Showing posts with label kendare blake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kendare blake. Show all posts

Sunday, June 18, 2017

10 YA Series I've Been Meaning to Start But Haven't Yet feat. Rachel Cohn, Traci Chee, Marie Lu & more





This is my list of shame. Some of these books have been on my TBR for years. I'm working on it, I promise. 



Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
I remember really getting intrigued by this after I read an excerpt of this in ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. This was years ago, omg, I really love Greek mythology, it's a shame I haven't picked this one up yet.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
I really want to wait to watch the movie Labyrinth first before reading this and I've been waiting for the perfect time to do so. Soon!

Sea of Ink and Gold by Traci Chee
Okay, this pick is a bit unusual, because I only just now read teh blurb and I still don't think I know what this is about. I honestly just wnt to read this because I'm always there to support authors and publishers who put non-white people on book covers. Hell yeah.



Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I originally got interested in this because I binged her Lux series years ago and had a lot of fun with it and because people keep saying this is a carbon copy of VAMPIRE ACADEMY, which you know I also loved and enjoyed. Bring it on!

Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab
I've been meaning to read more of her books because I really disliked A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC and want to give her another shot, so oh my god, I can't believe I still haven't read this yet. I love urban fantasy!

Annex by Rachel Cohn
I'm pretty sure I've talked about this before on my blog - I love reading about clones and I came so close to buying a copy a number of times, but never actually did it. It's time!



Warcross by Marie Lu
Maybe this is cheating cause it's not out yet, but STILL!!! I've been meaning to try more of her books, because THE YOUNG ELITES really wasn't for me but i did like her writing a lot. I think this is about video games and sci fi things? I don't know, I've been up for it since it got announced!

Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
I've been thirsting for this for months and actually recently finally, finally got a copy. Omg. I'm so excited and I really hope I'll like this because I've been wanting to adore more books by her!

The Great Library by Rachel Caine
Remember how thirsty I was for the first book before it came out? Apparently, I totally forgot about this until literally just now. I still want to read this! Library of Alexandria!



The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
This has been on my tbr for ages, I don't know what I'm doing. I really like reading about jinni, so it really is time!


What's a series you've been meaning to start?



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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

[Review] Three Dark Crowns (#1) - Kendare Blake: Triplets, Witchery, and Wasted Potential

In THREE DARK CROWNS, triplet heirs to the throne must compete in a deadly battle for the crown.

What intrigued me: I love reading about magic!

Misses the Mark So Hard...

THREE DARK CROWNS was so much not my thing that I genuinely wanted to quit blogging over this. There are DNFs and books that don't match your taste, and then there are books that make you forget that you're supposed to enjoy reading. I really wanted to like THREE DARK CROWNS desperately. I didn't though. I really, really didn't.

It's just one of those books that hooks you with a cool premise, but that's that. I expected an action-filled THE HUNGER GAMES style battle to the death, but really just got a slumberous High Fantasy story with a side of blown up insta romance. Kudos to the marketing team here, they honestly exaggerated this so massively, it's hard to even find the connection between the super fun things that the blurb and cover hint at and the actual book.

So much Wasted Potential!

THREE DARK CROWNS is supposed to be a dark, dark story about sisters planning to kill each other for the throne. Actually, it's just a super boring YA romance times three with genuinely zero plot, zero potential to connect or care about the characters, and very peculiar POV choices. I can only describe the writing and execution as extremely irritating. The POVs are all over the place, not necessarily even from the actual sisters, but from random side characters sometimes, and it's a nightmare to even make it past the point where you know who the characters are. I had immense problems trying to get into this, which is why it took me weeks to finish this. 

The magic system and all is fine and interesting. Poisoners, elementals, and people who talk to animals! Sounds fun! I really enjoyed reading about the whole poisoner storyline and Katharine. Poison mixers! This alone could've sold me on this book. I feel like if it had been executed differently and had stuck to one POV, or even just three POVs (of the sisters), I would've felt completely differently about this! All that instant love and lack of action could even just be excused a little if the writing and execution weren't so terribly irritating and weird, and unnecessarily extra. 

The biggest problem I have with this - the story has so much potential that it's just SO frustrating and stressful to see how Blake absolutely doesn't even come close to using it. The blurb is so great, I could actually cry, this is supposed to be a story about anti-heroines and darkness, maybe a bit creepy and vengeful and stabby. But it's none of that. THREE DARK CROWNS is yet another of the gazillion stories about princesses with magical powers that fall in love. That's it. I'm so frustrated and sad.


Rating:

☆☆☆☆

 



Overall: Do I Recommend?

THREE DARK CROWNS is a disaster if you're picky about your High Fantasy and like to form connections to characters. I almost quit blogging altogether over this because it made me forget that reading is supposed to be fun. This wasn't fun in the slightest, the exact opposite of it. Clearly, this is highly, highly subjective.



Additional Info

Published: May 9th 2017
Pages: 448
Publisher: Penhaligon
Genre: YA / High Fantasy
ISBN: 9783764531447

Synopsis:
"When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown."
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read nice High Fantasy lately?



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Monday, May 29, 2017

18 Books, Foreign Covers, Witches, and Yelling | May 2017 Book Haul




I haven't done a book haul in almost two years on my blog, actually doing this cause I was asked to. Let's see if you guys like it. I snuck a few review copies in, too, cause if I'm gonna make a post like this, might as well show everything, ha. 


I haven't bought more than one physical book at once in like, two years, I live in a cave without light and am actually terrible at taking pictures of books. You'll see. Today I'll show you what I did this month... I bought everything.

I'll mention why I got it and translate the title if applicable, all books that aren't in English are in German and some books are used cause that's how I roll. HERE IT GOES


  • HALF BAD by Sally Green is a book I really didn't know much about, I just read witches and thought to myself, why not. No self control. The subtitle says "The Darkness in Me".
  • BREATHE by Sarah Crossan is by one of my favorite contemporary authors and a dystopian about a world where air is getting sparse... or something. I don't care, it's Sarah Crossan! The subtitle says "Trapped Under Glass", by the way. Drama, drama.
  • DUALED by Elsie Chapman is "You or Me" in German and it's about doppelgangers. I honestly didn't even read the blurb, I only wanted to support Elsie because I adore what she does with her social media. Super pumped that the premise is cool, too. 
  • I was told to read THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray for maybe.... 5 years? How old is this book? It's a damn brick in German, 700 pages. Honestly not looking forward to this. But I'm doing this mainly for my friends (*cough* Cat *cough*). The subtitle says "All Beginnings are Evil" and I'm scared.


  • WAKING GODS by Sylvain Neuvel is finally, finally, finally the sequel to one of my favorites of 2016, SLEEPING GIANTS. Space robots, you guys. It's super dramatically called "Giants - The Wrath of the Gods". Drama queens.
  • THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake, called "The Black Throne - The Sisters" here. Things will get confusing, isn't the sequel called ONE DARK THRONE? Yikes. Anyway. Triplets, magic(?), high fantasy. Already read it and absolutely hated this one.
  • SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake, called "Love is Like Flying a Kite" and yet again, I didn't read the blurb. You guys know I loved HOW TO MAKE A WISH for the biracial rep and so I decided to support the author some more and also get a wonderfully pretty book while doing so. Win: win.
  • THE CIRCLE by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandsberg- I was told there would be bisexual witches. The title says the same thing, it's just called "Circle".



  • BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve Tucholke. Oh my god that title is so long. It's "Don't Fear the Deep Dark Sea" in German . Well, I think our title is actually be shorter for once, haha. I don't know what it's about, I adore her writing, so I threw this one in.
  • SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY by Gary Shteyngard. I bought this one after watching the Black Mirror episode Nosedive and getting totally obsessed with social media-related books, this is supposed to be similar. Social media. Conspiracies. Something.
  • ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis. I've been meaning to read this for ages. Basically the movie Passenger minus the creep factor, I think. We shall see. You guys know I love space books.
  • The subtitle for HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins reads "Wild Magic", for what reason ever. Again, witches. I'm starting to notice a theme, oh my. Didn't mean to intentionally buy witch books, hahaha.


  • DREAMOLOGY by Lucy Keating, called "Two in One Dream" here, no clue what they were going for with this title, I do love the cover. I already read this and it's about a girl meeting the boy she's been dating in her dreams. 
  • THE SEAFARER'S KISS by Julia Ember- OKAY I HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE FOR PUTTING THIS HERE. I actually bought like 4 copies of it for my friends' birthdays (who are all inexplicably in summer, what's that about), so this totally counts. Bisexual mermaids, you know the drill, this is one of my favorite books ever.
  • I got THE CIRCLE by Dave Eggers together with SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY, literally same reason. Already read this and really disliked it, it's about some weird social media company and strange conspiracies, just weird. There's a movie incoming, I heard. 
  • GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. I was feeling like some adult thriller reading, so I threw this in. I don't know anything about this, haven't seen the movie. I assume it's about girls and trains, haha.



  • BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham, the title is the same here. I remember a friend really liking this, it's about a girl checking off a bucketlist before they die of a terminal illness, I think. We shall see.
  • The revenge of my L.J. Smith obsession. I honestly don't have a single idea what these are about, they're two 3-book omnibuses (what's the plural of omnibus, is this right?) and yeah, no clue. I think NIGHT WORLD has vampires and DARK VISIONS has witches? 


Have you read any of these? Also, do you want me to keep doing these book haul things whenever or are your eyes bleeding from my bad pictures?


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Sunday, September 20, 2015

[Review] Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) - Kendare Blake



17-year-old Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, always on the road to find ghosts to kill.

When he stumbles upon the local lore on Anna Korlov, a ghost that has killed every single person who set foot in her former home, he instantly becomes obsessed with her. When he finally attacks, Anna does something he hasn't seen any ghost do before - she spares his life.

What intrigued me: I love a good ghost story!

Great Premise - Slow Beginning

The premise is great, but it lacks in execution. The story doesn't really start until page 100 and it's annoying. The side characters are unnecessary and it makes no sense for Cas, an experienced ghosthunter, to drag local teenagers into this, when he's known for being a loner. I feel like the side characters that Cas makes friends with at school, are just an excuse to hit off an unnecessary love triangle.

I feel like a lot of the book could have been cut and I wished that Blake just cut to the slack sometimes. The novel could have started with Cas being spared by Anna and you'd have a kickass beginning right there. I don't understand why there's the need for so many random side kicks that are just annoying.
Also, I believe that Cas would have worked better as a character if he'd been written as an adult. He's too comfortable in his skin, conceited, and doesn't feel like a teenager at all. He's not believable.


A Fluffy Ghost Romance? Uhm... 

I don't think it's even a romance. It's as insta-love-y as it gets. Cas the ghost hunter and Anna the ghost he has to kill, instantly fall madly in love with each other. Then again, Cas doesn't come across as a professional when dealing with Anna. There is just not enough reason for him not to attack her on the spot. His early attempts at killing her seem sloppy, making me question why he's such a renowned ghost hunter, when he's actually pretty rubbish at his job. It doesn't make sense either that Cas takes the help of Carmel, Thomas, and Co, Why would he endanger innocent civilians?

Aside from the ridiculously long build-up, the insta-romance, and the poorly-written protagonist - the biggest problem of this novel is that it just isn't scary. Not even for half a second. There are maybe two or three gory scenes that are pretty gross if you imagine it, but the writing isn't vivid enough to make me see the whole thing in front of my eyes. I didn't even happen once that I felt like I was diving into the story, the writing just doesn't do it for me. This may also be due to the way Cas narrates the story - he flips between monologues, flashbacks, and the present events so often that you don't have the time to get really lost in any of the scenes.


Rating:

☆☆

 




Overall: Do I Recommend?

Nope. Not scary. I only read this because I was looking for the perfection combination between scary and romantic. This is just weird.




Additional Info

Published: October 17th 2011
Pages: 316
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: YA / Horror
ISBN: 9780765328656


Synopsis:
"Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life."   (Source: Goodreads)



Can you recommend a great YA Horror book to me?

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