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Posts Tagged: Multiple POV

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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Friday, January 22, 2016

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

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

Audio Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 14 Feb 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Futuristic Romance, Love & Romance, People & Places, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: Earth’s Orbit // Luna // Sahara Desert // New Beijing, The Commonwealth // Africa

First Line(s): Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.

CRESS is the third book in Marrissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series which are all dystopian sci-fi stories that are loosely based on fairy tales. CRESS is the story of Rapunzel and mainly follows the character of Cress and Captain Thorne but as with the other books in the series the story ARC often shifts POV to include all the main characters we’ve met so far. Cress is Lunar but unlike most from Luna she has no gift and is referred to as a shell. She’s feared by those on Luna as the Luna gift doesn’t work on her and she can’t be manipulated that way. However, she was taken as an infant form her family and raised in seclusion and so can be manipulated in other ways as she’s starved for love and affection.

But even though Cress wants to be liked and to please her Luna guardians she’s not a weakling. She isn’t the strongest of the characters, physically, but mentally she can blow most away and her talent behind a computer knows no equal. She is courageous when she decides to defy her country in order to help Cinder and sets off a chain of events that frees her from her satellite prison and brings her closer to the merry band of misfits. Of all the books in the Lunar Chronicles series I’ve enjoyed CRESS the best. I really liked her relationship with Thorne and I liked how she changed and grew over the course of the book and learned just how strong she truly was. My biggest disappointment was that because the POV is so divided now we didn’t get to spend as much time in Cress’s POV as I would have liked.

Cress Quote

In terms of plot, there is a lot of movement but not a whole lot of concrete action. Things happen and its not boring but there is still A LOT of ground to cover in the final book, WINTER, in order for this motley crew to overthrow a kingdom and save the people of Earth from the wicked queen. I’m worried that the next book will be rushed and convoluted especially after some of the reveals that happen in CRESS. I still get frustrated every time they refer to needed an antidote and my eye gets a little twitchy but I am trying to move past that though I don’t think I will succeed until the series is over.

For me, there weren’t a ton of crazy big reveals and I was able to predict many things before they happened. Heck, there are things that were revealed in this book that I was predicting in CINDER (my review) so in terms of mystery its not the best for an avid reader of mysteries. That said I can see the appeal of this story and the fun that people have with it. The series does get better as the story progresses even though I think the author relies too much on switching up the POV. When things get a little difficult to explain Meyer’s just has another POV take over and so at 75% in there is a whole new voice to learn. Its frustrating and unnecessary and probably my second biggest complaint of the series.

Rebecca Soler returns to narrate CRESS and I love what she brings to the table with her narration. Of all the characters in this world her voice seems best suited to Cress and she really helps bring that character to life. Cress is young and innocent as a result of being so sheltered and Soler really breaths life into her character. I’m not sure when I will read WINTER, its a heafty book weighing in at 824 pages and I’ve enjoyed listening to these on audio and am currently waiting in line for a copy to come in at the library. This series started off rocky for me but I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends and if my theories are correct or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Leveled by Jay Crownover

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

Review: Leveled by Jay CrownoverLeveled by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver,
Also in this series: Charged
Published by William Morrow on 02 November 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Rule, Jet, Rome, Nash, Better When He's Bad, Rowdy, Asa, Built, Charged

Place(s) Traveled To: Denver, Colorado

First Line(s): Leveled. Laid out. Knocked sideways. Flattened and collapse. Breathless and stunned.

LEVELED by Jay Crownover is a novella that is billed as a bridge between her two series, Marked Men and The Saints of Denver. Although I do think that BUILT makes a better bridge based on how close those main characters were to the characters in Marked Men I just have to shrug and sort of accept this explanation. For when I first learned that Crownover was sticking around Denvery, so to speak, I was hoping that Dom and Lando would get a story. Those who have read the Marked Men books may remember these two, Dom is Royal’s (ASA, my review) good friend and Lando knew Rule’s (RULE, my review) twin brother Remy. (Hmm…Perhaps the bridge comes because RULE was the first book in Marked Men and ASA was the last.) Anywho, Dom and Lando meet when Rule, through Royal, helps get Dom into Lando’s physical therapy program as he’s recovering from an on the job accident. There is instant attraction and angst and heart achy feels that have you flipping the pages to see how things will work out.

As with all novellas, I wish that this one had been longer as I would have loved to have seen more of Lando and Dom’s families in the books. What little we did see had me smiling and wondering just how much better this could have been. I did enjoy this book but just felt that something was missing because we didn’t have a ton of time to develop the relationship between these characters. And then there was the dreaded epilogue. I always say that I won’t read them but then I do and always end up being disappointed and this one was no exception. It was just so vague and abstract and I would have preferred to have more pages of Lando and Dom in the now then in this weird time in the future that really doesn’t add anything to the story.

As a bridge between the two series I don’t really think LEVELED fits as Dom and Lando make such small cameos in each but as an introduction to Crownover’s writing and this world I think that this novella works. Its a quick read and Lando and Dom had some great chemistry. I’m glad I read this book and while I’ll always want more I do hope that we get to see more of this duo in the Saints of Denver series.

irishdarkblue

Leveled Quote
three-stars
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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

Audio Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 05 February 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Friendship, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 19 minutes
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: Cinder, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Travled To: Rieux, France // Paris, France // New Beijing // Earth’s Orbit

First Line(s): Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”

When I finished CINDER by Marissa Meyer (my review) I wasn’t as pleased with it as many others that I know. I expected more from the story and always hate when science is done so unbelievably and I was a little reluctant to pick up SCARLET. But I was told that SCARLET is a favorite read from fans of the Lunar Chronicles series and the hold I’d forgotten I’d placed at the library came up so I decided to give this audio a try. Walking into the story I was wondering how Meyer would connect Scarlet and Wolf’s stories to Cinder since they were set half a world apart and that’s when I quickly learned of the crazy POV switches. Oh my stars does this book shift POVs. SO much so that it gets a little confusing at times and not all shifts seem to have much purpose. I did enjoy seeing more scenes with Captain Thorne but Scarlet often bored me. There wasn’t a whole lot of things happening in this book and things just felt off.

There were facts that didn’t seem to mesh well and distances in Paris that were just wrong. I get that this is a dystopian world and that buildings have crumbled and become abandoned while the city center shifts to allow for the newer more futuristic world. But there were locations that were mentioned in the book that as far apart  as described in the narrative. (Google people…its your friend.) ANd yes, I am the sort to map things out when mentioned in a book but I was also in Paris last year so things are still pretty clear since I walked all over that city during the week that I spent there. Though I’ll take miscalculated distances over poor science any day so was glad when not mentioned was mentioned about Letamosis and the need for an “antidote” (*cringes*).

Scarlet Quote

I found the plot to be really predictable and so very repetitive not to mention how everything always seemed to fall right into place just at the very right moment. My eyeballs sure did get a work out from the frequent eye rolling that I did at some scenes. I was also frustrated with just how obtuse these characters could be much of the time and yet were supposed to buy that they are all geniuses because they finally figuring out that the x on the map meant there was treasure thought they’d been staring at the answer key for hours.

Listening to SCARLET on audio was a slow slog and often tried my patience. I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration, mostly, but felt there were times when she’d confuse her voices. Especially when she was reading another POV when the character voices getting mixed up weren’t sharing the page. And IKO…my stars…is there a more annoying voice? I don’t think so. Or maybe that’s just the character who was just like nails on a chalkboard. As a whole I wasn’t all that more impressed with SCARLET than I was with CINDER and I don’t get why so many love it. I really didn’t buy the new romance or thought that the story moved forward all that much. While I will probably read CRESS at some point, because now I’m sort of invested in seeing if my theories from CINDER come true, I know that this will never be a favorite of mine.

irishdarkblue

IR - Cinder

 

Add Cinder by Marissa Meyer to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina BowenThe Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour
Published by Self-Published on 13 October 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, New Adult, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues
Pages: 294
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Harkness, Connecticut // New York, New York // Huntington, New York

First Line(s):promised myself that I wouldn’t spend my second semester of college huddle in my room playing Dragonfire.

In The Fifteenth Minute, Sarina Bowen returns once again to Harkness University and this time tells the story of Lianne and DJ, both of whom we meet in The Shameless Hour (my review.) Though this is part of a series, just like the other books, it can be read independently. The story starts the semester after Shameless Hour ends and so Lianne and Bella have settled into their friendship. Lianne is still shy about wandering out in public due to the mixed reactions she gets but she is trying. She and DJ also have a really cute meet/cute near the end of Shameless Hour and I was glad to hear that they would be the stars of this book.

Both Lianne and DJ are dealing with complicated life issues and while Lianne’s issues are known (she’s an actress in a famous book to series film franchise – think Emma Watson as Hermione) DJ’s are not. Over the course of the story you do learn what demons DJ is facing and while at times the crypticness of it all annoyed me it wasn’t overdone. The story was heartbreaking at times as these two characters couldn’t always find a common ground despite the growing attraction that they had for each other. As with many a romance it tended to come down to all or nothing and there was no way to exist in between. Which also frustrates me in books. When that happens I just want to reach into the pages and shake the characters and yell at them to find a compromise!

Fifteenth Minute Quote

DJ could also be such a Debbie downer at times but I did love seeing him start to find hope in his situation. And I loved how he and Lianne interacted. I also loved Lianne’s interactions with DJ’s housemates and other hockey team members. It was fun watching them learn that she was more than just a childhood movie star and was someone who could kick their collective asses at one of their favorite past times, outside of hockey. The Fifteenth Minute was a quick read and I enjoyed it but in the end it didn’t give me those heart achey feels that I adore in stories. There was just something missing that kept me from loving this one completely.

Maybe it was because of DJ’s doom and gloom side or maybe its because I wanted a little more from the ending or maybe it was just that DJs epiphany came on so quick and sudden that it was hard to believe. There just seemed to be a few things left incomplete and it left me feeling unsatisfied. But overall I do still love this series and I enjoy each installment. I love all the cameos of characters from previous books and seeing where they are traveling to outside of their stories. I’m looking forward to Bowen’s next Ivy Years book as I do so adore the students of Harkness University and I am looking forward to catching little peaks into DJ and Lianne’s life to see where they end up next.

irishdarkblue

IR - Fifteenth Minute

Add Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Revived by Samantha Towle to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review + Excerpt: The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee

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

Review + Excerpt: The Darkest Flame by Christina LeeThe Darkest Flame by Chrstina Lee
Series: Roadmap to Your Heart
Published by Self-Published on 17 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Pages: 265
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): “Bottoms up.” I poured tequila in the three shot glasses in front of me. “Extra limes if you need ’em.”

Chistina Lee is one of those authors where I find it hard to resist reading when she has a new book out and so when a copy of THE DARKEST FLAME landed in my inbox it wasn’t long before I was cracking it open and settling in to read. THE DARKEST FLAME could be considered a companion to THERE YOU STAND (my review) as you first meet Smoke and Vaughn in that story and Jude and Cory do make a small cameo here. But you don’t really need to know what happened in THERE YOU STAND in order to enjoy THE DARKEST FLAME. Though it does help with some background information to be familiar with THERE YOU STAND, Lee does do a decent job of recap the important need to know events so a new reader won’t be totally lost.

There was tension in DARKEST FLAME right from the start between Vaughn and Smoke and I loved watching their journey towards each other. Living in the world that they do of motorcycle clubs and manly men its hard to admit to liking guys when you aren’t sure how this rough and tumble crowd will react. So Vaughn and Smoke just stare and torment each other as they hook up with women and long for the other guy. In many M/M romances its usually one guy is out and out gay and the other is bi/questioning in DARKEST FLAME both men are bi-sexual and wish that they could more openly act on their feelings. The chemistry between Smoke and Vaughn literally sizzles off the page and it doesn’t help either of them that events keep pushing them together into closer and closer quarters.

Darkest Flame Quote

I really enjoyed Vaughn and Smokes story but I did feel that it was a little choppy at times and some things just didn’t make sense to the story at hand. Though I did read an ARC so some of those things may have been corrected in the finished version so I won’t mention them here. The dialogue at times also didn’t seem like it was guys talking but I also don’t live in a man’s head so maybe it is more realistic than I know. I also felt that things were a little repetitive at times and that the ending was a bit rushed. While I do so love a happily ever after there was just something that felt a bit off and inconclusive about the one in DARKEST FLAME.

DARKEST FLAME is a fast paced story and I’m growing to like this world that Lee is creating with her motorcycle club. I’ve never been big on MC books but I am growing to like these characters that Lee has created and I am curious to know more about them. So you can be sure that I will be reading the next book in this new series of hers the moment I am able to get my hands on it. These are just fun stories with a hint of darker things to them and very different from her earlier books in the Between Breaths series.

irishdarkblue

IR - Darkest Minds

 

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

 

 

Excerpt

I grabbed my hold of keys and tried not to slam my way out the door. I didn’t know why the hell I was so rattled by Vaughn tonight. I mean, I had been every night, but something about the idea of him being with somebody else right in front of my eyes, made me crazy with need. Need that it felt like only he could fulfill.

As soon as I got to my bike I realized I’d left my cut in the break room. I stood outside attempting to rein in my uneven pulse. I didn’t know what the fuck had come over me. Breathing more steadily, I stepped back through the door only to find the bar empty. I’d just grab my leather vest and leave him in peace.

“I forgot my…” I stopped in my tracks because Vaughn stood motionless in the middle of the floor, veins bulging in his neck, as if he’d implode at the slightest touch. He was always moving and talking with a restless energy in this bar so his stillness was a bit startling.

“Hey.” I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry if I—”

There was instant recoil, as if he were attempting to contain the vortex of tension between us by vacuuming it in through his skin.

He twisted toward me, his eyes latching onto mine, right before I was slammed against the door.

The wind was practically knocked out of me as Vaughn sank his weight against my smaller frame. We were groin to groin, heartbeat to heartbeat.

“Fuck, Vaughn, you’re—” Heaving breaths surged through my nostrils. “I was going to suggest a truce.”

“Yeah?” he mumbled, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “What sort of truce?”

TDFteaser
three-stars
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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Series: Lunar Chronicles,
Also in this series: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter
Published by Macmillian Audio on 03 Jan 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Futuristic Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 Hours 6 minutes
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: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, Winter, Heartless

Place(s) Traveled To: New Beijing, The Commonwealth (Future)

First Line(s): The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

Small fact about me. I have issues reading the last book in a series so there are times when I’ll wait to read a series until all the books are out (and yes, this totally is a trait of my mother but we won’t share that with her, right friends?). Another small fact, hyped up books and I don’t always get along. So its because of those two small facts that I waited until now to give CINDER by Marissa Meyer’s a shot. Because even though I know that hyped books and I are like oil and water I still get pulled into the buzz around them and right now everyone seems to be all aglow over the upcoming release of WINTER (Goodreads) which is the final book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I thought to myself, if I start CINDER now and liked it I can then bounce from book to book and get to WINTER around publication and therefore not end up with yet another unfinished series on my plate. For I do hate to say goodbye to a beloved story.

Unfortunately, CINDER and I didn’t really get along as well as I would have hoped. First, there were just too many things that happened for convince. Like Cinder’s net-link in her brain so that she can easily look up anything that she could ever possibly think of so it makes getting out of tight situations so much easier. CINDER was also highly predictable. I pretty much knew very early on just how this whole book was going to go and not just the book but the rest of the series too. This is not something that a reader should be able to guess at only 20% into a story. Friends on Twitter tried to feed me red herrings but seriously folks that just frustrates me more than the predictability of a story. If I’m right just say I’m right and no cryptic bullshit…because I am not a fan of the cryptic. I was also bored throughout most of the story because once again in a YA fantasy/sci-fi book nothing happens until the tale end of the story. I get that CINDER is the first in a series and since its a futuristic world that there is more setup and world building involved than your typical contemporary read.

Cinder Quote

I get it I do and if the world building was there I may have enjoyed things more as I unearthed the treasures of this futuristic Earth. But the world building was just not there. There was very little detail given other than the very basic of things. We’re in the future…ok so flying cars! And internet everywhere. Hmm…what else can we toss in robots? OK! Oh and aliens who aren’t really aliens but lets give these former humans POWERS because why not?  Yup…OK we now have a futuristic world no more details. Oh wait…in the future things must get worse before they can get better so lets give this one lots of dystopian qualities because dystopia is HOT HOT HOT now. It was just all so very generic and as such made it hard to visualize this world that Cinder lives in. And then we get to my other least favorite part of CINDER. This is probably the part that I disliked the most in the book and turned me off the story more than anything else. The virus that was quickly spreading and killing off the world’s populace. The virus that seemed to change from person to person in the blink of an eye. The virus that had no clear means of how it was spread. That no one could figure anything about despite being so technologically advanced.

Another small fact about me. I am a science nerd and at one time thought about becoming a Virologist. So if there is one thing I know about its viruses and this book just things wrong on so many levels. But the most basic of which was how throughout the book they were all looking for an antidote. It was said over and over and it just made the science nerd in me cringe each and every time. Why you might ask? Well, I’m glad you did. Let’s do a quick google search on the word and see how antidote is defined.

ANTIDOTE: an·ti·dote / ˈan(t)iˌdōt/ noun

1.  a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison.

Do you see the world virus in there at all? No? Now lets do another quick google search:

VACCINE: vac·cine / vakˈsēn/ noun 
  1. a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease

Now of these two words which is the most likely to use to combat a deadly virus? If you said vaccine then you get a gold star. I could have forgiven and overlooked so much on CINDER and how terrible its plague was written if Meyer had just gotten this one small word right. Ok, maybe not but this incorrect use of the word antidote really made my eye twitch and just grated on my nerves in its wrongness. And because I listened to CINDER on audio I wasn’t able to change the word in my head everytime it came up because someone else was reading the story to me. Which just made it all the more pronounced.

Even though there was much about this book that annoyed me, I did enjoy Rebecca Soler’s narration of it. I liked how she breathed a little bit of life into a dull story because this is one that I’d tried in print several times over the last few years but I kept putting it aside as it never grabbed my attention. Soler was Cinder and I liked what she did with the story. However, CINDER is a book that often jumps POVs and in that head-jumping way that I dislike so much and so there are several times when we are in a male POV and as such I would have preferred a male narrator. Granted since CINDER is filled with head-jumping this wouldn’t be an easy thing to do but Soler didn’t do the best with male voices and it was often hard to tell who was supposed to be speaking since they all sounded alike.

In the end I was left with a feeling a disappointment there was nothing about this book that had me dying to move on to the next book in the series SCARLET (goodreads). Other than the fact that my Lunar Chronicles obsessed friends on Twitter say that SCARLET is their favorite and its better than CINDER. I just wish that I felt the love of CINDER that they did because the premise was interesting it just fell apart throughout its execution.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Cinder

 

Add Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Focus on Me by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Focus on Me by Megan EricksonFocus On Me by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus, Book 2
Also in this series: Trust the Focus, Out of Frame
Published by Intermix on 21 July 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 222
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Las Vegas, Nevada // Grand Canyon, Arizona // Unknown, Louisiana // Unknown, New Mexico // Unknown, North Carolina

First Line(s): Riley Sorenson, Is that your real name?

Focus on Me by Megan Erickson is the second book in her In Focus series and like with most contemporary romances this is more of a companion book than a direct sequel. The first book, Trust the Focus (my review), tells the story of Landry who had invented a boyfriend and the picture he used for that subterfudge was Riley who is one of the main characters in this book. Like Trust the FocusFocus on Me is a road trip book but unlike the first one Colin and Riley are just meeting at the start of the trip. There is something about Riley that Colin is drawn to and so he offers him a ride when he sees that he’s in need. Along the way they form a bond and overall this was a very raw and powerful story.

Focus on Me was a book that I didn’t mean to start when I did. I was just going to check out the opener and then before I knew it I was turning the final page and it was way past my bedtime. The loss of sleep was worth it though because this was such a wonderful heartachy story and I just could not put it down. Focus on Me is a different book than Trust the Focus, its more serious and raw but I think that those elements only add to the story. I was totally invested in Colin and Riley and I couldn’t wait to see how it would all end. Erickson takes the reader on an emotional journey through many ups and downs but its so worth the ride.

Trust the Focus Quote

Focus on Me is told primarily through Colin’s eyes but there are these short glimpses via emails into Riley’s brain and I just loved how Megan Erickson told this story. Though I would have loved to see more from Riley’s POV I did like what we got and thought that it only added to the tensions of the story. Focus on Me is a quick and powerful read and I am so glad that I read it. Even if it left me sitting a pile of my own tears and emotions. My heart, oh how this book hurt my heart!!

At its core, Focus on Me, is a good romance and a good story of friendship. I liked how Erickson wove in the characters from Trust the Focus with just enough info that you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one. I like how Focus on Me wasn’t all light-hearted and fluffy and that it had some serious undertones. I liked that the drama was real and not some manufactured angst because the characters refused to talk to each other and make assumptions about the other person. This story felt real and the so the feelings you feel as you read it are like you are the one living the story. I’m a big fan of this book and I recommend it to all.

 

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Focus on Me

Add With This Heart by RS Grey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonWords of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Series: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2
Also in this series: The Way of Kings
Published by Tor Books on 04 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Girls & Women, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Survival Stories, War & Military
Pages: 1087
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Way of Kings

Place(s) Traveled To: The Shattered Plains, Roshar

First Line(s): Jasnah Kholin pretended to enjoy the party, giving no indication that she intended to have one of the guests killed.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in his epic fantasy series The Stormlight Archive and it picks up not long after the events in Way of Kings (my review) end. As with the first book, Words of Radiance took me forever to read because it is a chunkster, weighing in at over 1000 pages, and unlike the first book I had this one in hardcover. In order to make it through the book I decided to read it a small bit at a time so it wouldn’t seem so daunting or kill me from the weight. This method also really allowed me to savor the story and all of its rich details and intricaces. And while I loved the audio of Way of Kings there is something nice about reading the physical book. For one, I get to see how all the names are really written (though the audio was a godsend for pronunciation!) and I got to see all the artwork as it appeared in the book. The artwork really adds to the story and just brings this whole world to life.

As with Way of KingsWords of Radiance is told from mulitple points of view though the main one was Shallan. Shallan is Jashnah’s ward and apprentince and oh my stars a truely annoying character! I wasn’t a fan of Shallan in the first book and so wasn’t thrilled that most of Words of Radiance would focus on her. I much prefered the storylines of Khaladin’s and Dalinar’s POVs and still want to know ALL THE THINGS about them both. Though I didn’t mind Shallan’s present POV as much as I thought I might I did find her backstory to be a bit slow and I just didn’t care. Not gonna lie, I find Shallan to be boring and a bit of a dumb bunny at times.

Words of Radiance quote

The overall storyarc though was super-fantabulous. I just love how Sanderson is weaving all these details together and only revealing what needs to be revealed when it needs to be. But also leaving little seed trails along the way so that when something happens your eyes widen a bit as you flip backwards through the book to find the moment it was just hinted at and see how it all started. And, as with most second books, Words of Radiance really shines in being able to build upon the things that came before. You get to know world and all of the characters better as this book progresses and there is just so much crazy tension throughout the story. I loved all the scenes with Khaladin and Dalinar, even when Dalinar was breaking my heart. Not to mention all the things I want to know about Renarin as I feel as if it all came out of nowhere so hopefully Sanderson will go into that a bit more in the next book.  I’m also still not a fan of the Interludes but I do love how everything in this crazy ass world is connected.

In the end, while Words of Radiance, started a little slow. I liked this one better than Way of Kings. I liked how twisty it was and how Sanderson manages to keep me guessing, even when I think I’ve figured everything out. Where there parts I could have done without? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t trade a thing in this book because I know that the final payoff will be worth it. I just hate that there is so much time between books because I want more of this world now!! Not next year or the year after that. I also don’t know how I am going to make it through 10 books of this series…its such a huge time commitment…though I know that I will be there buying up each book the moment its released. Though in ebook form because the hardcovers may kill you if you aren’t careful!

irishdarkblue

IR - Way of Kings

Add Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss to Goodreads.

Add Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Review: Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, Book 2
Also in this series: The Kiss of Deception
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 07 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 470
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Kiss of Deception

Place(s) Traveled To: Venda

First Line(s): One swift act. I had thought that was all it would take. A knife to the gut. A firm twist for good measure.

 

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (my review) wasn’t my most favorite book and it certainly didn’t live up to the hype of those that I know read it before me. I found it to be a little predictable and slow. Oh so very slow. But by the end of that story I did like it. So when I received a copy of Heart of Betrayal for review I picked it up eagerly since I head that it was better than the first and to try and beat any hype that might get built up around the story. Whenever possible I like to walk into a new story with little expectations so I can enjoy it (or not) based on its own merits. One thing that I do really enjoy with the second book in a series is that the world and characters are already established which means that more time can be spent on the plot and further fleshing out the other details. That was the case with Heart of Betrayal and it started off strong with lots of tension and mystery. Though Lia and her snobbery did still annoy. She doesn’t always make the best choices throughout Heart of Betrayal but overall I did like her better in this story than in Kiss of Deception.

Unlike with Kiss of Deception there isn’t much mystery in this book just some political intrigue and tension from not know what will happen to Lia and the Prince. Will they escape? Will they be killed at the whim of the Komisar? Which side will Kaden land on if there is a fight between Lia and his leader? I liked how Heart of Betrayal kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book, eagerly flipping the pages to see how things would end. I liked the new details that were revealed and I just loved the barbarian lands of Venda which were so much more interesting than the wastelands where Lia and Kaden spent much of book 1. But Heart of Betrayal wasn’t all action packed and I did find that it dragged a bit in the middle. There events that were a bit slow to develop and I feel as though some parts could have been edited out to make things flow a little better.

Heart of Betrayal Quote

But the middle of Heart of Betrayal wasn’t as painful for me as the middle of Kiss of Deception and the rewards for making my way through it were far better in this book than with the first. Because that ending!! What a crazy action fueled thing that was! This one has a bit of a cliff hanger, much like the first book did, but many of the threads in this story were closed. Lives are still in balance and the fate of Lia’s world is unknown but the characters all end in a decent place and aren’t left dangling from a cliff by their fingernails. I liked the ending and know that if I can get my hands on a copy of the final book in the series that I will jump on it wanting to know how it all ends. Because I have my theories and I want to see if they will come true.

If you were on the fence when you finished Kiss of Deception then I encourage you to try Heart of Betrayal as I think that you’ll like it more. And fans of the first book will also be really pleased with how things go with this one. The stakes are higher and the tension is real. Even with its flaws this one was a fun read and I want to know what will happen next.

 

irishdarkblue

 IR - Kiss of Deception

Add Death Sworn by Leah Cypess to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

Add Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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