Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

81x3pkxvrnlTitle: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Bloodlines
2. The Golden Lily
3. The Indigo Spell
4. The Fiery Heart
Date Started: August 9
Date Finished: August 10
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists. Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Whoa. That was some crazy stuff that went on in this book. Not that I really expected anything less. After the way The Fiery Heart ended, I was really tempted to forget my self-imposed reading list rules and just jump right into Silver Shadows, but I’ve already thrown out a lot of my rules over the last year and anymore and I would have been in anarchy (yes, I know I’m a little crazy, deal with it). Anyway, I’m actually glad that I took the time to get to this book though, because by the time I did, I was less ‘What’s going to happen next? I need to know now!’ and more ‘Okay, let’s see how Sydney and Adrian are going to get themselves out of this one.’ And believe it or not it actually helped.

I still think that what happened to Sydney is going to have long lasting effects. You just don’t go from isolation for three months, being tortured – or purged whatever – for another month, and basically told that you are as bad as the creatures of hell, to okay overnight. And yes, now that she is under the protection of the Moroi – the events that led to that are just plain crazy – things should be a little bit easier. But that nice little cliff hanger at the end – again – makes me wonder if Sydney and Adrian will really be able to just sit around at Court. I also don’t trust Wesley (or whatever that idiot’s name is). He’s bound to be plotting something in retaliation for what Adrian did not only in TFH, but at the party in this book.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I’m not sure how I feel about how this book resolved the issue of Sydney being on the run from the Alchemists. I am totally with Sydney that she is way too young, and Adrian isn’t all that stable. I mean, talking to your dead aunt? He needs to get back on his medication soon. And looking at the thickness of The Ruby Circle, I’m not sure how Mead is going to tie up all the loose ends, while also dealing with Jill. I mean, Last Sacrifice was a lot longer and there was still a plot point that hadn’t been tied up. Gah.

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Posted in Bloodlines series, Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Paranormal, Richelle Mead, Romance, vampires, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

91vom8ea8glTitle: The Darkest Legacy
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Darkest Minds
2. Never Fade
3. In the Afterlight
Date Started: August 7
Date Finished: August 10
Format: ebook from the digital library

Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume “Zu” Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn’t trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country’s recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

So I’ll admit that I wasn’t all that thrilled when I heard that another book in The Darkest Minds series was coming out. From what I remembered about the trilogy, things had been relatively wrapped up. I didn’t really need to see the aftermath of what happened in In the Afterlight. But when I heard this series wasn’t going to focus on Ruby and Liam, but on Zu, I decided to add it to my reading list anyway because she was an interesting character and I kind of wanted to see where she ended up.

As it turns out, she ended up as a government pawn. At first, I thought it was relatively smart for the government to use her as the poster child of how Psi kids are being integrated back into society. But as her speech at Penn State continued – and from that mind boggling prologue – I had a feeling things were about to go wrong. And they did very fast! It turns out that as with anything these days, some of the population is okay with the Psi kids and feel bad for what they had gone through during the Gray administration. But there are other people who still consider the Psis to be freaks and terrorists. That’s why one of the presidential candidates Moore is gaining traction.

And really the political mess and underhanded agendas that drives the subplot of the book left my mind boggling. So much for trying to move America forward past the IANN times. I mean there were so many moments during this book that I was getting serious Star Wars: The Force Awakens vibes that I wouldn’t have been surprised if Zu had brought out a lightsaber and started taking down Defenders and Blue Star.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. After getting past the slow start, and all the backstabbing subplots, it was kind of nice to see Zu and her fellow Psi kids again. I also really liked the addition of Roman and Pyrianka (who is a real treat). I’m curious to see how things play out in the next book – which I’m really hoping that there will be one?

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Posted in Alexandra Bracken, Book Reviews, Dystopian, Fantasy, Science Fiction, The Darkest Minds Trilogy, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

51e-ovbbvhl-_sy346_Title: A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Previous Books in the Series:
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses
2. A Court of Mist and Fury
3. A Court of Wings and Ruin
Date Started: August 7
Date Finished: August 9
Format: Hardcover from my shelf

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

So when I found out that the novella of this series was actually going to be published as a hardcover I might have squealed for joy. As people know, I’m not all that fond of novellas, but when they’re over 200 pages long, you’ve officially piqued my interest. And considering A Court of Frost and Starlight had to deal with the aftermath of the war and Feyre and Rhysand, well, I was at the bookstore the week it came out to purchase it. Ignoring the fact that it’s taken me several months to read it, but when I did finally pick this novella up I was so excited to read it. Even if the reviews on Goodreads were a little temperamental – it doesn’t really progress the story, it was basically just Feyre and Rhysand doting on each other, etc. – but I don’t know… I found this story intriguing to say the least.

I think what people forgot, because it is a published hardcover and not an ebook, and that it’s over 200 pages, is that it is a novella. Novella’s don’t really expand too much on the story they just bridge gaps between events that happened in the novels. And that was what A Court of Frost and Starlight was supposed to do, only in this case it’s supposed to focus more on Cassian and Nesta who are going to be the subject of the next A Court of Thorns and Roses book. And while those scenes were limited, I loved Maas’s subtle plants of things that are probably going to go wrong in the next book. The unrest in the Illyrian camps? Nesta and Cassian’s whatever? Nesta’s grieving process that would put Feyre’s to shame?

Shockingly, I am interested to read the next ACOTAR book, which is saying a lot since I didn’t really care for Nesta throughout this series, but seeing her in ACOFAS, I’m intrigued to see if she’ll go through the same process as Feyre did in ACOMAF. Although from that snippet of the next book, I don’t think it will be quite the same thing.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I found that this story did advance the overall plot of the characters. You get to see Feyre navigate her new role as High Lady, and I think she made some excellent decisions about what to do with her time. I loved seeing the more sensitive side to Rhys, and as always Mor, Cassian, and the other members of the Dream Circle cracked me up. However, I was a little disappointed with what we saw of Tamlin. I mean. Really. He brought this all on himself after all.

Bookshelf worthy? These covers are so gorgeous.

Posted in A Court of Thorns and Roses series, Book Reviews, Erotica, faeries, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Sarah J Maas, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand

51cznazeefl-_sx329_bo1204203200_Title: My Plain Jane
Authors: Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand & Jodi Meadows
Companion to: My Lady Jane
Date Started: August 6
Date Finished: August 7
Format: ebook from the digital library

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!) Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

Let me tell you a story, one that I bet – if you’re a dedicated reader of this blog – you might already know. I am not a fan of classic literature. I have tried, many, many times to be, I even threw on every classic novel that I was supposed to read but never did onto my reading list years ago, and after trudging through the works of Jane Austen – although Persuasion is not all that bad – and briefly through the Brontë sisters, I took the remaining classics off. I was bored to freaking tears. And my unlike for the classics really hits the epitome with Jane Eyre.

Before my self-executed penance, I was an English major in college and my first semester I took British Literature, not only to satisfy my school’s general education requirement but to start work on my major requirements. One of the books that we had to read – before Thanksgiving, no less – was Jane Eyre. Now, before we read this novel we dealt with smaller ones – Beowulf, The Tempest – so a lot of my class mates were a little bit wary of starting it, and I was too. I had three other classes that gave out homework, and because I was a complete idiot freshman year I took this class as a night class – so it met once a week (on a Monday, because I completely hated myself) for three hours. Meaning the homework for the week were these large chunks of the text. I was not a big fan of this book. Jane was an okay character. I just had a problem with everyone else. Especially Mr. Rochester. Thankfully I made my way through it and the class and I thought I was done with it.

Fast forward a year, to fall semester my sophomore year and I was still on the English major track so I took The English Novel. On the reading list? Jane Eyre. I was not happy, and what made it worse when we went to discuss the novel, I was always fighting with the professor, who claimed that Mr. Rochester was a wonderful love interest and that no character matched him. *snort* Anyway, when I found out that the Lady Janies were going to go after this book next, I was a little wary of reading it.

But. It was a hundred times better than the original. In fact, I wish that this novel had been supplemental reading back then, because then maybe my professor would finally understand my disdain for Mr. Rochester. I mean, granted in the original novel I don’t think he was possessed by the ghost of his brother, but still. Hiding an insane wife in the attic for years? WEIRD.

In this novel though, there are a lot more funny moments. I was downright laughing out loud, especially when Mr. Rochester was on the page and Jane’s ghost friend (read the book to understand it) Helen would always make these comments that were my exact thoughts while reading the original. Sometimes though I did feel that the ghost story line got to be a little bit too much, but I still enjoyed myself while reading.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I really wish that this book had been out while I was originally trudging through Jane Eyre, it might have made the experience a tad bit more enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what Jane the Lady Janies take on next though!

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Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington

35034369Title: Love Songs & Other Lies
Author: Jessica Pennington
Date Started: August 6
Date Finished: August 7
Format: Hardcover from local library

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I loved this book. A love story, mixed with a road trip/summer concert tour? Sign me up. And you would think I would have not liked Love Songs & Other Lies because of the fact that not only is it told from two perspectives, but also because it’s told from the present day and the past. But believe it or not I loved that part the most. And personally, it has to deal with with the fact that the story starts with the present. Vee is joining her friends on the tour bus when her best friend Logan says that he has a surprise for her. That surprise just happens to be Cam – her ex…whatever. The ex that completely broke her heart and who she hasn’t seen in two years.

From that moment on I wanted to know what caused her to have that reaction towards him, what mysterious past was Cam hiding, and what were the two going to do now that they were going to be stuck on a tour bus for three months? And let me tell you how ridiculously amazing this story was. Seriously. Some of the reviews I read for this book had an issue with Cam’s stalking of Vee before they met, but to me it wasn’t really stalking. Her showing up at the same nursing home his grandmother was in, because not only does her mom work there, but her grandmother was there too was just a really odd coincidence. Him trying out for the band that he thought she was in, was to me just curiosity.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. It could be all the fantasy driven YA I’ve been reading the last few weeks, but I really needed a story like this. It was a nice break from revolutions and magical powers.

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Ink, Iron, & Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

a17lklx7a8lTitle: Ink, Iron, & Glass
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Date Started: August 3
Date Finished: August 6
Format: Hardcover from local library

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation by her mother—a noted scriptologist. But when her home is attacked and her mother abducted, Elsa must cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative 19th-century Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of pazzerellones—young people with a gift for mechanics, alchemy or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and a tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

Well, that was interesting to say the least. Ink, Iron, & Glass reminds me of a mix of The Great Library series by Rachel Caine and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare; Elsa is a scriptologist, she can create worlds and things within them just as long as she has the right tools. Her mother is kidnapped and Elsa must hunt her down, so she enlists the help of her mother’s former mentor and he just happens to be a member of a group of fellow scriptologists, alchemists, and mechanics that are going to help find her. But while they are doing that, Elsa will be staying in Italy with the other orphans from this order. The others try to welcome her in as one of their own, but Elsa is very stubborn about these pursuits. After growing up in a different world, where all she relayed on is her mother it is hard for her to trust these strangers. But she just might because she can’t find her mother alone.

Elsa drove me a little bit crazy with her constant distrust issues, and even when you think they are finally solved something would happen – Leo bringing up how things aren’t done like that in the real world – and she would snap and put distance between herself and the others again. It actually got quite annoying. But those moments when she trusted the others made for some really good reading. I’m still not sure what the end game is going to be with these characters. Now that Elsa has got her mom back you would think she would just call it a day. But the editbook for the Earth has wound up in the wrong hands and she does have a conscious. I also can’t fathom Leo’s motive for what he did. I know it was partially explained in the epilogue – he cares a little bit too much for someone that he only just met in my opinion – but I still think there is something else going on there.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The world of scriptology, alchemists, and mechanics is interesting. I like the idea of books actually transporting you to what’s in the pages. I wish the mechanics of the world building of those books was a little bit better explained, but I have a feeling that is definitely something that should be explored in the next book.

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Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

36693747Title: Bright We Burn
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror’s Saga
Previous Books in the Series:
1. And I Darken
2. Now I Rise
Date Started: July 31
Date Finished: August 6
Format: ebook from the digital library

Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?

Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.

But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants. Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.

Another series ended, and I’m not quite sure what to think as I sit here at my computer. When I started reading this series, I really loved the three characters – Lada, Radu, and Mehmed. Lada was the extreme bad ass who wanted revenge for the wrongs done to her in her childhood. Radu was the precious cinnamon roll, who got a tiny bit annoying, because he wanted Mehmed’s love even though the soon to be emperor loved Lada. But in Now I Rise, Radu really grew as a character. Even Mehmed was wonderful, he kept only two confidants in his world, and he fell in love with Lada, and went on to win his empire.

But something happened in this book. Lada turned into a reckless ruler, who started to crave for more than she should have, and it ultimately did lead to her downfall. That final scene in her fortress really made sick. Where went the dragon that I knew in the last two books? While Radu…he went from this annoying, weak, character to someone who had to make the hard decisions. I really loved his character development. And as for Mehmed…he finally got back into the roll that he was supposed to have to begin with. The minor character – he really didn’t have that many scenes in this book, and every time he showed up I just knew he was going to do something to disappoint me.

Final Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. I will round this up to 4 on Goodreads. Bright We Burn was okay. It tied up the story nicely, and the chapters and action weren’t as drawn out as they were in the previous volumes. However, while some character development – Radu – was excellent, there were others – Mehmed and Lada – that just drove me absolutely bonkers. And granted, I have a feeling a lot of the ending had to deal with history, but it is historical fiction, why couldn’t Lada have a happier ending?

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