Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

*Warning this post contains spoilers for the first two books in the Magisterium Series: The Iron Trial and The Copper Gauntlet*

Series: Magisterium, #3

Publication:August 30th 2016 by Scholastic

Goodreads Description:
Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.

Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.

But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.

As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.

In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.

My thoughts:
I liked The Bronze Key. It was a fun read. The Magisterium Series is meant for middle grade readers but as an adult I find myself still enjoying it. The Bronze Key was a short quick read.

If you can't remember anything The Copper Gauntlet don't worry I couldn't either. Black and Clare recap what happened in the second book in the first few chapters in The Bronze Key which was really helpful.

I had some problems with the pace of the story. I felt like there were lulls in the fast pace and I found my attention wandering at times. I wasn't as invested in the story as I was with the pervious books. I wasn't eager to find out what would happen next.

I also found The Bronze Key to be very predictable. Maybe because it is aimed at middle grade readers.

I thought the world could have been added onto. I felt like it was established well in the first two books so I was hoping to get more information on other parts of the world in regards to adult mages and the politics of the world and how it lives side by side with our world.

Like all of Clare's and Black's books The Bronze Key was funny. I especially liked how Jasper was the comedic relief a lto of the time. I found myslef laughing out loud at times it was so funny.

Our main character are starting to grow up, they are fourteen years old in this book and I loved etting to see them going through regular teenage stuff like crushes. It was so interesting seeing them interacting because  Call thinks Tamara will always pick Aaron over him and it seems like Aaron cares for Call but that might just be beacuse he is so nice to everyone. And Celia is thrown into the mix and Jasper. It made a good dynamic.

The ending felt rushed. Everything happened in the last two chapters and I wanted more details. Also we end on a cliff hanger as usual.

I am really looking forward to picking up the next book and see how this new villian influences the story.

My rating: 3 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

*Warning this post contains spoilers for the first book in the series, The Name of The Wind*

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2

Publication: March 1st 2011 by DAW Books

Goodread Description:
There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.

My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of a hero told from his own point of view — a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man's Fear, an escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe uncovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's Road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, is forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived...until Kvothe.

In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

My thoughts:
I liked The Wise Man's Fear more than The Name of The Wind. This one was much more enjoyable to read.

The plot is a lot faster paced than The Name of The Wind. There was a lot more action in this one compared to in the first book when we were just watching Kvothe grow up. The action sequences were wele written and not too long that they dragged on and in the process lost my attention.

There was a lot of world building in The Wise Man's Fear that I wanted in the first book.There was a lot more adventuring to new places which made the story go by a lot quicker which I really liked. And we got to see a lot more of the different cultures in the world.

We alo get to meet new characters and see old ones too.

Kvothe's friendships with the other students are fleshed out more in The Wise Man's Fear. Particularly his friendships with Sim and Wil and Fela. We also get to see more of Devi which i really liked; she is one of my favourite characters and we get a lot more on her in this book. Their interactions are always fun to read.

My biggest problem with The Wise Man's Fear is that even after finishing the book I still have a lot of unanswered questions.

My rating: 3.5 stars
Thanks for reading,

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1

Publication:March 27th 2007 by Penguin Group DAW Hardcover

Goodread description:
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. 

The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. 

A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.

My thoughts:
I liked The Name of the Wind but didn't love it like so many other people do. I think my expectations were too high. I went in expecting a certain type of story and that's not what I got. To be honest I don't read a lot of adult fantasy so it might be that I wasn't used to the length.

To me it felt like there was no arc; there was no distinct beginning, middle or end. The novel felt more like the introduction to the Kvothe's story. I understand that this is only the first book in the series but usually there is some kind of resolution at the end of all the books in series. The end of The Name of The Wind wasn't really an ending, it was more like the end to a part one of a story.

If you are looking for a fast paced action packed story The Name of The Wind is not for you. The plot is slow, the reader literally just follows Kvothe's life story from when he is a child to a teenager. The book was way too long for me. I think things could have been left out and had no effect on the story. The narrator often goes of on tangents for pages and pages about irrelevant stuff which annoyed me. I really liked some parts but I'd get bored when we stayed in one place too long.

The Name of The Wind is written in duel point of view which to be honest is what kept me reading at times. The present and past timelines running throughout the story made it more engaging. I wanted to know how the main character ended up where he was. I was intrigued and had enough questions to keep reading.

I liked a lot of the side characters more than the main character; Kvothe. I just didn't connect with him very well, he wasn't easy to relate to and it annoyed be how when he was 15 he was acting a lot older than 15. While he was acting much older than his age, the other characters who were in the university with him who were supposedly adults were acting like teenagers at times. 

While I had problems with The Name of The Wind I am going to try the next book just because this series is so well loved by so many people and I have so many unanswered questions. 

My rating: 3 stars
Thanks for reading,
A :)

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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Spolier Free Series Review of the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Series: Red Rising

Publication:January 28th 2014 by Del Rey (Random House)

Goodreads Description of book 1, Red Rising:"I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them."

"I live for you," I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more."

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My thoughts:
There is a lot of hype surrounding this trilogy so I went in with very high expectations and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. I liked the first book and really liked the second book and loved the third. The Red Rising Trilogy is definitely one that gets better with every book!

Book 1, Red Rising felt similar to some other YA dystopian/fantasy books. I felt like I was rereading something I'd already read before which is not necessarily a bad thing but I was expecting something more unique.

It took me a while to get into. The plot was very slow to start but I pushed through and the second half was fantastic and as I said the series gets better with each book

I had a hard time understanding the world in the beginning. There is a lot of info dumps in the first book he first book and I kept getting lost in the explanations but I kept reading and somewhere during the second book it all kind of clicked in my head. Side note on the world building: there is a lot of unique vocabulary which was really confusing in the beginning. Not everything is explained so you just kind of have to go with it and eventually you get a better understanding.

There wasn't a lot of scifi stuff in the first book but the 2nd and 3rd are full of it. There is lots of spaceships and technology. There is so many epic Intergalacic battle scenes which blew me away.

Darrow wasn't anything special; to me he felt like a typical YA dystopian protagonist. I loved some of the other characters though; especially Mustang and Sevro who are introduced in the first book.

Friendship and loyalty are big parts of the series which I liked. There was lots of betrayals and there was definitely some characters that I wasn't sure if i should trust them or not. And there was some friendships that were developed at a lovely pace. 

All in all, I really enjoyed the Red Rising trilogy. I am glad I picked up the second book and continued with the trilogy. While red rising didn't live up to the hype for me Golden Son and Morning Star did! If you are into scifi you  should give the troligy a go. 

My ratings:
Red Rising: 3.5
Golden Son: 4
Morning Star: 4.5

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Publication:  August 2nd 2016 by Atria Books

Goodreads description:
Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

My thoughts:
It Ends With Us is a very intense and emotional read. While I didn't love it as much as some of Hoovers other books I think this one is some of her best work. It was raw and really packed a punch.

It Ends With Us is such an important story; deals with some very important topics. I won't say what because it is much better to go in blind but I definitely think this is a book everyone should read.

If you are looking for a strong female character, It Ends With Us is where you will find one. The main character Lily is such a joy to read. She is so determined and brave. I loved how she was into flowers and tries her very best to go after her dreams. She is a true inspiration and I think many will be able to relate to her.

Friendship is something that I never really see explore in NA because the main focus is usually the romance, but It Ends With Us has a good bit of friendship. Alysa (one of Lily's employees) and Lily's friendship was one of my favourite aspects of the story.

The narration style of It Ends With Us is really interesting because it's duel POVs but both are Lily's perspectives. One is in present day and then we also follow Lily when she was 16 through diary entries- I really liked reading her diary at times they were so funny and I wish we had got more of them. 

My only problem was it was very instalovey for me but most of Colleen Hoovers books are; this one was just a bit over the top for me. And because I wasn't in love with the relationship the events that happen later in the book didn't effect me as much as if I had fallen in love with Ryle along with Lily.

Overall It Ends With Us is not my favourite Hoover book. It's a tearjerker for sure, i just didn't have as much fun reading it as I did with her other books.

My rating; 4.5 stars

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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