Book Stop: Freebie Friday: Library Book Haul Reviews

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Published: Published September 29th 2015

Series: Six of Crows #1Grishaverse #4

Genre: Fantasy, YA


A heist to end all heists, and if it can be pulled off, maybe even the salvation of the world as they know it! After reading the first GrishaVerse series and feeling a tad underwhelmed afterward I was a little leery of starting this one. I am so excited to say that I am glad I didn’t put it off any longer. This book, for me, ended up having all the things the first book ended up lacking and pretty much excels in the parts the first series fell short! Almost like the author picked my brain and improved all the things I wasn’t quite feeling from Alina’s story.

The world was super easy to sink into, of course I already had some prior knowledge, but honestly I almost think that you could figure out enough that this series could be a standalone. There was enough info there to make the connections. The story was angsty, daring, action packed, a little on the dark side with some intermittent humor thrown in just like I like! I feel that one of the biggest strengths of this story, that the first trilogy lacked, was concise, diverse, well rounded characters with awesome relationship intensity and a great camaraderie. The story had a real “Oceans” or “Now You See Me” vibe. I just couldn’t put it down. I also loved how there was this air of mystery surrounding several of our characters, and that certain plot points would remain hidden until a reveal where you found out what the plan was just when the enemy was finding out! Really keeps you on your toes!

I just can’t say enough about the characters, I feel like my ramble switch got flicked! Lets meet out team shall we:

  • Kaz our resident “team leader” after basically raising himself in the barrels has slowly risen to the top of his gang all for revenge. Kaz is like the Sherlock Holmes of thievery and strategy this guy is a magician pulling rabbits out of all kinds of places and always thinking 10 steps ahead.. and you as the reader never know until BAM plan reveals!
  • Inez, freed from the menagerie (aka barrels brothel basically) by Kaz is trying to escape her horrid past. Code name “Wraith,” Inez is Kaz’s right hand chick.. she moves silently and is everywhere at once and wicked with some blades! Captured by slavers from her acrobat family, Inez was rescued from her life by Kaz and has been loyal ever since.. however, she is slowly realizing she must live her own life, and have her own goals or she will always be in 2nd place.
  • Jesper, known for his excellence with guns is our crack shot and resident baby sitter.. apparently! Has some Macgyver like tendencies. Has some issues with gaming tables apparently but has a quick charming wit!
  • Nina corporalki heartrender grisha with the power to stop hearts with the squeeze of a hand. Residing in the barrels for quite some time trying to save Mathias from Hellgate prison… since she may have put him there… uses her powers for therapeutic purposes and is willing to tag along to save Grisha’s everywhere…and to free Mathias. This girl is my sista from another mista!
  • Mathias the turncoat.. once a Fjerdan slaver who captured, held, and basically lured Grisha to their death has been sentenced to who knows how long in Hellgate prison for it. Charmed by Nina’s zest for life, effervescent attitude he helps her and ends up tortured about being a traitor to his country, looking for revenge.. and freedom!
  • Wylan…ammunition expert, Macgyver extraordinaire with a shocking history that may provide some leverage if stuff goes south!

I don’t want to go into what all the plot entails, because I would accidentally ruin something I’m sure. It was a great heist story with lots of twists, turns, and on the spot quick thinking! Super enjoyable to read and I can’t wait to dive into the second book and find out the fate of this Grisha world!

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Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published: August 27th 2013

Series: Throne of Glass #2

Genre:


Reread Review
There have been several times I have gone for a reread of a book and lamented the fact that I didn’t leave a review.. or a note.. or something to give myself a heads up for the next time I read it! This of course is one of those times! It was like reading it for the first time, things were coming out of left field and I couldn’t remember half the book, my heart was breaking, and I was so angry at myself for not leaving a review the first time. Just 5 stars really isn’t enough to express my range of emotions during this book! I’m so glad that I will now have a heads up for the next time, because there will definitely be a next time! There were some EPIC reveals in this 2nd book in the series that just took my breath away, and still we have so far to go!

I have to tiptoe around this plot because my fingers are dying to type out all kinds of spoilers for all to see! For most of begging of this book, it seems like routine assignments in the life of the King’s assassin. It was almost like the author was luring me in with this false sense of security here. Just one more person for Celeana to find a way to be rid of, only this one she has a past with… Celeana is just out doing her thing, being all awesome, when BAM plots begin unfolding and people start dying and Celeana becomes the most BAD A EVER! I knew that this series was what sent me on a strong heroine kick years ago.. but I couldn’t remember the exact point at which i decided that no one needs a damsel in distress when they could have someone like Celeana, but now I get it! Now I remember! As Celeana becomes more involved in her next case she discovers her new target isn’t what he seems and this “resistance” the king speaks of is real, hiding out there. Not only that but Celeana must finally start to choose.. the resistance, her heritage, the memories she has buried deep inside her for so long, or the “supposed” safety she has now. She can no longer play the coward. The time to act is at hand…. before forces are unleashed that noone may survive!

I am so excited about continuing this series after this reread! I’ve been having to physically restrain myself from binging my way through in order to finish rl stuff as well as other reads I’ve promised to do, but just know…. I’m coming for you book #3!
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These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Published: August 7th 2018

Series: Stream Raiders #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy


I was thinking 3.5 for this and started with just 3 stars marked but I had to go ahead and round it up while writing the review as I started remembering all the things I really liked about it lol. It was a little hard to sink into the world at first, as the world building and the set up came at us all at once in the beginning along with a skip ahead scenario where we kind of had to play connect the dots for a bit until more info was revealed at the end. It was a pretty enjoyable read once the world started to make a little more sense and I understood more of “why” things were happening. I think the skip forward kind of threw me a little since we didn’t learn what actually happened during the war until much later so I was a little lost for a bit. I am loving the magic system here tending more towards herbology. I would love to see more of this and what can be done with it. What little we have seen so far is super interesting! The characters were pretty well rounded and had spunk and of course my favorite the intermittent devil may care humor! Sucker for things that make me laugh!

We start off at the beginning of a revolution where a small island of immigrants are opposing a corrupt religious zealot king hell bent on doing away with all kinds of magic. Our story takes place in the 3 different viewpoints of our main 3 characters. Lu, our FMC, a child soldier of the revolution who doubles as a spy and does secret missions in order to further the revolutions cause. It was a little jarring how young the characters were at the start of the story and some of the things they had been through. Deveraux Bell, aka Vex our dashing steam raider with no affiliations and a devil may care attitude. and Benat naive son of the ruthless religious zealot king. Skip forward 6 years the battle is over and it seems there is peace on the island of Grace Loray..or is there. During treaty negotiations things quickly start moving south as Vex gets captured, intentionally, and stirs up all kind of issues between Grace Loray’s council, the Argridian delegates and the Steam Raiders who are still a little salty over the revolution. An Argridian delegate comes up missing and the countries are on the point of war once again. Lu, having been key in the last war will stop at nothing to prevent this from happening again.. from having to participate in a war again. She is still dealing with what happened in the last war. As she sees events unfold she sees a plot to turn Grace Loray in on itself.. and who better to help her than Vex to save the day. But all is not as it seems, and there are many more players in this deadly game than could possibly be expected.. nor did they know the lengths a mad king will go abject control…

I of course love Lu, who seems humble and prideful all at the same time. She is intensely passionate about herb magic and her people/country. She is also a straight Bad A, which of course I’m a sucker for lol. Vex, with his witty, hilarious sarcasm kept the story super entertaining. I’m not a huge fan of Ben.. yet, he seemed super naive, and kind of slow through most of the story.. Its like after 6 years of this life he is just now catching on to how the game is played… meh. Of course, as soon as I start liking him better we are left with the token cliffhanger ending lol. I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for the next in this series!
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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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