• Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

    Empire of Storms is the fifth installment in the Throne of Glass series, and like its predecessors, it has its strengths and its weaknesses. However, in the end it was a quick, fun read overall. It is much more quickly plotted than Heir of Fire or even Queen of Shadows, and that movement is really one of its biggest redeeming traits. Empire of Storms really is a race to the end, rarely devoid of action or forward movement, and it kept me riveted even through the parts I still personally find distasteful. The Romantic Dynamics Are Still Mega-squicky Warning: Spoilers ahead. Skip to summary to avoid. I’ve written a few…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: A Court of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    A Court of Thorns and Roses is not a book I expected to like. Honestly, I had been avoiding the series almost purposefully after falling into the Throne of Glass series last year (reviews on the last two books there are still pending!). Now, why would I do that? I like the Throne of Glass series, and I generally have fun with Maas’ stories, so why would I be so skeptical about this? Well, because despite the constant feedback from everywhere telling me, “If you like Throne of Glass you’ll love this!” everything I had picked up about the series seemed to me like it just took the parts of…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

    So, Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, was quite a bit better than it’s predecessor, Heir of Fire. This was honestly kind of a relief for me, all considered, but in the end Queen of Shadows was still a little bit of a let-down. It just doesn’t live up to the bar set by the first two books in the series. Heir of Fire had some pretty big pacing problems, but character development still rang very true. For Queen of Shadows, it was like the problem flipped, and ultimately we’re denied the kind of well-rounded narrative that we got in Crown of Midnight. Before we…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman (Spoiler-free)

    Scythe by Neal Shusterman has a premise that hooked me instantly. The idea of humans living in a post mortality world where population control must be deliberate, and the philosophical and ethical dilemmas that would naturally come with having to make such choices to me seemed tremendously interesting. In practical application, however? Chunks of this book ended up falling a bit flat for me. Detached to Serve a Purpose One of the big reasons Scythe occasionally turned into a little bit of a slog was the overall sense of detachment that the narrative has. The main characters read as very one-dimensional, and the prose itself even feels sort of clinical…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    2017 Reading Rundown

    2017 has been an interesting one in terms of my goals, and what I’ve achieved, particularly when it comes to reading. Strangely enough, 2017 was the first year in a very long time that I didn’t have a specific reading goal on my resolution list, and yet somehow, it has been the year in which I’ve managed to get my act together most. (I’m sure that says something that I’m not ready to face about the usefulness and benefit of my resolution making, but meh, I’m just going to keep ignoring that fact for now.) Why I Stopped Reading Fiction, And How I Turned It Around Now, as a kid…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    So, for all the years that Outlander has been on the shelves, I’ve spent a great deal of time circling around it in bookstores, only to ultimately walk out without it. I’ve always found the premise intriguing, but so much of what I hear from people who love it always gave me pause. I like romance plotlines, but have never really enjoyed romance as a genre. I always prefer to take my romance with heavy doses of adventure, or sci-fi, or mystery, or really anything. Basically, I like my romance as a side-dish instead of the main course. And honestly? So much of what I heard about this book made…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

    So after how much I absolutely loved Crown of Midnight, and after what a cliffhanger it left off on, I was super excited to start Heir of Fire. Annnndddd…. It started off pretty disappointing. Where Crown of Fire seemed to hit the perfect balance between developing nuanced characters and weaving their growth in with a fast-paced, exciting, and steadily forward pushing plot, Heir of Fire, well, didn’t. It’s a Little Bit Wibbly-Wobbly. In terms of pacing, this book felt very unbalanced. It starts off slow. Very slow. And then somehow gets slower. Even as it introduces a new character who should be a thrilling addition (I mean an ancient, full-blooded,…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Abhorsen by Garth Nix

    So, I sort of let this review linger in the “unfinished” post pile a little too long, given how hard I came down on the previous book in the series, Lirael. I read this not long afterwards, and honestly was so amazed at how much better it was than its predecessor – and how much better it made its predecessor retroactively, that I sort of struggled to put it into words. And so I put off writing this review for a while. And then I just kind of forgot about it. But I finally got the other Old Kingdom books, and so I better get my shit together and get…

  • Book Love

    Book Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

      Crown of Midnight was an exceptional follow-up to Throne of Glass. The pacing problems of the first book were pretty much non-existant, and the combination of a more mature narrative with far more effective character development makes for a riveting read from start to finish. Celeana as Unlikeable Still Isn’t Actually Unlikeable. As I mentioned in my Throne of Glass review, many of the criticisms often hurled at the character of Celeana are criticisms that I found to be valid points, but are ultimately traits that make her character feel more real. To be honest it’s kind of fun for me to read a character who, while a decent…

  • Book Love,  Lists,  Magpie Reviews

    #ReadWomenMonth Reading Wrap-Up

    Participating in StasiaLikesCakes’ Read Women Month was a really fun, fulfilling, and enlightening experience. I did both the Instagram challenge (see that wrap-up here), and the reading challenge, and in the process read 9 books, reacquainted myself with reading fiction regularly, and learned a lot about my reading preferences and habits. I realized how much I miss just reading for the sake of entertainment, and discovered some great series and authors. So what’d I read? Well, because I ended up going through so many books, I’m not going to review each and every one here. I will be doing full reviews on a few of them in the future (I’ve…