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Cuddlebuggery Book Blog > Paranormal Romance

Afterworlds

“Everyone was talking about their own work as well, and about the superpowers of their agents, the bloody-mindedness of copy editors, and the perfidies of marketing departments. Darcy was swimming in a sea of publication, and all she wanted to do was drown.”

I’ve long felt that writing is – and always has been – my strength. It’s something that I have always enjoyed doing, and the feedback that it has received over the years has me believing that it’s a skill that I’m at least somewhat competent at. Yet I’ve never had much of an urge to try my hand at storytelling. Essays and reviews are all very well and good, but the thought of attempting a novel’s worth of fiction has never much appealed to me. Perhaps I simply don’t have the patience or work ethic. Perhaps I’m afraid of inadvertently telling a really, really crummy story. Whatever the reason, the concept of writing a book just hasn’t been an interest of mine.

A Shade of Vampire

I went into this book like a person between jobs, bored of their last venture and not yet ready to dive into anything too serious. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and my expectations were appropriately set for mindless entertainment. I know this may seem like a strange thing for some people and I’m sure many would wonder why I decided to read a book I was sure to dislike. The simple explanation would lie somewhere between “Because I felt like it” and “Because I paid for it.” But for those of you who aren’t as easily pacified, I’ll say this: Reading books like this is like inviting your friends over for a night of popcorn, ice cream and really, really terrible horror movies. It takes itself so seriously, that you can’t take it seriously. And instead of scaring you, the intentional outcome, it has the reverse effect, providing you and your friends endless fodder for punch lines to new jokes and puns equally as terrible as its source material.

Sinner-Maggie-Stiefvater

Right, so, I make no secret of my Official Maggie Stiefvater Fangirl status. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s one of my top five authors of all time and there was more or less no way I wasn’t going to love the shit out of Sinner.

Yay for being right! I described this book to a friend as the kind of weirdo, ADHD lovechild you’d get if Maggie’s twitter had an affair with The Dream Thieves (aka, the best kind).

It’s a really interesting case study in how she’s evolved as a writer between the original Shiver trilogy and now. I recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest in her work. If you haven’t read the original trilogy, don’t stress yourself out about it. While  they would obviously help establish the main characters’ back-story, pretty much everything you need to know is efficiently recapped in a way that doesn’t bog down the story.

The Beautiful Ashes

 

Want to get a taste of an upcoming title without a full review or spoilers? We’re here to do that for you! It’s not a real review, and there are definitely no spoilers – just a bunch of reasons to read or not read or pass on this title.

Reasons to read:

Interesting story

There was an addictive quality to the story. I wanted to know what would happen and how things would end. However, I was never desperate for it. I never needed to know and it was hard to get past the bad writing in order to get absorbed in the story.

Some steamy scenes

There were a couple of times when I really wanted some sexy action to happen.

Interesting world building

Not the most original. Not the most unoriginal. Interesting but not mind numbingly brilliant.

 

Reasons to pass:

Bad writing

I love Jeaniene Frost. I adore her.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor 
Goodreads | Purchase
By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

***There may or may not be spoilers here. It all depends upon whether or not you’ve read the last two books, and if you want absolutely nothing about the end revealed or not. I keep things vague, and do not give away any details, but mentioning the conclusion at all could potentially ruin things for you.*** 

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She lived in a city of wonder, behind an inauspicious door, in a refuge for beasts. She ached from something missing, but cherished her strange life just the same.

This girl eventually found love in a killer, who left her adrift yet also helped her find herself. She was given joy and had it stolen. She abandoned comforts to raise an army, to atone for her sins. She sacrificed what she could and wished for the impossible. Her heart ached and her mind hated. She dreamt of worlds as she destroyed them.

The Shadow Prince

Honestly, I was really hoping that The Shadow Prince would bring something new into the Greek mythology genre, because I was getting sick of being bombarded by ALL THE PERCY JACKSON THINGS. (I liked the series in its time, sure, but really. Enough is enough.) And look, Persephone myth!

In short, despite my misgivings about the romance aspect, I was looking forward to reading this.

That said, this is decidedly a DNF review. I had to stop at around the halfway mark feeling kind of like this:

I’m not quite sure where my main issue was, but I think it started with the characters. Despain does do a nice job of differentiating between her dual PoVs, to her credit, but both of the protagonists, Daphne and Haden, had voices that constantly grated on my nerves.

Daphne is definitely the better of the two. She seems somewhat(?) sensible and, I thought, maybe even likable after a long while of trying to get used to her.

Split Second

5 Reasons I Can’t Believe You’re Reading This When You Could Be Reading Split Second:

1. Trevor.

Trevor is amazing. He’s one of those all-around super-fantastic, incredibly nice guy book boyfriends (you know, the Levis and Hectors and Tuckers and have I mentioned how much I love this trend?) He’s kind of the best thing ever and should be enough to pick up the book right there.

2. Addie.

Oh Addie, sweet Addie. She’s just so damn nice. I can’t figure it out, she’s no where near the level of BAMF as my general favorite heroines (Cath and probably 100 others I’m not thinking of at the moment excluded) but there’s something about her that gets under your skin and makes you want to snuggle her up and smite anyone who hurts her with the fiery vengeance of a thousand suns.

Once Addie let someone in, she was impossible to forget.

Don't You Forget About Me

In 2013, I did something I never usually did: I didn’t review some books that I had read. It’s not that I didn’t like them because most of them were really good, some even my favorites of the entire year. But there was always something that got in the way or I got distracted or lazy or started drinking… you get the picture. So in order to feature some of these awesome books, I’ve decided to do a new mini-review feature. I’m hoping to be able to do this every few months or so depending on how much I read. This will leave me with more time to read and not stress about reviewing everything, but at the same time I get to share my thoughts with everyone. The best part? These books are already out! Yay!

Dear Books I Forgot to Review,

I totes didn’t forget about you!

(Hover over the covers for the synopsis and links!)

The Dream Thieves

Disappointing, really.

I think it important to point out that The Raven Boys, against my prior expectations, was to me a surprisingly enjoyable (if relatively safe) piece of YA melodrama, entertaining enough that I found myself looking forward to the rest of Steifvater’s series with, at the very least, the requisite level of interest necessary to set aside time enough to read her first of three follow-ups.

After The Dream Thieves, however, my desire to see this story through to its end has waned.

It isn’t that this novel is a truly terrible one.  It does not make any significant blunders whilst going about its merry way, nor does it strike me as overly offensive for one particular reason or another.

No.  This book’s sin lies in the fact that it is, above all else, dull.  It never, despite its many mysteries and unresolved storylines, proves interesting enough to be wholly absorbing, its world so thin in its ability to enthrall that the smallest real-world distraction can pull one away from its few charms.

The Iron Traitor

You know what? Julie Kagawa is an evil genius. If that wasn’t evident with the ending in The Iron Queen or even with The Immortal Rules, she definitely drove the point home with The Iron Traitor‘s ending. I’m a little stunned this time around because I’m left wondering how she’ll manage to end this thing in the next book. You’ll have to excuse me if this review seems a little scattered, but the last few pages blew my little socks off into next Tuesday.

It’s interesting that I’d have such a strong reaction to this installment because for the majority of the novel, I didn’t feel it was as strong as Kagawa’s previous works. The tone is more subdued, the witty banter is not as frequent and the overall novel just feels, for a lack of a better word, low. In hindsight, I guess that all makes sense because THAT ENDING.

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