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Posts Tagged: Narrative: Third Person

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

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

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J MaasCrown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 2
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire
Published by Bloomsbury on 27 August 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 420
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire

Place(s) Traveled To: Bellhaven, Fenharrow // Rifthold, Adarlan (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry.

After the disappoint that I felt after my read of Throne of Glass some of you might be wondering why I picked up Crown of Midnight which is the second book in Sarah J. Maas’s series and the truth is I don’t rightly know why. Several people I know said that Crown of Midnight was better and that the action really takes off and so since I had a copy I thought why not. Plus, there is a part of me that is a total glutten for punishment and there are times with a book or series I just can’t stay away, no matter how painful it is to read them. And while I did like Crown of Midnight better than Throne of Glass  this book still annoyed the ever loving crap out of me. If I could smack a character inside it, it would be Celaena as she still doesn’t fill that role she is meant to, that of the badass assassin. Though, at least in this one she doesn’t spend the entire book going on and on about parties, clothes and boys. So praise be for small favors.

The love triangle started in Throne of Glass is also mostly resolved and you can be sure that I breathed a sigh of relief there as this one had the makings of going on for the entire series. Of the two choices, Prince Dorian and Choal I do think that Celaena made the right choice for her and found a good compliment to herself. Even if she allowed misscommunications and misunderstandings to come between them. Most of these characters are supposed to be strong and powerful and yet they never come across as such. In fact, Celaena’s judgmental friend Nehemia often says something similar to Celaena during their few interactions. Though Nehemia’s words might have had more effect on Celaena if they weren’t laced with scorn and attitude. There were several times when I wondered why these two were friends since Nehemia only seemed to judge Celaena and find her wanting.

The plot of Crown of Midnight was a bit more true to the synopsis than the one of Throne of Glass but it was just so easy to figure everything out. There was much sighing on my part as the characters overlooked bright shiny clues over and over and then were all shocked at the big reveal. Really characters? Really?? I thought you were supposed to be smart. This made for a really predictable read and my only real consolation was that it was a quick one. It saddens me that this isn’t a series that I’ve been able to get into as I do love the fantasy genre but this one is filled with ever high school cliche and it lacks any real world building. Celaena is supposed to be a skilled assassin and yet she barely uses these supposed skills and doesn’t come across as strong at all. She’s weak and annoying and I just want to shake her half the time. About the only character that I liked in this one was Choal and even he made choices that I wanted to shake him for.

I do have an egalley of Heir of Fire and I am debating on if I should read it or not. Based on my feelings for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight my head is telling me to avoid it like the plague. And yet, a small part of me can’t help but wondering what new crazy, toss the book across the room things Celaena and company might bring to the table. See…told you I was a glutten for punishment. As of now, plans to torture myself are on hold but who know what my fingers will dance to the next time I’m flipping through my ereader looking for something new to read. After all, WTF-ery reads might annoy but there is also something addicting about them.

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Crown of Midnight Quote

three-stars
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass,
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 August 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 404
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: The Assassin's Blade, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire

Place(s) Traveled To: Endovier, Adarlan // Rhifthold, Adarlan (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): After a year of slavery in the Salt Mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien was accustomed to being escorted everywhere in shackles and at sword-point.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is one of those books that came highly recommended to me by multiple people and one that had lots of promise. I have always loved a good fantasy read, especially when you add in assassins, and so I was looking forward to this one. However, this is one that never quite lived up to its promise and I ended up being horribly disappointed in it. Celaena Sardothien is supposed to be the worlds greatest assassin and yet we never see that side of her. She’s supposedly in this competition that will release her from slavery and make her the King’s Champion and yet despite 400 pages of text we see little of this competition. Even though, according to the synopsis, its supposed to be the main focus of the book. Instead, we get a character more focused on dresses or pouting because she has to miss a party. Then as the book progresses she shifts her focus a little and she gets all swoony in lust with the two male leads, Prince Dorian and Chaol Westfall who is Captain of the Guard.

*insert huge mega sigh here*

I was expecting more of a mystery as Celaena tried to figure out what was causing the deaths of her fellow contestants but she never really investigated and just sort of stumbled onto clues. Clues that were blatenly obvious and even though the big reveal didn’t happen until the end of the story I had this one figure out very early on. Which just added a whole other level of frustration to the story as things were so obvious and yet all the characters just sort of fumbled about turning a blind eye to things that were right in front of them. There there was one scene in the end where Celaena barely glances at a body and makes all these observations and the super smart Captain of the Guard is all how did I miss these obvious things on all those other bodies, wow Celaena for a cold-hearted assassin you sure are brilliant. Not to mention how he then asked her if looking at a dead boy was too much for her? Um…isn’t she the biggest, baddest assassin Erilea has ever seen? Dead bodies should be nothing new to her.

Another aspect about Throne of Glass that annoyed me was is shift in POV from Celaena to Dorian to Chaol. Now, if you know me, then you know I am usually a fan of multiple POV stores…when its done right. But in the case of Throne of Glass it came across as lazy story telling as Maas needed to move the story along but wasn’t entirely sure how so she just jumped into another characters head to do so. And don’t even get me started on the Lady Kaltain POV. Seriously that is a rant for another day. This may have been around the time I started to hit myself in the head with the book. Literally. In all honesty I have no idea how I managed to finish this one until the end. I really did want to like it but it was just a poor imiatation of a fantasy novel and it read more like a high school contemporary set in a fictional world.

Celaena is supposed to be this strong female lead but she never comes across as such. Not that she’s weak or anything its more that she’s just there and things happen around her. Then on occassion she’ll seize an opportunity and everyone will praise her and tell her how wonderful she is or how beautiful she is. We’re told over and over that she’s an amazing person and a deadly assassin but nothing in the text ever supports these claims. I much prefer my books to show me how a character is and leave the telling for other details that aren’t as readily explained. Celaena is also so oblivous to things around her and she keeps saying she’s a light sleeper or that she placed something in front of her door but people are constantly sneaking up on her while she sleeps. She’s so trusting that she eats everything that she finds and doens’t question where it came from or if it might be poisoned. Everything she does seems to be in direct opposition to how a fearless, trained assassin would act and I am abosultely amazed that she hasn’t been killed long ago.

In the end, Throne of Glass just wasn’t for me and while I initially rated it as a low 3 stars after writing this review I have to drop it down to 2. The more I think about this book the more it frustrates me. I think that Throne of Glass will appeal to the non-fantasy reader as its not really a fantasy story but those that love the genre as much as I do may be disappointed.

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People who liked this one more that I did:

AndiABCs: “What I truly liked about the book most were the characters. Celaena was awesome. She had an edge to her but she was still a teenager with past demons. She was strong and did what she had to but she still felt things deeply no matter what people thought about her based on the fact that she was an assassin.”

Overstuffed Bookcase: “I loved the whole plot of this story, I loved all the characters, and here’s something I bet most people don’t say often with books these days–I loved the love triangle.”

Book.Blog.Bake: “I was worried for the safety of the characters I grew to love in a very short amount of time, especially since this book is part murder mystery. I think this really added a needed additional element to Throne of Glass.”

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two-stars
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel HarrisAccidently Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris
Series: Love and Games,
Also in this series: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance
Published by Entangled Bliss on 14 July 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians
Pages: 266
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance, The Fine Art of Pretending, You're Still the One, The Natural History of Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Las Vegas, Nevada / / Magnolia Springs, LOuisiana // Nashville, Tennessee // Opelousas, Louisiana

First Line(s): Sad eyes tracked Sherry’s movements as she said good-bye to the man in her life.

Accidentally Married on Purpose is the third and final book in Rachel Harris’s Love and Games series and deals with Sherry Robicheaux, sister to Cane and Colby. Sherry is a little more innocent and wild than her older siblings as she has been sheltered from the troubles that plauged their parents marriage. As such she is more carefree and despite being an adult there is a distinct vibe in Cane and Colby treating her like a child still. So when the opportunity comes up for Sherry to travel to Las Vegas to oversea a catering gig for Colby’s restaurant she jumps at the chance. Wanting in part to have a fun time in Vegas and also to show her family she’s not quite the flake they often think she is. Enter in one of my favorite romance novel tropes…nay…make that TWO of my favorite tropes….the quicky wedding AND a rock star story. *swoon*

While I enjoyed Taste the Heat and Seven Day Fiancethe previous books in the series, I wasn’t head over heels in love with them. There was just something about the main characters that I just never connected with. But the moment I saw the synopsis for Accidentally Married on Purpose I knew that this was the Love and Games book for me. And it was. I just loved Tyler and Sherry and thought that they worked really well together even with their unconventional start. They complemented each other personality wise and their chemistry just sizzled off the page. Though I will admit there were times in which I wanted to smack them both upside the head when they were being all stubborn and such. I swear these two were perfect for each other, fell hard for the other and then worried abour rejection so failed to communicate. And as a result….they almost lost a good thing.

Once I started reading Accidentally Married I couldn’t put it down. I just kept turning the pages because I needed to see how it all ended and then I was left with this void because it was over. This book gave me all those happy heart achy feels that I love and it is my favorite in the series. I just adored Tyler and Sherry and really hope to see a spin off series with a character that we meet in this book because then we’d get more Tyler and Sherry. Or at least I hope that we’d get more Tyler and Sherry as I am going to miss these characters now that their story is over. Accidentally Married on Purpose is definately a book that I would recommend to all who love a good romance story. The conflict isn’t as annoying as in Seven Day Fiance and I understand where both Sherry and Tyler were coming from. This is one that I will most likely read again and be sad that I can’t read it again for the first time.

*happy sighs*

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four-stars
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J MaasThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass,
Also in this series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire
Published by Bloomsbury on 04 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Anthology, Assassins, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 435
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Heir of Fire

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas is a collection of the prequel novellas that introduce people to Celaena Sardothien, the main character of her debut fantasy novel, Throne of GlassThrone of Glass has been on my radar since it was first released and I thought that a good way to lead into reading that book. I enjoyed The Assassin’s Blade and below you’ll see my thoughts on the various novellas contained in the book as well as my individual rating of them.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

Place(s) Traveled to: Rifthold, Adarlan // Skull’s Bay, Dead Islands (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): Seated in the council room of the Assassin’s Keep, Celaena Sardothien leaned back in her chair.

I think that The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was a good introduction to these characters and this world. I enjoyed the banter and interaction between Sam and Caelaena. The story was fast paced and interesting and its one that I wish was longer though its not without its flaws. As with all novellas it was short and so some things were glossed over. More detail could have been given and I would have liked to have seen Celaena being a bit more assassiny.

3 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Healer

Place(s) Traveled To: Innish, Melisande (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): The strange young woman had been staying at the White Pig Inn for two days now and had hardly spoken to anyone save for Nolan, who had taken one look at her fine night-dark clothes and bent over backwards to accommodate her.

Oh man I wish that I had skipped this one! I was not a fan of Yrene’s voice, which was so very whiny. I didn’t like how this novella was less about Caelaena and more about Yrene. There was nothing new given to Celaena’s story here and it didn’t seem to have much purpose other to act as a transition, of sorts, to the next novella in the book. I really didn’t like Calaena either…gone is the fun arrogance and instead is this surly unlikable women. As for the plot, I was not a fan of the victim blaming and it felt a bit preachy. I also missed Sam. A lot.

2 stars

POV: Yrene Towers, Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Desert

Place(s) Traveled To: The Red Desert // Xandria, The Deserted Land (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): There was nothing left in the world except sand and wind.

How many times do we need to be told that Celaena is Ardarlan’s greatest assassin? Stop telling & start showing already. At this point these novellas are getting repetitive with how she’s the best assassin and how her guild is all men and how she is so super special and young and amazing. Ugh! Heard it the first time can we please move on to something new? Also Celaena’s feelings for Sam also seem so sudden considering how much she detested him in the first novella. I also thought that some of the dialogue was a bit pedestrian and obvious. Calaena, who I again started to like after The Assassin and the Healer,  seemed to be going a bit boy crazy in this one and it just seemed so out of character. My main take away from this one was that I still miss Same and that Caelaena alone just isn’t as fun. Overall, liked this story but it was a bit predictable

3.5 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Underworld

Place(s) Traveled To: Rifthold, Adarlan (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): The cavernous entrance of the Assassin’s Keep was silent as Celaena Sardothian stalked across the marble floor, a letter clutched between her fingers.

*le sigh* Celaena is such a naive fool sometimes…we’re always being told how smart and fierce she is but her actions never match that. I guessed the twist in this one early on. Despite my annoyances with Celaena I did enjoy this one. Most of all I loved the return of Sam.

3.5 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Empire

Place(s) Traveled To: Rifthold, Adarlan // Endoviar, Adarlan (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): Curled into the corner of a prison wagon, Celaena Sardothien watched the splotches of shadows and light play on the wall.

Oh what a foolish foolish girl Celaena was. So much could have been avoided if you had just used your brain child. The Assassin and the Empire was just so very obvious in its plot twists and story ARC. I liked the writing of the story but it was just so very predictable….and then there was that one thing that made me so very mad!!!

3 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

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three-stars
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarry

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

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarryRed at Night by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen on 01 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 84
Format: eBook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Crossing the Line, Crash Into You

Place(s) Traveled To: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line(s): I like cemeteries.

Red at Night by Katie McGarry is a novella that set in the same world as her Pushing the Limits series but doesn’t involve characters from those books. This short little novella is told from the POVs of Stella (social outcast) and Jonah (popular jock). Stella comes from the poor side of town and has never had the best clothes and often worried where her next meal would come from. In grade school, because kids can be cruel, rumors where started and as a result she’s become the butt of many a joke and so has spent the majority of her school experience alone. Prior to the start of Red at Night she’s taken to hanging out in cemeteries, visiting the dead, because its quiet and the risk of running into anyone she knows is low. That is until Jonah starts to visit a grave a few stones away from Stella and eventually the two begin to talk without the pressures of high school weighing them down.

I loved this novella and was fully invested in the story of Stella and Jonah both of who were really complex characters and both dealling with some heavy issues. Red at Night gave me so many feels and I really wish that it had been a full length story. This is the writing and the character development that I fell in love with in Pushing the Limits and something that has been drifting out of her other novels. I still love McGarry’s work but after Crash Into You left me feeling a bit meh I don’t have much desire to read Take Me On as I hated West so much in Crash. There is just so much story in Red at Night that its bursting at the seems and even though its only 84 pages there is just so much that happens.

Red at Night gave me all of those heart-achy feels that I love and restored my faith in McGarry’s writing and storytelling. Stella and Jonah have so much chemistry and how they help each other with their different problems adds a lot of growth to their characters. My heart broke from them as high school pressures got in the way of their friendship and budding romance and I feared on how this one would end. I admired Stella’s strength and Jonah’s kind heart and I did like seeing a certain guidance counscelor make an appearance. Overall, this was a great novella and its one that I highly recommend for all fans of Katie McGarry.

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Red at Night2

four-stars
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