a bump along the way. Of course I’ll be reading the next book in this series, authors can’t get it right all the time, right? And really Marsons is one of my favourite authors out there.

Enjoy!!!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Holly Black: The Cruel Prince

In the first in a new series Holly Black shows just how far one will go to shape a Kingdom.

Jude and Taryn are forced from their home when they are seven, their mother and Step father murdered and they are forced to live with the murderer in the High Court of Faerie. it has been ten years and although they try to keep their heads down, they are always reminded that they are humans in this Fey world. Jude wants nothing more that to belong in this world despite her mortality but there are many fey who despise humans and only see them as slaves. A new ruler is about to be chosen and Jude must see that things go in her favour. The faerie court is one of deception, trickery and bloodshed, Jude needs to learn quickly if she going to survive the change change in rule.

This is the first book that I have read by Black and I really enjoyed the majority of elements, characters that she presented and developed in this book. The world building is extremely well done and beautifully written. I know where this world/reality sit in regards to our own world, as well I did not find the different children of the King confusing and who were all vying for the crown, well except Prince Cardan. You really feel the differences between the two worlds and the struggle that Jude and her twin sister Taryn feel to try to fit in but also keep their heads down as well (Taryn succeeds at this much better than Jude does). The identical twin aspect is also interesting, how two people who are the same on the outside have such different personalities and Black highlights this every chance that she gets, especially in regards to the bullying that the girls suffer.

I personally would classify this book as a fantasy political intrigue, as Jude is doing everything that she can to support a cause that she believes in as well as trying to find her spot and purpose in this Fae world. She begins to learn the art of a spy and the trading of secrets. She is realizing just how valuable her human nature makes her. As with any good spy book this one was much darker than I expected it to be and often there were moments of brutality that once again I did not expect and some of them even come from Jude herself.

Okay I normally post spoiler free reviews but with this book, I feel like i have to say something about the relationship that occurs in this one. So if you are looking to read this book, don't read any further, as what I'm about to write does occur later in the book.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I feel like this has a really poor relationship between Cardan and Jude. Their relationship at the beginning is one of bullying verging on torment because of what is done to her. And there is an almost rape that occurs that takes things to a whole different level. Yet Cardan supposedly is obsessively in love with her and does all of these bad/rude/embarrassing/dangerous things because of it and Jude accepts this. I mean WHAT? How can this even be a thing. Black is a well known author even though this is the first book I have read by her, these books are rated YA (which I also have issue with but that is probably not the authors doing). Why do books like this and I believe the Twilight series (I've never the series, just basing it on what others have said) promote such unhealthy relationships and make it seem normal and alright? Alright spoilers and rant over.

So will I read the next book in this series? Yes. The ending was really well done and I liked how every other aspect in the book was shaped by Black. I am interested in seeing where relationships are taken what this new world under a new King will look like.

Enjoy!!!
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Monday, April 22, 2019

Karen Hamilton: The Perfect Girlfriend

In her debut novel Karen Hamilton shows what it takes to be the Perfect Girlfriend:

Juliette loves Nate and follows him where ever he goes, she knows that they are destine to be together, but Nate just doesn't know it yet. The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago has only strengthened her resolve that they are meant to be together. She is giving him the space he wants, makes herself into more of the girl that Nate wants and make him fall back in love with her. What could go wrong, she is the perfect girlfriend and love can hurts and all is fair in love and war.

I had high hopes for this book, it sounded interesting and was something a bit different than what I normally read. This book is full of manipulation and what the main character thinks love is. You follow Juliette/Lily as she proves to the man that she loves Nate, that she is the perfect one for him and lets just say that she takes way too far constantly. She finds out everything there is to know about Nate and is family, from spying to pretending to being someone else. Juliette really is a master manipulator.

You will not like the main character in this book. Yes, there are times where you will feel sorry for the main character she does have some horrible events in her past but she lets them define her entire adult life and she never grows out of this. The thing is that she is smart and probably could have a great life if she was not so obsessed with the past. By 80% I was sick of the main character and all her complaining and as we do not get any other point of view that hers it was a struggle to finish this book. She just could not see what she was doing was wrong and that she could have so much more if she could move on from him.

 I thought this book would have more of a deadly twists to it, but it really was more of stalking and manipulation which Juliette takes to the extreme. I will also give this book high marks for not having a cookie cutter ending, but I could just not get past the main character, her lack of growth and constant complaining really turned me off this book.

Cheers!!!
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Monday, April 8, 2019

Keri Arthur: Unlit

In the first in a new series Keri Arthur takes the readers on journey of discovery and treachery:

Neve March is one of the members of the Nightwatch, she is Unlit (has no magic) but is also stained as well a deformity that is looked down upon by the witches in power. Neve may not love her life all the time but she is happy being a solider serving in the Nightwatch. But Neve has a secret she can hear the whispers of the wind, something she should be able to do and her secret power is about to be put to the test. When Neve is sent out to investigate a strange light she did not expect to discover a woman who has been missing for 12 years but also evidence of an ancient enemy that was believed to be dead.

The Word of this book is DESIRE. He desires me, I desire him, he makes me feel desire, I'll make him feel desire and so on and so on, you get the picture. It would be the perfect drinking game book. Everyone drinks when the author uses the word desire. You'd be quite tipsy in a chapter or two. I was about to put this book down thinking that it was going to be more of a sci-fi romance book similar to some of the other series that Arthur writes. However, this aspect does change in the second half of the book, there is more action and the mystery surrounding the returning woman takes the forefront. Although desire is the word for this book, Arthur does not go into too much detail with her sex scenes most of the events happen behind closed doors, which I was surprised about.

I really liked Neve as a character, she is always a soldier first and has unwavering loyalty to those that she loves. Even when she is told not to help or protect her brother/sister in arms she takes it into her own hands to do so. I also liked that she showed an appreciation for the old ways, in terms of weapons, and wanting to know more about them. Neve is Unlit and Stained but has heard the whispering of the wind, which she shouldn't be able to do but she keeps this secret to herself. It was interesting to watch Neve really find out her powers and there limits as often times this was in the middle of a battle.

I found that world building was a bit lacking for this, yes I understand he witches part and different houses, but where I got a bit confused is how the world ended up this way and really why the Unlit or Stained are seen as second class citizens (maybe I just got mixed up in everything but I think it has something to do with having power and not having power). So I guess I would like more of a back story for this world and how it became to be this way.

By the end of this book I was hooked and wanted to know more not only about Neve but also the world (which I want to know more about) so I'm looking forward to picking up the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!
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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Victoria Jenkins: The Girls in the Water

In her debut novel Victoria Jenkins introduces Detective King and Constable Lane and a deadly killer:

Detective Alex King and Constable Chloe Lane are assigned to horrific murder of a woman found in the water, bound hands, fingernails missing, clear signs of torture. The victims is a woman with a troubled past but King and Lane can not find any enemies or reason for her to be targeted. Then another body is found in the water and King and Lane find a disturbing connection between the two. But Lane is distracted, she is pursuing a historical case that is personal to her and is she is not careful she could not only lose her job but her life too.

This was a good debut novel and I really appreciated Jenkins writing style. I also enjoyed that she decided to take on a lot by have two cases interwoven in the narrative. However, overall I did not have that edge of my seat feeling or thrills that I was expecting while reading this book. The mystery was well thought out and executed but just not that interesting at times, in that it seemed like it had all been done before.

I liked that it was two female officers that were partners as this is against the norm for some reason. A lot of the books that have a female detective lead are normally portrayed as not easy to work with, going against authority but don't worry they have a male counterpart to smooth things over as this is normally a male dominated profession (honestly, some of my favourite authors in this genre have this and it took this book for me to realize that). So I appreciated the fact that Jenkins had two female police officers that at one point or another are looking out for the other one and don't have the judgement against them for being female. It was also interesting to see some of the sexism that came out with regards to Lane's past.

I felt that there was a previous book to this that explained more of King and Lane's history together. You can tell throughout their conversions in this book that this is not the first case that they have worked together and while Lane may be the rookie/new recruit on the team she did not have that rookie feel to her character. Additionally, King made statements about how Lane was not up to usual professionalism which also made it appear that they had worked sometime together.

I'm going to continue on with this series as I really did enjoy King and Lane's relationship and I think that Jenkins has a great ability to tell a good mystery story I just hope there is something a bit less farther from the norm next time around.

Enjoy!!!
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