Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review of The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Title/Author: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, September 16th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny — especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies — and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.


So I totally adored The Burning Sky, which made me go THIS BOOK. Which is very high praise. Imagine my excitement when The Perilous Sea popped up on Edelweiss, there was ALL THE EXCITEMENT.

And I did very much enjoy The Perilous Sea, this is very much my kind of fantasy world and the characters are still awesome. Though it was a bit harder for me to get into The Perilous Sea than it was with The Burning Sky. I was slightly confused by the beginning with all the travelling that I'm still not sure entirely how that happened, can someone who's read it please tell me if it's just me? But then Iolanthe and Titus make it back to school and all is well. Except it's not and MAYHEM and DANGER and OMG WHAT EVEN IS HAPPENING??

Basically, what I'm saying is that it took me awhile to emerse myself in Sherry Thomas' storytelling again, but once I did, it was awesome. Though I'm slightly sad that we didn't get to see more of the Crucible world, that is seriously fascinating. And Iolanthe and Titus had DRAMA and I was like JUST COMMUNICATE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? GO BACK TO THE KISSING!! Because obviously these two are made for each other and should really just listen to my advice, ok?

Towards the end, things got REALLY exciting and OMG I CANNOT WAIT for the next book in the series! There was this AMAZING twist and it broke my heart and OMG, I just need to know what happens next NOW!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review of The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

Title/Author: The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
Publisher/Date published: Orchard Books, September 4th 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power.

The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive.

Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

I REALLY wanted to love The Witch of Salt and Storm. I really did. There'd been a lot of hype from BEA-goers and I was all excited and then it just didn't happen for me.

The Witch of Salt and Storm is a pretty dark tale. And I really don't have a problem with that, but it all had a very grey feeling to me, I'm not sure how I can best explain it, but it was just kind of monotonous and unexciting and slightly smudged. A non-sparkly grey. (Side note: I have a big grey couch, so I don't have anything against the color in general, but for a mood it doesn't work for me).

I never really grew to care much for Avery or any of the other characters, I didn't get why she would fall in love with Tane and he with her, for me there wasn't any real chemistry, just the lack of other options for both of them. Avery's relationship with her mother was just plain weird and her grandmother wasn't quite all there either. A lot of the relationship problems that I saw with all of them was a lack of communication and just UGH FRUSTRATION.

The powers of the Roe witch are pretty impressive and what makes them into a Roe witch was interesting, but mostly the story just fell a bit flat for me. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't gripping me and it took me forever to read it because I didn't feel that urge to read on while I wasn't reading it.

My rating: 1,5 stars

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title/Author: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: bought it because how could I not??
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?


Ok, so this will basically be a lot of gushing, I'm giving you fair warning here.

THIS BOOK YOU GUYS! THIS BOOK! It's been a looooong time since I was this excited about a book and EVERYTHING about this book was exciting and ROWAN and just THIS BOOK!

I cannot. My words fail me. I am just hugging this book and petting it and I just want to stare at the ceiling and imagine myself in this world and revel in all the feels that it brought me and just OMG I just cannot do anything productive today basically.
I was waiting for people I was meeting to have lunch when I finished this book, hoping they were late (lucky for me they were) so I could finish the last pages and after finishing I just looked up and realised no one else was experiencing all these feelings and I literally did not know how to go on having light conversation with the girls I was meeting because I just had SO MANY FEELINGS and nobody would understand.
I'm having the worst book hangover in ages and it is GLORIOUS.

But let's talk about the book a bit. It is no secret that I absolutely love this series and Celaena and Chaol and Dorian and just this world and everything that Sarah J. Maas has created, it is amazing. And it has been SO difficult having to wait for Heir of Fire to be released and seeing all those people who were lucky enough to get an ARC and had already experienced Heir of Fire and all it has to offer in terms of awesomeness. But it was worth the wait.

So obviously Celaena is a mess after what happened in Crown of Midnight, and I liked that. I like that she isn't magically ok with things that are horrifying and traumatic and as devastating as a friend being murdered. Nehemia was so important to her and it would have made no sense whatsoever if her death or the events that followed didn't have a major impact on her. But it was heartbreaking to see what it did to her. But I seriously adored Celaena in how she handled it, even if it wasn't always pretty, I felt her pain and she really did grow as a person throughout Heir of Fire and she just has a special place in my heart for het badassness and her vulnerability and just everything. And I loved learning more about her past!

In Heir of Fire Sarah J. Maas explores Celaena's magic and her fae ancestry, which we got a hint of at the end of Crown of Midnight. And I loved that it doesn't come easy to Celaena. She has to really work for it and it costs her and it leads her to a character that I want to talk about very badly.

Rowan. Just. I cannot. You may have seen people on Twitter going all caps because of this man and all I can say is that I'M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE BECAUSE HE DESERVES IT. I really don't want to give anything away, but I've been eagerly anticipating his arrival on the scene ever since I knew Celaena was going to Wendlyn, in the version of this story on Fictionpress he was called Raonn I think? And I adored him there as well.
Rowan is just everything I could want him to be and FEELINGS and just ALL THE FEELINGS because I really don't have words to express what he does to my heart.

But mostly I just want to hug Heir of Fire some more and rejoice in this glorious book hangover and if you haven't started this series yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? Go forth and fall in love with this world and the characters that Sarah J. Maas has created, like I have.

My rating: 5+ stars

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review of The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title/Author: The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, September 2nd 2014
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

***WARNING: There is some ranting ahead of you, be warned***

OMG, I just cannot with this book. At first we were doing ok, I wasn't loving it, but it was interesting and it was a pretty quick read, but, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, but then we got to the romance and everything went WTF from there on.

So the whole issue with royalty being unable to have children and using surrogates with an auction system is fascinating and I'm dying to know why exactly it is that royal women can't have children, is it inbreeding or some kind of mutation and why does it affect all royal women? I cannot help myself, I am fascinated by this kind of stuff.

And Violet is ok, but she didn't seem really special to me, aside from her unusually amazing abilities with the Auguries. And that she had violet eyes, but well, that's not all that special in fictional worlds. She didn't really have any trait aside from her being awesome at playing the cello to define her to me. But I felt like I could have gotten to like her more if it hadn't been for the bullshit romance.

I mean, COME ON, isn't it time we stopped seeing this kind of insta-love? Seriously, they met for 3 minutes and already they're like 'It's like I didn't know myself until this moment' and they go from basically mostly communicating through stares to kissing and to love and I'm like WTF?? And then there's mention of them spending an hour a day together for a month but we don't get to SEE this moments. How am I supposed to believe in this love that has them risking EVERYTHING when I don't actually SEE them spend time together and get WHY the hell they would risk so much for a person they basically just met? I mean, WTF?? I like it when I'm shown things, not just told that's how it is without any evidence to back this up.

And also, on a similar subject: why does Ash not have any personality whatsoever? He's in the book from about the halfway point and I have no idea how to describe him other than he's a companion and he does insta-love.


So I'm intrigued by this world, but then the romance took over and there's just a lot of frustration and OBVIOUSLY there's a resistance (because what good dystopian novel doesn't have a resistance?) and it has the lamest reason ever for wanting to 'rescue' Violet. I really don't want to spoil anything, but SERIOUSLY? It all felt very random to me.

Ok, so rant over. If you hadn't noticed this from the general tone of the review, I'll sum up to say that this book did not work for me from the moment the romance entered, before we were doing ok, but UGH, just no.

My rating: 1,5 star