The Girl at Midnight (2)

savagedawn
It has been over six months since I read the Shadow Hour, but if I remember right Echo now has rad powers. Something to do with black fire she can’t actually control and her new love interest’s sister is trying to harness the power of complete darkness that came as a balance point to Echo‘s in an attempt at mad power-grabbing.

And, didn’t the crazy power-hungry sister actually kidnap her own brother to drain him of all his magic so she can get more powerful? All for the sake of winning a war whose outcome she’s not even interested in anymore…

Did I miss anything?

Oh, yes! Echo‘s only mentor and mother-figure, the Ala, barely just survived an attack by this aforementioned dark force and has not been able to provide any meaningful advice or guidance. She has barely even made an appearance during the first two books and even so continues to be my favorite character.

The good thing I’m looking forward to is some closure. It drives me crazy when I’m looking forward to the ending of a story and then it turns out there’s another one. At least this one will have no surprises of that kind (it better not). I mean, it says so in the cover: “The Final Book“!

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The Hunger Games (2)

Hunger Games series

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

4/5

Talk about sadness all over!

I know this isn’t much of a spoiler, but there’s honestly eth all over the place, how can that be pleasant?

MockingjayIt all felt like a good ending until that moment when Finick died in a single sentence. Seriously?

“Far below, I can make out Finnick, struggling to hang on as three mutts tear at him”

Really? Her last true allied? the last person she could really, unconditionally, trust? And you just killed him off after he just got married?

And then… he has a son?! Did he even get to know his new bride was pregnant when he decided to get back into semi-arena without a real purpose or plan? As a set of tools only used to draw fire and public image managing? How depressing is that?Have tissues close by

I understand that this whole series is told from Katniss’s perspective, and in previous ones, I actually enjoy all the little things she doesn’t know. I like being surprised and trying to figure things out as she does.

But, usually, she got a bit of a briefing after every confusing event. Enough not to keep us in the dark about what really happened and the intentions and actions of every player. Not this time, though. The whole of the last couple of chapters felt like the genuine experience of someone who has gone through such a horrible and traumatic thing likeKatniss has, but it left us all in the dark about the finer details.

Like, for example…

What happens after the murder of President Coin? There was a trial? What happened? Who testified? What could they possibly say to justify Katniss’s actions?

And Gale? I understand why he never comes back to her, but we don’t get to know about him again? And even if h accepts their relationship beyond friendship will never happen, he was supposed to be her best friend! eh just abandoned her to her grief? How lame is that!

And Katniss’s mom! She also abandoned her to her grief?! After everything she did for her when she succumbed to hers after the death of her husband?! And who cares if going back to their old house was painful to her?! A mother should have done it anyway! Her last living daughter needed her the most, and she just let her be taken away?! How disturbing!

And don’t get me started on Peeta!! He was seriously crazy! Quite demented! In a way most would have expected him to need constant supervision for the rest of his life… but no! He just goes back home alone where he has no family left to keep an eye on him, and to a girl who he used to love so much that he tried to kill her more than once. And we hear nothing about his therapy or road to recovery? That was kind of a necessary step if you wanted us to calmly accept he was now safe for Katniss, and capable long term to have a family of his own.

That’s another thing. Children? They had children? I don’t feel comfortable with people this damaged and traumatized to be responsible for raising a couple of children, on their own. Do you? Honestly?

But well… all and all, I did like it. Most of it felt right (except the part about Finnick), and wrapped most of it up. I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

Hunger Game (2)

Ok. Time to get to the end of the story.

I’m actually kind of looking forward to knowing what’s gonna happen next. With Katniss’ relationship with Haymitch in ruins, and leaving her feeling totally betrayed (n rightly so), I’m very curious about how, the leaders of the revolution, are going to go about manipulating her into doing their bidding.

Even when I saw the movie, to me this story has always felt to be about how there are not good guys and bad guys, in life, but especially in war. Everything is varying shades of grey. And everyone is trying to use Katniss and her pain/grief/ love for their own ends no matter what they call them… Being national unity, or revolution.

But, no more dillydallying… let’s get to it.

Catching Fire

4/5
by Suzanne Collins

 

I was actually not expecting to like this book as much as I did.

Catching_fireHonestly! I really liked it. it is filled with action and a lot of not knowing what is happening. I loved the fact that it was all told from the perspective of Katniss, so every time she’s confused or surprised or shocked, you are as well.

Not to dismiss the all-knowing narrator, but I do enjoy being surprised.

I have to say that for me, this book was a lot about betrayal. But I kind of liked that. It felt right to feel like that when everything feels like a battle for survival. And it IS a battle for survival! At least for Katniss

SPOILER ALERT

… She feels like she’s betraying her life-long friend, by faking a relationship with Peeta, but at the same time, Gale having feelings for her and trying to push their agenda with her when all she wants is to find the light at the other light of this tunnel she voluntarily got into, that feels like a betrayal to her.

And, on top of all that, comes the expected but not any less shocking betrayal of the government. She tried really hard to please the President. She did what she was asked, and was willing to do more… but it didn’t make any difference. The government still breaks all possible trust, as small and tentative as this could’ve been, by sending her back to fight for her life to that place she barely survived the first time.

And, just in case you thought that wasn’t enough to break all her trust in people in general, her friends betray her. By lying, by plotting against her, by using her as a pawn in their own game… as if she hadn’t had enough of that. It doesn’t matter if they think it is a noble cause or if they call it a Revolution or whatever.

It is all a betrayal, for Katniss. She is being forced into a role and into actions that don’t come of her own volition. You know how we call in the real life when someone is forced against their will to do something they don’t’ want to do? ABUSE! She’s being abused! By her friends! I feel for her.

I would’ve gouged Haymitch‘s eyes out without remorse.

But that’s just me.

… I think the only person in the whole book who doesn’t demand anything from Katniss is Peeta. I think he sees what she’s going through, and most of all, he understands her. He can empathize and he just loves her, anyway she lets him, being with her in any capacity she needs. That is true love.

That is true love.

The Hunger Games


As I’ve said before, work has been crazy lately and I’ve realized that lately the only free time to relax I have is while I’m driving from one place to another. So it’s time to dust up my audiobook collection.

I’ve been thinking about the advantages of modern technology when it comes to enjoying audiobooks, and I think the best way to break in my new phone (the one I had to buy out of necessity… stupid phones that break down even when you treat them nicely!) is to start a new one.

So… Catching Fire it is. Hopefully, I can make some progress with my goal for this year and check mark another book series my list.

Grave Ransom

4/5
It took me only one day to read through the whole thing. It is that easy to get into it.

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

The whole idea of Alex’s castle and the mixed reality of havin it just pop up in the backyard is fascinating. I loved that. I think we are finally getting to know the extent of Alex’s magic powers, the ones that everyone has seemed to find so game-changing.

There were some downs, like that crazy violent and annoying special agent, and the apparent last appearance of my favorite character: death. Of course, their relationship was doomed to end from the beginning, so their break up was expected and inevitable, but still… That was my favorite character.

I understand, though. Alex is getting more and more into the fae world. Even living in a fae castle. She is basically immortal now, right? So, it makes complete sense to have her move away from the guy that cannot come into that world with her.

But besides the whole series story arch, the mystery this time is great. Dead bodies walking around! It was really good, specially when it had nothing to do with zombies. I’m not that big a fan of zombies.

I’m still confused about Rihanna’s lover/protector/friend/pet. What’s going on there? And is the winter queen losing her mind? Will she be a less annoying and paranoid without the poison she was being fed?

I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book. Yes. Another endless series. Good thing I’m still enjoying it.

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.

A Gathering of Shadows

5/5
It took me moths to finally finish A Gathering of Shadows, but it wasn’t for a lack of interest… i assure you.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Instead, the only reason I put it down was the crazy insane project that suddenly landed on my hands around the same time I was getting ready to finish this book.

When I finally found an opportunity to focus my mind on this story again, I had to go back a few chapters to get on the same excited mood I was when I was forced to leave it. It wasn’t difficult.

This is a amazingly exciting story. I can honestly say I liked this one better that the previous one. It is simply packed with more wonderful displays of magic than the first one in the series. Not only about this girl that’s supposed to have no magic discovering all the thing she hadn’t thought were possible, but also the more in-depth view we get to Rhy and that’s before we get to the whole magical battle cage contest!

And that ending!! Oh. My. God!

(And I don’t say that lightly)

I was still holding my breath when I immediately switched to A Conjuring of Light. Bless my crazy ideas of purchasing books by sets!

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

 

And, of course, I blew through the first chapters like crazy trying to keep up with my own excitement. It has been a while since I had that feeling. It was awesome. If the ending of book two and the beginning of book three are any indication, I’m going to absolutely love this one.

I’m trying to tamp down my expectations, so I don’t build it up too much before really getting into it, but I make no promises. This is, after all, the end of the story… As far as I know.  So, it is completely understandable that I would expect something way more amazing from this one book than from the previous tow put together. Don’t you think so? Isn’t that the standard?

What do you think?

Isn’t that the point of sequels?

The Lunar Chronicles

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I absolutely loved The Lunar Chronicles, all of them. It is one of my favorite series of recent years. So, of course, Fairest has been on the list for quite a while now… but as I don’t expect to see any Iko at all, and very little Cinder if any at all… it wasn’t moved to the top at all.

Well, now it is due. And I’m really looking forward to it. There should be a good dose of royal and family drama. Almost like watching  a new season of The Crown…

…but on the moon…

… and with mind powers…

… and without Prime Ministers.

So… nothing like The Crown, I imagine.

Unexpected Circumstances: The Handmaid

The Handmaid by Shay Savage

I think the only reason I couldn’t finish this book in one afternoon was my work schedule. I didn’t very much like that.

I’m no stranger to books that can be red non-stop through, nor have a problem with short books, and I’m definitely no stranger to Shay’s way to take you all the way through  story in segments without feeling like you stopped to change books.

The problem I had with the Handmaid was the fact that it felt more like a long prologue or a first chapter than like a whole story. There was really nothing going on there. You are barely starting to get  feel for what’s going on and who these character are, when the book is suddenly over.

I felt cheated. Of course, I’m going to read the whole series, but this one really felt like it could have come in a single book. 2/5

Beyond that, I couldn’t tell you much. I am intrigued, and you can definitely see some sexy moments coming your way… but nothing much has happened yet.

 

The Shadow Hour

4/5
Ok. Another story that turns out has another sequel.

I’ve read many stories with multiple point of view and there are some pretty awkward and confusing stories out there, but I can honestly say that The Shadow Hour isn’t one of those.

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

You get a bit of the drama, with the love triangle of Rowan, Echo and Caius; you also get a bit of the sweet stuff, with Dorian and Jasper and how their relationship blossoms in spite of the war going on; but you also get a bit of comic relief here and there and Ivy with her compassionate view of a world and the people that have done her many wrongs.

It’s  great story, but i’m not sure I liked where it ended. An absolutely not sure abut what to expect on the next one. While I enjoyed this one with its mysteries and budding romances, it felt a bit anti-climatic by the end.

And, honestly! there was too little heard from the Ala. She is one of my favorite characters!

But well… I guess there is no other option but to wait for the next installment and go from there.

The Girl at Midnight series

I still have a long flight to go. Who says there is t a bright side to transoceanic flight? You get a lot of uninterrupted reading time?? What can be better?

Just adding coffee? They do that, too.

The Shadow Hour by Melissa Grey

So, let get in with it. If I remember right, turns out that the mysterious object the main character was actually searching for was herself and the self-awareness that she has the power to bring and end to the long war between two species.

So, this should be interesting.

Grave Visions

Turns out that the best way to catch up with my reading is to be stuck in an airport for a couple of hours without anything else to distract me. Lately, when I try to take advantage of my time by reading while in transit from one place to another, there’s always someone trying to make conversation and it becomes impossible to focus.

Today, thou, I’m not sure if it was some kind of Don’t Talk to Me signal I might be sending out, but no one has tried to make conversation. I am grateful. Best group of people I could possibly keep company with in an airport as far as I’m concerned.

Let me read in peace, and I’m a happy camper. I can keep on waiting for the plane to beard for a couple of hours more. (It doesn’t look like I’ll have to, though).

So, this means I’m finished with Grave Visions. And a bit shocked, somewhat annoyed, but mostly curious to learn there is another Alex Craft book coming out this summer. Alex Craft series

I felt this one was a bit slow and not as packed with detective and mystery goodness as all the previous ones. And while I still liked it, I’m not as crazy about it as I was expecting.

There was crazy magic, and crimes were being committed and investigated… But I felt there was a lot going on in the story that was beyond Alex’s point of view. So much happened while she was unconscious or asleep, or as plain and simple as just terribly confused. And while all this makes sense when you take into consideration that she’s somewhat sick, it still left me with a feeling that I was missing much.

I think this story might need some alternative points of view. I’m dying to know more about Alex‘s father, of her elf, of her changeling, or even her Grimm Reaper of a boyfriend (who happens to be one of my favorite characters and barely made an appearance in this book). 3/5

But well… Hopefully next book would give us more. Right?

I’ll have to add the release date to my phone alerts, otherwise I’ll totally forget.

The Alex Craft series

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price

Winter rush is finally subsiding…

I knew it definitely when I finally managed to spend a whole Sunday cozy and happy on a couch with my e-reader and a cup of coffee.

So, now I’m happy to start doubling up on the books I’m currently reading. Maybe this way I’ll see more progress on my Books Read list.

And let’s get to it, with Grave Visions. With some more magic, plus some detective work and a pinch of good romantic drama to make things more interesting.

if I remember correctly, the lover she cannot trust just moved in with Alex under the orders of his Fae queen, and she and her best friend/inherited property are starting to work together in the P.I. new office, with a ghost as a partner and a strange kind-of-a-house-elf as a receptionist.

This should be entertaining. Right?

Shades of Magic

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A thief and a magician…

This is the second book of the series, Shades of Magic, after A Darker Shade of Magic.

If I remember right, we are talking about a one-of-a-kind magician, with a black eye that marks him as powerful… who can travel to other worlds!

And a thief who escapes her boring grey world in search of adventure and greatness.

Last thing I remember, they managed to defeat invading magicians and vanished a powerful and dangerous magic stone to a sealed world, attached to a death body.

Am I forgetting anything? Let’s back to it, then.