Wednesday, February 14

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5)

The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1 - 0.5)
Sarah J Maas

Published By: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Date Read: January 12, 2018
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 448
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18243700-the-assassin-s-blade

From Goodreads:
Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

The Assassin's Blade has been sat unread on my shelf for what feels like forever. I have already read all of the other books in the Throne of Glass series, barring Tower of Dawn. I absolutely love the entire series and so thought it was about time to read the prequel novellas. Especially since the final book of the series is due out this year. I plan to re-read the entire series this year before the publication of the final book and what better way to start than with the prequel novellas.

Before I go on let me stress once again my love for this entire series. I adore it and it made me fall in love with YA fantasy books. It was one of the first YA fantasy series I read and that is now my fave genre. I love the world of Throne of Glass, the characters everything...

...BUT...

The Assassin's Blade was such a struggle for me to get through. I really wanted to love it because of how much I adore the rest of the series but it took me almost a fortnight to get through this book. Now, I'm quite a fast reader and it usually only takes me a day or two to polish off a 500 page novel so it should not have took me almost 2 weeks to read 5 novellas. I just didn't connect with them as much as the rest of the series. I found the pace slow, I was bored and I just found myself not caring what was happening. The only novella I found I really liked was the final one and that was because it links into the beginning of Throne of Glass and I liked seeing how Caleana ended up in Endovier. It was the only one that got any sort of emotional response. I went from not caring about anything in the others to crying my eyes out when a certain character was killed. Yes... you know the one.

I really wanted to love The Assassin's Blade so much but I just couldn't. It was such a struggle and to be honest if it wasn't for the fact that I had already read the rest of the series I would have just DNF'd it. I only pushed through because I knew what was coming after these slow and boring novellas was epic and awesome. I am super glad I read the rest of the series before these as I probably wouldn't have read them otherwise and it is one of my all time favourite series. After reading the novellas, I don't feel like I have gained any deeper meaning or insight having read them. It was nice to see the guy she loved before the series but if I was to re-read the series again I'd give this one a miss.


Wednesday, February 7

Non-Review: Roseblood

RoseBlood
AG Howard

Published By: Amulet Books
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Date Read: January 1, 2018
Genre: YA - Retelling
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 432
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28818314-roseblood
From Goodreads:
In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

RoseBlood was one of those books that I couldn't wait for. I have read and loved AG Howard's incredible Splintered series and I am a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera, so this was bound to be amazing. I really, really wanted to love this one but I just... didn't.

I managed to get to around 55% of the book before I just couldn't continue. RoseBlood was incredibly slow and I found elements of it very strange and there was no explanation as to why. I tried to push through so much but I found myself very bored which made me not want to read at all and it's at that point that I usually tell myself it's time to stop reading it and pick something else to read.

Thorn was a very odd character... like why was he wearing a mask if he had no disfigurement? And Rune was just too bitchy and stupid for me to like her. I wasn't invested in the characters at all and found I really didn't care about the story and what happened to them whatsoever.

I really wish I had liked this one as it sounded like the perfect kind of book for me but unfortunately it just wasn't meant to be.


Sunday, February 4

Wrap Up: January 2018


Hey Guys,
Can you believe January is over already? It's gone super quick so far don't you think?

Here is my month in books.

Book Haul:


Bought:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

For Review:

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Second Best Friend by Non Pratt

Books Read in January 2018:


RoseBlood by AG Howard - DNF
The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J Maas - 3 Stars
The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) by Renee Ahdieh - 3 Stars
The Crown and the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.5) by Renee Ahdieh - 3 Stars
The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh - 5 Stars
The Mirror and the Maze (The Wrath and the Dawn #1.5) by Renee Ahdieh - 2 Stars

Review Posted in January 2018:


Top Books of 2018:

Now, usually I do a Top 3 Books of the month but I only include books that I rate 4 or 5 Stars. Unfortunately only one of my reads this month fits this so here is my favourite read of January 2018.
What did you read in January?

Wednesday, January 31

Review: The Power

The Power
Naomi Alderman

Published By: Penguin
Publication Date: April 6, 2017
Date Read: December 28, 2017
Genre: Adult - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 340
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31195557-the-power

From Goodreads:

'She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She'd put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.'
 
Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

"This is the trouble with history. You can't see what's not there. You can look at an empty space and see that something's missing, but there's no way to know what it was."

The Power is a book that I probably would never have picked up myself. I'd honestly never heard of it until a friend, who doesn't really read much, told me about it and that he had found it fascinating. After getting it as a gift for Christmas from him I couldn't wait to dive in. It's not my usual read as I usually strictly stick to YA reads. I am so so glad he recommended The Power to me because it is absolutely incredible.

The Power tells the story of a world where women all over are waking up to find they have 'the power'. They can now inflict agonizing pain, even death, with just a flick on the fingers. Suddenly the world isn't so patriarchal anymore and the men are terrified of the women. Boys are warned not to go out alone where the women are.

The Power is absolutely incredible. Naomi really knows how to write a fantastic novel. Right from the start Naomi's writing style grabbed me and I couldn't put the book down. In the past I've read other books regarding the same topic as The Power where the gender inequality switches to the women being more powerful and I've barely made it through any of them because I just couldn't get into the book and associate with the characters. Naomi has shown her story-telling talent by creating a feminist piece of literature that not only grabs you but really has you attached to these characters. The Power is a feminist novel at heart but one that men and women alike will find intriguing and unputdownable.

The Power follows four main characters, three of them women and one male. I was so thrilled that one of the main characters was male. At first I was surprised because, let's be honest, it's a feminist novel, I expected it to be told from the points of view of only women but having Tunde as a narrator was perfect. He showed the point of view of the men. The intrigue to help the women who have been supressed all their life get their power back, but what also develops into fear that the women could kill all of the men should they wish. It gave another side to this story and made it even more intriguing and interesting.

I'm not usually a reader of anything feminist, I find it hard to read them usually as I find a lot of them are a bit too radical and crazy for my liking. What I loved about The Power is it wasn't like that at all. It tells the story of how culture changes with the rising of the women and how the church changes to accomodate this societal change. I found it fascinating and interesting to see how all of the characters acted due to this change in power. It was really intriguing to see not only how the men reacted but how some of the women in other cultures reacted to the change as well.

The Power is a stunning, thought-provoking novel that I would recommend to everyone. I loved every moment of it and I can't recommend it to people enough. I am so glad I gave it the chance and read it. I enjoyed every second and it was utterly stunning. The Power is a must-read for everyone.

"Gender is a shell game. What is a man? Whatever a woman isn't. What is a woman? Whatever a man is not, Tap on it and it's hollow. Look under the shells: it's not there."


Wednesday, January 24

Review: Need

Need
Joelle Charbonneau

Published By: HMH Books for Younger Readers
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Date Read: December 26, 2017
Genre: YA - Thriller / Mystery
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20550148-need

From Goodreads:
What do you really need?

One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin, join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage passes to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn’t you?

Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs—a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

Or could it?

After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating, and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network before it destroys them all?

"No one gets something for nothing, we all should know better."

Need was a book that I had on my radar for a while as it was by an author that I've previously read and loved. I absolutely loved Joelle's dystopia Testing Trilogy and recently read her fantasy novel Dividing Eden and really loved that one too so I couldn't wait to dive in to her YA thriller Need. Now, I was pretty much certain that I wouldn't love Need as much as the others as my feelings towards thrillers are pretty touch and go. Some I enjoy and some I can barely get through.

Need tells the story of Kaylee, a girl who is desperately searching for a kidney doner for her brother. So when a new website comes up for her school called Need it looks like the hope she has been waiting for. Need gives people exactly what they want for a small price... a dare. But when the dare's turn deadly how many of the school's children will survive to get what they really 'need'.

Honestly the storyline for this book is superb. It's fast-paced and addictive and I was honestly so hooked by the storyline... however, I'm sad to say I just couldn't get away with this one. In my opinion, there is a line for how many points of view you can tell a story in before it gets confusing and ridiculous, and ten narrators is just way over that line for me. I understand that there are lots of kids that this website is affecting but I just didn't feel like we needed a point of view for so many of them. I was honestly so confused and I didn't know who was who and it stopped me enjoying this storyline. At the beginning of each chapter I had a state of 'who the heck is this' and in later chapters I was half way through the chapters before I even realised that I had heard from this character before. It was just too many.

I absolutely love Joelle's books and this definitely will not stop me reading her other stuff as I truly believe she is a fantastic author I just really couldn't get past the confusion caused by so many narrators. I really wish I'd loved this one because honestly the storyline is great and I loved the storyline but I just couldn't connect with the characters as I would usually due to there being just too many.

Unfortunately, this one wasn't for me but I highly reccomend Joelle's other novels. And if lots of points of view don't bother you then you will probably love this one too.

"Loving you is the only really good thing about me."


Wednesday, January 17

Review: Golden (Heart of Dread #3)

Golden (Heart of Dread #3)
Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

Published By: Orchard Books
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Date Read: December 25, 2017
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26019401-golden

From Goodreads"
The action-packed finale to the Heart of Dread series

In this epic conclusion to the trilogy, Nat and Wes go on a journey to find the Rift, save the source of magic and defeat the Drau, the pirates, and the RSA—but at a great sacrifice. Wes is dying, and as he's rotting the Drau will let the rot "cleanse" the source of magic, dooming Wes forever. Nat and Wes discover that the source of the magic lies in the Drakon—the key to the Blue, the protector, the soul of the world. But in order to close the Rift, a great sacrifice is needed. In the words of the sylphs, death is life, and now the worlds can be reborn again.

Golden, the final book in the Heart of Dread trilogy, was everything that I could have hoped for and more. I absolutely loved this book and it was most definitely my favourite of the series. It was action packed and charged with emotion. It was utterly perfect.

Nat and Wes have lost so much already and thier journey has only just begun. They need to find the Rift, the source of magic in order to defeat their enemies. But it's all going to come at a great cost... because to save this dying and dangerous world the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston have really created a fantastic story here and I've loved every moment of each of the books and I really can't praise their story-telling skills enough. From the moment I picked Golden up I couldn't put it down. I just needed to know what was going to happen.

Honestly, Golden broke my heart so much. This is definitely the most emotional book of the series and I was so heartbroken and crying throughout a lot of it. But really the ending is realistic and perfect for the series. Wes and Nat have to go through so much but all the trauma and heartbreak was worth it.

Golden was a fantastic end to a fantastic series. I loved every second of it and I cannot recommend this phenomenal series enough. It has everything you could possibly want from a dystopia series, it was wonderful and one I know I will enjoy again and again.



Wednesday, January 10

Review: Stolen (Heart of Dread #2)

Stolen (Heart of Dread #2)
Melissa de la Cruz

Published By: Orchard Books
Publication Date: May 7, 2015
Date Read: December 23, 2017
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25631989-stolen
From Goodreads:
Who is Eliza Wesson?

Months after Nat and Wes said goodbye on the shores of the Blue, Nat is learning how to control and use her new power. She and her drakon are the last of their kind—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. When she receives a mysterious distress call, she races to help, soliciting the guidance of her new friend, the beautiful and aloof Faix Lazaved of the Blue.

Still heartbroken over losing Nat, Wes is racing cars on a New Vegas racetrack while his team is scattered and lost. When he finds out that his sister, Eliza, is being held in the golden domes of El Dorado, he does what he’s best at—running to her side—and gambles on luck to see him through one more time.

They soon discover that the answer to both their quests lies in the same question: Who is Eliza Wesson—what is she capable of, and why was she stolen from her family so long ago?

"You cannot let the darkness overcome the light."

Frozen was a book that I read years ago and I really enjoyed it and honestly I can't really explain why I didn't continue reading the series. Well, I finally decided to pick up the sequel and I am so so glad that I did. I really enjoyed Stolen, the second book in the Heart of Dread series. It was a fast paced, action packed sequel.

Wes and Nat have been seperated. Wes has travelled back to New Vegas in order to find his long lost sister, Eliza. But why was she stolen all those years ago? And where did she go to? Wes will stop at nothing to find out and save his sister. Even if it puts his life in danger. Nat has been fighting to protect The Blue. But can she keep up fighting with her drakon or is she destined to be separated from something she loves yet again?

Honestly, I found Stolen to be really slow going at first and it took me a hell of a long time to get into it. Despite this the story was still grabbing me and I was dying to find out what was going happen. The more I read the more I enjoyed it and once I got around half way through I couldn't put this book down. It was fantastic and I just couldn't get enough of these amazing characters.

Wes and Nat are two fantastic characters and I loved that this book was split point of view so we could see what was going to happen to both Nat and Wes since they were seperated at the end of the first book in the series, Frozen. As the book went on I started to love these characters even more. I loved Wes and loyal he is both to his lost sister and also Nat. He is such a fantastic character and the type of character that you just love more and more the more of the book you read. Nat is such a strong-willed character and I really love the journey she has come on. She has grown so much from the beginning of the first book to here and I really love that she is now this amazing kick-ass warrior. She is just fantastic.

Stolen, although slower than Frozen, ended up being just as good as the first book in the series. I absolutely loved every moment of it and I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the final book. This is definitely a must-read series.

"Love does not make you weak; it is the absence of it that does."