Book Review- Queen of Shadows

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* This review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire

 

Queen of Shadows by  Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 1st, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 648
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Amazon

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

I’m having a hard time writing this review because of how much I loved the book.

You know when something is super amazing and it’s just too hard to find the right words to describe it? Well that’s this book. And pretty much every book in this series. But I’ll try….

Okay, so I’m gonna start from the beginning. Aelin is on her way back to Rifthold, leaving Rowan (who I LOVEEEEEEEEE) behind. AND SHE MISSES HIM AND IT’S SO CUTEEEEEEE. Also everyone is kind of in trouble because the King is evil and Perrington and the witches etc. etc. etc.

This book is pretty different from the first three for a few reasons:

1) Celaena is now called Aelin (something I thought would really annoy me but actually it’s kind of perfect because it’s like a whole different version of her and kind of perfect okay I’m going to stop now but I think you get the point).

2) There are more serious romantic relationships. Yeah, I know, I know, Chaol and Celaena in Crown of Midnight… but this kind of takes it to a new level. And there is a lot of NSFW scenes, which (despite me not liking romance-y books) were kind of perfect and adorable.

3) There is a lot more of a “resistance”/”rebellious force”. As in there is an actual group of people going against the King and hunting the Valg and stuff.
There are other things that make it feel a little different too, but those are the main things.

Like I was kind of saying in the first paragraph of this review, I love this book. There is no one thing that makes it great, but rather just the perfect balance of character driven and plot driven events, and how somehow there is so much going on yet it is easy to understand and it is just A GREAT STORY. It’s so entertaining and it just draws you in and doesn’t let go.

If you haven’t read this series already, please believe the hype. I stayed away from these books for so long because I was like “no way that can be that good” AND THEN THEY WERE THAT GOOD. Like yeah, they aren’t for everyone, but still. It doesn’t hurt to give them a try!

I am going to give Queen of Shadows five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Book Review- Heir of Fire

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway ending TODAY!!

This review contains spoilers for Throne of Glass (book 1) and Crown of Midnight (book 2).


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Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on September 2nd, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 565
Goodreads
Amazon

Celaena 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. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

Before I read this book, I was told by a few people that it “wasn’t quite as good as the first two”. I disagree. I thought, if anything, this book was even better.

Celaena is broken. Nehemia is dead, her relationship with Chaol was shattered, and now she was sent North to the very Aunt that her parents tried to keep her away from. Even worse: she is forced to train and use her magic if she wants to have an audience with her Aunt.

Then there is Rowan. I happen to love him, even if he is a jerk throughout the first half of the book. Rowan has gone through just as much heartbreak as Celaena, and their relationship evolves beautifully (once you get past the beginning, but even that is necessary for what comes next).

Chaol and Dorian are back in Rifthold, and have challenges of their own. Also, Manon Blackbeak is introduced: the Heir of the Blackbeak witches. She is cut-throat and ruthless but also awesome. I didn’t really know how to feel about her at first, but I’ve grown to love her as much as the other characters in the book.

This book is certainly action packed and emotionally loaded, and if you’ve read and liked the first two books-Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight-I definitely recommend you continue the series!!

I am going to give Heir of Fire five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Crown of Midnight

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass themed Giveaway going on now!

Also this contains spoilers for the first book, Throne of Glass (see my review for that here)


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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 27th, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 418
Goodreads
Amazon 

Celaena Sardothien is the king’s Champion-yet she is far from loyal to the crown, for the man she serves is bent on evil. But working against her master in secret is no easy task. As Celaena tries to untangle the mysteries buried within the glass castle, she can trust no one, not even her supposed allies Crown Prince Dorian, Captain of the Guard Chaol, and foreign princess Nehemia.

Then, an unspeakable tragedy shatters Celaena’s world. She must decide once and for all where her loyalties lie . . . and whom she will fight for.

One of the worst things in the world is Second Book Syndrome (aka when the second book kinda sucks compared to the first). BUT THAT IS NOT THE CASE WITH CROWN OF MIDNIGHT.

There is so much going on in this book. Celaena is now the King’s Campion, and is sent out to assassinate people that the King wants to get rid of. Chaol is fighting his feelings about Celaena’s new role: he is both repulsed by her actions and feeling things for her he didn’t think were possible. Dorian, who also doesn’t love the idea of Celaena’s new role, is getting over her and trying to find a way back into her life as a friend.

This book is packed with action, and balanced out with the connections between the characters. The friendship between Nehemia and Celaena is beautiful and heartbreaking, and Celaena’s relationships with Chaol and Dorian are also beautiful and hearbreaking.

Actually, beautiful and heartbreaking sums up the whole book pretty well.
AND THEN THE ENDING. WOOOOOAAAAHHHH. Not gonna give spoilers, but even though I already knew the “major reveal” at the end, it still was a huge moment and all I can really think to say about it is “WOOOOAAAAHHHHH”.

If you read Throne of Glass and liked/loved it, I highly recommend continuing the series!!

I am going to give Crown of Midnight five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Throne of Glass

Don’t miss the Epic Throne of Glass Giveaway going on right now!!


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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury on August 2nd, 2012
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Pages: 404
Goodreads
Amazon

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

This book blew me away.

From the first chapter I was swept away by the story and the characters and the vivid imagery. Celaena is taken from the salt mines of Endovier, where she was kept as a slave for a year, to the royal palace, where she is forced into a competition to be the champion for the King. I know some people have an issue with Celaena’s empty threats and lack of action, but I actually liked that. It showed me a lot of who she is as a character: she has a quick temper and even at her worst she still wants to fight.

All of the characters in this book were so dimensional and intriguing. They each had their own unique voices, and I had no problem differentiating between even the smallest of characters. I loved Dorian and Chaol especially, and they both were such strong characters, yet in very different ways.
Another thing I loved about this book was even though there were some “romancy” moments and plot lines, there was no “insta-love” or anything like that. What romance there was was very organic.

I honestly would recommend this book to everyone. It’s a book that I went into thinking I wouldn’t enjoy at all, and then loved more than I thought was possible. I know that this series is super hyped up (another reason why I put off reading it for so long) but  THE HYPE IS REAL GUYS. IT’S REAL.

I am going to give Throne of Glass five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Mini Reviews- The Selection Series

Hey everybody!

I’ve read the Selection Series* multiple times, and I honestly have no idea how I haven’t reviewed them on my blog yet?! Especially because my latest re-read was in June of this year (and it only took 2 days).

*It’s important to note that I am only talking about the original trilogy… not The Heir or The Crown

My reviews are all spoiler free, but if you haven’t read the whole series yet, you might not want to read the reviews for the second two books (unless you want to know some of the stuff that happens in the selection… then be my guest!)

Some quick facts:

Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: April 24th, 2012 (The Selection); April 23rd, 2013 (The Elite); May 6th, 2014 (The One)
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia
Synopsis:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Goodreads: The Selection, The Elite, The One
Amazon: The Selection, The Elite, The One

So let’s get started!

Book 1- The Selection

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The Selection is exciting from beginning to end.

American Singer doesn’t want to be a part of The Selection. She doesn’t want to marry Maxon and become the Princess. But her love for Aspen accidentally gets her thrown into the world that she so desperately wanted to avoid. And then the unexpected happens: she likes it. Dun dun dun….

This is definitely one of the more “trashy” YA books, but it is SO GOOD! This is a great book to read when I need to get out of a book slump, and it’s a quick read too!

I love America as a character. She is strong willed and hilarious, and has a deep appreciation for food that is all to relatable! And, what I love even more: she loves and wants to support her family. Oh, and both her parents are alive (unlike So. Many. Other. YA. Books.).

There definitely is a love “triangle” (angle? idk) going on in this series, but it doesn’t annoy me as much as they usually do. America’s feelings are valid. And she’s not wishy-washy (for example, she doesn’t say things like: “Oh I like Asher, but I like Maxon, oh my gosh what am I going to do? My life is so hard. Boo hoo”).

Overall, this book is just plain amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a cute, quick read (although you’ll probably want to pick up the next book right after you finish this one!!), and anyone who loves dystopia and romance!

I am going to give The Selection five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book 2- The Elite

16248068There are only 6 girls left in the Selection. Tensions are high, and the stakes are even higher.

America needs to choose: Aspen, the boy she has loved for years, or Maxon, the Prince she might love.

The Elite is full of drama, both from The Selection, and from the Rebel threat that seems to grow with every day. This book is just as exciting and fast paced as the first one.

As America begins to take on more duties in the palace, she also begins to learn more about what the Rebels want and what her connections are to their goal.

If you read the first book and loved it, I definitely recommend you continue the series! You won’t be disappointed!

I am going to give The Elite five out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book 3- The One

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There are three girls left in The Selection, and the time has come to choose a queen. America Singer knows that Maxon loves her, but before she commits to the crown, she has to sort out her feelings. Does she love Maxon, the prince who has snuck into her heart, or Aspen, the boy she has loved for years but broke her heart?

Meanwhile, the Rebel attacks are getting worse, and America is caught up in the middle of it. She discovers that she is connected to the rebels in more ways than one, and she uncovers secrets about her country’s history in the process.

The One is a stunning conclusion to The Selection trilogy. It is fast paced and exciting, and keeps you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the very last chapter!

If you have read The Selection and The Elite, I highly recommend you read the conclusion!! Also, if you haven’t read this series and love YA dystopia/romance, try it!!

I am going to give The One five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Have you read this trilogy? What did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments!!

Thanks for reading!!

Book Review- Dreamology

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Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Published by HarperTeen on April 12, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 336
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Amazon

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

This book made me SO MAD. It was infuriating to the point where it became an almost hate-read. Honestly I don’t even know where to start with this one. UGH.

Okay, firstly, the characters were awful. Alice was SUCH an idiot. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and tell her to stop being so stupid. I mean honestly, how is it possible to have that little common sense? My gosh.

And Max. UGHHHHHH. He was so annoying. I honestly hated him as a character. I hated his relationship with Alice. I hated everything about him. Actually, I really didn’t like any of the characters. They all were so unrealistic and annoying and infuriating.

Phew. Okay. So secondly, can we just talk about how UNREALISTIC the whole situation with the dream-doctor guy is? I don’t know if this counts as spoilers or not (it probably does, so if you haven’t read this and don’t want to know some of the goings-on in the middle of the book, you might want to skip ahead), but seriously the whole dream/experimenting thing is illegal in like 10 different ways. Both Max and Alice are under 18, but still the doctor guy is like “oh yeah just come in and don’t tell your parents and we’ll experiment on you guys.” WHAT THE HELL. THIS IS SO STUPID. AND THEN NOTHING EVEN HAPPENS TO THE DOCTOR BECAUSE OF IT? HE SHOULD BE IN PRISON AND UNLICENCED. And then, not only does nothing happen because of that, but he gets in trouble for PARROT TRADE?!?!?!?!? WTF. UGHGHGHGHHGHGGHHGHGGH

Thirdly, I HATE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN THIS BOOK. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF THEM.
Honestly I am just so mad at this book. And the whole reason for Max and Alice being in each other’s dreams was idiotic. What an anti-climax.

I just had so many problems with this book. So. Many. Problems.

I can’t even. Ugh.

I am going to give Dreamology one out of five hearts.

Novella Reviews- Cruel Crown (Red Queen 0.1-0.2)

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Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars
Goodreads
Amazon

Queen Song


Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


25005214.jpgQueen Song (Red Queen 0.1)

Pages: 53

This novella follows Coriane from when she is 16 to her death.

The story feels a little cramped, and I wish there was a lot more detail, but then again it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be super detailed. I loved to learn more about Coriane, and Tiberius (or Tibe) as they met and got married and eventually had Cal.

This novella definitely gave me a lot more of the King’s background, and it’s so interesting to see him in this vs. how he is in the Red Queen books. It just goes to show how much Coriane’s death and Elara really affected him.

It was also really interesting to be able to see into Coriane’s head, through her diary entries, as she spiraled into Elana-induced insanity. It did feel a little rushed, but again, it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be too detailed.
Although I don’t think this is a “must-read”, I am glad I read it, and it gave me a lot of insight into some of the less explored characters of the Red Queen series.

I am going to give Queen Song four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


untitledSteel Scars (Red Queen 0.2)

Pages: 94

Farley is one of my favorite characters from the Red Queen books, but sadly this novella fell a little short for me.

Farley was as cool as ever, but this story was a little confusing. There were these correspondences between the Scarlet Guard that took me forever to figure out how to decipher, which was pretty frustrating.

And then there was Shade. Beautiful, lovely Shade who I seriously love so much. I just don’t feel like this novella did him justice at all. Yeah, it was cute seeing how he and Farley met and started working together and stuff, but it felt like I was reading about a different Shade who kind of had the same characteristics as the Shade from the main novels… if that makes any sense.

This novella wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as amazing as I hoped.

I am going to give Steel Scars three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for reading!!

And don’t forget to check out my reviews of the rest of the Red Queen Series:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage