Soul Marked

by C. Gockel

5/5The wonders of the weekend. it all started with a free massage, brunch out and a stop by the bookstore. And, of course, it ended at the coffee shop.

SoulMarked

I picked up this book because the name seemed familiar. Turns out it was recommended to me by one of those random because-you-read apps.  I LOVED IT!

I read a couple of chapters while sitting in a not-so-comfy chair at a quiet coffee place, and I was totally hooked.

There’s magic, but also technology. There is a damsel in distress, that still has time and the will to save a magical immortal. There are a couple of different worlds and societies. That by itself is interesting, but my absolute favorite part of this book is the language and cultural barriers and all the fun that it ensues.

There’s also a bit in there about people’s fear of interracial pairings and prejudice. I thought it was very interesting as something for the two very different main characters to have in common.

There was also a part that I didn’t quite enjoy but thought it fit great into the story, about the exploitation of those some feel are inferior, and their mistreatment. It is both powerful man, both influential and magically gifted, who enjoys manipulating and hurting others.

I think there were quite a lot of social references an critiques (the kinds I enjoy finding) without losing the magical and somewhat romantic feel the story has. I really loved this book, and I truly recommend it.

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The Twenty-Sided Sorceress (6)

Heartache

by Annie Bellet

5/5OMG.

Boss fight, it is right!

This is honestly the most exciting book in this series by far. This is going to be full of spoilers. Beware.

I have been waiting for Samir to finally show his face for five books now, and I don’t think he disappoints. What does disappoint is Jade’s fumbling response. She was supposed to be training for a while now, and had learned a lot of new things from the older witch who she just ate! Why is she acting like a newb?! It’s frustrating!

I understand she not being able to save her friend the first time she managed to use Tess’s magic to do something unique and unexpected, but she’s supposed to be smart! Why not stop to analyze what happened and how can it be used to her advantage? Ok. She got arrested, that could have occupied her mind for a while, but she spends a long while locked in a prison cell… couldn’t she have taken a moment to think about her options?!

And don’t get me started on the complete narrowmindedness of not contemplating for a moment that something besides herself could be at play.

Also, someone put a leash on those friends of hers! Especially Harper. She’s starting to rub me the wrong way. She never stops to think, just changing ahead and getting herself mauled. She, and the twins, totally dismissed Jade’s fears of Samir without stopping to consider there might be a reason to have a healthy level of fear and caution. 

Don’t take my ranting wrong, though. I absolutely loved this book. The bad guy is seriously bad, the love interest is perfectly lovely and not overpowering, the surrounding story is adequately complex and there is more than one character to be into there. It is a fantastic book. I completely LOVED IT!. Seriously looking forward to book #6.

There’s only three left, but this whole series has gone crazy fast. I think I might easily finish it before the month is over.

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?

A Painted Goddess

So confusing

Sadly unsatisfying.

After the whole of my complains about the second part of this series, The Tattooed Duchess, I was super excite with all the action exploding all over the place in A Painted Goddess. Seriously! Everything seemed to simply fall into place… it was all going amazingly.

SPOILER ALERT

The Duchess was rescued from her kidnapping, but without looking like a “damsel in distress” at all. All the excursion souring the wold for more tattoos for Rina Veraiin were somewhat successful, eve when most o the participant died all over the place.

The war came and every tiny character thread got into the final mess… even the uprising within the enemy force was keeping me glue to the story.

A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler
A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler

The part of the defeated empress from across the sea that dies without knowing what happened to her navy? That was absolutely awesome an I loved it, as sad as it was.

How everyone from Rina‘s inner circle ends up converging at the royal palace, only to be witness to a coup! That was totally unexpected! And there i started to wonder when I would be able to read the next book… because, surely, all these new and dramatic twists will requiere at least a whole new book to unravel!

But no. this was the last book. And after the rather suden death of the king and Rina‘s refusal to being queen… everything went down from there.

All the sudden they are all together at a whole other place, with a whole other mission that makes no sense?! What the hell?! And after three books an everything, the Duke’s killer just falls dead? Just like that?

And what was up with that ending?! For goodness sake! it was terrible! Totally unsatisfying on many levels. Our favorite reluctant Captain of the Guard just walks away from  everything to go home and we never hear from him again?

Our favorite whores turned warriors just vanish into the background without any follow up?!

The pettiest of girls is the one to make it back home?

The only thing related to the title were two sentences?!

And the only guy who never had any idea as to what was going on, simply because he didn’t want to know even when he had ample opportunity to get all the details, is the one left in change?

WHAT   THE    F**K?!

Seriously! I feel like the only way to like this book is if you tore of the last couple of chapter and pretend you’re till waiting for the next one in the series.

And of course. this leaves me all confused… Did I like it? I’m not quite sure. At first I loved it… but then… Talk about mindbogglingly.

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!

Death’s Justice

5/5

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

 

This is book number two for His Fair Assassin, and it has been a while since I read the first one, Grave Mercy.

I remember in general way what the first one was about… There were three girls, daughter of Death himself, trained as assassins in order to serve their father; there was a loyal man who falls I love with one of Death’s handmaidens; there’s also a child Duchness being forced into marriage with a horrible man, and a plot to make it so.

It wasn’t until I was well into the story of this second part that I realized that I might be in serious need of a character chart. There are just so many names!! And most of them, in French!! It wasn’t so difficult to keep track of who were the good one and who the bad ones… But Imdo have to put to the record how difficult it was for me to keep the names straight,

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Even so, that doesn’t deter for the story one bit. It was amazing.

We don’t get to hear much about Isme, the main character form the first book, not about her budding love story wint he bastard brother of the Duchness… Instead, we get to know Cibela, another one of Death’s daughters. The darker one…

And it is heartbreakingly sad and tender and the same time.

While the first girl we met was soft of heart and only seemed to help others, this one is more violent and full of hate. Cibela had a horrible, horrible upbringing at the hands of s monstrous man who stops at nothing in order to pursue his ambition.

The more horrible things we learn about this man, the clearer it becomes why and how is hat Cibela has come to be who she is, and what led her to the convent that was to give her new purpose.

It is a wonderfully told tale of violence, intrigue, human cruelty, loyalty and deliverance. It was non-stop action, only interrupted by moments where you could see our main character grow and transform. I simply loved this book, and cannot wait to get to know the third  and last of Death’s daughters.

To the sky and back

5/5

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

It’s been a while since I read a book like this one. One that I simply couldn’t put down.

Work get me from going past the first page for most of the week, but by Thursday I was finally able really get into int. And after that, I just couldn’t stop. I even managed to squeeze in some pages while at work, between appointments…

It was a great story, with a fast pace plot that doesn’t feel rushed or tiring. There’s lost of magic, some comedy and some heart break. There’s even dragons!! DRAGONS!! I mean… If someone had told me there would be dragons, I would have gotten to this book a long time ago.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

People that turn into dragons, to be specific, but they were great. The idea that this being can have two hearts that beat together in their chests (one for their dragon instincts and thirst fro violence, and one for their human natures and their ability to feel things like love or mercy) was one of my favorites. I think it added an extra layer of complexity to this characters that was delightful. I DO wish we could have gotten to know the people of Eldr better, the Draconi, but I understand the story was about Lorelai Diererich.

SPOILER ALERT

I did find the death of Lorelai‘s brother, Leo, to be terribly sad, and the sudden disappearance of the Eldr King‘s uber-loyal friends/guards and then their equally sudden re-appearance felt slightly weird and empty. I think a couple of chapter from their point of view would’ve been good, but again, I understand this was not a story about the Eldrians. Maybe it should have been.

At the beginning we are introduced to all this characters… the Draconi princess, the Master military trainer and royal adviser… and the problems the Eldrian crown faces. But by the time we get to the last page, everything over there has been solved and we got no clear answer as to how, what really happened or how did all these character fared. That, I didn’t like.

But, if you ignore that, everything else was amazing. The strong princess that can climb trees and crumble mountains. How cool is that!! My favorite thing however was the falcon pet. She has a mental link with the magic wielding princess and her thoughts are simply the best part of the whole book in my opinion.  What better thing that a pet that can talk to you in your mind to offers you eating advise?

“Mouse? Rabbit?”

In short, I loved it, will add it to my list of favorite books and would absolutely love to know more about this. Maybe C.J. Redwine should consider writing a book all about the Eldrians.

Be still my heart

5/5

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

I absolutely loved this story. It was amazing, and it will go directly to my Favorite books of all time list. I’ll even start searching for a print hardcover version to own, simply for the pleasure of owning it. I was that amazed and enamored of it.

And it wasn’t just the dragons!

I love dragons.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

There’s no way around that. Most of the times, the simple promise of dragons can drag me to any movie, make watch any TV series and read pretty much any book. And, yes, that was the main reason why I decided to read Seraphina. But I will re-read it and re-read it for many more reasons than that.

Like, for example, I finally found a sane and reasonable example of a girls falling in love with a guy in the middle of a battle for her life. Who would have thought it was possible!? This sounded totally plausible and even somewhat unavoidable. She doesn’t waste pages and pages rambling about his beauty or perfection, or thinking of way to escape everything with him. This felt more like a completely unexpected and painful experience that she loathes but, at the same time, cannot stop.

SPOILER ALERT!

She gets to know him in the mist of all the adversities, and to her utter horror, she trips into love with him. After all, how can you not love a honorable and dedicated man who just wants justice and who appreciates you intelligence and opinions¡?! That sounds like a wonderful specimen that even i would brave dragons for.

And the best part? They go about it with total levelheadedness. She doesn’t throw herself at him recklessly, nor try to move him away from his duties or responsibilities. She takes is from the begging like an unattainable thing. Because, how can you ask that kind of man to betray everything he believes on for love?! Can he be the man you love if he agrees?! Honestly I loved him, too. Prince Lucian Kiggenstane is my newest book crush.

Shadow Sale by Rachel Hartman
Shadow Sale by Rachel Hartman

And then there were the dragons. I loved those too! My second favorite dragons of all times. My very favorite is still Eragon‘s Saphira, but these came a very close second. The idea of this ancient and mighty creatures taking human shape just to be able to understand us and all the blundering the come to when they’re faced with feelings. Feelings! Can you believe that, of all things, would be the most puzzling thing about mankind?! Of course, some weird way, it all completely makes sense.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything I can really say (or write) that can accurately tell how much I loved this book. So much so, that I’m not daring to stop and already started loading the sequel, Shadow Scale, and will be starting on it as soon as possible.

As luck would have it, today is the day I actually go back to the full on hectic schedule that I had before summer’s respite, but I won’t let that stop me. Sleeping is overrated, after all! Maybe I can even bring in my headphones and keep with my audiobook in the shower…

 

Space Pirate

Surely, you can already tell by the sheer amount of quotes and bits of book shared… but I absolutely LOVED this book.
mattD-WatneyAs cruel as it may sound, I was rooting for Matt Damon for the Oscar… if only because I thought Mark Watney was a genius character. I realize now that it was mostly all in the original writing!! (without taking away from Matt and everyone involved in making this book into a movie)

The Martian is all about this man, left alone, stranded and doomed… totally abandoned. But it never actually feels sad nor depressing. If anything, I found it completely inspiring. Mark Watney never accepts defeat, and that makes him my hero.

What doesn’t happen to him! I mean, talk about Murphy’s law!!

Stabbed, dragged around, almost suffocated, exploded, blown out, decompressed, rolled around… if you can think it, it most likely happened to him.

And he never gave up. He even kept his sense of humor. This is clearly a drama, with as much science and danger as possible… but it doesn’t stop being funny, and it never takes away from the seriousness of all the hurdles that Mark has to overcome.
I’m not sure if the levelheadedness is supposed to be a byproduct of being a astronaut, or if Andy Weir intended it to be simply Mark‘s personality… but I think it is what makes the character totally unforgettable. He never gives himself to panic, not even at the beginning… nor when everything goes wrong and it all seems hopeless.
Even when he throws a tantrum!!… He shakes it off, and keeps on working one problem at the time.


I don’t know if all the science and math included with this astronaut’s travesties is 100% accurate… and (to me) it doesn’t really matter that much. The point was that it sounds about right, nothing seems outrageous nor too science-fictiony. I thought it was enough to maintain the illusion, that nothing comes out of nowhere…

That was the other thing I absolutely loved.It almost felt like a real-life story. Nothing was really too out-there (at least for me).

I have NO complains, at all.

It was an awesome book.

You should read it.

Everyone should read it.

Something Old, Something New.

When I finished reading the last of the short stories in this collection, there was only one thing to be done… And that was, taking a moment and read it again (without interruptions).

I just had to read it again. It was completely necessary.

This was exactly what I was talking about before! The perfect ending for this story. A little glimpse to their future!! A small reassurance that they would be alright, that the end of conflicts wouldn’t let their relationships crumble.
It was just what I needed, what I wanted. I absolutely loved it.

All the sad for the previous stories in this book is completely worth it just to get to this last one, where everything juse wraps up very nicely. I will be reading it many many times over.

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, …

The ultimate bookworm

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

IMG_0870
… 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…

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.

“The better to eat you with, my dear”

imageOf course I was already hooked, from having read Cinder, but I really enjoyed Scarlet. More action and mystery that the previous one, what with the grandmother being missing and the strange soldiers just seeming to be there and being left wondering why hasn’t anyone seen them flying around when everyone is suppose to be looking for them… But there are also more answers.
Getting to know what actually happen to Cinder to make her as she is now felt important to me, and Wolf’s presence and his allegiance to her also seemed monumental somehow.image
Of course, I wouldn’t have said no to some more of Kai, but I guess watching him doubt and feel for the cyborg that was his friend was just right. He never backs down from his role and duties, and that in my book makes hI’m awesome.
At the end of my book came an excerpt of Cress and it totally grabbed me (that’s the one that follows in the series), but I took a look at my year countdown and I will never manage this challenge if I continue to deviate and follow all the series that I come across. Specially when the multiple-book series seems to be all the rage lately.
Where are the awesome stories that can be contained in just one book lately?
So, I’ll try and stick to my reading list and once the challenge is done (yes! I still refuse to believe I can’t do it!), then I will be absolutely coming back and finishing the series. I imagine by then even the fourth book, Winter, will be ready and I won’t even have to pause before getting to the ending.

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