Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Lady Midnight
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Dark Artifices | Book 1
Pages: 720 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1 edition (March 8, 2016)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

 

GoodReads Synopsis

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.

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Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Series: The Witchlands | Book 1
Pages: 416 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (January 5, 2016)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The novel, Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard describes a richly imagined world of witchery.

Hot headed and impulsive domna Safiya (Safi) fon Hasstrel is a Truthwitch and heiress to the Hasstrel lands. Although witchery is prevalent in the Truthlands, Safi must keep her witchery a secret lest she become a political pawn with her ability to discern truth from lie. Despite being a domna, Safi is far from proper and regards her title as a restraint to her freedom.

Isuelt Midenzi, a Threadwitch is scorned by many because of her Nomatsi heritage. After leaving the Midenzi settlement, she and Safi cross paths and become Threadsisters: a bond developed through a shared life-or-death experience.

But with the end of the treaty that keeps the several empires of the Witchlands from fighting approaching, Safi and Iseult’s peaceful lives will dissipate as they are both forced to run to stop Safi from becoming a political pawn.

With the help of Safi’s uncle’s arrangements, Safi and Iseult manage to make a wild escape and ride a ship to Nubrevna captined by Prince Merik, a Windwitch. However with secret political deals and a vengeful Bloodwitch on their trail, their fight for freedom to live their own lives will not end when they reach Nubrevna.

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Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyTitleThe 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave trilogy | Book 1
Pages: 512 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reissue edition (February 10, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

 

The dystopia The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey describes a post-apocalyptic world decimated by four alien-sent “waves” of terror.

GoodReads Synopsis

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.”

A flawless read of rich writing: it was not too descriptive and it flowed very nicely. The excellent writing was definitely a very strong part of the book. Normally I prefer books that don’t use too many complicated metaphors, but The 5th Wave broke the norm. Throughout the novel, Yancey used metaphors through the characters as they tried to cope with their difficult reality.

Throughout the book, I was kind of comparing The 5th Wave to James Dashner’s The Maze Runner. Both had good writing and strong plot development, but I think The 5th Wave won in terms of character likability. The 5th Wave is definitely a very re-readable book because it shocks you just enough to keep you reading, but at the same time spends time developing the characters, so you actually enjoy reading it again. On a side note, the book was told from the first-perspective and the literary conflicts were: character vs. character, character vs. supernatural, and character vs. self.

The characters were layered and complex, despite the rotating first-person POV. There were also more amazing female characters, much more than The Maze Runner and far more likable: Cassie and Ringer. Of the two, however, I found Ringer to be the more intruiging character. I thought that her bearing was more unique than other female characters’ who I’ve encountered before in literature. And Teacup: a bellicose seven-year-old drafted in an army of adolescent soldiers. She was definitely an interesting character. In a way, she kind of reminded me of a younger version of Johanna Mason from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

I did not find the two main male characters: Evan Walker and Zombie (Ben Parish) were not nearly as compelling as Cassie and Ringer. I found Evan’s intentions as an “alien” and infatuation with Cassie slightly confusing, but this part makes more sense in the next book. Zombie was definitely brave because he took care of Cassie’s brother, but at times it seemed like the reality of the apocalypse had not quite fully sunk in.

I would’ve preferred there to be less swearing, but I suppose, because the narrators were teenagers there would be. I’d recommend this book to fans of YA dystopia and books like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

What are your thoughts on The 5th Wave? Have you seen the recent film adaptation? What are your thoughts on it? 🙂

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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literarycatastrophe.wordpress.com

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Series | Book 4
Pages: 656
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 1, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The fourth Throne of Glass novel, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas continues Celaena Sardothien’s journey as Aelin Galathynius, the heir of Terrasen.

SPOILER ALERT – PROCEED WITH CAUTION IF YOU’VE NOT READ: The Assassin’s BladeThrone of GlassCrown of Midnight, or Heir of Fire.

Celaena Sardothien has returned to Erilea for many things. But she has come changed. In Wendlyn, Celaena let go of the fears of her past that constantly haunted her and embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius: heir of Terrasen. She wants to, needs to, rescue her fallen kingdom, save her cousin, and save Dorian.

But first she must face her former master, Arobbyn Hamel, king of the Assassins. When he rescued Aelin as a child, he also unknowingly took the third wyrdkey from her. Aelin must take back the wyrdkey to save Erilea, but dealing with the cunning Arobbyn will be far from easy.

Following his sacrifice so that Chaol might escape, Dorian is fighting an internal battle with an ancient evil locked within him with a wyrdstone collar.

After being named Wing Leader, Manon and her Thirteen have been sent to Morath to work with the disagreeable Duke Perrington. But the duke is keeping secrets and something sinister is going on inside the mountain and Manon is determined to find out what it is.

Negotiating with Arobbyn Hamel for support and the wyrdkey will be far from simple for Aelin. If she is to succeed in her plan though, she’ll have to accomplish many other things before she’s done, if she ever will be.

Can Aelin save the people she loves while playing a dangerous game of power?

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Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire by Josephine AngeliniTitle: Trial by Fire
Author: Josephine Angelini
Series: Worldwalkers Trilogy | Book 1
Pages: 400
Publisher: Square Fish (September 1, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The first novel of the Worldwalkers trilogy, Trial by Fire, by Josephine Angelini, tells the story of a girl named Lily Proctor with life threatening allergies.

After a humiliating incident at her first party, Lily Proctor begins to hear a voice in her head. Her voice, to be exact, but it isn’t quite her voice. The voice sounds exactly like hers’, except she knows that those words inside her mind are not of her own.

You are sick in this world. Come to me and be the most powerful person in the world. The voice urges Lily.

Lily refuses though and the voice fades away into silence. But after Lily has a terrible argument with her best friend, Tristan, the voice asks again: Are you ready to go now? This time Lily replies, “Yes. I’m done here.

It will be terrifying. It was for me. The voice tells Lily. In a matter of seconds, Lily finds herself in a different Salem, Massachusetts.

In this parallel world, Lily is a witch who rules Salem. And what makes her weak in her home universe, her allergies, makes her a powerful witch here. Her counterpart, Lillian, summoned her to this world. Before Lillian can use Lily though, Lily runs and is captured by rebels. The rebels make a deal with her: if she can save them from Lillian, then they will help her go home.

But “How can she be the savior of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?”

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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reinodemismediasverdades.blogspot.com

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Series | Book 3
Pages: 592
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 1, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The third novel of the Throne of Glass series, Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas describes assassin Celaena Sardothien’s journey in Wendlyn with the Fae.

CAUTION: SPOILER ALERT if you’ve not read Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, or The Assassin’s Blade.

After Chaol–the Captain of the Guard–sells his freedom to give Celaena safety in the continent across the ocean, she aimlessly roams the streets of Varese–Wendlyn’s capital–with a half-forgotten mission: assassinate the royal family of Wendlyn. But Celaena has other ideas. She needs to find out more about the mysterious wyrdkeys–the king of Adarlan’s source of power.

And there’s only one person, or rather Fae, on Wendlyn who can give her answers: Maeve, Queen of the Fae who is also her dreaded aunt. While she’s lounging on the rooftops, one of Maeve’s elite Fae warrior, Rowan, appears with orders to bring her to Maeve. However, nothing comes without a price. To receive answers about the wyrdkeys from Maeve, Celaena must complete training under the instruction of the apathetic Rowan.

As part of her training, Celaena must learn to master her fire magic. But her former master, Arobbyn Hamel, always taught her to fear her magic. Can Celaena conquer her fear?

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Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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jeriwb.com

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series | Book 1
Pages: 382
Publisher: Quirk Books; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, blends black-and-white photographs with a haunting dark fantasy.

Sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman lives a relatively ordinary life. But when his senile grandfather, Abraham Portman, calls him frantically for help and raves madly about someone coming to find him, his mundane life is shattered. At the sight of his grandfather’s murder, he beholds a terrifying monster, but even more terrifying: only he can see it.

Seeking answers, Jacob convinces his parents to let him travel to a Welsh island with an abandoned orphanage that might hold the keys to his grandfather’s past and his future.

When Jacob visits the orphanage, which was destroyed by a World War II bomb, he encounters a girl who can hold flames and an invisible boy. Through them, he is drawn into the world of the Peculiars: a group of people with Peculiar abilities who can never age as long as they’re in their time loop.

But there are wonders and dangers in the Peculiar world. Tentacled creatures called hollowgast prey on Peculiars when they can and the wights–hollowgasts who’ve preyed on enough Peculiars to regain a semblance of human life–are planning something new.

Can Jacob embrace his own powers while protecting his newfound Peculiar friends?

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

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apageofheaven.wordpress.com

Title: Crown of Midnight
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series | Book 2
Pages: 448 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 2, 2014)
Rating: 4.5 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The book, Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J. Maas continues the sage of assassin Celaena Sardothien.

SPOILER ALERT! Proceed with caution if you’ve not read Throne of Glass and plan to.

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Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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paperdroids.com

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass series | Book 1
Pages: 432 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (May 7, 2013)
Rating: 4.25 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The novel, Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas begins the saga of the eighteen-year old assassin, Celaena Sardothien.

Since she was apprehended in currently unknown circumstances, Celaena Sardothien has been slaving away in the salt mines of Endovier. In Endovier, she has endured savage conditions and has permanent scarring on her back to show for it.

After about a year, however, Chaol Westfall (Captain of the Guards) brings Celaena before Dorian Havilliard (Crown Prince of Adarlan). Dorian offers Celaena a proposition. If she fights in the Adarlan king’s competition to become his assassin as Dorian’s champion and wins, she will earn her freedom after four years of service.

At the castle in Rifthold, Celaena’s body recovers from its abuse and she accustoms to the luxuries of living in a palace. However, shortly before the competition’s first elimination trial, a contestant turns up dead and nearly indistinguishable.

Celaena finds herself fighting not only for her freedom, but for her survival too as the Champions’ (the contestants) deaths continue.

Will she be able to find and stop the mysterious killer and win the competition, all while concealing a deadly secret of her own?

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