Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quick Reviews: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
May 7 2013
paperback, 404 pages, bought, high fantasy


From Goodreads:
In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

My Thoughts:

I have officially found my new favorite fantasy author!  Of course, I have a lot of favorites; but Sarah J. Maas is on fire with her writing!!  Seriously, she is one awesome creative lady!

Throne of Glass has everything you would expect in a high fantasy: magic, fighting, and a little bit of romance.   What makes it much different is our protagonist is a kick ass female.  Celaena is one of the coolest heroines in the Young Adult genre right now.  
She is a huge complex character that has this exterior that seems so solid and strong; but then when we start delve deeper into her actions we see how broken she really is.  

There is a hint to a love triangle but it doesn't overtake the plot at all.  Rather, it works well with the problems that arise throughout the story and brings out the positives of both male characters.  I don't know how she chooses but I kinda agree with her choice as well.  He is AWESOME SAUCE!  

Throne of Glass introduces us to a world that could be so beautiful if it wasn't ruled by this evil  man who sucks the life out of everything special.  That is what is amazing about the author's writing, she can construct this dark awful person and then turn around and create someone so good that you have to have hope for the world.  She gives us a world that holds both darkness and light as well as a character that has both traits battling inside her.  

I loved this book right off the bat and jumped on ordering the next two books instantly.  If you are huge fantasy fans or even just love strong kick ass heroines who are intelligent and super funny then I urge you to pick this book up.  It is witty and snarky and has some awesome fight scenes that are comparable to epic movies.  




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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review: Never Fade {Book 2 in The Darkest Minds Series} by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Darkest Minds
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of Publication: Oct. 15 2013
Source: bought, paperback, Apocalypse, YA


Synopsis:
Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

My Thoughts:
So Never Fade is one of those books that really reaches down deep and clenches your heartstrings with all the strength it has; and you are left wondering if you will survive reading it.  

Well,  you do survive.  But you have definitely lost some tears on it. 

Of course, this is an apocalyptic book and it does seem to follow the certain ideals that are associated with stories from this genre: the crushing despair the characters have, and the terrible situations kids are put into to survive.  
But with Never Fade it seems to take it up even a notch or two.  The crap that these characters have to go through is just awful.  And yet there is always that one character that seems to be able to hold out hope that something will change.  God bless that character!     Because without him/her, this story would be depressing.  

Now I am not saying that Never Fade was bad; on the contrary, it was a deep read that left me questioning society as a whole even now.  Seeing the bad things that are happening in the country today, it made me wonder if this is what our country is heading for in the future, sans the supernatural powers the kids have.   Never Fade has a gritty storyline that makes the reader take a closer look at the lies the government tells in this story.  

And I, personally, really liked our main protagonist, Ruby.  She is a fighter and a lover.  She tries to be distant and hard but she can't help but connect with the other kids on her team.  And when she does, I believe Ruby becomes stronger for it.  It is a big change from what she was in the first book, Darkest Minds.  In Never Fade, Ruby is more in charge of her powers and more confident of herself.  She is still in pain and still scared but she doesn't let the fear control her.  Ruby also learns more about her "power" and finds out more secrets that help her throughout the book.  
However, I had already figured out some of these secrets much earlier than Ruby did and thought she was a little slow to catch on to some things.  
We see old characters and are introduced to some new characters in the second installment so there is really never a dull moment in the plot lines.  

If you enjoyed Hunger Games or even Divergent, then you should give The Darkest Minds series a try.  It has elements of both of those two books mentioned above but also sprinkles in some "X-Men-esque" ideas into the intense emotional threads that go along in the story.   




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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Daddy & Daughter Review: Corrupted by Robert J. Crane {Book 3}

Title: Corrupted
Series: Southern Watch
Author: Robert J. Crane
Publisher: Midian Press
Date of Publication: Nov 6 2014
Source: received from author for our honest opinion of it
Ages:  MATURE 18+



Goodreads Synopsis:
WARNING: Due to graphic language and disturbing content, this book is intended for MATURE READERS ONLY.

Midian, Tennessee is the site of a gradually deepening apocalypse. Demons haunt the town, causing unexplainable deaths that leave local law enforcement mystified. Demon hunter Lafayette Hendricks and Sheriff's Deputy Archibald "Arch" Stan are on the case, however, and with the aid of their significant others and a pair of demonic Officers of Occultic Concordance, they'll chase down every lead they have to find the killer...until they uncover something utterly unexpected. For something dark and twisted has come to Midian with one evil intention: the desire to corrupt innocence utterly and completely...

...something that will burn the very world around them to ash.


 Daddy's Review

I am telling you that this series just keeps getting more and more exciting!  At first, I was a little skeptical about reading these books but my daughter really wanted to challenge me to get out of my "westerns only" reading and try something new.
Well, now I can honestly say I am glad I did.  This writer, Mr. Crane, is darn talented.  It is just sad you can't find him in every bookstore but only online.  I would like to see him everywhere because he definitely deserves it.
I have to say, so far, Corrupted has been my favorite book.  It has a lot of surprises in it, good and bad, and the bad guy this time is pretty sick!  
I swear every time I read these books, it is like there is a movie playing out in my mind.  It is really easy to picture the scenes throughout the book.  
I really enjoy that Arch's wife has a more major part in this book. There are also some pretty funny parts too.  I really like how the whole story seems to be progressing; but I still think the Sheriff should have a more vital part with the gang.
But all in all, Corrupted was so good with super realistic fight scenes that the bad language really took a backseat for me!
I have give this one five stars!


My Review (Daughter's Review)

What I love the most about Robert J Crane's writing is his originality.  Trust me, some of the bad guys in this book you will probably never find them in any other demon genre.  You know you are going to get something totally unexpected and more than likely, it will be hilarious.
I just love how Mr. Crane was able to take something so innocent and healthy and then turn it into some mass killing machine.  Kudos to you, Crane.
We see some of our favorite characters in this as well as meet a few new ones.  I personally, love the warlock even though I know he is a bad guy.  He is just a likable bad guy.
And of course I am loving that Arch's wife is in the action, so to speak.  There is so much more to her and I love that she is being incorporated into the story a little more each time.   I really think that Allison Stan is one of the strongest characters in the book, the quiet brooding strong.
I still enjoy the demon officers, Lerner and Duncan, and think it really opens up the whole gray area that Crane is so good with writing.  Yes, they are demons but are they inherently evil?

There is some major plot twists throughout Corrupted that will have you gasping in surprise and laughing out loud too.
There is one specific scene that really had me thinking of the Ghostbusters movie.   Think of the whole "keymaster, gatekeeper" idea and you will understand.  I loved that scene so much!  Even though it was pretty creepy; it was still pretty awesome!

Overall, Corrupted was a really fun and really intense read.  There was this major darkness (even more so than normal) saturating the whole story line that kept the story from being too crazy and silly; but instead made you deal with some very shocking and intense themes that people today sometimes face.  I feel like each book is leading up to this whopper of a story thread that is going to bring the reader down to our knees.  Each of these books gets harder as there is more things for these people to lose.



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