Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Why am I doing this? Obviously, I have way too many books unread on my bookshelf. So, I'm doing this to give myself a bit more motivation to read the billion of unread books(just kidding-not all of them. That would take much, much longer.)
Tell me a little bit about this challenge. Well, this challenge actually started on July 28th, and I'm a little late to the game. That's perfectly alright though. You can still sign up too! Just go here for further deets.
My goals for this challenge aren't really high. As you can tell from my blog, my reading as suffered from either school or reading slumps throughout the last year.(Also laziness.) I'm not going to push myself towards a goal I obviously can't complete. Back on topic. I'm going to for sure try to read these four books:
Lirael and Abhorsen are obvious ones for me, since I was already planning to binge read this series.(Just finished Sabriel and you should definitely try it if you love fantasy!) Not a Drop to Drink and The Beautiful and the Cursed are two books that I've been looking forward to read for some time, so I figured why not now?
Bonus Goals a.k.a. books-I-willl-try-to-read-if-I-have-time
Sunday, July 6, 2014
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
If I was to describe The Bone Season in one word it would be ambitious. Of course, I live for ambitious stories. They could arguably be my favorite type of book, if they are well done. Key word: if. The Bone Season did have a compelling concept, but some issues ruined most of it for me.
This book had quite a bit of publicity surrounding it before its releasing, and if I recall correctly, Samantha Shannon was hailed as the "next J. K. Rowling." Upon hearing that, I immediately felt wary. In my past experience books that were being called the next thing...usually fell flat. However, I was still intrigued because it sounded like it had a solid plot. The Bone Season was generally enjoyable, even with its major and minor problems.
The Bone Season is narrated by our usual strong heroine: Paige Mahoney. The problem with Paige is that she fell into the typical strong heroine type. What do I mean by that? The answer to that: While being strong can definitely be a good quality in characters, sometimes it feels like I'm reading the same character that I did in the last book(ex: Cecile in Stolen Songbird). Girl sacrifices herself in the face of danger. Girl ends up starting a revolution. You get the gist. I really want to see a girl in a book who feels unsure of herself during one point in a book. Paige was obviously different from everyone else because she was clairvoyant and all, but most of the time I didn't really feel like she felt different. Another problem with typical strong heroines: I really, really wish I could say that I would sacrifice myself for a stranger, but sadly, I'm not that brave, nor that courageous. The problem is that I just can't relate to strong bad-ass characters as much to an average teenage girl protagonist. It becomes even more of a problem when your basic dystopian or futuristic novel consists of only strong heroines. I really wanted some character growth in this book. Disappointingly, Paige didn't seem to have that.
If you remember, I called this book ambitious. Ambitious is entirely the correct word for the world Samantha Shannon created. The world is very in-depth and you can easily tell while reading that Shannon did her research. However, again, I ran into a major problem. The most common problem when you're introduced to a new world: infodumping. While maybe this wasn't a major problem for some people, it was for me. It was very disorienting in the beginning, and for that reason I had trouble getting into it. The beginning should have been compelling me to read more, but instead I felt extremely confused. The good side to this: After the initial confusion, I then(overall) enjoyed reading the rest of the book.
One thing you should know before reading this book: THERE IS A GLOSSARY. Man, I really wish I could have known that before I started reading. It would have been majorly helpful.
The plot, along with Paige, felt like the usual dystopian novel. Government is evil. Girl starts revolution...blah blah blah. I will add that the action and side characters did compel me to read more. But, again I ran into a problem. The middle was action-packed and not too easily predicable, but the ending...yes, I knew the ending from the beginning. And because of that, it fell flat for me.
The romance was touched on a bit in this book, and I usually never say this, but I wish that the romance would have waited until the second book. For the first half of the book, Paige basically hates Warden, the love interest in this scenario, even if he treats her mildly okay.(You have to understand that he's pretty much an alien who is supposed to hate humans and especially clairvoyants. I think he treated her way better than all of his other people. But for some unknown reason, Paige had to hate him the most.) Then, suddenly, she understands him towards the end and his motives...and bam romance. It felt rushed to say the least.
In conclusion, The Bone Season was a very ambitious, imaginative novel. It held alot of potential, and it met most of that potential with a few exceptions. Fans of futuristic or dystopian books should give this a try.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Despite having high expectations, Stolen Songbird didn't disappoint. With tons of fast-paced adventure, a very ship-able romance, and a beautifully done world, this book may just be one of my favorite fantasies of this year. First, let's discuss plot. Now, I may being biased here(haha) but I love me some fast-paced books. One that is non-stop and always keeps me reading. Well, I can gladly say that this book was nonstop adventure . After maybe twenty pages, Cecile is kidnapped and taken to an underground troll city. Captures your attention? Check.
While the book had its heavy moments, I think the book makes the perfect light read as well. There were plenty of heartfelt and humorous moments.
Onto the characters. Oh Cecile. I wanted to slap you silly because your emotions ran high in well, just about all the book. But that's perfectly reasonable. However, during the parts that you let your pragmatic side take backseat-those are the parts that I think a slap was warranted. Despite her flaws, Cecile is incredibly brave and kind-hearted. She was a very resilient girl who let nobody stop her. I really admired that quality alone.
Tristan. Oh Tristan. I wanted to hug you for your practical side.
Though Cecile may have been difficult, you put up with her(er, well most of the time). You two were so perfect for each other. Your romance was incredibly enduring and sweet and I couldn't have hoped for a better romance. "goes off to sob"
What I think is the best part of this novel-is the world. Seriously, trolls and magic? I signed up for this from the get go. I absolutely loved the originality, and Danielle did a kick-ass job portraying the kick-ass world. The descriptions weren't heavy, which I enjoyed alot. No infodumping(thank you thank you). Altogether, I loved the concept of trolls trapped by a curse, and I loved it even more when the world-building was done right.
Overall, Stolen Songbird met my high expectations. The world was beautiful and original, and the romance was sweet and totally ship-worthy. Finally, the plot was fast-paced and filled with adventure. Anyone who enjoys a good fantasy will fall in love with this book.
"I think it is in our nature to be selfish, and in our capacity to do a great many evil things."