Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Book Review: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

26856502

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done

This book. Oh, this book. If you thought the first book, Vicious, was a sick, twisted little treat, just wait until you get your hands on Vengeful. The game is vengeance (duh), but Victor and Eli are no longer the only players. In this book, we’re introduced to Marcella Riggins, a mob wife who wants to take her husband and the rest of the world down in a blaze of corruption and fame. We’re also introduced to June, an EO shape shifter who has her eyes on Sydney.

Of course, our old favorites were there, too. Victor, Mitch, and Sydney are still together, moving around as they track down more EOs. Victor’s characters undergoes some major changes that affect him and his powers. I was happy to see that Sydney is finally growing into her own and isn’t just a little girl anymore. Eli, stuck in a jail cell, has a very different role this time around, as well. It was interesting to see how much everyone’s characters changed from the first book to the second!

The story occurs over the span of five years. Despite the way it jumps around throughout the timeline, it seamlessly picks up where the last book left off. I loooved the new characters introduced. Marcella’s character was especially fun to follow because she was so over the top. She’s an excellent villain and the perfect match for both Victor and Eli.

The only thing that drove me nuts was June. Even by the end of the story, I still can’t figure out what her motives are or what her relationship to Sydney is.

Definitely add this one to your TBR list!

Books · Fantasy

First Impression Friday: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

It’s here! It’s finally here! No, I’m not talking about Friday. I’m talking about Vengeful! My copy of Vengeful, the sequel to V.E. Schwab’s book Vicious, arrived this week. 🙂 It also happens to be First Impression Friday.

(For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

26856502

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

I’m already about 150 pages into this one and let me just tell you that it already every bit as awesome at the first book. The story bounces around over the course of five years since the last book ended. It’s told from the familiar viewpoints of Victor and Sidney, plus some new characters, like Marcella and June.

There’s some major development of Sidney’s character. I can’t wait to see her come out of her shell and play a bigger role in the story. I predict that she’s going to break away from Victor and Mitch’s company at some point and go off to figure out what she’s doing with her life. (For her sake, I hope that’s what happens.)

We don’t really know what’s going on with Eli, except that he’s still in prison. I have a feeling he’s going to break out and he and Victor will pick up right where they left off.

I can’t figure out where Marcella and June will factor in yet. I find Marcella’s character and story quite intriguing though, so I hope she sticks around for a while. (Perhaps she will team up with Victor and they can both revenge-plot all day long.)

I still have a lot more to read, but I’m pretty sure this will be another 5 star read.

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Book Review: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

1582996

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

After finishing City of Bones, I couldn’t wait to pick up the second book to see how the series holds up. I feel like there was potential for the story to become overly cliche, but, thus far, it hasn’t happened.

Everything is a little more complicated the second time around. The character’s feelings and emotions are all over the place, loyalties change, fingers are pointed, and there are demons everywhere. It doesn’t take long for the action and drama to pick up in this book.

I really liked some of the character development in this story, especially for Jace. Jace was a bit of douche in the first book, which made him hard to like. Jace deals with some pretty heavy stuff, after finding out that Valentine is his father. He’s been torn in a lot of different directions and for that reason I found it a little easier to sympathize with him. I still find the whole situation between he and Clary pretty weird, but, hey, I’m not judging.

Simon’s character also went through some major changes. I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil it for anyone else, but I will just say that I guessed it was coming. I’m still not sure if I like this new development, but it could definitely make the story more interesting later on. I really wish Clary would stop being a turd and realizes how perfect Simon is for her. Teenagers. Le sigh.

Overall, this was a great sequel. There’s still so much that can happen in the rest of the series. (I’m still waiting for the Shadowhunters, werewolves, vampires, and faeries to finally join forces.) The cliffhanger at the very end has me eager to start the next book ASAP.

Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

First Impression Friday: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

It’s time for another First Impression Friday post! Last week I talked about a book I was reading for the new book club I joined. I hate to admit this, but I gave up on that book. I hate quitting a book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Oh well. C’est la vie! This week’s book is more up  my alley.

(For those who are unfamiliar, FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading. Share you impressions, predict what you think will happen, say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.)

1582996

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

After finishing the first book, City of Bones, I knew I had to keep reading the series to see where it goes. So far, this one is just as good as the first book!

There are demons and dark forces afoot! Clary is still conflicted in her feelings towards both Jace and Simon, Jace gets thrown in prison, and there are dead bodies everywhere. And it’s only the beginning! There’s never a dull moment with these books, which is why I got sucked in so easily.

I love how all the relationships in this book have become even more complicated, now that Valentine is back and trying to start a war against the Clave. Suddenly, everyone is pitted against each other. The characters can’t decide who’s really a friend and who’s a foe. Even family is pitted against each other. It’s been keeping me guessing since the very first chapter and, to be honest, I have no idea which side everyone will end up on.

Clary and Simon’s relationship is still struggling, which kinda makes me sad, because I think Simon is great. Obviously things will only get more complicated now that Simon is a vampire (which I totally saw coming, by the way). I hope he and Clary end up being more “official” anyway, because Jace is a turd. As much as I would like for Clary and Simon to end up together, I predict that she will keep hurting him and push him away. *sigh*

I predict that Valentine is going to keep killing Downworlders and recruiting demons to his cause. Eventually, they – the Shadowhunters, werewolves, vampires, and faeries – will realize that they have to join forces if they’re going to stop him. I don’t expect war to break out yet,  but I think they will start teaming up by the end of the book.

I don’t know where this story is going, but shit’s going to get messy.

 

Books · Fantasy · Favorites

Top 5 Tuesday: Fantasy Books!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday! This week is a good one, too: Top 5 Fantasy Books.  There have been lots of fantasy books that I have fallen in love with. I recognize that there are plenty more “epic” or complex fantasy books out there, but, for various reasons, these 5 hold a special place at the top of my list.

(Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, aka The Bionic Book Worm. Check out her site for a list of upcoming topics so you can participate!)

My Top 5 Fantasy Books

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab  (Some of the books I’m naming are part of a series, you can just assume that I’m including the entire series…even though that’s cheating a little)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Stars (Wendy Darling series )by Colleen Oakes

 

Adult · Books · Fantasy

Book Review: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

36896898

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders… but her father isn’t a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has loaned out most of his wife’s dowry and left the family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem steps in. Hardening her heart against her fellow villagers’ pleas, she sets out to collect what is owed–and finds herself more than up to the task. When her grandfather loans her a pouch of silver pennies, she brings it back full of gold.

But having the reputation of being able to change silver to gold can be more trouble than it’s worth–especially when her fate becomes tangled with the cold creatures that haunt the wood, and whose king has learned of her reputation and wants to exploit it for reasons Miryem cannot understand.

In last week’s First Impression Friday post, I mentioned that Spinning Silver was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I absolutely adored Uprooted back when I read it and I couldn’t wait to see what Novik came up with this time around. Having finished it, I am very happy to report that Spinning Silver did, indeed, live up to my expectations.

For those unaware, Spinning Silver, is an adaptation on the Rumplestiltskin story. I hate to even phrase it that way, because a lot of people will roll their eyes and say “Oh great, another fairy tale re-telling.” This book, like Uprooted, is incredibly unique in its interpretation and is a much looser re-telling than a lot of the counterparts out there. The story and characters the author has created can stand entirely on their own as a modern fairy tale.

The story is steeped with Jewish history and lore, fiercely strong characters, and gorgeous imagery. I loved the three women that the story followed: Miryem for her ruthlessness, Wanda for her strong will, and Irinia for her bravery. I loved the way the three women’s stories wove together, despite all the unexpected curves thrown at them.

Spinning Silver is more than a fairy tale re-telling, it’s a beautiful story about perseverance, family bonds, and things more valuable than gold.

Adult · Books · Fantasy

Anticipated Releases (Pt. 1)

If there’s one topic that book bloggers never tire of discussing it’s the ever-increasing TBR lists that we have. (For those of you who aren’t up on your bookish lingo, TBR stands for “to be read.”) Mine has been steadily increasing each year, no matter how hard I try to keep it under control. There are just too many amazing books out there and not enough time to read them all! *sad face* It feels like every time I finish a book I end up adding at least 3 more to my list.

The struggle is real.

It’s fine. I just accept it for what it is. I mean, what’s the alternative? To stop adding books to the list? To stop reading altogether? Pfffft.

Check out some of the books on my TBR list that are coming out soon that I can’t wait to read:

26856502

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Scwab – I already pre-ordered my copy!

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

35052265

Bloody Rose by Nicholas Earnes – Okay, so technically this one came out last week. I haven’t gotten it yet though, so I’m still allowed to put it on the list.

Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants – and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

It’s time to take a walk on the wyld side.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…