I really don’t know what my final verdict is on this book. It was hilarious and it was terrible, often within a paragraph of each other.
Gorgeous gave me mental whiplash and it’s frustrating as hell trying to sort out what I thought. (Profanity and gifs ahead, I express strong feelings much better with salty language and amusing moving pictures, also if profanity bothers you, this book is not for you.)
It’s one part biting satire, one part metaphorical fairytale parody, one part lifestyles of the rich and famous and one part hot mess. When it works, it works so well I was laughing outloud thinking ‘how can I entertain the idea of not liking this book?’ and when it’s not working I was ready to throw it across the room howling ‘ YOU ARE THE WOOOOORST!’
Seriously, here’s a screenshot of my notes:
(Yes, I talk to myself in all caps.
Once again: Do not read the above summary unless you have either read up to this point, or you do not care about learning of certain (important) developments in advance. This review, however, does not contain any spoilers.
I will be honest. At this point in the series, I am far too deep into things to review these books with any degree of objectivity. If you’ve made it this far, you’re in it for the long run. If you haven’t, well, you’re like as not never going to be.
That being said, let’s take a look at Martin’s latest monster.
A Dance with Dragons is an interesting installment, as it acts both as a compliment and a sequel to A Feast for Crows. The first half or so takes place concurrently with the events of the previous book, providing the viewpoints of those characters who were then absent (to the general rage of the fanbase).
Have you read Croak? If not, you should probably do so ASAP because it is all kinds of awesome.
You may not be aware, but she has some pretty high standards (much higher than mine) and excellent taste, so I went in with high hopes. As you can see, I was not disappointed.
Croak is one of those excessively witty books that you either wholeheartedly respond to or end up feeling like it was tediously overdone. It felt kind of Sarah Rees Brennan-ish, but with more rage (which I, personally, respond to.)
As you may have gathered from the summary, Lex is a speshul snowflake. But her speshul snowflake-ness manifests itself in a delightfully unusual way. A formerly kind, sweet girl, Lex presently finds herself continually overcome with massive amounts of anger for little to no reason.
Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is marketed as the sort of antithesis to the Harry Potter franchise, promising a more mature and gritty approach to sorcery in the modern age.
And, in some respects, I suppose it succeeds in doing just that. Despite the many spells and fantastical scenarios, however, there’s a rather unfortunate lack of magic here.
Now, I adore Rowling’s work. Her defining tale of wizardry is like to forever be my most treasured series, and I look forward to rereading it come every year or two and discovering anew just how delightful her writing and imagination consistently proves to be. Despite its status as a “children’s series,” Harry Potter is a defining and beautiful example of how some stories can be universally endearing no matter what your age or typical taste in literature.
Grossman’s apparent determination to counter such a cultural icon, consequently, is off-putting, primarily because it feels unnecessarily mean-spirited.
Pop culture is my native language, so let me break it down for you like this: The Enchanter Heir is basically X Men populated with Tolkienesque characters, running around playing an urban Parkour version of Clue. The plot is a multilayered political murder mystery. Everyone seems to have a different agenda and is playing their cards close to their chests. You have ambiguous villainous types, luthiers (guitar-makers, yay for learning new words,) zombie ghosts and a ninja assassin strike team operating out of a boarding school.
Doesn’t this look awesome?
You should know going in that this is a reboot of a trilogy and though it’s helpful to have read the previous books, it’s not totally necessary. Cinda Williams Chima recovers the important facts, so don’t be afraid to dive in. Unless you’re nuts about spoilers, because it will reveal how some of the plot-lines were tied up. For those of you looking for a refresher, Cinda has a pretty helpful guide to the series on her website.
I’m sorry you guys but I did not like this book. I tried, I really did. It came highly recommended and I went in with a good attitude but the best intentions in the world wouldn’t have been enough to make Ruby Red work for me.
I found Ruby Red to be incredibly frustrating. The plot felt like something straight out of the Fast and the Furious school of writing, i.e. we need something to happen! Quick, insert a shoddily constructed plot device! The twists were obvious, I’m 99.9% sure I’d figured out what seems intended to be a major plot reveal later in the series by the end of the first chapter. I kept finding myself spacing out for entire pages, a bad enough sign by itself, but then it didn’t even matter because anything of significance was repeated over and over again just in case the reader failed to miss its importance the first, second and third times whatever it was came up.
Whaaaaaat did I just read? What was that? You guys, Vicious is fascinating. It’s like a Rubik’s cube and a graphic novel had an illicit affair and this is their love child.
It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that has made me feel as mentally engaged on so many levels. I don’t even know where to begin breaking the book down. On the surface you have the obvious comic book trope: crime-fighting hero matched against the villain, his personal nemesis. Former friends turned enemies as the result of a dramatic series of events that left someone dead, one man with a mission and another man with a one way ticket to prison, both of them with superpowers. It’s impossible to describe without sounding overly dramatic.
Don’t mistake my meaning here, the tropes worked for this book. Probably because Victoria Schwab intentionally introduces them and then immediately throws them out the window.
I should start with a disclaimer, I was predisposed to like this book. I adore Robin McKinley, I’ve read Rose Daughter something like fourteen times, it was my go-to comfort read when I was in high school. That said, Shadows was fantastic all over the place. It’s full of patented Robin McKinley magic: extended adoptive family units, a band of (for the most part) animal companions and a lovely, satisfying romance. And magic, did I mention magic? Lots and lots of magic.
Let’s start with the genre. Shadows is a brilliantly strange sort of dystopian/fantasy blend unlike anything I’ve read so far. Dystopians have been all the rage and as many people have noted, they’re starting to feel formulaic and repetitive. Like there’s some sort of machine tucked away in a dusty warehouse cranking out book after book after book. Robin McKinley’s solution is to keep the grungy, totalitarian government setting and atmosphere but fill it with fairytale parts.
Jen said this was being touted as Star Wars meets Graceling. Entangled is a decent space opera (I’ll add more on the somewhat sexist connotation behind that term later), but I feel that’s like saying a hamster is a saber-tooth tiger meets Rainbow Dash. Hamsters are great. Even if they’re really cute but over-sized rodents who should be eaten by a more deserving predator. The point is, marketing people, don’t turn something good into something it’s not just to sell it.
Or at least tell the whole truth. It’s Star Wars I The Phantom Menace meets the Darkest Minds by Alexander Bracken.
There is nothing actually wrong with Entangled. It’s good, solid scifi. I liked Cade as a character, and her mission to save Xan was emotionally driven. This plot was driven by the main character, and she’s proactive, intelligent and capable. The writing is good, though I would have preferred a more descriptive flare.
From the first line, this book is imbued with a sense of urgency that pulls the reader through the story. Gods are going mad and slowly dying, Cassandra’s power of prophecy allows her to see an ambiguous blank spot in her immediate future and enemies are closing in. From the get-go, Kendare Blake has you in her grip and does not relent.
Blake has gift for bringing the creep factor in a major way. Athena’s fate is my new most-horrible-way-to-die. Imagine slowly suffocating to death on feathers sprouting in your lungs, feeling them slowly filling in with every breath you take. At one point, one pops out of her eye. OUT OF HER EYE. Pardon me why I go sit in the corner and shudder for 5 minutes straight.
Blake’s writing style is quite enthralling, it’s blunt but still conveys rich atmosphere, parts of this book are incredibly eerie. She’s fantastic at painting word pictures, I could visualize every part of the book as I read (including some parts I’d rather not.)
One of the most compelling things about Antigoddess is the mythology.