Shades of Magic (2)

4/5A Conjuring of Light.

I really really liked this book. This whole series, actually. Even when it took me waaaaaay to long to actually finish it. I blame it all on this the most unefficient year I had, when it comes to my reading. Only to my reading, though, because work has been crazy busy.

Shades of Magic

But, even when there were quite a few of forced pauses in between my chapters, this book was amazingly grabbing. I loved getting to know Holland, who until now seemed only as a secondary character, especially that last chapter from his point of view. His whole story, though, it was all heartbreaking and enlightening as to why he does a as he does and is as he is.

And I loved even more, getting to know Rhy and the complexities of his relationship with Alucard.

And Alucard, and his messed up family!

And the Queen and her inability to express herself to Kell

And that is all before we even get to the Shadow King and the growing relationship between Kell and Lila., it was honestly a great book. I wil totally recommend this series to anyone who may listen.

So, why only a 4/5? You migh be asking… Well. It was the ending.

No. I’m not trying to say that the conclusion/solution to their problem was anything but great, but I do think that he last chapter… The emotional wrap-up… Felt a bit brushed over. Too fast, too superficial.

After everything the brothers now share, there was no conversation, no reunion, no normal goodbye. And with Lila! When did they agree to leave to follow HER dream of being a pirate? Wasn’t she toying with the idea of settling down? And what happened to Kell’s promise to be by his brother’s side when he became king?! And to Holland’s world? And what I’d the letter to King George say?

Again, too rushed. I wasn’t satisfied.

Bu really that was my only qualm. Beside that, the book was real. The whole series was awesome.

Pleasantly surprised

4/5

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, but this was a great story.

There was magic and tattoos, yes… But there was also political maneuvering, gypsies, murdering whores and tragic love stories. There were powerful enemies and allies, and there was a good dose of fighting and gore.

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

Ink Mage by Victor Gischler

It honestly has everything it needed to be an amazing mindblowingly fantastic book, but it isn’t. I’m not sure I can tell you what’s missing, but I know there’s something lacking.

I think it might have something to do with the details. The strange thing is that there’s so much going on, and so many different points of view… And still I felt like I missed more than one thing and that the important things were being left unsaid.

SPOILER ALERT

For example… We met the commanding officer in charge of pursuing the young Duchess, Rina Veraiin, and while I always appreciate the point of view of the enemy… We never know what he thought of his supposedly hapless quarry after the slaughter at the temple. That would have been an awesome insight.

And then, there was the mysterious third Mage to arri pave from the enemy’s land. We get a small glimpse, meant to build him up as the ultimate opponent. Powerful, knowledgeable and greedy. And then, it took one chapter to see him in action and get rid of him all together. That was a bit anticlimactic.

Like they say… It is all in the little things. There are little things that make this story awesome, like the magic tattoos that can be collected, the loyal friends/subjects that follow and support our main character, the different perspectives from the same conflict that help you see the bigger picture… But it was also the little things that keep this story form being all it could have been.

All this is not to say that I won’t be reading the rest of the trilogy. As most books nowadays, this one is part of a series… A Fire Beneath the Skin. It might take me sometime to get the other two books, but I definitely want to know how this story will end. Maybe our cool Duchess will end up with a full-body tattoo!!

Nameless is my price

5/5

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

OH MY GOD!

This book was amazing!! I have no words for how much I’m absolutely in-love. I was at the edge of my sit during the whole thing, there was no good moment to stop or even breathe!

Queen Aelin Ashryver Galathynious spent the whole 700 pages going for one betrayal to a disaster to an ambush, to another betrayal and ambush. It was insane! I LOVED IT!!

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Empire of Storms is the fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series, so there is a lot happening that relates and/or recounts what has been happening since the beginning. And this one has way more explanations about how all those things merge together. So there were many times I felt like I should be re-reading all the previous books to freshen up my memory about the details.

I also think I waited to long to read Asassin’s Blade. There were a few new character that I felt I should know already, and many more that I think we’re mentioned lightly before hand.

But all of that, didn’t matter. The story was awesome! Simply mind-blowing.

Land not just because of all the magic and battles, but also for all the scheming and surprising turns of events. Then, of course, there was a couple of sexy times and a lot of built-up.

The next book -that still has no name- better be as good. I think better is impossible, but I wouldn’t discourage Sarah J. Maas for trying,

The downside? The wait for the conclusion of the story is going to be a year.

A WHOLE year!

Responsible pet owner

4/5

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Who wouldn’t carry their tiny dog in a world-saving mission? I would.

Too bad my dog is not that tiny and I don’t really go on many world-saving missions.

I was looking for something nice and easy, that would give my imagination a work-out without asking too much intellectual input… I think I found it. I’m not saying that this is a book without substance or dumbed down, not at all. But neither does it have many complicated mysteries nor too emotional twists. It is a comfortable read, and a highly entertaining one. I really enjoyed it.

I read the first book on this series several weeks ago, so I appreciate the short and to the point recounts of all the previous facts that this story offers all along the way. It was great in a “don’t get lost” kind of way without being repetitive.

It did remind heavily of A Court of Thornes and Roses, but I’m guessing that’s only because I read that one first (If I pay attention to the publishing dates, I guess it would be the other way around), except I liked this one better.

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Both books talk about faes, and Fearie courts and fae royalty, but I guess this female main character didn’t feel that hopeless and never really becomes their toy. I’ve never really enjoyed stories that involve the abuse of those without the ability to defend themselves, and Grave Dance has none of that.

We do get a view into an interesting and complex world, full of diverse being with diverse powers and motivations. You’re never quite sure who you can trust, and that makes everything all the more interesting.

And of course, that was on top of all the crime fighting and mystery-killer chasing! There was even some mythical creatures and love triangles.

Now, I have claimed many times to hate love triangles, and that’s still true, but mostly what I hate is the sense of betrayal, or when a story focus too hard on the love interest part of the story… This author does notpne of that.

Yes, there are two guys pursuing one girl that cannot seem to decide between the two… But there’s no deceiving nor cheating. They both know about each other and none of them is pushing the issue. There’s also no long winded monologues about the pains and suffering of being wanted by two handsome guys, on the contrary, they times she mentions it is only to point out how that is not really important or relevant with all the dire things happening around her.

And, of course. Who says she cannot be involved with two guys at one? Specially when none of the three sides of that triangle are really what you would call available?

There are more parts to this books series that I’ll be sure to get to soon.

Magic Eye

4/5

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

This is a girl who can talk to the dead, see Death himself (or what I think is more like a Reaper) and uses it all to make money sometimes by solving crimes. I has hooked from the beginning.

Alex Craft is the product of a quite dysfunctional family, stubborn and bad-ass. I really liked her. With her intimacy issues and not so sociable personality. It might have much to do, too, with the fact that her fae lover Falin Andrews kept reminding me of Rowan Whitethorn (another fae hottie from a whole different story).

I think this might mean I have a thing for fae males.

And on top of that, there’s a whole mystery to be unraveled -gory clues, police dodging and unknown enemy interference included- that kept me flipping through pages to be able to figure out who did it!

I think my favorite character might have been the ghost side-kick.

“Then let’s kick some body-stealing ass”

Who wouldn’t love a little helper who cannot be seen, can sneak into all kinds of places and cannot tell on you due to his inability to be seen by anyone else but you?!

Besides, watching Roy Pearson annoy the hell out of Alex until he gets what he want, was really fun.

In case you didn’t notice at the top of this post, or haven’t catch up to my new rating system, I would give this book a very smiley face (or a 4 out of 5, for those who deal better with quantifiable things).

There’s a whole series of books based on this Witch PI character, that I might be adding to my library as soon as next month’s book budget comes in.

The Little Lightening Girl.

At the beginning, it was all good and exciting. There was social division and people with powers, there was the underdog fighting the system as well as a little of family drama. I was definitely into it.

But then came the the fickle girl that can fall in and out of love with brothers at the drop of a hat, even when she doesn’t really know them, all while she ought to be more concern with staying alive or the rebellion that she just willingly signed up with… not to mention this crazy powers that she suddenly discovers, and might want to actually get a hang on.

As you can probably tell by now, Mare Barrow was definitely NOT one of my favorite characters. I’m sure it is not a surprise. After all, I have made no secret of my total dislike for the poor-girl-trapped-between-two-loves angle… it simple turns me off the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a girl that loves two different guys. Au contraire, I could completely get into that if she were to at least do it with honestly and some self-respect. Not the childish “uy, I so love him” (insert high falsetto and little rabbit jumps) and she has only know them for 72 hours.

And, seriously! That betrayal, at the end… so saw it coming!! Who wouldn’t?! All the signs were there!! More than once, I felt the impulse to reach into the story and slap that girl on the head… I would have expected a little more cunning and mistrust from a thief, specially one with such rough beginning.

Definitely disappointed of this female lead character… 

The brothers on the other hand… I totally liked them. Each on its own way. One for sticking to his guns and easily seeing through a girl’s manipulation even when he really liked her. Honor, loyalty, family… I can definitely respect those principles, even when I do not agree with the things he does or doesn’t do. 

The other one, for going all the way. Commitment. I mean… If you’re gonna go bad, be the worst you can be. He aimed for and (in my opinion) achieved greatness. Who says you cannot be awesome at being the bad guy? 

Will definitely not be on the look out for the next part of this book series, but I’m not totally discarding the possibility of maybe reading it someday. 

All hail the Queen

“And they all lived happily to the last of their days”.

After a whole night sleep and a whole day’s work, I still feel like going back and re-reading some passages. I’ve been scouring the web for fan art and reliving my favorite parts in my head.Iko
This is me, in full-on book hangover. It always happens to me after a good readin binge.
This series has been added to the list of books that I’ll happily read over and over again (and often do). I simply loved these characters and how their stories intertwined.
And, of course, Iko was my absolute favorite!! Be it a small shapeless android, a huge space ship, or a human-shaped escort-droid… I love that personality chip.
I will admit to being a bit let down about the last chapter, but mostly because I was expecting more of a look into the future. I wanted to know where their new lives would lead them… What happened to them? Did it all work out for the best?
I don’t like having been left in the dark about how these friends of mine are managing their new or old lives now that all is said and done.

Also, I’m not really sure yet about how do Infeel about the idea of our brand new Queen abdicating to her hard (and bloodily) earned throne. All that effort and sacrifice and death people! So she can give it up!!? It doesn’t feel right to me, no matter how noble her motives.

But it could just be me.
Outside of that, I am very happy for them all… But will continue to enjoy my book hangover for a couple more days.

Excitement levels rising…

I loved reading Cinder, from the first chapter all the way to be end. It has been added to my all-time favorites…
So, you can imagine, expectations were high when I started reading Scarlet. It didn’t disappoint, and neither did Cress. I’m absolutely in-love with the story.
And now Kai and Cress are in with our favorite band of fugitives! And war is afoot!! And Scarlet has been taken by the enemy! And the Emperor finally knows that she’s the Princess! And they kissed!!

I was at the edge of my chair all the way from Chapter 16 to the very end… metaphorically, of course, since I (usually) read while lying in bed… It was so exciting that I HAD TO keep on reading.

imageSo, this time, I read lying in bed, sitting in the car, standing in line at the supermarket, waiting for my ride to work, standing next to the stove while stiring… I missed a lot of sleep two days in a row, got scolded by my boss once for taking too many breaks, and there’re food smears on the screen of my reader.
… I have been loving it THAT MUCH!!

I’m crazy excited about what will happen next, so there’s no need to wait, or pause, or even think about it. With Cress done, …

Death’s handmaiden 

Death’s handmaiden 

Remember that taste for darkness I’ve talked about? The one that never really takes me where I think it ought to…

It’s happened again with Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I don’t even remember when and where I came across this book. It  has been sitting on my shelf for a while now.

I only remember reading the small summary and being completely intrigued by the idea of a convent that serves the God of Death. Who wouldn’t be, right?

Honestly, I was not disappointed. While the story wasn’t what I was expecting, the convent in itself was pretty cool, even when we don’t really get to know as much about it as I would have wanted. A house full of the daughters of Death. I wish we could have gotten more of an inside as what was that like, but I understand that is not really a part of the story.

Death, love and courtly intrigue aside, I think this story is about finding your own way through things. Or maybe that is what I can relate the most to.

Among all the plots and mysteries to unravel, Isame struggles to reconcile what she feels in her heart and what her convent tells her is the truth.

Being one that understand the great effort and constant battle that means believing in something that doesn’t aligned with what you have been taught all your life, I can really relate to her struggle.

She finally realizes that being faithful and loyal to her God and to her convent may as well be two different things. I felt that was evidence of her maturing though the whole “save-the-duchess-from-all-her-enemies” deal.

True, there is not much complication to the supposed machinations that surround the Duchness. I don’t know if it was my absolute mistrust of all male figures after that beginning, or if it was really that obvious… But there was no mystery to the traitors for me.

I saw a lot of bad reviews for this book online, and it is true that it might never be considered a work of art, but it was a good read. People like me that read just for the enjoyment of reading, then it is a good book. I might even go for the next two books of the series.

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Find and not look, look and not find.

Find and not look, look and not find.

When I decided to start with this challenge, I made a rough booklist to cover all the checks I needed. But, how did I pick them, you ask? With the help Goodreads and all the already-made booklist there. Of course, the list has changed and grown as I go through it.

So, yes… at some point I searched for “books with love triangles”, and then checked it against all the books on my shelf (the wood one, or the digital one) already waiting to be read… and that’s how I came up with Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

And after complaining so much and sso often about all those love triangles that seem pointless and unnecessary all over the place, I had some trouble seeing why wold this particular book made that list.  It took some thinking and reviewing but I think I see it, and I’m sure it will become more obvious and heart-breaking as the story goes on for the rest of the books (if the movies are anything to go by).

I sppose that after the overly sexual three-way romance on Witches of East End, and slightly annoyingly dramatic one on Shatter Me, this one felt almost accidental. I did feel somwhat real and appropriately juvenile, thou… No so much as something she does, or bad judgment on her part, but allowing things to be left unsaid and refusing to think about the consequences of her actions.

imageBut then again, how can anything possibly matter when you are being thrown into a battle field to die publicly for people’s entertainment?

Of course, I’ll have to read the other two. I would like to say that it will be done before the lst movie comes out, but I don’t think it can be done if I want to stop deviating of my goal.

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The ultimate bookworm

The ultimate bookworm

I remember back when Mara Wilson was on everyone of my TV favorites…

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… and Matilda has always been one of my all time favorite characters. I wanted to be just like her, and not because she has telekinetic abilities, but because she read so many books.

This is the true reason why I’ve had Matilda (by Roald Dhal) on my list, waiting to be read, for such a long time.

And it turned out to only take a day! And a working day at that.

Now, I’m just annoyed at myself that I hadn’t read it before now. But I guess that’s the whole point of me giving this challenge-thing a go: to push myself.

IMG_0874Another thing I loved about this book, that happens to also be true for the only other book by Dhal I’ve read, is that I absolutely ADORED the illustrations.IMG_0873

They are just so completely adorable.
The ending DOES feel a bit rushed and silly, in its lacking of details, but it is after all a book meant for children, and they are never really bothered by silly things as details and unlawful abandonment of minors.

IMG_0872I will definitely push my nephews (the only children I have access to) to read this one… Even if I have to place it everywhere until they are sick of my insisting, because I think it gives a message that is vitally important:

Reading makes your life better.

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To whatever end…

To whatever end…

I was almost to the 200th page when I started to suspect that Queen of Shadows would not be the last of the Throne of Glass series. It was by page 500 that I was certain. And when I reached the last sentence, I was confused.
Of course I loved it. I mean, I read it in a weekend (All my housework went without being done). And, after the ending of the previous one, the waiting was long. So, yes! It was GREAT.

imageMany fantastic lines and bits and pieces. Watching Aelin and Manon finally meet each other was one of my favorite parts. I almost expected them to become immediate friends, but the fact that they ended up fighting it out was way better.

Chaol annoyed me a bit, but I guess that I was expecting that. All that uprightness just rubs me wrong, and we could see his good qualities loosing strength since before the end of Heir of Fire

So now, please someone enlighten me. Will there be another part?

Because if this is the end of this great story, then it absolutely sucked! But if there is going to be another one… One full with war and Dark Kings, then I am a bit grateful for the milder ending. So the waiting (however long) won’t be as painful as last time.

Old & New

Old & New

Of course I only started reading Cinder (by Marissa Meyer) because I heard it was a re-telling of the classic Cinderella story, and eventhou the movies that have flooded the teather lately haven’t interested me at all… curiosity won.

And I’m glad it did. I was great!

Of course, I might be bias. After all, I’m a terrible fan of sci-fy and all this quirky references to classic stories kind of mellow me by reminding me of my childhood… all that might be true, but i still loved it.

The play on the lost shoe was one of my favorites. Lost shoe, lost foot. No difference, right?

imageAll these old thing, mixed with all these new things.

And cruel stepmother with two daghters that are alwas treated to better things relying on the hard-work of an orphan. Old.

A cyborg that seems to be immune to a world-wide plague, with brain interface and ID chips and med-androids. New.

Another of my favorite things is that this Emperor is more commited to the well-being of his people than to what he might or moght not feel for the girl and that makes him  great man in my book.

When everything is said and done… Cinder has only herself to get out of the mess she’s in. As it should be.

Soon, the whole world would be searching for her -Linh Cinder.

A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.

A Lunar with a stolen identity.

A mechanich with no one to run to, nowhere to go.

But they would be looking for a ghost.

Now I’m onto the next one… Scarlet. Very likely I’ll end up reading even the tiny stories that divulge the most mundane secrets of these characters, and every little thing to do with the Lunar Chronicles (as this series is called) Honestly.

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