Book Stop: Freebie Friday: Library Hookup Reviews!

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: January 17th 2017

Series: Carve the Mark #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy, SciFi

I need to start off by saying that Veronica Roth broke my heart once before so I’ve been avoiding her work whilst taking time to stitch myself back together. I rarely if ever read reviews before I try a book… sometimes I may have to pause the book to go read some reviews especially if I feel like I have a really harsh criticism just to see if it is just me.. In this books case, however, I read the reviews before hand and was set up to force myself to finish it.. but I was so surprised. I had no problem staying super engrossed in the story which moved at a pretty decent pace in comparison to other things I have read. In fact I really liked it. There are parts of the book that seem pretty hopeless and in a lot of books that will bring me down to the point where I start to dislike them but the characters resilience, and determination really made up for those times I thought. The only problems I really had was the lack of backstory really about the worlds and this war that seems to be playing out.. this universe? controlled by this “current,” is pretty complex and it would seem like it has a really rich backstory especially between the people I would have liked a little more of that. I also saw a lot of reviews about the racial connotations and I am embarrassed to say that I read those reviews before hand and completely forgot all about it during the story and it never occurred to me that was going on so I don’t really feel its as “obvious” as they made it seem… either that or I’m just oblivious lol.

The concept we start out with in this story is that every person has a future, but only some have fates. Fates basically being a prophesied future that cannot be changed. What they never stress or tell you is that they can be interpreted a million ways of course…. like all prophecies but no one is supposed to know their “fate” until after death. People, also still have some sort of choices almost like their personality or decisions would effect out the wording on the “fate” is interpreted by life itself. Our MMC Akos and our FMC Cyra come from opposite sides of “the divide.” Akos from a Thuvhe family, 3rd son of the Oracle. Going about his happy life but his mother always hinting at some greater purpose, with a sad demeanor. Up until the day comes where fates were read aloud and his world was turned upside down by the Shotet people, his father murdered and him and his brother kidnapped. Cyra, the daughter of the Shotet King, is cursed by her “currentgift” to always feel and cause pain becomes a tool for her evil elder brother who is determined to conquer his fate and not fall to the Thuvhe ruling family. Ryz her brother has lost his humanity it seems in his desperate attempts to control his people and thwart fate itself. Cyra and Akos are thrown together him being the respite to her curse, but things aren’t exactly what they seem in this world, nor do we honestly know who the real enemy is….

We still have alot of questions plot wise, and some serious intrigue going on here… I have my theories but I don’t want to give any spoilers. One thing is for sure Veronica Roth has no problem killing off some characters… This book was completely engaging for me, nerve racking as well. We are left with a big reveal cliffhanger.. love those (insert sarcasm) lol. Can’t wait to see where this is headed.

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Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published: Delacorte Press

Publisher: February 5th 2019

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy #2

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Such a great continuation of the series. This book picks up right where we left off in book 1. I feel like we are starting to get more and more information about the magic in this world but I think we have only touched the surface. For the most part, I feel like Theo is finally growing up, she is still impulsive and arrogant but she has tempered it with people to care for. What kept me from giving this book 5 stars was that the plot line seemed to drag on at certain parts and during that time there didn’t seem to be anything plot related going on.. almost like we are plotting along and ….squirrel. I get the reasons behind why they start their journey by visiting another land to collect allies but the time spent there almost seemed wasted. We did finally get to point B from point A and I say almost wasted because we did learn some things but it was a long drive.

Theo and her entourage journey to Sta’Crivero, where the King has collected suitors from all the lands to meet with Theo so she can choose a husband best suited to her needs. Since her desire is an army to boot the Kaiser out of Astrea this is her main concern. Little does she know, the scheezy king is basically auctioning her off to the highest bidder and not all the bidders are there to play fair. During their stay they visit the refugee camp and come to the realization that just because they aren’t slaves like in Astrea their quality of life is almost as bad. I love loved Theo and Soren’s relationship in this book.. Its like they cleared the air and from that point on they were completely honest with each other.. no games. It was refreshing. When suitor’s Theo shows interest in start dying, and Soren is implicated, Theo becomes desperate to both save her people and finally escape the Kaiser’s clutches all the while trying to avoid the clutches of someone just as bad. With a not so great plan, and her desperate people at her back Theo finally gets to make a choice of a queen.. her or her kingdom. The surprising part is the person giving her the choice…..and how it turns out.

I can’t believe that we are left with that ending and now have to wait till 2020 for some closure!! Here is to hoping Theo really brings it in the next book! Im also wondering if the next book will pickup right where we left off here… or if some time will have passed due to some circumstances… Uggghhh so far away!!!

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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Published: Henry Holt and Company

Publisher:  June 17th 2014

Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3Grishaverse #3

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

My excitement for this series has been slowly tapering off as things drag on… I’m not sure what is throwing me off. Maybe its the role confusion here? The bad guys just aren’t bad enough and the good guys just aren’t that good maybe? Or maybe its just Alina.. I had been hoping across the series to finally click with her but she is just so hard to lock down. One minute she is funny and sassy, the next minute she is morose and selfish, and every now and then a burst of self confidence comes out of no where. Its like no matter how much training she has, or how many times a chapter ends with her gaining some conviction from somewhere she is always just freaking wingin’ it. If I had to say anything she just isn’t heroine material… I feel like the story was being led by a side character and I kept waiting on her to truly step up into her destiny or this “Aha” moment but really even with all the events that happened when the story ended… There she was just ordinary… Its like the Shakespeare saying:

” Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” but in this case the character was like “oh Heck no”… lol.

We start right where book 2 left off. Alina and her “sun” followers along with her loyal Grisha gang are trapped underground, while the Apparat tries to play his leadership games. Alina is left without all her powers after her last run in with the Darkling, and she is desperate for some sort of hope of beating him so they set off to find the last amplifier. The “real” light of this book and the book before it, Nikolai, catches up with them and they head off to rally their allies. Betrayal from in their midst, leads them straight to the Darkling and yet another battle ensues in which mother and son must face off while Alina goes in search of the 3rd amplifier. We got more and more backstory on the amplifiers themselves and the man who first had the idea for them. As Alina continue’s her journey it becomes increasingly obvious that not only does she not want what seems to be her destiny but she is almost desperately trying to put off making any decisions or committing herself while she grasps for what she truly wants. As warnings catch up to her Alina realizes that the she will need the 3rd amplifier to defeat the darkness and the fold but the cost is just too much….

I really liked the plot twist at the end, but where, in the 2nd book, it seems like Alina is embracing her awesomeness and her destiny, it just isn’t happening she is back and forth giving me the whiplash. Also, I do feel like the ending was a little abrupt, like we really didn’t get to see the effects of their journey really. I think all in all it was a good series but it was not what I would call epic. I am super excited though, to read Nikolai’s story because he has been my favorite from his first scene!

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