Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trees of Reverie Read-a-thon: Wrap Up

I said I would post this yesterday. But yesterday rapidly turned into today as I was working on a lab for Uni, so you’re getting it after I’m (slightly) more rested than I was.
Final Page Count: 2008
Books Finished
  • The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Daily Posts
Reading Challenges:
  • Read a book by an author you haven’t read before
  • Read a book in the fantasy genre
  • Read a book with an LGBTQ+ character
  • Finish a book in a series you’ve not yet completed
  • Write a book review for one of the books you read (here)
  • Take part in The Raven Cycle Read-A-Thon hosted by Readers in Wonderland and Books of Amber
  • Finish an entire book in ONE day
  • Read outside
Anyway, this was super fun. I think I’m (maybe a little?) getting the hang of read-a-thons. The last week was a bit… unproductive, because school crushed my reading time slightly, but the first week was good. I would love to do this read-a-thon again sometime, I liked the two week layout and the challenges were super fun. I’m still working through a couple of books that I started during the read-a-thon, hopefully I’ll have time to finish them soon. School has been incredibly hectic these past few weeks, so my page count wasn't quite what I would have liked it to be, but these things happen.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Things have been beyond hectic the past few school weeks, so I'm some of the books I've read won't be getting full reviews, or, at least, won't be getting them right now. So here are a couple of informal, miniature ones that may be expanded later.

The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)
I felt much the same about this one as I did about The Assassin's Curse. (Full review of The Assassin's Curse here). It didn't really captivate me. Some books just don't, I guess. I still had the feeling that the parameters of the world hadn't been set, which weakened it as world-building went. I was still pretty "meh" about the romance, and still found some of the characters remained pretty static.
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
I still don't know how I feel about this series. It seems that I can't get through a book in the series on the first try (Throne of Glass took me three, this took me two). It seems kind of like "high fantasy-lite", if you will. I found myself somewhat frustrated with how long it took for characters to come to conclusions that I had reached in the first quarter of the book (the riddle was pretty obvious and such). Celaena still doesn't really feel like an assassin to me (most of the time), and certain other characters bothered me. That said, I did still enjoy reading it, despite my occasional frustration, and I am interested in what is coming next. I'll read Heir of Fire when it becomes available at my public library.
Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)
This was one that I was eagerly anticipating. I found both Unspoken and Untold to be fun and entertaining reads, and this one mostly lived up to what I was expecting. I almost always end up feeling like endings in trilogies like this were rushed (or even a little deus ex machina), and this wasn't really an exception. The climax felt like it was over too fast. This book was more emotional for me than the other two. There was still a lot of humour in the is one, but much of it would fall into the category of "gallows humour,"because there was a lot of dark stuff going on. My favourite parts often included Lillian and Jon (they have a fun dynamic), and I generally really liked most of the characters, though I do still question some storytelling decisions. Overall I enjoyed it, though there were still some things that I wasn't a huge fan of. I will probably do an informal "Book Talk" for this at some point, if not a review.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trees of Reverie September Read-a-thon Week 1

I'm mostly active on my tumblr for the read-a-thon, which I honestly find more appealing than posting on my blog every day about it. It's just more comfortable, in a way.

So here are the posts that I made this week (not including today):
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

This has been a fantastic first week, and I'm really looking forward to continuing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)Title: The Assassin's Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse
Volume: 1
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Adventure

A Quick Introduction: When seventeen-year-old pirate Ananna flees an arranged marriage, she figures the threat of her betrothed's family sending an assassin after her is empty. After all, they're only stories. That is, until they actually follow through on it, and she accidentally activates a curse that binds her would-be killer to her, forcing him to protect her. Reluctantly, they become travelling companions, searching for a way to break the curse so that both of their lives can go back to normal.

Out of Ten: 6/10

Review at a Glance: An enjoyable adventure, though with some flaws in world-building and some weakness in character development and relationships.

Review: Can we talk about the over for a moment? Let's. I like this cover, I think it speaks to some of the elements of the story, without directly saying it, and the font is lovely. This is how you make a cover.

This book kind of came right up the middle for me. Good enough to be engaging, but nothing that blew me away. One of my main issues was that I just wasn't fully immersed in the world. At best, I made superficial connections to it, there just wasn't enough of it. The information about the world was conveyed mainly through the narrator telling everything to the reader, which, in this case, served to jolt me out of the story somewhat. (Hint: maps. A picture is worth a thousand words).The elements of the world just somehow didn't feel cohesive, it was as if various fictional creatures were just thrown is as they occurred to the author rather than enmeshed in the world completely. The magic system was explained fairly well, and as it is fairly conventional, that was all of the explanation needed.

Pulling me out of the story was probably the other flaw that kept me from being completely engaged- in both the information being provided and in the language. It's a nitpick-y little thing, but the language was generally very modern, though the world felt historical. I know this is a fantasy novel, however some of the more modern language felt stilted and somewhat inconsistent when juxtaposed onto a historically-inspired world.

This is told in first person, by Ananna. I didn't really love her as a person, but she is certainly a flawed, multi-faceted character. Two things that bothered me about her were that she is impulsive and prejudice, she tends to judge based on appearance first. Some of her choices drove me slightly mad... (if you got attacked the first two times you went outside unprotected, what do you expect to happen the third time?). I think it was the not learning from mistakes that bothered me more. It led to her feeling somewhat static as a character at times. Her companion is an assassin who was sent to killer her after she fled the marriage, until she accidentally bound him to her by saving his life. Now he's stuck protecting her until they can figure out how to break the curse. I still feel like I don't know terribly much about him, and that prevented me from connecting to his character at all. This meant that I struggled a bit with the romance aspect at times, as if felt like Ananna didn't really know him either.

Despite the fact that I struggled with connecting to the characters and wasn't fully immersed in the wold all of the time, I still found this a fast-paced and fairly enjoyable read, and have also read the second part of the duology The Pirate's Wish.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trees of Reverie September Read-a-thon

So I'm in ANOTHER read-a-thon. They're becoming something of a habit for me, aren't they? I'm usually pretty laid back about my TBR for read-athons, and this will be the same especially because I'm back in classes now.

So. This time it's the Trees of Reverie September read-a-thon. She hosts several a year, but this is my first time participating.



Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • I tried to read this once before and didn't end up finishing it, but now that Heir of Fire is out, I think I'll try again.
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

  • On September 23 everything (and I do mean everything) will be dropped. Unless I am abducted by aliens or something, assume that I will spend by entire day reading. (Except when I have classes.) (Okay, I will probably be sorely tempted even then.)
Day 21 by Kass Morgan
  •  I got an eARC through Netgalley, which I really ought to finish (read as restart, because I don't remember what happened.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  • I have this for my kindle app, and I just haven't started it.
The Assassin's Curse and The Pirates Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • They've both been sitting on my "library books" shelf for too long. Also, my library books shelf is too large.

Re-reads and Already in Progress

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • I've already started this as a part of the Raven Cycle Read-a-thon
  • This is also a re-read, since I've read it before (more than once)
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
I think those are the only ones I'll put on my official to-read pile. I'm kind of a mood reader sometimes, so we'll see what I feel like reading, shall we? I'll post daily updates on my tumblr, and probably something every few days or weekly on the blog.

Reading Goals

  • Break this super-ultra strange trend of not reading anything new. I mean, obviously I will be reading Unmade when it comes out but still.
  • Finish at least four new books, because my Goodreads challenge for this year is looking sad and neglected.
  • Read for at least two hours a day.
  • Participate in some challenges and maybe the Twitter Chats 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Underrated Books and Series in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres

Top Ten Tuesdays are a weekly feature over at The Broke and The Bookish

1. Matt Cruse trilogy by Kenneth Oppel- This is a great adventure series that does steampunk very well. It now has gorgeous new covers. Seriously. These are super lovely and they match, and I completely adore these covers.

2. The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer: I still sing the praises of this series from the rooftops. It's kind of a sci-fantasy (tech-fantasy?) with fairies and criminal masterminds.

3. Dragonfly by Julia Golding: It's kind of an adventure-fantasy.

4. The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld: Another steampunk that incorporates the steampunk aspect fantastically. It's great when steampunk is really an intrinsic part of the story and not just something used as a selling point. It also comes with illustrations.

5. Dark Life and Riptide by Kat Falls: These are climate fiction set in a world where the sea has risen, and there are now colonies on the sea floor. It's a fast paced adventure.

6. Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst: A stand-alone fantasy set in the desert.

Since I mentioned more than ten books, I think that's probably good (probably?). I can't come up with anything else off the top of my head.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Just an Update

Sorry for the sudden and unannounced semi-hiatus. School started, with it's attendant chaos, so I've just been getting back into the swing of things. I'm back now. I'm in a couple of readalongs and (another) readathon for the month of September.

Currently Reading:

  • The Raven Boys (reread)
  • Unspoken (reread)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (reread)
  • Half Bad
It is possible that I am addicted to rereading books. Just maybe. I've had really intense reader's block on and off this summer, which is weird and doesn't usually happen. 

This post is messy and will be going away soon... I just feel like I was neglecting the blog.