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Genre: Epic Fantasy

Friday, July 8, 2016

Audio Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Narrator: Brandon Rubin, David LeDoux, Elizabeth Evans, Jay Snyder, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Tristan Morris
Series: Six of Crows,
Published by Brilliance Audio on 29 Sept 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Mystery & Detective, People of Color, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Witches & Wizards, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Shadow & Bone, Summer Days and Summer Nights

Place(s) Traveled To: Ketterdam, Kerch // Dierholm, Fjerda

First Line(s): Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.

Narrators: Jay Snyder (Matthias), David LeDoux (Kaz), Brandon Rubin (Jesper), Lauren Fortgang (Inej), Roger Clark (Pekka), Elizabeth Evans (Nina), and Tristan Morris (Joost)

Confession time, although this won’t come as a surprise to some, but I did not like SHADOW & BONE (my review). It was such a struggle to get through and I just couldn’t be bothered with the other books in that series. So when I heard that Leigh Bardugo’s next series was also set in the Grisha universe I wasn’t sure if I would read SIX OF CROWS. But I was curious and so I kept sussing out what people thought about it and then when I was looking for a new audiobook it just up and stumbled into my basket. The SIX OF CROWS audio is a full cast recording and uses different narrators for each POV. I was intrigued by this and it wasn’t long before the story grabbed a hold of me in a way that SHADOW & BONE never did.

Curiosity

I’ll admit SIX OF CROWS did start a little slow but it wasn’t long before I was engrossed in the story. I loved how all the different narrators approached this story and the life that they gave to these characters. Each narrator really helped bring out the personality of the characters, not just the one of the POV they were acting out but all the characters that they voiced. It was interesting to see how the narrators saw the others in this motley crew and I never had any issues figuring out who was who. I also found it  very help to listen to the audio as I’m sure I’d have stumbled over many of the names and words used in this book.

Six of Crows Quote

At its heart SIX OF CROWS is a heist story and if you like a good heist story then you will like this book. There is intrigue and betrayal and a whole lot of shenanigans. But its also a story of friendship, of family, and of finding oneself despite all of the odds. Its a coming of age story and its even a love story on some levels. There really is something for everyone in SIX OF CROWS and its fast paced enough to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I know that I spent every free moment I could listening to this audio because once I became invested in this story I couldn’t stop listening. I just wanted to know more and when I hit the end I was bereft because it was over.

Another thing I like about SIX OF CROWS is that it has an ending. Oh there are still things that are left to be done and even a wee cliff hanger but you know were most of the players stand and you see the set up for things that will happen in CROOKED KINGDOM. But best of all, its not predictable. I have no idea where this story is going I just have my hopes and my fears on what Bardugo is going to go. SIX OF CROWS is an intricately woven story and I h ave no doubts that CROOKED KINGDOM is going to be the same. There are twists and turns around every corner and a whole lot of heartache and shenanigans ahead.

I did not expect to like SIX OF CROWS as much as I did. I wasn’t even sure that I would read it. But I am so very very glad that I did because I was so engrossed in this story. For me, its a whole different style and delivery than SHADOW & BONE. The characters have more depth and they are smart and feisty and while flawed they aren’t broken. Bardugo weaves in the history of the Grisha world and the backstorys of this crews expertly in the story that there are no slow info dump moments. SIX OF CROWS is definitely a story that can be read independently of SHADOW & BONE. So if you haven’t gotten around to reading that one yet, or if you are like me and you didn’t like it all that much I would say that you can easily pick this one up and know what is going on with the world and not be lost.

thumbs up

irishdarkblue

IR - Six of Crows

Add The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Heist Society by Ally Carter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Audio Review: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: The Immortal Heights by Sherry ThomasThe Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
Narrator: Philip Battley
Series: Elemental Trilogy,
Also in this series: The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea
Published by Harper Audio on 13 Oct 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friendship, Historical, Love & Romance, Magic, Romance, Royalty, Survival Stories, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Burning Sky, The Perilous Sea

Place(s) Traveled To: The Sahara Desert // Delamer, The Domain // Atlantis

First Line(s): Somewhere in the most immense desert on earth, a thousand miles south of the Mediterranean Sea and just as far west of the Red Sea, rose a line of sheer sandstone cliffs.

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS is the third (and final) book in Sherry Thomas’s Elemental Trilogy and as such I was terrified to read it. I had an ARC of it long before it was published but I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up because once I turned that last page then it was be over. I would have to leave this world and these characters and while I can always re-read the series its just not as special as that first time. Those moments that make your heart pound because you know that your favorite characters may not live to see the end of the story. But in the end, the lure of Titus and Iolanthe was was strong and my love of the audio version was too strong for me to stay away.

As always, Philip Battley does an amazing job bringing all of these characters to life. You would think that its an odd choice to have a predominately female POV story narrated by a male actor but it really works for this series. Battley becomes all of these characters and I hear his voice in my head when I pick up the print version of these books. Battley’s voice combined with Thomas’s words make for an enthralling story and I always hated when I got to my destination and had to stop listening. This is definitely one of those series where I recommend the audio over the print because the narration is just so good.

Immortal Heights Quote

THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS is not a perfect book there where times I rolled my eyes and wanted to shake some of the characters for the things that they did. They could be annoying and frustrating and I just wanted to wrap them up in a cocoon of protectiveness and prevent them from coming to harm. The ending was also a bit anti-climatic based on all that came before but its also one that worked for the story. I also didn’t hate the epilogue which, as regular readers know, isn’t something that happens often.

I loved this whole series and I am so sad to see it come to an end. The random head jumping and the action of some of the characters could be frustrating at times but I loved them in spite of all their flaws. I loved the prose of this book and how the words just flowed over me. Its an addicting story that made me laugh, made me cringe, and made my heart ache. Its a must read for any fantasy lover and I can’t recommend it enough.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Burning Sky

Add

four-stars
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Friday, April 8, 2016

Audio Review: The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Audiobook, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: The Spirit Thief by Rachel AaronThe Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress,
on 28 September 2010
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Social Issues, Witches & Wizards
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Mellinor

First Line(s): In the prison under the castle Allaze, in the dark, moldy cells where the greatest criminals in Mellinor spent the remainder of their lives counting rocks to stave off madness, Eli Monpress was trying to wake up a door.

A long time ago I received an ARC of THE SPIRIT THIEF by Rachel Aaron and I remember that it sounded good but for whatever reason I never got around to reading it. Life and other book commitments got in the way until it dropped off my radar. Then not too long ago, I started to see a lot of chatter in my social media about THE SPIRIT THIEF and I remembered how I wanted to read the book and when I saw that Luke Daniels was the narrator I knew that listening to this one was the only way to go. As always, Daniels is phenomenal at the narration and even though I’ve grown really used to him reading the Iron Druid books I never once though that Eli was Atticus or that this world was the realm of the Iron Druid books. It was Luke Daniels’s narration style that kept me listening to this one until the end because sadly, for me, THE SPIRIT THIEF didn’t live up to all my expectations.

First off, there wasn’t much in the way of world building to THE SPIRIT THIEF. I couldn’t easily picture that world that Eli Monpress and his gang inhabited and wish that more time had been spent setting it all up. As a reader, we are just thrown into the waters of this world and we weren’t given a life preserver in order to help us swim. Also, for such a short read/listen (the paperback clocks in at 300 pages) there was so much information that was repeated. These were all wasted words because I understood the 1st dozen times that Eli is a special magical case and what he does is impossible or that he’s the most wanted criminal in all the land and how Miranda will make him see justice, blah blah blah. Those words could have been better put to use by building up this world and these characters and giving them all those little details that make them seem real.

Spirit Thief Quote

Because they never did seem real. All the characters seemed flat and wooden and while Eli’s snark did make me laugh a few times I just never got why I should care about him or his companions. The overall plot of THE SPIRIT THIEF was also a bit juvenile and again I never really cared about the outcome of the story. I didn’t care if Eli was captured or if he got away and I didn’t care why he was in Mellinor in the first place. The only really strong reaction that I had in THE SPIRIT THIEF was an intense dislike for Miranda. And I kept hoping that someone would burn her to ashes. ***SPOILER*** No one does.

THE SPIRIT THIEF is an adult book but its one that reads young and while I didn’t finish the story I don’t know if this is a series that I’ll keep reading. There were more things in this book that annoyed me than I liked. The only really draw to other books in the series is that they too are narrated by Luke Daniels but is a good narrator enough when there isn’t a whole lot of substance to the story? I’ll admit that there is potential to this series but I don’t know if there is enough of it for me to spend time on it.

irishdarkblue

IR - Spirit Thief

Add The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Plain Kate by Erin Bow to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Audio Review: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Serpentine by Cindy PonSerpentine by Cindy Pon
Narrator: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: ,
Published by Audible Studios on 29 December 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Asian Mythology, Death & Dying, Demons, Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, People & Places, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Silver Phoenix, Fury of the Phoenix, Blue Skies

Place(s) Traveled To: Kingdom of Xia

First Line(s): The mountain was still shrouded in mist.

SERPENTINE by Cindy Pon was one of my most anticipated reads for 2015 as I adored her two other books SILVER PHOENIX (my review) and FURY OF THE PHOENIX (my review). As such I think that I fell victim to my own hype. SERPENTINE is set in the same world as the PHOENIX books but its a whole new story with a whole new cast of characters and can be read completely separate from the first books. The biggest difference between the two series is that Skybright is no Ai Ling. I adored Ai Ling so and I think part of me kept hoping that Sky would be a lot like her. This was a totally unfair comparison to make but I couldn’t seem to stop myself from doing so.

Perhaps part of my issues with SERPENTINE was the fact that I listened to it on audio. The narrator, Emily Woo Zeller, is a very good narrator but she read slowly. Which made the book progress slowly for me. I didn’t have that burning need to stay in the car as I’ve had with some audios as there wasn’t a whole ton of action going on or urgency in the narration. Where I was so super grateful to the audiobook version of SERPENTINE was with pronunciations. There is just so much that I would have totally bungled if left to my own reading devices.

Serpentine Quote

SERPENTINE is filled with rich details and mythology and I really wanted to love it but there was just something about the story that didn’t connect with me. Despite all the detail I’m not entirely sure that I got the whole story and felt a bit lost at times with what was happening the world. Or why I should care about these various characters. This could also be a result of the slow narration where I can’t say with 100% certainty that I didn’t zone out during my listen. Zeller has such a soothing and even toned voice that I found it to be quite relaxing.

Even though I didn’t love SERPENTINE I am still curious to see where things are going. I want to learn more about Sky’s origins and what the deal with with Stone. I want her to find her HEA with Kai-Son and for Zhen Ji to find her happiness as well. SERPENTINE is an interesting read and I think there is a lot of potential to the world and the characters. I just need to make sure that I am in the right mind frame for its sequel and to loosen up my expectations because SERPENTINE is its own book and story and I need to separate it from the PHOENIX books.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Serpentine

Add The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi to Goodreads.

Add Hunter by Mercedes Lackey to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Friday, March 4, 2016

Review: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Mirror King by Jodi MeadowsThe Mirror King by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen, Book 2
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 05 April 2016
Genres: Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 544
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Glowing Knight

Place(s) Traveled to: Skyvale, Indigo Kingdom // Aecor City, Aecor

First Line(s): The Prince’s blood was on my hands.

If you’ve read THE ORPHAN QUEEN (my review) then you know what complete and utter shit that ending was. Like seriously! I’ve read terrible endings by evil authors but THIS one…my stars…Jodi Meadows didn’t pull out any stops and if I was anything like Wilhemina then I’d have been hunting her down demanding answers, and maybe a little vengeance. But I am not Wil, so instead all I could do was sit and weep as a part of my soul had been crushed by how that story ended. No really, here is an actual photo of me after I finished reading THE ORPHAN QUEEN:

a river of tears

Therefore, you should not be in the least surprised to know that the moment I was able to get my hands on a copy of THE MIRROR KING that I did so.

Push through a crowd

For me, THE MIRROR KING was a drop everything and read title because I *HAD* to know what happened next! And fortunately Meadows doesn’t putter around and she picks up the story almost immediately after THE ORPHAN QUEEN ends. Oh how I had missed all of these characters and this world. The banter between all the characters is so amazingly good that I found myself laughing in between bouts of tears as Meadows tried her damnedest to stop on my heart some more. This author, folks, she is evil incarnate. I know that comes with the territory of her being an author but really did she need to do THAT?!?!  Is it really too hard to give a HEA at say page 1? Is that too unrealistic?

Not how it works

Mirror King Quote

So, feelings aside I really enjoyed THE MIRROR KING and I am oh so very very glad this this was a duology and not a trilogy as I couldn’t have recovered from 2 books with cliff hangers. Especially with that one in THE ORPHAN QUEEN! THE MIRROR KING is filled with lots of twists and turns and gasp out loud moments along with ones that will break your heart. Seriously, this book is an emotional roller coaster but its ending is totally worth the journey in getting there. Because while the ending of ORPHAN QUEEN made me weep and toss my book across the room the ending of THE MIRROR KING made me happy sigh and clutch my eReader to my chest.

book hug

But what utterly and completely kills me with THE MIRROR KING is THAT LETTER!!! If you’ve read PERSUASION by Jane Austen (my review) then you know the sort of feels that I mean. While the letter here is more of a list it is oh so perfect of a list and oh so perfect for this story. It “pierced my soul leaving me in half-agony and half hope” much as Captain Wentworth told Anne in those final moments. There may have been an eternity* to wait between THE ORPHAN QUEEN and THE MIRROR KING but oh how it was worth it because Meadows really delivered a wonderful story that was so perfect for this world and her characters.

Though its a bittersweet ending because this story is over and there are no more words. Its really really hard to say goodbye to a beloved story and characters. That Meadows can get me so attached in just two books is truely a remarkable thing and I can not recommend this series enough. Its fantasy at its best and if you know me then you know just how hard I am on fantasy, especially YA fantasy. So well done Jodi Meadows, well done. You’re still evil but I still love you. Thanks for writing a kick ass book! *muah*

two thumbs up

*This may be a slight exaggeration.

irishdarkblue

IR - Orphan Queen

 

Add The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi MeadowsThe Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen,
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Mirror King
Published by Epic Reads on 01 September 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 58
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Mirror King

Place(s) Traveled To: Skyvale, The Indigo Kingdom

First Line(s): James was down there fighting. I was not. And this was what jealousy felt like.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is the second prequel novella in Jodi Meadow’s Orphan Queen universe. It is the continuring adventures of Tobiah and James as Tobiah becomes the Black Knife. I loved this early look at James and Tobiah and I totally ship the bromance that is between them. I also love how James and Meredith interact and I would love to see a romance between them but alas fates and kings have different plans for those two. In THE GLOWING KNIGHT we also get a little glimpse at the start of the glowmen and of Wil and her Ospreys. It was a fun look at how things were before the paths of all these characters started to cross years later.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is a fast read and includes some more preview chapters of THE MIRROR KING (Goodreads), which are totally killer! Its a great little snippet to help tide one over after the crazy ending of THE ORPHAN QUEEN (my review) although its still not enough. It is never enough. I love this world that Meadows has created and I hate it each and every time when I have to say goodbye. This world is so rich and detailed that it almost leaps off the page. I also love these characters and I like these little glimpses into their lives. I love to see the world through Tobiah’s eyes and reading these makes me wish that the main books were dual POV stories as I’d love to know more about his thinking.

 

irishdarkblue

Glowing Knight Quote
three-half-stars
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 1 Star, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasHeir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Series: Throne of Glass,
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight
Published by Bloomsbury on 02 September 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
one-star
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Place(s) Traveled To: Mistward, Wendlyn // Rifthold, Adarlan // Ferian Gap, White Fang Mountains (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom.

Dear Reader,

A very important lesson for you to learn don’t drink beers with Andi from AndiABCs. Oh sure you’ll have fun discussing books and other things but if you’ve both had more than just a pint or two then you may just find yourself making a drunken book deal. Such is the case that got me to read HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J Maas because, if you are a regular visitor then you know, I am not really a fan of the Throne of Glass series. Now, this isn’t the first drunken bargain that Andi and I have engaged in and it probably won’t be the last but it is definitely one that I regret.

This time around I decided to give the audiobook a try in the hopes of maybe liking the story better alas I found that it only highlighted the issues that I had with the story. HEIR OF FIRE is a long ass book and it is so damn repetitive it isn’t funny. There were times when the same info was given several times in a single chapter! It was too much and that coupled with the overly flowery prose had my eye twitching! Elizabeth Evans also made for a terrible narrator. She paused overly long in the oddest of places but when it came to scene/POV transitions she’d just barrel right in. It was enough to give a listener whiplash at times and made it hard to follow along. Though it doesn’t help that the whole story is a bit convoluted and could have done with better editing. Evans was also pretty bad with the male voices. They were pretty much indistinguishable from one another and I think that the audiobook would have been better with a male narrator for the male POVs.

For me, I really think this series would be better without Celaena. I swear that girl is way too stupid to live much of the time. She is constantly finding herself in near death situations and having to be rescued. But at the same token its really really hard to believe that she’s in mortal peril when there are still a dozen or so books (yes I am exaggerating) left in the series. Its also hard to believe that she’s capable of bad assery when she does something super dumb one moment and then in the next she’s pretty much killing everything in sight even though she was literally almost killed just be looking at the one bad guy.

The only character I really liked this time around was Rowan because he was the only one who called Celaena out on her bratty behaviour. He’d try to teach her the ways of the fae (badly but whatevs) and she’d just pout and say no. Though it didn’t help that you had pages upon pages of Rowan shouting at Celaena to change and Celaena shouting back no. But alas, even dear Rowan failed me in the end by falling under the nit-wits spell just like every other male character that breaths in her presence. I think even the gay fae fell for her though not romantically.

I just….I just don’t get the appeal of this series. For me its terribly written, horribly plotted, and the world building is barely held together with duct tape. I tired….I really did…I know people think that I didn’t but I did. I gave this series 4 books of my life and I just can’t do it anymore. I am done. So so done and no amount of beer induced bargaining shall get me to read any more books in this series. Especially since the page count on QUEEN OF SHADOWS blows this one away so I can only imagine just how angsty and repetitive that one is! To the fans of this series I’m sorry its just not for me please don’t hate me! I did try.

See my Goodreads reactions here.

irishdarkblue

 

People who liked this more than me:

Pretty much everyone. No really….just look at Goodreads.

heiroffire-1280x720

Image found via google, created by Icey Books

one-star
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mini Review: The Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Mini Review: The Hidden Prince by Jodi MeadowsThe Hidden Prince by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen,
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King
Published by Epic Reads on 02 June 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Family, Friendship, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 58
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Orphan Queen, The Glowing Knight, The Mirror King

Place(s) Traveled To: Skyvale, Indigo Kingdom

First Line(s): “You’re dead again.”

If you’ve followed this blog for a bit or even kept track of me on Twitter than you know that Jodie Meadows’s THE ORPHAN QUEEN (my review) crushed me. It was a killer book and when it was over I knew I needed more in this world and while THE MIRROR KING (goodreads) is still a little ways off Meadows is releasing a series of novellas that feature James and Tobiah that are set two years before the events in THE ORPHAN QUEEN take place. The first novella is THE HIDDEN PRINCE and is set against the backdrop of Tobiah’s 16th birthday. At 58 pages THE HIDDEN PRINCE is a very quick read and is an interesting peak into Tobiah’s life before he started to rebel a bit.

As with, THE ORPHAN QUEEN, I loved the relationship that existed between Tobiah and James and while I did miss Wil’s POV I did enjoy this glimpse into Tobiah’s head. It was easy to get whisked back into this world and I loved seeing how Tobiah becomes who he becomes in THE ORPHAN QUEEN. Its a fast paced story that feels longer than 58 pages and yet is over too fast. Especially since there is also a bit of a cliff hanger to it which I am sure is the perfect lead in for the next novella, THE GLOWING KNIGHT (goodreads). While I liked this little glimpse into a young Tobiah there is also a part of me that wishes that the four planned novellas were all released together in one volume instead of piecemeal. The high price point for so few pages of story is a bit off putting so I was really glad that I was able to check this one out of the library. If you are a fan of THE ORPHAN QUEEN then I do encourage you to read this novella. Its fast and fun and I can’t wait to get more of Tobiah’s story.

 

irishdarkblue

 

Hidden Prince Quote
four-stars
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic,
Published by Tor Books on 24 February 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Historical, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, Politics & Intrigue, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Witches & Wizards
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To:
Red London: Arnes
Grey London // Windsor // Eton: England
White London: Makt

First Line(s): Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

Not long ago my Twitter was all a buzz with VE Schwab’s A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and even now, months after its release, there is still a lot of chatter about it. Since I love a good fantasy I decided to give this one a shot and was immediately intrigued by the blend of magic and parallel worlds. On its surface, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, seems like the perfect book for me but I found it incredibly easy to put down and difficult to pick back up again. When I was reading it I was absorbed but it was fleeting and when I had time to think about it something about the story just fell flat for me.

While I get that this world is new(ish) and so there is a lot of set up to be done I found it to be very repetitive with its content. There was no reason for all to be resaid over and over and over it again. It got old and frustrating and I would find myself skipping some paragraphs just to get things moving along in the hopes that new facts would appear. Only not much happened for most of this book. Again I know that there is a lot of set up to be had to set the rules of these worlds that Kell finds himself traveling through but it was slow and boring and suffered from too many POVs. That’s right, there was that dreaded headjumping that I really can’t stand in a book. I don’t mind when perspective shifts in a book but I do take exception when its for a paragraph or two and into random heads on a one off basis just to make it easier to move the story along. This just frustrates me to know end and I know it made me roll my eyes and sigh with every new instance.

Darker Shade of Magic Quote

There was also a mystery element to A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC that I found to be really predictable and while I don’t always dislike a story for its predictableness it does make things more interesting when things aren’t so in your face obvious. Especially when the characters seem to actively turn a blind eye to things that are crystal clear to the reader. The characters themselves were all a bit two-dimenstional. There was noting super special about any of them and I often found myself wondering why I should care about what they were doing or the trouble they were getting themselves in. Not to mention the forced love interest between Kell and Lila and what could be a potential love triangle forming for the next book. #blergh

Despite all of this though I really didn’t dislike A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC but I didn’t love it either. I’m in no rush to see what happens next and am on the fence on if I’ll read that book or not. For me, this story is forgettable and there is nothing that really sets it apart from other stories. Though I do think that with a little fine tuning it could be a story with a most excellent premise. I think that maybe this read was just another instance where I let myself get pulled into the hype and as such had higher expectations for it than I should have. As such, I found A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC to be more of a mediocre read and didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

irishdarkblue

 

 

IR - Darker Shade of Magic

 

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three-stars
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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Review: Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick RothfussThe Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2
Published by Daw Books on 01 March 2011
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Adult, Assassins, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friendship, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 1107
Format: Paperback
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Four Corners of Civilization –
Commonwealth: The University // Imre // Tarbean
Vintas: Levinshir // Severen
Ademre: Haert

First Line(s): Dawn was coming. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence in three parts.

Its always hard to review a book that is the second in a trilogy and its even harder when that trilogy is an epic fantasy as is the case with Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Wise Man’s Fear is a book that has been on my shelf since publication when I purchased a hardcover copy when Rothfuss came to town for a book signing. But then because of its size and the face that I hadn’t yet read The Name of the Wind it sat on my shelf until recently when I decided it was time to buckle down and read it. What I love about Rothfuss’s writing and The Kingkiller Chronicles is that even with the time between reading book 1 and this one it was so easy to slip back into this world.

Rothfuss’s writing is so vivid that I was easily able to recall the things that came before and the things that I was vague on he so kindly explained with cleverly placed flashbacks. Wise Man’s Fear was a long read for me as I only read a set number of pages per day but it gave me something to look forward to wondering where the story would go. Although I do have to admit to being a little disappointed in how events in this story took place and there wasn’t as much ground covered as I would have liked considering how there is only one more book to come. One of my big issues with Name of the Wind was there was so much time spent in Kvothe’s early years that it was slow and it bogged down the story. I liked when he finally went to University and things started to pick up.

Wise Man's Fear Quote

With Wise Man’s Fear the majority of the book was spent at the University and it just seemed like more of the same from Name of the Wind. While I enjoyed the book and fell in love with Rothfuss’s writing all over again I just wish that more had happened. Kvothe has been on this quest of his for so long and there just seems to be so much ground to cover in the final book. Also, none of the characters seemed to grow and change very much and as a result they keep making the same mistakes. There was also this whole long and drawn out section with the fae that I wish I had skipped as it didn’t seem to serve much purpose. I’m sure that Rothfuss will connect all the various dots in a big reveal but it was just frustrating at times at the lack of answers.

Despite all my frustrations, I did enjoy this book. The pages flew by when I read them and it was often hard to stop reading in order to focus on other things. I’m drawn to this world and I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends. Rothfuss is a master at his craft and I know that I just have to be patient as the wait will be worth it, or at least I hope that is the case. The Kingkiller chronicles are daunting reads but if you are a fan of epic fantasy then you certainly want to get to them at some point.

irishdarkblue

IR - Name of the Wind

Add The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss to Goodreads.

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four-stars
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