Friday, August 5, 2016

So, when I'm on a really good reading run, I tend to just, um, stop reviewing what I've read in favor of picking up my next awesome read. It's even easier to do this when I'm not reading for review. As in, the books I nabbed from the library or purchased myself. So, I'm basically going to catch up on the more popular ones I never bothered to review, but mini-style because I'm feeling lazy like that. =) And I probably wouldn't review them at all, except they keep nagging at me. I don't like leaving things here goes.

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Narrator(s): Jennifer Ikeda
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, book #2
Length: 23 hrs 16 mins
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Source: purchased audiobook & hardcover
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I've actually already listened to this book twice. Part of the reason it's taken me so long to write this review, though, is because I needed to decompress and internalize some stuff. But a bigger part of me wanted to wait until most people had had a decent chance of reading the book so I could include spoilers and not feel bad about it. Mostly about the relationships. Because it is of the HIGHEST IMPORT.

Whereas the first book very much felt like a romance novel, with Tamlin all but courting Feyre over the course of the story, ACOMAF was more about faerie politics and Feyre's growth with the romance as a sublot. There's definitely an undercurrent of sexual tension throughout the novel, but it doesn't take over the novel the way it did in the first book. Plus, there are loads of new characters who are all equally intriguing and much less infuriating.

Okay, so I'm fickle. Even in real life I am...with relationships and just in general. I was very much #TeamTamlin for the first half of ACOTAR, but the second half of the book showed a much different side of him - one I didn't like - and by the end, I was very nearly swooning over Rhysand and how he had treated Feyre. And not even knowing what I do now, I suspected then that he would have been a better match for Feyre. And then Rhys proved with his actions in ACOMAF that he was Feyre's mate in all ways.

I loved discovering the hidden depths to Rhysand just as Feyre explored more of who she was and what she wanted. And then that ending! That is definitely one way to guarantee your readers will come back for more...not a cliffhanger, as such, but definitely agonizing.

GIF it to me straight:
I am putty and completely at the mercy of SJM's words.

About the author:

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Find Sarah:

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Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Narrator(s): Ariana Delawari
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn, book #2
Length: 11 hrs 43 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Source: gifted audiobook, traded for ARC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Full of pain and longing and MAGIC, this was a beautiful conclusion to The Wrath and the Dawn. I'm a huge fan of duologies because I often feel that the middle book in a trilogy is just filler, and I can applaud an author who realizes that their story only needs to encompass two books. This was just such a lovely book and such a fitting end for these characters. I do wish that I had also re-listened to this book but there's always time for that -- and it also allows for me to be more vague in my "review". :)

There is heartbreak and loss and separation in this book, but there is also love. So. Much. Love. It is all-consuming and yet these characters all have BIG plans to carry out. I love a story that keeps me guessing, with its twists and turns and manipulations. And I love a story that takes big risks, even when they leave me tearful.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Find Renée:

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Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Narrator(s): Jay Snyder, Brandon Rubin, Fred Berman, Lauren Fortgang, Roger Clark, Elizabeth Evans, and Tristan Morris
Series: Six of Crows, book #1
Length: 15 hrs 9 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Source: ARC received from publisher, purchased audiobook & HC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

This is another one that I've already read/listened to more than once before ever considering a review of it. But I can't help it that Kaz and his misfit crew just call to me. I love a good romance, but I'll take an awesome heist story rife with characters over that any day. Besides, this ragtag gang totally stole my heart, anyway.

I liked Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series. The second book was by far my favorite, though...not that you asked. And I think it's because it was more akin to the way this story is told. And characterized. Not to mention, the banter. I live for that stuff.

And this book was twisty as all get out. I thought I knew where we stood, who the alliances were and how things were going to fall into place. Only to be disillusioned at every turn. I hope the sequel is this good. Or better.  :)

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she hides out in Hollywood and indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as makeup artist L.B. Benson.

Her debut novel, Shadow & Bone (Holt Children's/Macmillan) is now a New York Times Best Seller.

Find Leigh:

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Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Narrator(s): Fiona Hardingham
Series: The Conquerors Saga, book #1
Length: 13 hrs 26 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher, purchased audiobook
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

This book was fucking awesome. And such a departure from what I've come to expect from Kiersten White's writing...and I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's just...this book was so unexpectedly dark and violent and badass. All of the political machinations. The fact that Lada never truly loses herself in all of it. And that ending!

I'll admit, I had my doubts, despite all of the positive reviews and prodding from friends. But I am simply in awe of this beautiful, bloody, clever little book. I really, really underestimated Kiersten White. Kind of like everyone in this story underestimates Lada, which is a regrettable offense if you're in her way.

Lada is murderous and wicked and basically a sociopath. There are other characters in this book, though none quite as compelling as her. Radu gives her a run for her money, with his unrequited love for the same boy who shares Lada's heart. But I was definitely in this book for Lada. Bring on more murderous, rampaging Lada!

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Hi! I give the most awkward hugs in the world. I also write books. I'd opt for one of my books over one of my hugs. Lucky for you, I write a lot of them.

The New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy (Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and Endlessly) is available now. Mind Games and its sequel Perfect Lies are also out, staring at you from a bookshelf. Intensely. An Egyptian mythology-based standalone, The Chaos of Stars, will keep you company on cold, dark nights. And Illusions of Fate, a dreamy historical fantasy, wants to be your new boyfriend. It's a really good kisser.

Coming June 28th is And I Darken, an epic historical based on a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler. It's filled with love daggers, which are like love triangles only much sharper and way more likely to kill you.

Find Kiersten:

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Title: The Last Star
Author: Rick Yancey
Narrator(s): Phoebe Strole, Ben Yannette
Series: The 5th Wave, book #3
Length: 9 hrs 17 mins
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Source: purchased audiobook & HC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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The enemy is Other. The enemy is us.

They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves…or saving what makes us human.

After loving the previous two books in this series, this final book was a bit of a bitter disappointment. And not only because I didn't get the outcome I wanted. I just feel betrayed. Like, I believed everything was leading up to X and then when all is said and done, I just feel empty and used. And manipulated. That's the fucking worst part.

This book was brutal. Unrepentant and utterly brutal. I had theory upon theory and loads of hope and none of it matttered in the end. And I'm not one of those people who require a happily ever after kind of ending to enjoy a book, but dammit, this book rivaled Allegiant for worst ending ever.

I really want to give this book two stars, but honestly, it kind of deserves that third one because of how in the dark I was. My inability to see this book for what it was is one of the things that pissed me off the most...but it also sort of impressed me.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, for young readers, and The Highly Effective Detective, for adults. Both books are set in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Rick lived for ten years before returning to Florida.

Find Rick:

WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. *waves hands around* Aaaaahhhh! I want to read all of these (well, except that last one, never heard of it)!! And I disagree. ACOMAF was TOTALLY A CLIFFHANGER. I've been in some state of anxiety ever since I finished it 3 weeks ago. :P

    1. Well, it wasn't a cliffhanger in the traditional, no one's life is in immediate danger. Sure, things were left really intense, and it was emotionally trying enough to guarantee that you HAVE to pick up the next book. But I'm not in agony over it. :P Oh, and that last one is the final book in The 5th Wave series. :)


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