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.

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.

NSFW 

4/5

Specimen by Shay Savage

Definitely not appropriate for reading in public, specially if you’re like me and it requires effort and concentration to keep what goes through your head to show on your face.

Specimen by Shay Savage

Specimen by Shay Savage

I did enjoy it, though. Besides the hot and detailed sex descriptions, there is also a good story being told. There are super soldiers, and brain-machine interfaces, mad scientist experimenting with human beings, and all a bunch of stuff that can be considered immoral, but it is not because it happens in a post-disaster world.

It kind of made me think about all the things we would be willing to do to eachother as humans when survival is the immediate goal. I imagine we wouldn’t be so “civilized” then…

I also like the ending of this story. It took a moment to let it settle, but I honestly think it couldn’t have gone any other way. And it wasn’t even that surprising with the pace and direction of the book. It did feel a little sad, though.

But I won’t spoil it for you. Let me just say that it took me back to when I read 1984 by George Orwell. That’s all I’m saying.

Current goal: Cake.

4/5
Win Some, Lose Some by Shay Savage

As you know, I’m a fan of Shay Savage‘s books. To me, they are like a good scoop of sorbet. Delicious, refreshing and excellent to cleanse my mind from all stories and free it for new stories.

It is not uncommon for me to get stuck on a story. Sometimes, even when I didn’t really enjoy the, that much, little pieces of moments get replayed over and over in my head. Sometimes, I even dream about them for days in a row… And even when that doesn’t happen, I feel like little left over residues of old stories and plots get smeared in my mind everytime I read a new book.

Win Some, Lose Some by Shay Savage

Win Some, Lose Some by Shay Savage

But there are these ones… these stories… that take everything else out of my mind as I go trough them. Like washing the blackboard before using it again. Win Some, Lose Some felt like that.

Of course, that is NOT to say that I didn’t enjoy it for itself. This is the only book I have ever read with a main character with autism. I think that makes it special.

Matthew Rohan is a very smart young man, to whom very sad things have happened, but all that on top of his social deficits, are not really what defines all that he is… And I think that’s the main thing we all most always remember. Our differences, be these what they’d be, are not what defines us as people… Our actions do.

But this is not the only reason I liked this book, it is also lovely. The budding relationship between Matthew and Mayra, the bond between siblings that Matthew enjoys with his sister even when they both have their own issues, and even the glimpses we get of all other relationships between many characters… I thought it was all simply lovely.

This was a heartwarming reading, even win the sad and dramatic bits.

But, hey! There’s a reason why I like Shay Savage‘s books so much.

Unhappy endings 

(This post is full of spoilers for Seraphina and Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman. If you haven’t read both the books from that series, I would seriously recommend you don’t read this. If you’ve read them and don’t agree with my opinions, please, feel free to say so. I would seriously enjoy knowing what others thought of this) 

Have you ever had a book ending going circles in your head all night?

I couldn’t stop thinking about Shadow Scale‘s ending. Seraphina, the main character, ends up all alone and kind is stranded among the remains of her old life.

Or, at least, that’s what it felt like to me…

My first thought, after Queen Grisselda confessed her love for Seraphina and her cryptic words afterwards, was to think that maybe they would end up, together with Prince Lucian Kiggs, in a non-traditional three-way marriage/relationship where they all three loved each other equally.

I think that would have made more sense to me, but I also understand that would have tipped this books out of the YA category into the Adult section… So I guess that was too much to ask for.

But then… And idea came to me… Something that I think would have also made sense, if expanded upon.

At the end of the story, to free her friends (and basically everyone else) from the mental influence of Jannoula, Seraphina manages to free her mind powers by stepping out of herself… Or at least that’s how she explains it… And by doing so, she manages to feel the life energy (or mind fire, or soul light, or whatever you want to call it) of everyone everywhere.

And she is specific enough to explain that she means…

everyone, everywhere.

Not just within the city she’s standing outside of, but people in far away places, too. And it fills her with wonderment, understandably, but also with love. Love for everyone everywhere, I’m assuming.

Later on, while she’s recovering for the confrontation, Prince Lucian says something that kept bothering me, and in many other circumstances I would have consider it a horrendous thing to say to the girls you’re supposedly in love with… He says, that in all that display of power and energy, for a moment, he felt he loved Jannoula.

As in, the same way he and the queen love Seraphina? As in, everything they think they feel is a byproduct of her being a half-breed and not of their free and honest will?

And if she will for ever feel the echo of this connection to everything and everyone that she felt while she was one with the universe… Does that mean she will forever more be able to feel this unlimited love for all living beings? Would that take away her ability to love one single man completely and selfishly?

That WOULD make her saintly… wouldn’t it? Would it show with her insistence that Kiggs marries his cousin, Queen Grisselda? (which stills sounds highly incestuous to me, not so much for the fact that they are family, but mostly because they actually grew up together)

Even when Dame Okra Carmine confronts Seraphina about her feelings about the wedding party (that she not only attends, but plays and helps plan!), and the obvious necessity that the future of the royal bloodline will eventually bring along… she’s very flippant about it all. And it doesn’t feel like an I’m strong, I can do this kind of thing. She honestly seems unable to care much about it. Detached. Would that be a symptom of her inability to be selfish about her emotional needs?

And then, there was the lost of her uncle, Orma. We are very clearly made aware that he might not be lost for good, and that there’s hope of getting him back. but we never know about the fate of Seraphina‘s father. The has just been a war, and dragons were falling out of the sky in flames… and she never even wonders about her father and his family?

 

What do YOU make of all this?