Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
This was a very well developed futuristic tale with TONS of action and good old Fae vs Tek badassery. There was romantic tension but not directed at only one or two people, it was sprayed around pretty evenly. The ending was an annoying cliffhanger but the rest was done well.
I couldn't find the book's picture but thought it was interesting enough to share. Enjoy!
Ok, where to go with this review?? On one hand, the world building was rich and definitely unique. On the other hand, there were the characters...what a mixed bag. I enjoyed most of the characters. I even loathed and rankled in all of the appropriate places... BUT... I never fully fell in line with, or even truly liked, the MC which usually throws up HUGE warning signs for me. Henrietta wasn't dynamic or expressive (unless you accept self-hatred as a primary emotion to base a character on). She never demanded my loyalty, admiration or zeal and her powers seemed easily obtained- with few obstacles and a pittance of growing pains to boot. YES she read a lot on the subject BUT when she sought unorthodox outside help it just... worked... it dawned on her with no great effort and that is another BIG annoyance for me...it's like a relentless buzzing sound while I'm trying to concentrate type of annoyance. The betrayals were poignant but swayed and seesawed at the slightest of urgings. A character could flip on her and then back again with such ease it seemed implausible. She gained unbelievable alliances, especially ones who went to unrealistically extraordinary lengths to support her in the end. Ok, onto the monsters. They were the right amount of scary vs realistic (if such a thing could be possible in a Fantasy novel). I don't read many horror stories so take that last statement with a grain of salt, keeping in mind that I have been known to put down a book if there is too much gratuitous gore or rape or child harming. Thankfully ASBAB did not have much of the first, none of the second and gently alluded to the third. Even with the faux pas I listed (and some that I have the nagging suspicion I have forgotten) the book moved along swiftly with very few lagging spots. My attention did not waver and buzzing annoyances aside, this was a fun read. I will probably move on to book #2 but I feel compelled to say that ultimately, it did not live up to the great potential the synopsis intimated.
I just finished this and I think I'll let it ruminate a bit because my thoughts and emotions are all akimbo. I will say this, the writing is silky smooth. The character and world developments were excellently crafted, nicely executed and richly tactile. There are characters that will charm you instantly and those you will LOATHE with a passion but even the tertiary characters are deep, visceral and extremely relatable. The magic system is intricate, well thought out and beautifully presented. This is a more MG/Young Adult read than those I have been immersing myself in and I think I'll have more to say later on but for now I wanted to put my racing thoughts to text before I lose the freshness of my feels. The ending was a little convenient BUT satisfying all the same. I definitely recommend this one! Enjoy
~~~~3.25 - 3.5 Stars~~~~
This book was a mixed bag of uuuwww interesting...no wait booooo... yawn....no wait MEH... no wait YAY!! Confused? I was too but I'll elaborate.
I loved the MCs voice through and through! His attitude and delivery of witty quips was perfectly executed and fun to read.
The mission? Try and turn one of three 14 year old (illiterate?), uncouth orphans into a long lost prince in 2 weeks time in order to seize control of a recently vacated throne. Wellll....it turns out that making a prince is slow, tedious and oft times a chore to read about. The storyline wasn't boring per se but it felt like I was working...working on my patience/ concentration levels.
I know this book was very well received but, for me, I was ready to start skimming before the halfway mark (definitely NOT a good sign!). I have so many tantalizing books on my formidable TBR pile that wasting time on a read that has gone sour just feels wrong. BUUUUT I soldiered on. At about the 70% mark things picked up and even though the twists weren't entirely surprising, it unfolded brilliantly. I really enjoyed the main reveal and how all of the subsequent events played out. From page 1 Sage (prince Jaron??) felt visceral and his attitude towards possibly sitting on the throne (with the weight of carrying a country soon to be at war on his shoulders) not only felt genuine but congruant with who he was from start to finish. This will go down as one of THOSE books...you know the type...the ones that draw you in and then somewhere in the middle test your resolve to see things through to the acknowledgments page and then BAM!! You're suddenly as happy as a thoroughly petted pup that you chose to persevere because it was one of THOSE books that come through (shining big sunny literary smiles) in the home stretch....GASP...end of run on rambling!!
I definitely ended up enjoying this book more than I thought I would but not LOVING it as much as most.
This is a very solid book with above par writing, a decent plotline and characters you can get behind. My main gripe was the sloooow pacing at times (typical for a traveling yarn) and the confusing romance. "I love you but you don't love me but then you love me and now you don't again and in the end I'm not sure how I feel now GRRRRR!!!!! The few major plot twists were pretty easily sussed out and the ending was weird but still satisfying in its own way. I will most likely check out book #2 from the library but I'm not compelled to do so anytime soon.
I went into this one expecting a LOT! What I got almost disappointed...almost. There were some lagging moments here and there but the world building made up for any down time, it was awesome! The environment and challenges were undeniably unique, well crafted and brilliantly traversed. The characters were fleshed out nicely and most were either extremely likable or unbelievably detestable. The MC was relatable, fallible and what will most likely be tested repeatedly, humane. What will the group ultimately face? How will they handle it? Who will survive and what alliances will be forged? Enemies made? What are the Adamites really like? What is the evil Babel corporation really up to? These questions and more are hopefully explored in more detail in book #2 and what a torturous wait it will be until then.
I loved every heartbreaking, achingly haunting, magic & miracle affirming minute. It was beautiful, painful and every detail perfection. There might be a more detailed review to come or maybe, after living with it awhile, I might decide that that is enough.
My streak has continued... I have been extremely lucky lately with my book selections and The Queen's Rising did not disappoint! It was beautifully written (though sometimes transparent and predictable) and it was ultimately, wholeheartedly and undeniably satisfying. Yes it did suffer a bit from Things-Conveniently-Falling-Into-Place- Rather- Easily syndrome AND the romance was a tad mechanical, saccharine and tame BUT it was ALSO a fun, engrossing, uplifting gem gifted nicely (and rather neatly wrapped) with a big ole Happy Ending for (Almost) All glitter bow.
This was action story of tropic proportions! There were a bevy of creatures, and realms and beasties...OH My! It is a coming of age trope-fest featuring 2 Earth (?) kids with magic (unbeknownst to them) who are forcefully enrolled in a special school with other (diverse and special) kids/creatures. Here they train to hopefully access and use their magic (and other skills) to fight The Good Fight...you know...kill all the "Bad Guys"...the Evil, malignant, dastardly demons and their evil Archlords.
The writing was nothing special. The world development was at times confusingly info-dumpy (just nod and move on please, this portion of the sentence is under construction) while other times just plain old confusing. The Character development was sloooooow to fruition but what the book lacked in those departments, it made up for with pure imagination. Will I move on to future installments? Most likely No BUT it was a fun read while it lasted.
This is set in a world of black and white and grey all over. This is Good and Evil and the eternal struggle to balance/rectify the two both in the world and in ourselves. In a land where being a recounter of tales, a lover of lore and a spinner of the yarns of old...where words hold the power to seduce even the most Amazing/violent of creatures...they can harm or heal.. they even might have the power to kill (?) What would you do with such power? Who would you be? What is the very nature of said Power and how does it contribute to the timeless battle between Good & Evil?
I wanted to put this down SO many times, to traipse off with another tantalizing book that caught my eye but each time I sat back down and gave it another try I got caught up for hours and was transported somewhere amazing/cruel/imaginative etc...in the end what more can we ask for from a collection of words on a page/screen? The writing was nice and comfy. It did not stretch the mind into uncomfortable positions just to comprehend what was happening. It also was not simple, base or crude. It felt like how I would describe southern cooking feels like on a depressingly cold winter's day, slow, comfortable, like aaaaahhhhhhh.
I liked every aspect of the plotline from the amazing depiction of Dragons to the awful dichotomies of family, court and social prejudice. The author traversed themes such as how much we allow other people's views/actions define who/what we believe ourselves to be? How difficult it is to shuck off negative beliefs about ourselves and become the best version of ourselves. How much do we let predjudices define how & who we interact and connect with? How much must we give up to be true to ourselves? What would some people do to have/keep the Power? Can you be Good if you have done bad things?... and more.
When it comes down to it I really enjoyed the total package and might have even shed a few tears...might I say. I think you'll like this twisty turny tale that will keep you guessing until the very last chapter.
"If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse."
You know what?? I am definitely one of THOSE people....you know, those that swoon over plots rife with Political intrigue..one of those awesome people that love all (good) things Fae....those that bought into the (well deserved) hype surrounding this book...those that sing praises of the venerable Mrs Holly Black, dubbing her an irreproachably unequivocal Master of Words and Such..well that may be more of a Me thing than a Those thing but I digress.
Anyhow, not only am I a firm resident of all of those categories BUT I happened to have fallen in LOVE with this book to boot! I'm not embarrassed at all to admit it, I was ensorcelled (LOVE that word!) and I am sure you will be as well. Cruel Prince deserves all the accolades it gets! Was it a perfect 5 Star book?? No, but it was extremely well written, thought out and executed. The plot twists were a bit too predictable, though watching them unfold was extremely satisfying. The coronation was stab-tacular and Red Wedding(ish)! The relationships Del Amore were nothing amazing but at least they weren't insta-anything either. The MC was kick @$$ yet vulnerable (a combo I love to see in a complex, well fleshed out main character...or any character really). Jude's "nemesis" was more talk than action, especially with regards to her, and ultimately a bit whimpy ...NOT traits I find sexy in a possible love interest but HEY...you never know. I guess we'll all be (not so patiently) awaiting book #2 to see what type of person he will truly turn out to be.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough though the wait for answers seems cruel and insurmountable... and I say this from just having joined the ranks of the tortured this afternoon :::GULP:::
overall: I'm pretty enamoured but the wait is already killing me. I wish you all a day with no distractions so you can immerse, experience and fall in love with this book and THEN you can take your rightful spot next to me on the excruciating wait train.
"What they don’t realize is this: Yes, they frighten me, but I have always been scared, since the day I got here. I was raised by the man who murdered my parents, reared in a land of monsters. I live with that fear, let it settle into my bones, and ignore it. If I didn’t pretend not to be scared, I would hide under my owl-down coverlets in Madoc’s estate forever. I would lie there and scream until there was nothing left of me. I refuse to do that. I will not do that."
I highlighted like a pro with this book BUT, as a whole, it wasn't as amazing as its quotes (if that makes sense). The plot was peppered with sporadic action/horrific violence while the rest seemed like it was trying to be deep and introspective....a recipe for disaster?? NOPE, it worked! Kind of...was it on the boring side?? Yes! Was the burgeoning love unnatural and painful to witness? Yes! BUT it was ok...not my new favorite but it was a semi interesting read.
I tried...The fact that a slew of you LOVED this book kept me going as far as I did but I just can't do it. I made it to 56% but I couldn't scrounge up enough interest in all things Diabolic AND since there are so many yummmy books out there I'm moving on. There was nothing horribly wrong but there also wasn't anything terribly right either. The one character that did pique my interest was Tyrus. He was supposed to be crazy/eccentric but turned out to be mildly Mad-adjacent. It felt like he suffered from poorly crafted character persona instead of slowly percolating character development of Awesomeness. All of the other characters felt flat and I couldn't care less what happened to them. Even the world building was bland....OOOOORRRRRR maybe I am just itching to move onto some of the tasties out on the market right now. Either way I'm calling it... it flatlined for me BUT I still look forward to reading all of your reviews...especially reviews that praise the books I couldn't get into or vice versa.
THIS BOOK WAS PURE NONSENSE!! It was also a dabbler...a sweet sweet dabbler that dabbled (obviously my word of the day) in areas that most authors either steer clear of or try to tackle and too often fail. Seanan McGuire presented many cases of Adversity and how 4 brave kids overcame the troubles that plagued them. This book also touched on body issues and anxieties dealing with someone's mass as opposed to their Being. She broached topics such as what a true friend is and what it means to fit in somewhere, especially when you are being the most authentic you, 100% real. Other topics arose like the (mis)handling Of people with disabilities and how they themselves, as well as those around them, cope with the truth of what they deal with and how they wish they were treated. The very fabric of Reality was examined and it was determined that Reality is real/right in different ways for different people. I loved seeing kids of Logic deal with a Nonsense world and everything that entailed. Things like Death and what it means to truly be Alive are placed under the litterary microscope and dissected in the most beautiful ways. The writing was exceptional, as always. The development of the Worlds was phenomenal! You could feel the magical air in the Land of the Dead and taste the sugary sweetness in the Land of Confection. The character's flaws, anxieties, strengths and epiphanies were so tangible that my heart skipped, raced, broke and recovered in all the right places.
If you are already a fan of this amazing series then you'll be richly rewarded with this new addition! If you are on the fence about whether or not to pick up this gem, I hope this review convinces you to jump off that stodgy old fence and open your own door to lands you couldn't possibly imagine without a tour guide. THIS BOOK IS SURREAL and CAPTIVATING!! I feel like McGuire's Wayward Children is my own personal door to Whimsy and Logic, Fairyland and Underword and I LOVED every minute of it!!
I just this very moment finished Soul Finder after having to first reread Soulless due to brain mushiness...It's a thing...I think...anyhow, I feel that I must go on record saying that this series has unceremoniously and repeatedly accosted my emotions..having all sense of Right and Wrong hijacked, held ransom and awaiting the final verdict found only in book #3 !! Proper words fail me at the moment BUT what I can articulate is Holy Gritty Hell shackled to a Crazy/Hot/Volatilly Codependent Love/Lust/insane romance (?!?)!! sound confusing and garbled? I agree! If you are in the market for a dark, disturbing, extremely well written dystopian series (with the same feel as Susan Ee' s Penryn & the End of Days series) then drop whatever it is you are presently doing and pick up book#1 Soulless...after much sleep deprivation you'll thank me for it later!! If you're still on the fence then I'll give you my 2 cents worth and suggest that you should try it, it's definitely worth the time!!
I am extremely conflicted about what to rate this. I don't mind admitting it...my name is Beth and I suffer from Old Lady Syndrome at times. In order to combat my memory lapses I take notes periodically with the hope of remembering to put into words everything I felt along the way. At first I was disheartened with the pacing. Then there was the lack of character development and to be completely honest, the plot as a whole was flailing. Yes the writing was very good. Yes the premise was unique BUT it felt very much like a setup book where there is very little going on definitively...no meat, no potatoes, just me starving for a decent plot, skimming and flitting about all the while stewing in resentment- waiting for book #2 to come out so that things can finally start in earnest. Around 64% there was still nothing major going on. The MC suffered from the doldrums and nothing was holding my attention fully. The identity of Jules's parents and the reasoning behind why the queen was so feared were the most interesting questions posed and even those inquiries did not compel me to keep turning pages. Only the preorder price and my own stubbornness kept me going. All of these factors usually amount to a surefire recipe for disaster BUT I am elated to report that I persisted! Not only did I persist but the last 30% was redemption incarnate!! And that ending...oh boy that ending left me fiending for more. I ended up loving someone I initially loathed (as we were often led to do) and detesting someone that I had eventually warmed up to (although done so with a healthy amount of well earned trepidation). The main twist blindsided me. The way in which it unraveled, though laborered in the beginning, was skilfully crafted. As it approached the finish line it commanded my attention and I ate it up in record time. Now now, I know some of you can inhale books at an inhuman rate (and I'm more jealous about that than I care to admit) BUT here I reference my own (oft times sluggish) pace so please take the previous statement with a grain of salt.
In the end I found myself caring for the characters which was a wonderous feat in and of itself because I would have balked at that claim around the halfway mark.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book and if you find yourself hung up, dejected and thinking of putting it in the DNF pile then I hope you persevere as well because the ending is not only twisty and turny but it also sets up high expectations for the next book in the series. Happy reading!