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review 2015-06-30 15:01
Thoughts: Rook
Rook - Sharon Cameron

Rook -- Sharon Cameron

Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Futuristic, Romance



I have the distinct feeling I just didn’t really know how to appreciate this book. Or I just didn’t really understand it. From page one, the narration and events and scene changes were confusing despite the fact that the prose was actually written quite well, quite beautifully, actually. The story progression was slow-paced, and twists and turns were so deliberate that you could see them coming miles away. And, at first, the constant flipping back and forth of POVs, picking up phrases where the previous POV left off to draw upon some sort of coincidental narrative structure to continue another character's narration, was kind of attractive; however, by the end of the book, it felt overdone.

However, if it is one thing that frustrated me the most about this book, it was the feeling that it could have been a hundred pages shorter. The real action and the real conflict don’t even start until a hundred pages into the story. Everything leading up to it, I found flat and drawn out--it wasn’t that it was insignificant, but it could have been shortened.

Then the rest of the book went through another zig-zag of intriguing-to-draggy, then back again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

My enjoyment for this book took on a sort of up-and-down, old-fashioned roller coaster ride of interest. I even pictured a graph in my head... and then went on to create one:


My enjoyment range:
- Boring = 0
- Meh = 25
- Average = 50
- Hmm... interesting = 75
- Exciting! = 100

At least there's an upward trend, right?

The Story in Brief:
It took me a while to realize that this book’s setting was a futuristic world where technology has fallen and no one remembers the society of our current modern day industrialization and advancements. Instead, cultural day-to-day has gone backwards into a more historical-era-like time when wealthy families married off their daughters for power or money or alliances, and girls were supposed to be trophy wives of the innocent and bimbo-like variety and only concern themselves with finding a husband and looking pretty and being superficial.

It was a little hard to grasp, to be honest, and for the first few chapters I had thought I’d been reading an historical fantasy with an alternate reality of oppressive government. Instead, Rook is actually a futuristic dystopian--something I didn’t realize until Sophia described an “ancient artifact” from the “Time Before” that sounded suspiciously like a Nintendo 64 game controller.

And so then we learn the backhistory:

The present world in Rook is a time when modern technology has failed the people and ruined the world and so has become “extinct” (for lack of a better description). And now any such machines or advancements are strictly forbidden in the new world and anyone who is found to associate with technology have been arrested for treason. Any and all who oppose this new regime will be executed.

Enter the Red Rook who is the savior of the people, entering the tombs to free wrongfully captured prisoners, helping them to escape the condemning Razor. This mysterious individual has garnered the attention of the current governing regime in Paris and a search for the infamous Red Rook by the ambitious and dangerous Albert LeBlanc has lead to the Bellamy household in the Commonwealth across the sea.

Sophia Bellamy, in the meantime, is getting ready for her engagement to René Hasard in order to help her family keep their estate. Her father has wasted away his life as well as the Bellamy assets, acquiring a huge amount of debt that his children, Tomas and Sophia, will have to pay off when he is gone. Tomas has an injured knee that disallows him the opportunity to make his fortune as a soldier in order to take over Bellamy household.

Law has decreed that Tomas cannot inherit his father's home or possessions, but that he must make his own money in order to earn what Daddy Bellamy leaves behind. Of course, the law has no qualms about Tomas inheriting Daddy Bellamy's debts, though, and won't hesitate to arrest him if he cannot produce the sum necessary to pay off his father's debts.

And among all of this, the oppressive leaders of Paris have pinpointed the Red Rook’s identity to that of an individual of the Bellamy home.

My Thoughts:
As I had stated, this book was a hundred pages too long and it feels like there is entirely too much going on sometimes.

But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, I really did LOVE Sophia Bellamy.

She is revealed as being the Red Rook from the beginning, thus referencing the “game of cat and mouse”, noted in the official blurb, between her and her proposed fiancé, René Hasard. Neither of the two are what they seem with Sophia keeping the secret of the Red Rook and René searching for information about the Red Rook.

The excitement of this so called “cat and mouse” chase, however, felt quashed in light of the fact that we already can predict what’s going to happen, as well as how deliberately deliberate each twist and turn was so painstakingly written. There was no sense of urgency or suspense, and instead, I simply found myself falling asleep a few times while reading the first part of Rook.

Then Sophia and René team up and THAT’s when things start getting a bit more intriguing.

Sophia Bellamy has all the traits and potential for being a badass main female hero. She’s smart, resourceful, head-strong, and has an eye for detail and strategy. Her penchant for leadership is strong, and she doesn’t hesitate to get the job done. She revels in the excitement of being a hero, saving people, and challenging the oppressive, corrupt governing of the Premier Allemande in Paris. And she willingly goes head to head with the dangerous LeBlanc without batting an eye.

In contrast, the guys were kind of irritating. There are more important things going on, but our resident triangular male-posturing must endure so that both Spear and René can piss in a circle around Sophia to determine who’s a better candidate for her hand in marriage. And all this time Sophia has already left the circle with bigger fish to fry. It was a little disheartening, because René had so much potential to be a kickbutt male hero, even if Spear was just the standard YA third wheel of the non-triangle of this romance.

In turn, this all just goes and helps make Sophia look much more badass. Not that I’m complaining or anything, because we need more strong female characters to save the day in YA books, who have much more important things on their minds outside of romance, and who don’t hesitate to go after the romance they desire without making it all about angst and such.

Rook is an extremely well-written fantasy/futuristic/dystopian whatever-genre-it-is book, and my only disappointment was that it was slow to start and then had trouble staying on track. The beginning was flat and boring to me, then things got exciting, and then we zig-zag up and down that roller coaster for a while before finally ending the book with an exciting bang, even if the narration got a little clunky.





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text 2015-06-30 15:00
Top Ten Tuesdays: The Mid-year Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesdays is an original and weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.



Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2015



I suppose that this list is, as it states, a list of the Top Ten Books (favorite books, most liked books, something like that) that I have read so far this year.


Well, there are many... and I already keep a rather meticulous list with ratings, average scores, and a whole lot of other data that probably only makes sense to me.  But in the long run, my only side note is that my rating for a book doesn't necessarily equate to my love of a book.  And choosing my favorite books read out of the almost 100 that I've read so far this year is just a cruel, cruel thing to ask.


Anyway...  Sometimes, we have beloved books for SO many reasons.  And mine usually don't make much sense anyway.



THE Top Book I've Read So Far in 2015

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

audio book version, narrated by Neil Patrick Harris


I'm sure I've squee-ed enough about NPH's audio book narrated autobiography.  It was a short squee, but a squee nonetheless.


See my squee--click on the title's link.


Nine More Top Books I've Read So Far in 2015

(In no particular order.)

Whisper No Lies by Cindy Gerard

Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

Freefall by Jill Sorenson



Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis



Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

The Caller by Juliet Marillier

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Legend by Marie Lu


While the above nine books really are NOT in any particular order, both Cindy Gerard books actually are at the top of the list after NPH's autobiography.  The rest are sort of in order, but not really because I wanted to organize them according to type of book (Adult Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Young Adult...).  But they are part of my Top Ten favorite books read so far this year.  And I'm glad that there's a good spread of Adult books versus Young Adult books.


The links for each title will take you to the reviews I have written if I DID write a review for the book.  Which I'm sure I did for all but one.


- Honorable Mention -

Four Great Shorts I've Read So Far in 2015

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky by Marissa Meyer

Leave the Window Open by Victoria Schwab

The Audition by Rachel Hartman


These four were just very awesome short stories that are part of equally lovely series written by great authors.  I decided that they deserved a mention.  Leave the Window Open doesn't have a cover illustration, so I created a very generic one--the link of the "cover" takes you to Victoria Schwab's site where the short story is located.


-- Honorable Mentions --


Deadly series by Cynthia Eden

Deadly Fear

Deadly Heat

Deadly Lies


11 by Kylie Brant


Also Known As by Robin Benway


Finally, why do these lists have to be Top Ten, because I always have more than ten books I happened to love or really, really like, or just thought were likable or very good or very well written or pleasantly, surprisingly enjoyable... though I guess just because I really, really liked them doesn't necessarily mean they merit a Top Ten position.  Which is why I always have an extended Honorable Mentions section... But I tried to restrain myself this time and just mention five more books I particularly liked.




Top ten favorite books are hard to choose from.  This was NOT an easy list to make and I only dread the end of the year Top Ten.  I'm either going to have to do a lot of cutting, create a random bracket, or get really, really creative. 


Lots of books were eliminated for various reasons. 



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text 2015-06-30 13:39
Another Library Check Out and a First Impression: Silent Night
Silent Night - C J Kyle

And my library holds pinged once more with a new e-read recommendation I placed last week being fulfilled rather quickly.  And now I'm rearranging my reading list again.  I had been planning to read Magonia until I could get my hands on Kylie Brant's newest Mindhunters book, Secrets of the Dead, available for purchase on Kindle today.


But I checked out Silent Night first and started reading it first and now I can't decide whether I want to start reading Secrets of the Dead before finishing Silent Night, because: Kylie Brant!  Or if I want to just finish Silent Night first before starting Secrets of the Dead just to stay on track.


Problem is, I want to read BOTH books.


Ani's First World Bookish Problems #6:  I cannot read multiple books simultaneously.


... or can I?


I DO have multiple books being read concurrently, but it's not like I really CAN read two different books at the exact same time.  I will typically read one book if I can't read the other book at any given moment.  Or I will start one book and then get bored and then start another book, then come back to that book later.



Anyway...  I suppose I'll just do a book draw or throw some die and let fate decide what I do.  Or something like that.



Silent Night is pretty intriguing so far, and I've only just read the prologue.  I guess I hadn't really been expecting something so gory or bloody within the first few pages, but something bloody and gory happened, so there we go.  I know how I'm always complaining about how some books start slow and a lot of murders don't happen until halfway into the book... Well, I'm not complaining this time.


I just hadn't expected the murder to be so detailed to start with.


Lots of good reviews have praised this debut book by C.J. Kyle as highly enjoyable, suspenseful, intriguing, and written well, so I have high hopes.

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review 2015-06-29 14:17
Thoughts: Also Known As
Also Known As - Robin Benway

Also Known As -- Robin Benway

Book 1 of Also Known As

Young Adult, Chick Lit, Espionage, Mystery, Romance, Humor



I had the hardest time figuring out how I felt about this book.

On the one hand, it was absolutely enjoyable, sweet, cute, and so much fun to read! Teen spies! Yay!

On the other hand, Maggie makes a better high school drama queen than she does a spy--in fact, as much as I’ve come to love her, I honestly feel like she still needs some serious training to even be a good spy. Setting aside the fact that, yes, she’s just a teenager and has a lot of growth to go through, and yes, she DOES save the day in the end, she’s still a horrible spy.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed this book a lot. I loved Maggie and her nerdiness. I loved Jesse and his dorky, non-standard YA boy material self with the dorky tendencies and good boy qualities. And I think that Roux is absolutely fabulous in her insanely strange, no nonsense, straight forward, no-holds-barred way of living her life! In fact, Roux might have been one of the reasons I loved this book so much.

I loved the simple and sweet romance that unfolds between Maggie and Jesse at a much more agreeable pace than most books normally allow--there is no insta-love, there are no unnecessary triangles (or other polygonal points), no random misunderstandings or unneeded angst... There’s just a boy and a girl who both find each other interesting and attractive; they banter, they get to know each other, they go on a date, and they fall in love. Even in spite of the big secret that Maggie is keeping tucked away as a teen spy wherein she is to befriend said boy in order to complete her assignment, the romance still remained innocent and sweet and oh, so adorable.

The Story:
I thought about using the official blurb I found at Goodreads, but it doesn’t really do the book any justice. In fact, it’s also a little misleading.

”Suddenly, she's attending a private school with hundreds of "mean girl" wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school's elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat... all while trying not to blow her cover.”

Only one of the three things listed in that part of the blurb is actually accurate in the book’s story. There were no mean girls--Roux started off a bit haughty and let off the vibe for potential mean girl in her introduction… But Roux turned out to be that crazy kickass best friend who makes life so much more interesting by being the world’s most adorable seventeen year old drunk and even more dramatic than the dramatic with her overactive imagination and crazy ideals, as well as managing to be the most endearingly clingy best friend who falls hopelessly into best-friendship with Maggie like lightning.

I absolutely love how Roux obsess over and idolizes Maggie, while at the same time saying to Maggie anything that comes to mind even if it could potentially be hurtful or rude or crass or too true to be acceptable. I love how honest and straight forward she is and I love that Maggie just takes it like a pro and moves on by dealing all the insults and the harsh realities and the strange lovin' right back at Roux.

And there was never mention about hacking the school’s security system. In fact, very little of the book actually bothers with the high school unless it was about Maggie interacting with either Roux or Jesse. And even the potential “fish out of water” antics we’d been expecting to see from Maggie (since she’s never been to a normal school nonetheless been a normal teenage girl) were kind of downplayed.

Instead, Maggie gets along at school just fine (despite failing French class) and we focus more on her mission.

As a genius safecracker, Maggie gets her first solo assignment to infiltrate Jesse Oliver’s home, find his father’s safe, and retrieve vital information that may become potentially dangerous to her and her parents’ spy organization, The Collective. But in order to get close to Jesse Oliver, Maggie needs to go undercover as a high school girl at his school and find ways to befriend him.

My Thoughts:
It’s a fairly straight-forward plot. Fun, enjoyable, cute, humorous…

I’m not going to deny that a little bit of working those suspension of disbelief muscles was very much required. I don’t know if teen spies truly exist in real life, though there have been lots of movies and lots of books throughout the ages, made for family and kids to enjoy in one of those “no brainer” type of ways. But as far as fictional teen spies go, Maggie definitely proves that she still has a lot of development to go in her profession.

I’m sure that having prodigal safecracking skills doesn’t automatically make you a super spy extraordinaire. And so because she’s young, and still a teenager who is finding her way in life, I give her a bit of leeway for not understanding the fundamentals of being a spy. Sure, she’s good at what she DOES know how to do, but the whole “this is my assignment, so everyone needs to butt out of it” thing got a little frustrating.

I’m not a spy and all, but wouldn’t it be more ideal to have a back-up person to bail you out if plans don’t go in the right direction? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a back-up plan in case something unexpected happens? I get that Maggie’s been itching to prove herself to her parents and the spy organization for a long time and is excited to get her solo assignment and thinks she can handle everything by herself; but stupidly allowing herself to be in danger because she doesn’t want to take any precautions or follow fundamental spy rules (such as not taking the elevator and not blowing your cover), makes it hard to take her seriously as a spy.

However, when she’s in her element--safecracking--she starts to feel a little bit more like a spy. So the best thing to do for her, really, is to get her where she needs to be, let her do her thing, and then move on. Maggie may not be ready for the undercover spy stuff… especially since she lets her emotions influence her decisions and it’s only her first solo undercover assignment.

Maybe this is just part of her growth.

Overall, however, I DID love Maggie a lot--despite being over-dramatic about her new high school assignment and her own teenage life (as youngsters are wont to do), she’s also got that strangely dorky, nonsensical and sarcastic humor, and an endearing nerdiness that her new friend Roux swears will get her “socially murdered” that makes it hard not to love her.

So setting aside the whole teen spy thing, it was very easy to fall for the story, the characters, and especially the characters and their relationships. The interactions between Maggie and her new best friend Roux were fabulous! The interactions between Maggie and her love interest, Jesse Oliver, were sweet and all sorts of nerdy adorbs! The relationship between Maggie and Angelo were curiously fascinating.

And then there’s Maggie and the spy parents--both sides of which are trying to figure out how to infiltrate normal life as a regular family after so much espionage fun in different countries. Because now Maggie has to pretend to be a normal teenager going to high school and her parents have to pretend to be normal parents to a rebellious teenager. It was interesting to see the short-lived “fish out of water” scenes, even if they seemed a little ridiculously extreme. It’s a little incredible that being a spy equates to being unable to follow or keep up with normal people day-to-day trends and activities. I mean, it’s not like they live under a rock or in a cave, right? Is it really possible to be THAT clueless?

Setting aside the sometimes overzealous comedy and dramatic tone of the narration, Also Known As really was super cute and lots of fun to read! Mainly, I loved the character interactions.

I loved that Roux wasn’t the typical YA mean girl and turned out to be so readily lovable and spontaneous and crazy and just NOT your typical YA female friend you typically find in YA contemporaries. I loved that Jesse was so dorky and uncool in so many ways that made him stand out from a lot of other standard, broody YA male characters who are all about being protective and manly and perfect--because Jesse is far from perfect, far from broody, far from manly, and definitely far from Mr. Popular material... aside from his being good looking and rich, I guess.. And I loved how the sweet romance between Maggie and Jesse developed without any angst, complications, or unnecessary triangles or insta-love.

Overall, the characters… that’s what made this book so great.





This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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review 2015-06-29 14:14
Review: Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass -- Sarah J. Maas

Book 1 of Throne of Glass

Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Mystery



Throne of Glass was one of the first e-books I bought when I first discovered the wonders of e-readers and how convenient and dangerously easy it can be to buy and access e-books. I bought the book mainly because I remember Throne of Glass as a free fictional work on fictionpress.com--something I had read a couple chapters from and found decently enjoyable with an interesting theme and premise.

I don’t remember why I hadn’t finished reading the story (whether during its fictionpress.com days or post traditional publication), but the story ended up being kind of “meh” for me and I put it on hold after the first four chapters three years ago and hadn’t touched it since.

Throne of Glass is a well-written and well-conceived young adult fantasy; it has a plot with massive potential, a creatively imagined world, and colorfully intriguing characters. But I couldn’t help but find it slightly monotonous, even as the story progression gave you events and twists to look forward to.

Yes, Throne of Glass has the kickass young teenage girl as masterful assassin premise going on. Yes, Throne of Glass had the big “King’s Champion” competition between several brutes, criminals, and murderers, and our young teenage girl assassin. And then we even throw in a mysterious magical entity, banished magic from ye’olden days, and several deaths (that were pretty gory for a YA) that catapulted a murder mystery.

All of this had the makings for a fabulous high fantasy.

The Official Story Blurb:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating
[sic]. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

The Rest of My Thoughts:
Side tangent about the official blurb I copied and pasted above: some of the information is wrong as compared to the actual story. Though I might be wrong about that… I thought Celaena was seventeen years old, for one. Secondly, I thought the deal between her and the prince was to serve the kingdom for four years before she was free.

Detail… and I digress. But anyway. Back to my thoughts about the actual book.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass. I really DID find it entertaining, well written, imaginatively creative, and properly executed. All of this I already stated. It just didn’t really stand out; and with all the hype surrounding it, maybe I had been expecting a story much more fabulous. Maybe the book just wasn’t my cuppa. Maybe I put too much hype into it myself.

The story progression was smooth and straight-forward. I never found myself irritated with any tangent ramblings that may or may not have anything to do with the story itself. In fact, I was very much impressed with how everything tied together in the end, even though we DID sort of have at least three different plot points moving forward together, and several brief side scenes that maybe didn’t do much for the story aside from further emphasizing the triangular romance.

Throne of Glass is indeed a good book with good characters and an intriguing story line.

What I think DID bother me were a few random tidbits:

Celaena is known as Adarlan’s Assassin, the Queen of the Underworld. She is supposedly the most infamous killer in the lands; the best at what she does and unmatched in notoriety or skill.

But there were times throughout that I found it a little hard to believe she was some super assassin because of the way she acts. Okay, maybe it’s fine for the best assassin in the lands to throw temper tantrums and lose her emotional shit over petty things. No one says a great assassin always has to have it together--after all, she DID spend a lot of time in the slave mines of Endovier, slowly losing her sanity.

But one or two (or four, apparently) little details bugged me:

-- She was never able to detect when someone enters her room and sneaks up on her from behind. Both Dorian and Chaol do it multiple times and she’s always startled by it. As an assassin, I’d have thought she’d honed her sense of alertness to know when someone was about to approach her ten feet down the hall or something like that. Assassin’s don’t have the safest job in the world and probably need to watch their own backs just as much as their assigned targets need to watch theirs.

-- In keeping with her lack of alertness, she doesn’t really keep much security in her own rooms when she sleeps. There is a monster running around killing the Champions, but she falls into vulnerable sleep much too easily for a person who has spent so many years looking over her shoulder as an assassin. (I’m just saying, if you’ve always been a hired killer and lots of people know it, there’s no reason to believe that your life is safe from any kind of attack from anyone, monster or no monster.) Sure, she’s fixed all the doors so that they creak when someone comes in… but that just brings me back to the previous point: Why is she always startled by Dorian or Chaol when they sneak up on her in her own rooms?

-- She too readily confides personal information to everyone around. Okay, mainly to Dorian, Chaol, and Nehemia. But a lifetime of being on your own and wary for your life shouldn’t make it easy to tell people anything about yourself. Nor would it make it less difficult to trust others with such intimate details of your life. It just made her seem kind of naive as an assassin. Personal information given freely can potentially be used against you if in the wrong hands... just sayin'.

-- For a masterful assassin, she’s lacking in strategy. But maybe one of her traits had been that she was just such a good assassin that she never needed to plan her kills. I mean, Westfall had to paint her the picture of how she would survive the competition by staying out of the limelight, thus pissing her off because she just wanted to show off how awesome she was at everything. I mean, it’s a good strategy--because she’s a smaller woman versus all the larger, brutish criminals, so long as she lays low, she won’t draw attention to herself and no one will bother ganging up against her to eliminate her immediately. It’s a pretty simple concept.

On an aside, however, Celaena is also presented as the most perfect character in the book. Not only is she a super assassin with all her skills intact, she’s also written as everyone’s ideal heroine. Aside from being headstrong, vulgar, and loud-mouthed, Celaena exhibits other traits that make you cringe at just how perfect she is.

Celaena can also dress to impress and look all young, innocent, and beautiful even though she’s half-starved and undernourished (as is with all YA female characters, the whole "beautiful, even at her worst part", I mean). She loves to read (which is a plus in my book, so no complaints there), but she’s shown briefly that she can also be a bit of a book snob. She’s also a musician, plays the pianoforte with excellence and with so much emotion that the prince falls in love with her because of it. And then she has grand ideals of a better world and a secretly altruistic personality (which gets Chaol to fall in love with her), even as a supposedly cold and calculating assassin.

I mean, it's like there's absolutely no reason NOT to fall in love with her, even in spite of her being an infamous assassin.

With all of this perfection, there’s very little you can ask for in the department of growth and development for Celaena. And with her ideals of world peace, her selective sympathizing with other people,

and the fact that she never actually kills anyone in the entire book and only talks about people she has killed before the events of this story,

(spoiler show)

you almost forget that she’s an assassin at all. She could just be some random girl who was chosen to participate in combative competition due to having some special skill or whatnot.

And if not for the fact that she’s kind of non-standard as a main female character with a lot of well-thought out, unique character traits, she could very easily pass as a typical, standardized YA female lead wherein everything she does is ideal, and she is the ”special chosen girl” whom everyone falls in love with and who is destined to save the world. All you’d have to do is tweak a few character traits here and there and Celaena Sardothien would be the exact carbon-copy replica of every other YA female character ever written.

But she’s not, because she's still got some of her own refreshingly unique Celaena traits; so, thank goodness for little things like that.

Which brings me to the romance in this story:

The romance was the relationship that bugged me the most. First of all: Love Triangle Alert. Though in this case, I have to admit that the Triangle was presented pretty well. The only complaint I have is that feelings between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol seemed to develop out of nowhere. One moment everyone hates each other because of their respective roles; the next minute we’re sharing intimate details of our lives and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside with deeper emotions being thrown around. Jealousies start stewing, male posturing happens, and we even get a few instances of romantic angst that gave me quite a bit of pause considering how quickly everyone fell in love with Celaena.

Though I have to give the romance a bit of credit since the word “love” was never actually tossed out there carelessly. For something as petty as that, I can live with the romance--even though the love interests care deeply for one another, they didn’t fall in love instantly.

The pacing of the developing romance, however, just didn’t really sit well with me, but it’s not like it’s the end of the world.

All of Celaena’s other relationships (her friendships with Nehemia, Nox, Phillipa…) those were winning. I especially loved that she developed such a strong bond with Nehemia, even if some of their friendship had been based around secrets and lies. I also admittedly loved the entire friendship-non-friendship thing going on between Celaena and some of her King’s Champion rivals.

Final Thoughts:
I really DID enjoy Throne of Glass. I felt like the romance could have been done without, honestly. There were all these other important things going on and all our boys could think about was who gets to show up in Celaena’s rooms unannounced and be her soul mate. I mean, come on boys--people are dying and there’s evil in the castle. Priorities!

I can’t help but to think that after the first four chapters both Dorian and Chaol each respectively got lobotomies intended to turn them into Celaena’s potential love interests, because before the entourage returned to the castle, Chaol was cold and cruel to Celaena, and Dorian all but ignored her. But then they arrive at the palace in Adarlan and suddenly both of these guys are head over heels for her.

I even almost forgot about the whole “Evil King” background plot. And the murder mystery was quite promising even if it was pretty predictable. The entire magic and Fae tangent felt like it came out of nowhere even though the ideals were floating around in the backstory the entire book.

Lots of things to look forward to in the next few books, that’s for sure.





This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):



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