• 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

    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 Instagram Challenge Wrap-Up

    Today marks the end of #ReadWomenMonth, and not only did I pledge to read only female authors this month (wrap-up on that coming soon), but I also participated in the Instagram challenge – as best I could anyway. So today, I’m wrapping the month up with a compilation of all my Instagram posts over the course of the challenge. It’s been a blast participating in this, even though I didn’t hit every day of the challenge (mainly because my book collection is split between my apartment and storage). In addition to totally being down to do this again next year, it’s also definitely made some differences in how I choose…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    I’ll be honest, I started out not really feeling this book. I picked it up on a whim after one too many times seeing it in the bookstore and reading one too many internet reviews just raving about how good it was, but I wasn’t super excited about it. The description on the back cover of the main character, Celaena, sounded just a bit too… ugh. As described in the blurb, she sounded just a bit too much like some of the cringy Mary Sues that had dominated my middle school attempts at writing fantasy. Always blonde, always perfect, always a super-duper badass warrior and super tough, but still absolutely…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Magpie Reviews: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

    This book… Well… I guess I don’t know precisely how to start this? Because this book is controversial. I read it specifically because I’ve been seeing controversy pop up all over the place and I’m a sucker for a good debate like that. And I don’t really know how to approach this review, because to be honest? After reading it, I don’t really have much to say. There’s no denying that it deals with some super important things, and there’s no denying that these things are things that we as a society NEED to have open, honest conversations about. But in the end I felt kind of meh about the…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Lirael by Garth Nix

    I’ve got to be honest here – this one was a bit of a slog. After how much I enjoyed Sabriel, how compelled I was to keep reading and finish to see what happened, Lirael was a bit of a let down. It’s almost as if Nix sort of saw the failings of Sabriel (lack of solid character development before the plot goes racing off) and then overcorrected in the next book, because in Lirael there’s almost too much. We spend sooooo much time just kind of sitting with the characters before any serious motion begins to kick in with the plot that it gets tedious at points. And that…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Sabriel by Garth Nix

    So I finally got around to starting Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Sure took me long enough. I’ve been pushed and prodded by so many people on these over the years, and after seeing them come up once again a few months ago after the publication of his latest book Clariel, I’ve finally gotten off my ass and started with Sabriel. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the ride thus far. I must admit that at first it was a little slow going. It took me a little longer than usual to get the hang of the world – the Old Kingdom, the Wall, the Charter, charter symbols, charter magic vs. free magic… I…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

    Before we left for Disney, I went into a little bit of a book panic. I was looking to figure out what I’d bring with me for the trip and realized I had absolutely nothing that wasn’t heavy and/or (mostly and) depressing. I have a VERY large book collection that is TBR, but it’s full of topics like the Holocaust, Japanese WWII POWs, Death and the Civil War, and various other horrible, heavy, awful things. Because that’s the kind of history I’m drawn to. Take that for what you will. Anyway, the point is – none of it is kid-friendly, nor does it seem like appropriate reading for a week…