Jul 31, 2013

"Fire" by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire

Author: Kristin Cashore

Series: Seven Kingdoms, #2

My rating: 4 of 5

(Book read from July 11th to July 13th, 2013.)


It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

My Thoughts on the Book:

If I rate this book only on originality, this should be a 5-star book, because I absolutely loved the author's idea of monsters, so, so brilliant & amazing & imaginative & original, yet also terrifying.

But, although I still loved this book, it was just something missing here & there.

I loved the opening of the book, it was amazingly done, yet so sad & yeah, totally terrifying.

I really liked Fire as a character, she's quite the strong heroine, and I was sad about her & what she is, and how all of that influences her life, since she can't really have an ordinary life.

Thinking back, a lot of the things in this book made me quite sad, no matter if they've happened before, and they're only mentioned or revealed, or they're happening at the moment in the book. Yeah, this was a heartbreaking book.

As for Archer, although maybe a little bit annoying, he was still likable enough, and to be honest, I just felt so sorry for him. I won't mention exactly why, because that will spoil the story, but yeah, I was sad about him.

I also really liked all the secondary characters, although I won't mention them by name, since they were a lot. But, the one I have to mention is of course Brigan. I liked him a lot as a character, although I felt sad about him, too, but at least he has some happiness in his life. I liked the interactions between Fire & Brigan, they were sweet.
Of course there's the whole political intrigue & war, and all of that, and what Fire does to help them all, and I enjoyed all of that. The epic "showdown" was great, and oh, so sad & heartbreaking, but I loved it.

What I didn't like was what happened after that. I just felt that it kinda dragged the story, and it should've happened a little bit quicker, and all of that, it just really dragged for me, and I was becoming irritated & I kept thinking "Come on, just end already!" - so that's the kind of thing that will diminish my enjoyment in a book. Before this, I would've probably rated the book 4.5, although I'm not 100% sure.

Still, Fire is a great companion to Graceling, and once more Kristin Cashore shows her original imagination & talent for writing a great fantasy story, set in an amazing fantasy world, and I recommend it a lot!



"The Gray Wolf Throne" by Cinda Williams Chima

Title: The Gray Wolf Throne

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Series: Seven Realms, #3

My rating: 4.5 of 5

(Book read from July 7th to July 9th, 2013.)


Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it - he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive - and even that might not be enough.
The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.  

My Thoughts on the Book:

The Gray Wolf Throne is the 3rd book in Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series. Despite having already reviewed the last book The Crimson Crown, I just realised I haven't reviewed this one, despite having read them both one after the other, so here it is ;)

And what did I think about this book? Looking back on the other 3 books on the series, I guess I can say this is the one book I loved the least, because I rated it 4.5 of 5, and all the other books in the series I gave a 5 rating, but it comes to tiny details, and I still thoroughly enjoyed & loved this book, and it's a great sequel to quite an amazing series.

I loved that we got to learn who exactly Crow is quite early in the book, and I was looking forward to more scenes with him, but unfortunately I ended disappointed. We actually got that in The Crimson Crown, but it was amazing when we did :)

From the beginning of the book I was turning the pages anxiously, dying for the moment when Han & Raisa will meet again, and I was dying to find out how & why exactly he will save her. The waiting was worth it, it was delivered amazingly, it was suspenseful & heartbreaking, and so, so sad, and what Han did for Raisa, wow. I really, really love Han as a character.
After that, all the secrets were revealed between them (at least almost all), and now Raisa had to fight for her right to rule the Queendom. 

I absolutely loved the way & the magic Han & Fire Dancer came up with for her return, it was absolutely brilliant, and amazing, and oh, so magical.

After that, most of the book was filled with politics, so I got disappointed about this a little, too. I should've expect it, and although I enjoyed reading how Han navigates through it all, and I loved his brilliance & determination to get his heart's desire, after being appointed for the head of not-mentioning-what, I was looking forward to that, too, but of course that was left for The Crimson Crown, too.

The ending was quite fitting for the end of this book, and of course I jumped right into its sequel The Crimson Crown.

The writing style & the world-building was once again amazing, and although I would've preferred the pacing to be a tiny bit faster, it was just because of my preferrences. It's just that I'm just not as big of fan of politics, even in epic fantasy, and despite me knowing that all of this was necessary, and add to that the few disappointments I had for things that I didn't got to see in this book even though I really wanted to (but were present in its sequel), made me not to love this book as much as I loved the other 3 books in the series, but as I said, it was still a great sequel that I loved, and that will only make you love the characters (both main & secondary) more.

The Seven Realms series is one of my top favorite series ever, and I can't recommend it enough. It's a must-read for every fantasy lover!!!



"Waiting On" Wednesday #127: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Rainbow Rowell

Publication date:
September 10th, 2013
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.     
 Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What are you waiting for this week?
Leave me your WoW links!

Jul 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings &/or Endings of Books!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created & hosted @ The Broke and the Bookish. 
For more info about it, check out the post HERE.

For this week's theme, I had trouble deciding if I should list fav beginning & endings of books, or fav opening & ending lines, so I guess I'll start & see what this TTT ends up to be ;)

So, My Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings of Books are:

My Favorite Beginnings & Endings:

~ The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

Ok, so first of all, I have to admit that I absolutely love all the openings & endings of all the Harry Potter books. But, I especially love the opening chapter of Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince - The Other Minister. Why? Because it was different & so, so funny, and I loved the way J.K. used it to demonstrate perfectly how the happenings in the wizarding world influenced the real world. 

I also love the last lines of the epilogue in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, because they were perfect ending for such an amazing series:

 "The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well."

~ The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Opening line: 

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

To be honest, the whole first chapter is one of my fav beginnings, but I'm not typing it all ;) Also, I absolutely love the ending (ok, I love the whole book), and the last line was perfect also:  

"But between now and then, there was Life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and his heart wide open.".

~ Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The opening lines:  

"It begins, as most things begin, with a song.
In the beginning, after all, were the words, and they came with a tune. That was how the world was made, how the void was divided, how the lands and the stars and the dreams and the gods and the animals, how all of them came into the world.
They were sung.
The great beasts were sung into existence, after the Singer had done with the planets and the hills and the trees and the oceans and the lesser beasts. The cliffs that bound existence were sung, and the hunting grounds, and the dark.
Songs remain. They last. The right song can turn an emperor into a laughingstock, can bring down dynasties. A song can last long after the events and the people in it are dust and dreams and gone. That's the power of songs."

I love this opening & one of my most fav quotes is actually from this book (you can see it at the top of my blog), and I absolutely adore this whole book, and I also love the last line, too:

"Together the man and the boy danced their way back up the sand to the house, singing a wordless song that they made up as they went along, which lingered in the air even after they had gone in for breakfast."

~ Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

I love this book's opening chapter, it delves right into it, and it shows the humor, sadness & uniqueness to this book. Here are the opening lines:

"I am dead, but it's not so bad. I've learned to live with it. I'm sorry I can't properly introduce myself, but I don't have a name any more. Hardly any of us do. We lose them like car keys, forget them like anniversaries. Mine might have started with an 'R', but that's all I have now. It's funny because back when I was alive, I was always forgetting other people's names. My friend 'M' says the irony of being a zombie is that everything is funny, but you can't smile, because your lips have rotted off.".

Also, the last lines are perfect, too, and really powerful, but I decided not to share them, because I think it will spoil the impact of the story to those that haven't read it.

My Favorite Beginnings:

~ Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The opening lines:  

"In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes."

~ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The opening line:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." 

~ Everfound by Neal Shusterman

The Skinjacker trilogy is amazing, but my fav opening is the prologue in the last book Everfound, which goes like this:

"If you’ve just woken up to find yourself in Everlost, you might be scared and confused. Don’t worry, everything’s going to be okay. Sort of." 

My Favorite Endings:

~ The Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

The ending of The Crimson Crown is one of the best book series endings (Seven Realms). Both the last chapter & the epilogue were absolutely amazing, and they both had the perfect spoiler-free last lines:

The last chapter's last line: "But, as it turned out, they were just getting started.".

The epilogue's last line: "Sometimes a dream is enough.".

If you've read the book, you know why they're perfect for the characters they relate to, both in the last chapter & the epilogue.

~ I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Last lines:

"...and I hear the words again from this morning.

If a guy like you can stand up and do what you did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can leave beyond what they're capable of.

And that's when I realize.
In a sweet, cruel, beautiful moment of clarity, I smile, watch a crack in the cement, and speak to Audrey and the sleeping Doorman. I tell them what I'm telling you:
I'm not the messenger at all.
I'm the message.".

~ The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The last lines:

"I looked back at the farmhouse in my rear-view mirror, and a trick of the light made it seem as if two moons hung in the sky above it, like a pair of eyes watching me from above: one moon perfectly full and round, the other, its twin on the other side of the sky, a half-moon.
Curiously I turned in my seat and looked back: a single half-moon hung over the farmhouse, peaceful and pale and perfect.
I wondered where the illusion of the second moon had come from, but I only wondered for a moment, and then I dismissed it from my thoughts. Perhaps it was an after-image, I decided, or a ghost: something that had stirred in my mind for a moment, so powerfully that I believed it to be real, but now was gone, and faded into the past like a memory forgotten, or a shadow into the dusk."

~ The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The last lines:

"All I was able to do was turn to Liesel Meminger and tell her the only truth I truly know. I said it to the book thief and I say it now to you.

I am haunted by humans."

~ Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The last line:
"It occurred to me then that for the first time in as long as I could remember, I had absolutely no desire to log back into the OASIS.".

This sentence was the perfect ending to this book, and I love the message of it.

Ok, so it seems I ended up with more than 10, it's my own fault for not numbering them, but when I noticed, I didn't want to delete any after I already wrote them ;)

What about you? 

Leave me your TTT links!

Jul 29, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon: Start + Goals + Reading List + Updates!

Beat the Heat Readathon is a two-week-long read-a-thon hosted by Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads & Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads!

The read-a-thon starts on July 29th & ends on August 11th.

For more detailed info & to sign up for this read-a-thon, visit the posts HERE or HERE!

My Goals:

- To finish at least 5 previously started books. >>> 5/5 + 1

- To read at least 5 books. - 5/5 + 1

- To participate in 3 mini challenges. 3/3 + 1

My Reading List:

- to finish:

- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (re-read) - finished on July 29th
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - finished on July 31st
- Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (re-read) - finished on August 1st
- Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn
- The Collector by Victoria Scott - finished on August 13
- Splintered by A. G. Howard - finished on August 11th
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- Spanking Shakespeare by Jake Wizner - finished on August 11th

- to be read:

- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (re-read)
- Allison Hewitt is Trapped by Madeleine Roux - read from August 2nd-6th
- The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
- The Savage Blue by Zoraida Cordova
- The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
- Just This Once by Trish Jensen
- Her Favorite Rival by Sarah Mayberry - read from August 7th-8th
- More Than This by Patrick Ness
- Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer
- The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani - read from August 13th-18th
- Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore - read from August 2nd-4th
- Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter - read from August 2nd-5th
- Her Favorite Temptation by Sarah Mayberry - read from August 6th-7th
- Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett (re-read) - started on August 8th 

I'll update this post with my reading progress as I read. Of course I won't read all of these, but I am a moody reader, so I have to have choices. Let's just hope I won't stray from my reading list ;)


Update #1:

In the first 4 days of the read-a-thon, I finished 3 previously started books: Good Omens, The 5th Wave & Alif the Unseen. I also particpated in the Name That Cover mini challenge. Now I decided to start some new books, although it seems I'll probably stray from my reading list ;)

Update #2:

Since my last update, I read 5 books, but I totally strayed from my reading list ;) I read Bloodsucking Fiends, Alice in Zombieland, Allison Hewitt is Trapped, Her Favorite Temptation (this one is actually prequel novella, but since it's almost 170 pages, I'm counting it as one book, although shorter one) & Her Favorite Rival. Unbelievable, but it seems I'll manage to complete by goals ;) I also participated in the other 2 mini challenges.

Update #3:

Ok, so this should've been wrap up, but it isn't. I haven't been around the blogosphere these days, so I missed that Jessi & Reanna decided to extend the read-a-thon for another week, so I was still working to finish my goals in time, and I'm actually glad to say that I did complete them, so YAY for me ;) So, since my last update, I finished 2 more previously started books: Splintered & Spanking Shakespeare.

Wrap Up: