The Silver Mask by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

51rmz6rb4pl-_sx344_bo1204203200_Title: The Silver Mask
Authors: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Series: Magisterium
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Iron Trial
2. The Copper Gauntlet
3. The Bronze Key
Date Read: October 19
Format: Hardcover from local library

A generation ago, Constantine Madden came close to achieving what no magician had ever achieved: the ability to bring back the dead. He didn’t succeed . . . but he did find a way to keep himself alive, inside a young child named Callum Hunt. Now Call is one of the most feared and reviled students in the history of the Magisterium, thought to be responsible for a devastating death and an ever-present threat of war. As a result, Call has been imprisoned and interrogated. Everyone wants to know what Constantine was up to-and how he lives on. But Call has no idea. It is only when he’s broken out of prison that the full potential of Constantine’s plan is suddenly in his hands . . . and he must decide what to do with his power.

Another book in this series where I found that the events were too rushed and the book itself too short. And at this point I think I’m just reading to see what happens to Call and his friends and to finish the series, because honestly, I think I might have stopped caring a little bit during the last book. Even when this book starts six months later with Call in prison because of Aaron’s death I just found myself counting pages to see how fast Tamara was going to break him out. All though I was surprised when Jasper came to visit him instead.

Then there is the whole plot point. For four books now we’re dealt with the fact that Call has a piece of the Enemy of Death’s soul inside him and the Enemy’s followers believe that Call is him reborn and will continue in his stead. But…at no point in the last four books has Call shown that he is Constantine? I mean. Are we sure that a piece of his soul is really in Call? Because I really don’t believe it. In fact, I would be more comfortable if we found out in the last book that Alex was the one with Constantine’s soul this whole time. Because let’s be honest here, he acts more like the Enemy of Death than Call does.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. This whole is Call really the Enemy of Death storyline really bugs me. The Enemy’s devoted followers really need to get a grip. Tamara and Call is a very strange relationship. I still think Tamara was in love with Aaron and now that he’s dead has settled for Call. And really. What is going on with Alex? I guess I’ll have to wait until next to figure all of this out.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Cassandra Clare, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Mystery, Romance, The Magisterium series with Holly Black, Youth Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

29749085Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons
Date Started: October 16
Date Finished: October 18
Format: Hardcover from local library

Daughter of immortals. Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together. Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Okay, so I have something to confess. As happy as I was for the Wonder Woman movie to finally come out and for every Monday when the news would announce how well it did at the box office, when I finally saw the movie a few weeks ago I wasn’t all that impressed. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Gal Gadot was brilliant and the film itself was great for a superhero movie, but that was the problem. If I didn’t know that this was a heroine lead film I would have guessed it was another male driven superhero flick.

Anyway, that leads me to Wonder Woman: Warbringer, the first novel of the DC Icons series written by different authors. I was hesitant to read this considering how I felt about WW. But I don’t know. It’s Leigh Bardugo. It’s a YA novel. Both of these things had to outweigh the one, right? As it turns out, yes, yes they do. This book had a relatively slow start as Bardugo tried to explain just where in Diana’s life we were being dropped into and when she went and rescued someone just off the shores of the Amazon island I thought for sure that I was in for a novel repeat of the movie. But then once Diana and Alia got off the island and into New York things got really, really interesting.

Alia’s brother, Jason, enters the scene along with her crush Theo and her best friend Nim and let me tell you I was not expecting to be laughing so much while reading this. But I was especially after the gala and the quintet ends up in Greece. The whole debate about who should drive the car was ridiculously funny. So much so that I had to walk away from my desk just so I wouldn’t erupt into hysterics. Even the major plot twist – I am SO not giving this one away – was a shock. I thought for sure it was going to be one person and turned out to be someone else. Mind. Blown.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Once Diana realizes that she needs to get off her island and take Alia out into the real world to stop the Warbringer curse, things picked up fast. This book was humorous, while at the same time being a nice commentary on how the world operates. I really wish that this had been the Wonder Woman movie. I would have absolutely adored this.

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Page by Tamora Pierce

41ssm2bxgzlTitle: Page
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: Protector of the Small
Previous Book in the Series:
1. First Test
Date Started: October 16
Date Finished: October 17
Format: ebook from the digital library

As the only female page in history to last beyond the first year of formal training to become a knight, 11-year-old Keladry of Mindelan has an uphill battle to fight. In addition to proving herself worthy of being a page, Kel spends her time defending first-year pages from bullies, staying on top of homework, conquering her paralyzing fear of heights, and keeping up with Lord Wyldon’s grueling physical training schedule. Kel’s detractors do everything in their power to thwart her progress, from tormenting her friends to sabotaging the Midwinter Festivities to kidnapping her maid and dog on the day of final examinations. The tide of resistance begins to turn slightly during the summer between Kel’s second and third years, when she leads a team of pages in defensive maneuvers against renegade bandits–coincidentally on the same day that she gets her first period.

I’m officially in tears and I have no idea why. Oh, actually, yes I do. This damn book. I mean, I knew what I was in for – I’ve read it twice before – but I keep forgetting the comradery between Kel and her fellow pages and then the way that she keeps rising in Lord Wyldon’s graces. I mean, that whole bit at the end about how he’s not going to doubt her again, considering he’s been proven wrong at every turn! That’s really what did all of this. Here’s this guy who was a total hard ass to her and each year he got a little bit better and stopped doubting her. Also he stopped calling her Girl.

And then there is this mystery benefactor – I’ve actually forgotten who it was over the years. My money is still on the Lioness, who else would know what a knight in training would need especially a girl? Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Goldenlake….

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I love how Pierce glossed over the remaining three years of Kel’s time as a page but still going over the most important events. I’m trying to rack my brain about not only the mystery benefactor but Cleon’s intentions as well. And I’m really hoping that at some point Kel gets over her ‘like’ for Neal. I mean, they’re friends, nothing more.

Bookshelf worthy? If only my room was bigger…

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Protector of the Small Quartet, Tamora Pierce, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

34076952Title: The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Date Read: October 16
Format: Hardcover from local library

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid’s voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy’s bidding but only for a terrible price.

Well, that was quite interesting. You know after reading this collection of short stories, I’m really surprised that Bardugo didn’t get a chance to write a story for the Because You Love to Hate Me anthology. I bet her story would have been really, really good. Because some of the stories I just read in this anthology were actually quite dark and brutally honest. I’d love the new take on how Ursula came to be, with a little Grisha twist in the tale When Water Sung Fire. The Witch of Duva was just as haunting. And it wasn’t until the author’s note at the end that I finally put the pieces together that it was a new take on the Hansel and Gretel tale. I should have guessed with the gingerbread men. Really.

Ayama and the Thorn Wood was a little bit too mixed up for my liking. This story takes elements of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and mashes them together. And it is a good story, but compared to the others in this book it’s just a little bit too truth driven for my liking. And The Soldier Prince was actually quite confusing. I don’t even get The Velveteen Rabbit reference, which is sad because I did read that story when I was a kid and I remember it making me cry. I think because of the mention of the Rat King and the nutcracker I thought this was more of a Nutcracker twist.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. There were a few tales in this anthology that I actually really liked and found to be perfect for this time of year. There was also one that confused me, but was still an interesting read. The art throughout the book was fascinating and after reading the story, I went back and really took a look at the slow process images. Beautiful.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy, Leigh Barudgo, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout

71s2iivFFkLTitle: The Return
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Titan
Date Started: October 12
Date Finished: October 14
Format: Kindle book from my collection

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off… It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her. But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all. Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Oh, man. Armentrout has really done it again. She’s taken something that by now I’ve kind of know backwards and forwards, and turned it into something that is such a treat – a sexy treat too – to read. I mean, I thought for sure that this was going to be another book that I was going to mark as DNF, because I tried another series by her a few months ago and I wasn’t impressed. And it wasn’t until after I finished reading this book that I found out that that series (Convenant) was interrelated with this one. Well, now I know why I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of something.

But you know what? Other than that nagging feeling, it didn’t really matter that I hadn’t read that previous series. Everything that Seth went through was explained at the right time. And I really loved the dynamic between Seth and Josie. The relationship that they had reminded me of Daemon and Katy from The Lux series. Where they completely ‘hate’ each other and insult each other, but they slowly start to fall for each other.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. The way that Seth and Josie play off each other is really entertaining to watch. And when they finally give into their feelings…well…I really need me a guy that I can use as my own personal Pillow Pet. I’m curious to see what happens now that Josie’s powers have been unlocked and that Hyperion is not taken out yet.

Bookshelf worthy? I now need to go get the other two books in this series.

Posted in Book Reviews, Greek Mythology, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Paranormal, Romance, Titan series | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

51gyrda6pjl-_sy346_Title: Sweet Filthy Boy
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Wild Season
Date Started: October 12
Date Finished: October 14
Format: ebook from the digital library

When three besties meet three hot guys in Vegas anything can—and does—happen.  One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him. But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play. When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

Lesson that I have learned from reading this book? Not to read books with titles like these on the computer at work and then let someone borrow your computer with that tab still opened. *blushes* Yeah, that happened to me, and you would think I would know better, but I’m not used to reading books like this with a title to match, you know? The Beautiful series at least was ambiguous, but Sweet Filthy Boy? Yes, questions were raised. Embarrassment ensued.

Anyway. Hot damn. Christina Lauren do it again. I didn’t know what I was in for when I started reading this book, but as I made my way through the first few pages I realized a few things. One, that I obviously did not go to the right place for my just graduated college bash. I went to the Florida to see Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse. I should have done Vegas instead. And two, I did not do Vegas right when I was there four months ago. Because I did not have a mysterious fling with a stranger. I did not drink myself into blackout drunkeness – I didn’t even drink.

But Mia on the other hand did everything I didn’t do. She had a fling with a complete stranger. She got so drunk she blacked out and didn’t remember what happened before. Oh, and she also got married to said stranger. I was cracking up so hard on that it was insane. Polar opposite vacations, I tell you. But man, I really liked reading Mia’s story. Even the dark ‘dramatic’ parts weren’t all that dark and depressing like I thought they were going to be. Yes, I did feel sad for her that because of a horrible car accident she couldn’t pursue her dream, but I felt that throughout the book she really owned up to it and realized that there might be another side to that dream.

As for Ansel. I found him completely fascinating. Not only because of how obsessed he was with Mia just right after meeting her, but the fact that he was so willing to go along with her wishes. And then when he invited her to France? I was blown away by him, especially what happened with that whole fiasco.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. As you can tell I’m a little bit gobsmacked with this book, but I will admit that I didn’t like that book just ended with the two of the reconciling. Does he win his case? Does she really make it at the dance studio? And then what about Perry? Not to mention the sex scenes did start getting a little out of hand.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Christina Lauren, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Wild Seasons Series | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

51ilk-vq53l-_sy344_bo1204203200_Title: The Shadow Queen
Author: C. J. Redwine
Series: Ravenspire
Date Started: October 10
Date Finished: October 12
Format: Hardcover from local library

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart. Continue reading

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