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Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

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

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin, Book 2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 02 April 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 385
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift, Publisher
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Place(s) Traveled To: Nantes, Brittany/France // Rennes, France // Morlaix, France //Tonquedec, France (1489)

First Line(s): I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling.

When GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers (my review) came out back in 2012 I devoured it. While I was wary at first I totally fell under the spell of these Medieval assassin nuns. I then later received an ARC of DARK TRIUMPH and my first thought was to pick it up immediately and read it but it was far out from publication date and so I put it aside. And there it sat on a shelf until last year when a friend and I made a pact to do a co-read of it. DARK TRIUMPH picks up right around when GRAVE MERCY ends but switches POV from Ismae to Sybella. Sybella was an interesting character in GRAVE MERCY so I was looking forward to her story. However, I didn’t quite fall for DARK TRIUMPH as deeply as I did with GRAVE MERCY and I think that’s due in part to the POV change.

I just didn’t find Sybella to be as likable as Ismae nor was she as nuanced a character. Yes, Sybella was a strong heroine that overcame a pretty shitty upbringing but I just didn’t care about her the same way that I did Ismae. I also really didn’t buy the romance in this story. There was just so little development in that area that I just didn’t feel any chemistry when Sybella and Beast finally declared their love for each other. Though I really did like Beast, he was an bright and entertaining light throughout the story. I liked the camaraderie that he and Sybella shared but there just wasn’t enough of them together for them to form that much needed spark.

Dark Triumph Quote

But what bothered me the most about DARK TRIUMPH was how repetitive it was. I get that some recap is needed to refresh fans from what happened in GRAVE MERCY but Sybella just kept thinking the same thoughts over and over again. So much so that there was very little in the way of plot development in DARK TRIUMPH. This book was all hurry up and wait and there was very little action. It was very much a middle book in a series and was more filler and fluff than anything of substance. As such I found this one really easy to put down and stay down while I was reading.

When I did pick it up I was I found myself in the story but I had to force myself to pick it up each day. And I did that mostly so that I could finish around the same time as my friend. There were times where I was tempted to skip over parts and I feel that if I had done so then I wouldn’t have missed very much at all. Most of the action/plot that happens in DARK TRIUMPH comes at the end. The rest is just waiting around for something to happen. There were just so many missed opportunities in DARK TRIUMPH that just left this one lacking for me. As such, while I do plan to finish the series at some point, I don’t have the burning need to rush out and see how it all ends. What say you readers, does the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy end with a bang or a fizzle? Leave a comment or catch me on social media and let me know if I should prioritize MORTAL HEART or not.


IR - Grave Mercy

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Audio Review: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Blood Wounds by Susan Beth PfefferBlood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Narrator: Stephanie Bentley
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 08 Jan 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Family, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 5 hours 12 minutes
Format: Audiobook
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Place(s) Traveled To: Westbridge, Pennsylvania // Prior, Texas

First Line(s): I think even if nothing had happened the next day, even if my life had stayed just as it was that night at supper, I’d still remember what Jack said.

Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer has been on my radar for a few years now so when I saw that it was on Audible I thought that it would be a good opportunity to finally cross something off my TBR list. Blood Wounds is a short audio and so while the overall story didn’t thrill me much at least it didn’t take all that much time to get through. The narrator, Stephanie Bentley, was decent enough but truth told I don’t really remember much about her voice or style so in the end she was a bit forgettable. The main story of Blood Wounds is a bit of a yawn as well considering that the whole story set up by the synopsis is over by around 25% of the book. There was no drama or suspense and nothing like I was expecting.

The main character, Willa, is such a mary sue. She is such a passive and boring character who had no life to her. Her home life seems ideal on the surface but its far from perfect. She lives with her mom, stepdad and his two daughters and she’s totally the Cinderalla in this blended family. Her stepsisters live a life of luxury while Willa gets overlooked and is told to be grateful with the little scraps that are tossed her way. For a while I was expecting something more sinister to come out of this family unit but no just a not so perfect family putting on a face for the world to see.

Blood Wounds Quote

Will eventually shows a little life and spunk when she insists on flying to Texas to attend the funeral of the sisters she never knew but that’s about the only time she ever sticks up for herself. There was a lot of potential to Blood Wounds but it never lived up to its promise. The plot was so underdeveloped that it was practically non-existent. The characters where all two dimensional and forgettable and I just don’t know what the whole point of this story was supposed to be.  Blood Wounds is also one of those rare books in the world of contemporary fiction that doesn’t have a romance to it. There is also no happy ending. This is just a sad and depressing book.

This was a book that I wanted to like more than I did but in the end the characters, the story, and everything about it just left me disappointed. For me, Blood Wounds, isn’t a book that really sticks in the memory banks and its not one that I think that I’ll ever recommend to someone else.


This wasn’t a book for me but here are some others who enjoyed it more

Reading Nook: Susan Beth Pfeffer did an excellent job with the pacing of this novel though. I was hooked from the very first sentence, and didn’t stop reading until the story was over. Each character was so perfectly crafted. I could picture each one of them clear as day and even overheard their voices while they conversed.

I Read Banned Books – Many of us will be able to identify with someone in this book, and we can learn a few things from watching this complex family unravel and slowly weave its way back again.


IR - Blood Wounds

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