Monday, August 31, 2015

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Released September 2, 2014
Borrowed from friend
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling 
Crown of Midnight (Summary from Goodreads).


The ending of the book just BLEW MY MIND.  IT WAS INSANE!!  I'm going to be honest though, the majority of the book was kind of slow for me compared to the first two books (the second is my fav).  I was in a reading slump which may or may not have been brought about by this book.  Nevertheless, a reading slump combined with a slow paced book means that it takes me waaaaay longer to finish a book.  It pretty much took me all month to read this.  Don't get me wrong, there were some scenes thrown in that increased my attention, but I wish the first 500 pages were as action-packed as the last 50 pages.

That being said, this definitely wasn't my favorite out of the three so far.  For one, my baes weren't together (baes being Chaol, Celaena, and Dorian).  It's just not the same when they aren't interacting with each other.  I'm a huge shipper of Celaena and Chaol, so it was disappointing that they had no interaction whatsoever in this book, and Celaena is basically moving on from him.  I also didn't like being thrown into the new characters' POVs at first, but by the end of the book Rowan, Manon, Sorscha, and Aedion were growing on me.  Rowan x Celaena is my brotp, for sure.

What I did like was learning more about Celaena's past and what happened the night her parents were killed.  Although I felt Celaena was wallowing in her misery a little too much (I suppose it was justified), it was nice that she could finally move on from her fears.

The ending was so awesome that I can tell some serious shiz will be going down in the next book, Queen of Shadows, which comes out September 1st (woah that's tomorrow!!!)
Friday, August 28, 2015

Spotlight Friday (13) and Giveaway: The Lemorian Crest by Hannah L. Clark


I am hosting this blitz on behalf of YA Bound Book Tours

Title: The Lemorian Crest (Cobbogoth #2)
Author: Hannah L. Clark
Genre: Fantasy
Released August 23, 2015

Summary

After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one; and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone.” Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be. 

When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called The Lemorian Crest and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.

Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’ safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race (Summary from Goodreads).


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.


Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. ;-)

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

Title: The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released January 1, 2011
Audiobook free month on Audible
Review: 4/5

Summary

Centuries after the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is on the verge of modernity - railroads, electric street lights, and skyscrapers. Waxillium Ladrian can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After 20 years in the dusty Roughs, in the city of Elendel, the new head of a noble house may need to keep his guns (Summary from Goodreads).

Audiobook Review

I was excited to try this as my first audiobook!  At first, I really enjoyed being able to utilize the minutes that add up driving to work, home, or anywhere.  Initially, I was able to pay attention pretty well, but after a while I found my mind drifting off and when I started paying attention again to the story I had no idea what was going on or where the characters were (apparently I have crappy focus).  

As far as the voice acting, it was cool to have the actor doing different voices for the characters because it helps me visualize the characters.  However, his voicing of the female characters was kinda strange and funny. 

Since I started an OwlCrate subscription, I will not be continuing my Audible subscription because I really should not be spending so much money as a college student and I'm forcing myself to give up one or the other.  As far  as my experience with my first audiobook goes, I liked it more than I thought I would, but because of my lacking ability to focus I was unable to fully experience the book.  While I'm not continuing my subscription, that doesn't mean I won't try it out again in the future when I can actually afford all this stuff.

Book Review

As far as the book goes, once again I was pumped to get back into the world of Allomancers.  My favorite parts are the ones where Sanderson is describing the characters using their Allomancy or Feruchemy.  It's so cool because he makes it make sense, as if it can be scientifically achievable.   For example, the fact that most Allomancers would only have one power was great because it makes sense that Allomancy would die off over the course of 300 years.

There was a definite hole in my chest for all the characters that appeared in the first three books, and it was pretty cool when the "new" characters would mention the past.  I was like "Yo you're talking about Vin and Kelsier!!"  I also missed the old world, but it was actually interesting how the characters used their Allomantic powers in a more modern setting, like when Wax would Push on gun bullets to make them faster and use lamp posts to travel around. 

I wasn't paying as much attention as I could have as a result of my crappy listening skills, so I honestly missed some important events in the storyline. From what I could piece together, however, I know that the conflict is on a much smaller scale than that of the first three books.  It was a kind of wild western mystery, which is a much different feel from the first three books.

While Wax, Wayne, and Marasi were agreeable characters, they didn't stand out as much as my baes from the first three books.  Perhaps I am just a little too attached to the old characters, but hey that's how I feel. I'm still looking forward to continuing the series, because I think the story took an interesting turn at the end.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Waiting on" Wednesday (3): Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

"Waiting on" Wednesday is posted every other week to spotlight my most anticipated books

Title: Zeroes (Zeroes #1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Release Date: September 29, 2015

Summary

Ethan, aka "Scam," has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn't just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn't consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts - like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him - his former group of friends, the self-named "zeros" who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam's latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action (Summary from Goodreads).

Why I'm So Excited

Back when I was around 13 years old I read Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and I loved it!  They actually made me interested in the dystopian genre and so right after those books I read The Hunger Games.  I'm not much of a fan of the dystopian YA books I've read in the last couple years (I actually stay away from them  now if I can since reading the Divergent trilogy), but since I really enjoyed Uglies I'm looking forward to reading this other series by Scott Westerfeld.
Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Released January 1, 2014
Purchased Hard Cover
Rating: 4/5

Summary

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart (Summary from Goodreads).


When I finished The Winner's Curse I wasn't quite sure how I would rate it.  But upon reading other people's reviews on Goodreads, I decided on 4/5, and I'll explain why in a bit.

I found myself really into the story for the majority of the book.  Kestral, the main character, is the general's daughter in the Valorian empire.  Now, some reviewers say that the characters were cardboard, and while they could have had better characterization, I still found Kestral to be an understandable character through most of the book.  

In the beginning, Kestral seems like an almost haughty high society girl who likes to disregard some of the social norms in Valorian Society, such as having an escort when out in public.   I think this somewhat rebellious side of her leads her to buy a Herrani slave, Arin, who she eventually (spoiler) falls in love with.  Kestral has the option to either join the military or marry.  Since she isn't particularly good at combat and doesn't care to kill people, she knows she'll have to marry.   Overall, I found her to be a smart character who is knowledgeable in military strategy.

I also really liked Arin's character. He is also very smart and, later on in the book, very sweet to Kestral.  I enjoyed the Bite and Sting games he and Kestral would play and they are just really cute together.  I'm liking this ship, and that cliffhanger ending has got me wanting more.

Now, the only reason I feel this doesn't quite deserve 5 stars is because the writing didn't feel like 5 stars. After reading a lot of books, I seem to lean towards books that have a certain writing style where there is more descriptions about the environment, more nuances in the character's actions, and lots of feels.  I did get lots of feels from this book toward the end, but something about the writing was missing for me. Because of that the story slowed down around the latter half of the book, but for the most part I was intrigued with the story and constantly wondered what would happen next.  THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING AHHH!!!

Also, I'm sorry I think my review really jumps around everywhere kinda randomly, but hey this is my blog and I can be a weirdo if I want to.

Also also, the cover is gorgeous.  Just sayin'.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Waiting on" Wednesday (2): Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

"Waiting on" Wednesday is posted every other week to spotlight my most anticipated books

Title: Vengeance Road
Author: Erin Bowman
Release Date: September 1, 2015

Summary

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there's room for love in a heart so full of hate.

In the spirit of True Grit, the cutthroat days of the Wild West come to life for a new generation (Summary from Goodreads).

Why I'm So Excited

I've been seeing this book floating around book blogs for the past several months with good reviews.  The Wild West theme is unique, and the story reminds me of Mulan (which I love) in that she disguises herself as a boy. It seems like an interesting read!
Saturday, August 1, 2015

August TBR

Books I read in July:

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

As you can see, I didn't quite complete my July TBR.  I was going to read The Winner's Curse, but Throne of Glass was so good that I had to start the second one.  However, the feels were so great in Crown of Midnight that I need to take a break.  Honestly, the Throne of Glass series was so good that I feel a reading slump coming on because I'm afraid I won't have that same awesome experience in the books I hope to read this month.  I will do my best to prevent myself from getting into a slump!

TBR for August:

1. The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski - Once again, this was on my TBR for July, but I was so into Throne of Glass that I couldn't start another series just yet.










2. The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4) by Brandon Sanderson  - This was also on my TBR for July.










3. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas - MUST. CONTINUE. SERIES.










4. TBR Jar - If, by some chance, I manage to actually read these other books, then I would like to actually put my TBR Jar to some use.
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