DNF at 33 %
So not the rating I thought I was going to be giving this book, I was pretty sure that this would have been a 5 star, boy was I wrong. Gorgeous cover though, so that's something.
To start off, I'm not giving this 1 star, despite having dnf-d it, because I only save 1 stars for books I really did not like. And I just didn't care for Iron Flower, it's not a bad book, but it isn't a book for me, unfortunately. The Black Witch was though, so I honestly have no idea how the book went from that to this...
So, let me summarize this book for you:
"Oh Yvan! Oh Lucas! Oh Yvan! Let me make out with Lucas. But Yvan is so beautiful! But I can't have him. Oh Lucas! blah blah blerhhh!!"
In other words, ya fantasy is dead because ya romance has killed it. RIP. The entirety of 33 percent of the book that I read was filled with Elloren wishing she was with Yvan, Elloren thinking that Yvan is beautiful, Yvan glaring at Elloren with passion, Elloren making out with Lucas, Elloren thinking how she can't have Yvan.... You got the idea. If romance overload and love triangle tropes are your jam, you will love this book. Me? I loathe those things.
For a book that's 608 pages long 33 percent is not little, so for nothing to happen in those 33 percent is really mind boggling. That's why I just had to give up reading - I couldn't care less about the romance, or Elloren as a main character, and with plot going absolutely nowhere and telling us nothing new, even Diana (what little of her was there) couldn't save this book for me.
Which is really sad because I was so sure that I'd have loved this. So what happened? The Black Witch (despite rising a storm of stupid controversy) was a wonderful and engaging book. Sure, the romance was still there but other things more than made up for it. I read Black Witch in 1 day! That's 608 pages in 24 hours people, and it isn't a small feat.
The Black Witch had a story - it was a beginning, a new chapter in life for Elloren - she was sheltered, she was naive, she was bullied and she had to go out there and find her truth. And she did, and it was beautiful. The Iron Flower focused more on which character was in love with which character, what material her dress was made of and how many times can Yvan stare at her without Elloren bursting into flames. There was very little substance, unfortunately, in it for me.
The writing also got very repetitive - there was a lot of "shivering", "glaring", "drawing a breath" and in general the descriptions were over explained an drawn out. The ending of The Black Witch had a huge cast of characters and they were all present almost immediately here without any throwbacks really, so it was hard to remember who was who at first. I'm sure the book gets better, and some things do happen eventually, I just don't have any patience to wait around for that.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with a digital arc of the book. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart.
How much of a good thing is too much? Five books? Nine books? How about sixteen books? White Night was a book nine and unless something ground breaking happens I don't think I will make it to book 16 (there's more coming after that too I'm sure).
This was everything that a good Dresden Files novel should be: witty, non-stop action with some sexual tension and hilarious remarks. But I still felt a little bit bored. Maybe because we already met the villain in the previous book. Maybe because the concept seemed really cool, but then everything kind of got turned around 360 degrees and I just wasn't into it? I don't know, this wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly great either. Especially in the middle - things dragged quite a bit, despite the never ending action (I don't even know how's that possible).
But, once again the ending was amazing and I will be definitely picking up number 10, just maybe not too soon. This is definitely not a series you can binge, it does get quite repetitive. You want to stretch them out and savor every book a good time apart from one another. Don't worry about forgetting stuff - Butcher is great about catching the reader up (one of the best really).
What I love most about Dresden Files, besides the hilariousness that is Harry, is how relatable and real the books are. I think the crazy attention to details largely contributes to that. I love how Butcher never forgets that Mouse is a living, breathing, pooping dog and not just a super hero side kick. I love that Harry gets cranky and tired, and he sleeps and eats like a normal functioning human. In too many books main characters are portrayed as those "super warrior machines that only keep fighting for justice, or whatever". Harry is real and I think that's the beauty of it. Also, he can make fun of himself and it's hilarious and I just love it.
I also especially adore Harry and Thomas's relationship - those two give me life. I really need more of their interaction in every book. Even Bob the Skull is a fantastic and well rounded character.
I did think that there was going to be more of Molly in this book, but I guess after being the main distorter in previous book she kind of took a step back - which is fine, I'm not particularly fond of Molly. I liked how Elaine was brought back, but also thought that there was nearly not enough of hermit all. Also, I never really liked suzan, so can we just stop mentioning her? Plus, there hasn't been a sex scene in at least two previous books, Butcher are you okay? I'm worried over here. haha.
Despite being a tad bored with this one I still think that these series is a great fun and I love most of these characters dearly. Especially Mouse and Thomas *heart eyes* , he got me under his vampiric charm.
Enjoyed the diversity - hated pretty much everything else.
I'm going to tell myself that this is the last time I'm reading hyped book that everybody absolutely loved, but we all know it isn't true and I will never learn.
I bought the book because of the raving reviews and then it just kinda sat on my shelf for a couple of weeks, because I had an inkling that I wasn't going to like it. And look, I was correct. At least I know myself.
Main reason for me suspecting from the bat that I won't like this was the setting - I can't think of something I care less about than Hollywood (old Hollywood in this case). That's just not my thing. And while my opinion about the "stars" who would do anything (and I mean anything) just to get a little bit of spotlight was already very low, this book lowered it even more.
It's been a couple of days since I've read this, so my feelings aren't as angry as they were right after I finished it - so maybe this review won't be a disaster after all. But what used to be a very coherent and informative review in my head is now merely a half remembered ramble.
I guess saying that everybody in this book is a horrible human being is a good place to start as any. Except Harry and Monique's mother. Everybody else is honestly barely a human, they are quite the monsters. Starting obviously with Evelyn herself. I'm thinking that the idea of this book was to show that even people like Evelyn are real, raw and as vulnerable as anybody else. I think. Because I did not get that. If I was supposed to feel any pity whatsoever towards her - I didn't. I honestly think that she deserved what came to her.
And I love morally grey characters. They are probably the most interesting ones to read and "dissect" for me. But, Evelyn is not morally a grey character, in my opinion. Because morally grey characters do wrong things mostly for the very right reasons. Or do good things for wrong reasons - Evelyn did everything in her life for one reason and one reason only (pardon, two reasons haha) - fame and money. Even if she claimed otherwise, it was always about fame and money.
It's hard to talk about this book without smiling anything, so !!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!!.
!!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!!. !!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!!. !!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!!.
Evelyn is very flaky as a character. I don't know if it was done on purpose, or if she just wasn't fully developed as a character. As she is telling her story she makes both statements which contradict one another a 100 percent. Evelyn says that she learned her from mistakes and she knows that she did everything wrong and that she chose all the wrong things to pursue in life, while all she ever wanted was love and family. 30 or so pages down the road Evelyn says that she would do everything she did again exactly the same and that she doesn't regret a single decision. Which is it Evelyn? Did you learn from your mistakes or did you not? It's a yes or no question, Evelyn!
I don't think she learned anything. It is shown through many, many decisions she kept making throughout the book, but it is definitely solidified with her last decision. When Evelyn encountered something she couldn't cheat, something she couldn't sleep her way out of - she decided that she would just rather die than let the world know that breast cancer beat her.
First of all, how cowardly is that? Second of all, her daughter died from breast cancer - a true and loving mother would never take her own life, but would battle it and live through what her baby lived through, because no pain is too great for a mother that truly loves her daughter. If anything, a true mother would have thought that the experience, no matter how painful it is, would bring her closer to her daughter still. Third, for all her "caring" about Grace - did she even think how Grace would take these news?? Grace was sent on a lovely vacation - imagine her coming back and finding that her employed killed herself? Throught out the book it was made clear that Grace cared for Evelyn, so Evelyn's last act wasn't just cowardly and selfish, she managed to hurt another human being in the process yet again.
And how maddening was the scene in the hotel? "... and you knew that he wasn't going to use a condom...." Evelyn, you are a grown woman, tell a man to get a f-king condom or he can go and blow himself if he doesn't. She thought herself in control of that night, but that detail shows that she really wasn't at all. Sure, you can argue that her plan wouldn't work if she told him to wear a condom, but hey she's an actress she could have simply told him that they are too hot, too young and too famous to have a baby from the first time having sex (he's a grown man he knows how babies are made) and that would have sobered a rock star like him up real quick.
I can honestly talk for pages about how much I hated Evelyn, but there would be no point in that really. I can just as well love the book even if it has a horrible, morally corrupted main character (Lying in wait by Liz Nugent is a great example of that, I loved that sick and twisted book so much!), but other things have to work in the book for me. And so far the characters and the setting did not. So let's move onto the plot.
It was just okay, I guess. People keep calling the book revolutionary, but I just don't see it. The plot twists were pretty cliche, and not that well executed in general. Especially the scene with the car crash - oh don't get me started on the scene with the car crash. I'm sorry, are police officers on the scene were actually blind puppies?? Because you can't just pull a body out of the car, take it to the hospital and pretend that the other person (you f-king left there to die) was driving, and that the actual driver just died from a heart attack! The driver had cuts all over his face and his neck was bleeding, his blood was all over the car - Evelyn bought the silence of a cabby driver and some nurses, but what about detectives and police? This scene needed way more research done.
Also, what was the point of Monique's side plot line? To show that she could walk away from her husband? To show that she can get the job she wants? What was the point of her mother coming to town? I wanted to like Monique but she was so underdeveloped, it wasn't even funny. She was just there, just another captivated audience member to the show that was all about Evelyn. Sure, there was that big twist at the end, which wasn't as shocking as it surely intended to be. Sure, Evelyn was the one who would "understand Evelyn's need to take her own life and not interfere" because, her Monique is apparently also a coward). But as a whole, her character was very and sadly bland.
While I'm on the subject - we lost so many people to suicide in 2018, you'd think that a book wouldn't try and promote the message of "dying on your own terms" or whatever, any further. Suicide affects everybody - not just the one who dies, it leaves a plethora of hurt and pain and emotions to the other people. If anything books should be telling the message of "keep going" , "it will get better" , "get help" , "sure, it hurts, it's painful, but it's how the life is and it's worth it". You do realize that the book is probably influencing tons of depressed teens and adults who think "hey, if Evelyn did it maybe should I?". I wouldn't wish this kind responsibility on my worst enemy. Sure, Evelyn had no family left, but Evelyn is fictional, and the readers are not. By the way if you are reading this and you are in a bad place emotionally, just remember that you are not alone, you are loved and I am always willing to offer a listening ear and a comforting word.
Moving onto the romance - the only real feeling of love I got was for Harry and Evelyn - that was love, everything else was either lust, possession, obsession or the need to control. I felt lust between Evelyn and Celia, I felt great friendship between them, but their love was so toxic, I am hesitant to call it true love, because that's not what true love is or should be.
Speaking of true love, it seems that the concept is very lost in this book. When Monique's mom describes her love for Monique's father - in the book it's described as soul mate love, as the purest love of all relationships in the book. And it totally ignores the fact that her husband cheated on her? Kept secrets from his so called soul mate, and led a second life with a man. You don't lie to your soul mate - that isn't true love.
The only thing that kept me going with this books is how compulsively readable it was - it was definitely a page turner. But mostly because things kept getting stretched out and Evelyn kept hinting at things to keep readers engaged - which is a cheap writing trick, but hey, it worked really well. I honestly couldn't put it down, no matter how mad it made me.
Speaking of writing - I enjoyed it - it went really well with the tone of the book, and did a great job at describing shocking parts about the "glamour of Hollywood" But, to me it held no emotion. People kept promising tears with this book and I didn't even tear up once. I'd call myself a cold hearted bitch, but I cry at videos of puppies eating carrots, so I know it isn't me this time. The way things were written gave away a lot of the things that were going to happen, so when the sad thing happened, I already knew it would and thus had no emotion to show for it any longer.
Also, the conversations felt very stiff at some points. Especially when Evelyn was explaining her sexuality to people - what should have came out as a natural conversation felt like a school lesson with Evelyn just drilling the same point over and over again. I think that took away from believability a bit.
Obviously, from this long and ranty review you can tell that this book did not work out for me. But that's just me. Lots of people loved it. I am okay with being in minority. I'm not here to change people's opinions, I am here to simply state mine. I am also not here to apologize for my, I guess popular opinions, because there are mine. I felt what I felt and I constructively expressed that.
"Protect a flower, destroy pests who wanted to feed on it. Protect a building, destroy the plants that could have grown in the soil. Protect a man. Live with the destruction he creates.”
The problem with reading Brandon Sanderson is that after you want to read more Brandon Sanderson. I've tried reading two books after, but nothing just holds up.
If there ever was a book that played me for a fool - this is it. I spent 60 percent of the book rooting for the wrong guy and hating a very decent character. I still don't know how I let myself to be so blinded.
“They say a man doesn't know himself until he faces death for the first time. . . I don't know about that. It seems to me that the person you are when you're about to die isn't as important as the person you are during the rest of your life. Why should a few moments matter more than an entire lifetime?”
The characters of this book are phenomenal. I do have to be honest and say that Mistborn era 1 still has better cast (but only because it's larger), but Warbreaker comes pretty close.
Siri for starters is my new favorite female character. She is more than that - she is my soul mate. She is both a person I am and I person that I am always striving to be.
Lightsong is somebody that I'm having trouble describing. He's got so many angles - he's warm and funny, and fuzzy and precious, but he also has a very deep and emotional side. You just have to experience Lightsong, that is the only way to know and understand him.
Vasher and Nightblood are a charismatic duo. Vasher is a grump and Nightblood is hilarious in his own way. Now I also understand why people say that Clef from Foundryside is basically Nightblood's "twin" (by the way, if you haven't read Foundryside by Robert Bennett, I highly recommend that you do so - great industrial fantasy!).
Vivienna is Siri's opposite, in every way imaginable - but I loved how their thoughts and insecurities kept intertwining, in the end they were more similar than they knew.
There are more characters, but I don't want to give anything away.
“You don't have to believe in my miracles. You can call them accidents or coincidences, if you must. But don't pity me for my faith. And don't presume that you're better, just because you believe something different.”
As usual the book was full of wisdom and quotable sayings, as all of Sanderson's books usually are. It's hard for me to choose what I love best- the character developments or the way the plot kept weaving and twisting - they both are done exceptionally well. A new favorite, that's for sure. Which his what I've been needing lately, because nothing manages to hold my attention. So this book was a beautiful ray of color for my soul.
The Warbreaker does have an open ending of sorts. It's not a cliff hanger, but there are a lot of things that can happen after, and quite a few things that weren't fully explained. The book was published in 2009, and in 2016 there were some mentions of book 2, which is going to be titled Nightblood, but we're in the later half of 2018 and no news yet. It's going to be a long wait, folks. I don't know how those of you who read this when it came out survive it - I need more right now!
“You want to be competent? she thought. You want to learn to be in control of what goes on around you, rather than just being pushed around? Then you’ll have to learn to deal with failure.”
“Be careful what you say, Rah,” he said. “Be careful what you do. Open your eyes. Watch before you speak. Speak before you act. Trust those who have earned your trust. That is our way.”
I don't know if my expectations were too high, or what, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed every single other of Madson's books. The novel is brilliantly written, so this really just came down to my personal taste. Something just didn't click in We Ride the Storm for me. And with this review I will attempt to discuss what it was.
It didn't help much that I only enjoyed one character out of three. In my opinion Cassandra was the only one who brought something new to the story. With the strange voice in her head Cassandra was interesting, to say the least. Although I just couldn't buy her "assassin" side, if you will. It lacked development in the beginning and in the end it just felt too easy, too staged.
Didn't care one bit about Rah, his chapters were a chore to get through. 90 percent of the time Rah is there just sewing head off the bodies, and there's only so much excitement in that. He was too righteous for my liking, but also at the same time I found him to be the weakest character. Both in development and in character strength.
“Lesson number four. Sometimes those who seek to help you are the worst enemies of all.”
Miko. I don't know how to feel bout Miko, mostly because I just don't get it. I don't get the drive that she (and Hana) for that matter had for the empire. Although Hana had more reasons than Miko did for sure. Everything these "royal blooded" characters do is always for the empire, but we don't get to see the empire in the story much. Only when it's burning. But there is never any interaction between regular people, who compose the empire, and the ones who rule it. All of the action is always of political nature and is always done in the court of the palace. That is the big reason as of why I don't understand the drive, because to me it seems like they care nothing about the empire and it's people, they only want the throne.
For about 80 percent of the book Miko is very much like Hana - they both make very stupid decisions, and they both are driven by the same things. Even the way Miko took the throne was very similar to how Hana did. Altogether, to me We Ride the Storm was way too similar to the Vengeance Trilogy. I know the all of the things were just supposed to be nods to the other books, but with so many of them - they just became very repetitive. Most of the time I felt as I've "been there done that". Characters make a lot of the same choices, the driving force and reason are very much the same for both stories, there's the same war going on - I just feel like I didn't get anything new out of this.
Now for the only character I truly enjoyed, even though there was barely any of him in the book - Leo. Leo was great! That is all I have to say about him. I did like how the ending took a few interesting twists and am intrigued to see where it takes some of the characters. Particularly Cassandra and her new "companion".
All of Madson's book series can be read in any order - I read them starting with the novella, then Vengeance Trilogy and then We Ride the Storm. Reading them this way gives the most insight and background as stories just keep layering on top of each other, but you don't have to. You will discover all of the secrets anyway, no matter which order you choose.
Big thanks to NetGalley and Devin Mason for a digital ARC of the book. All opinions are my own, honest and come from the heart.
When I think of urban fantasy genre Butcher's name is always the very first that pops into my mind, so I guess you can't really rival with that. The man is good.
I picked up book #8 after almost a 2 year hiatus from Dresden Files (not on purpose or anything) and man the way he catches the reader up with everything is phenomenal. I had no trouble remembering who is who and what has happened! Kudos, Butcher, kudos!
Dresden files is always a great and fun read for me. When I'm in the slump I pick up Dresden. when I'm in a reading mood I pick up Dresden. It's fun, it's fast paced (this book was almost 500 pages long but never once was I bored) and it's pretty funny!
Proven guilty was definitely a transition book, but I missed this universe so much that even that satisfied me. This book opened many paths for the next book, but unfortunately for me they will be focused heavily on Molly, whom I don't care for (but maybe she will grow on me?)
The ending scene with Molly was hilarious (once again me not liking her might have contributed to me laughing very hard at the scene, even though it was just a bit mean as well). But mostly hilarious. And the actual ending of the book was very sweet. Cannot wait to continue!