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review 2016-06-16 18:16
The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

This sounds like it would be just my thing, but for some reason, it wasn't.

It's got good writing, concerning both the prose and the plot, but the world-building, while interesting, felt very discombobulated. It tried to explain itself: the Language, the Library, and the fey, creatures of chaos, and dragons, creatures of order, but it wasn't working too well for me.

Also, the writing mostly evokes a Victorian feel to it (though less than the cover would indicate), but the combination of modern technology here and there and modern phrases scattered throughout, while it made sense far as the story was concerned, didn't actually mesh very well in the story. (Congrats if you understood that. Have a cookie.)

As far as Irene and Kai go, I really have very little opinion of them. Kai felt rather one-dimensional and I didn't really...care about Irene? But Vale was pretty cool, and I'd love to see more of him in future books.

As far as the plot goes, I liked the clever bits dealing with Alberich, but I don't quite understand his motivation (they kinda explained it) but even less so how it would work. Kicking myself I didn't write down the page number for this.

To be totally honest, I think I would have liked this best if it had been a completed standalone, rather than at least a six book deal. But I liked this passably well, and am just interested enough to give the next book a go.

This is a bit of the stuff I garnered about the things I wanted more info on:

The Library does what it does for the love of books. Simply to collect books, all the books in all the alternate worlds, and store them and protect them, so that if that book should ever be lost to time or disaster, there will still be a copy to make more from.

The Library exists out of time, so the Librarians are essentially ageless, except when out on book missions, when time passes for them normally.

The Language the fully initiated Librarians use is apparently heard by those who don't understand it in their own language, but with a certain unplaceable accent. The Language is sort-of magic, but it works best when directing something to do what it naturally should be doing, or that it naturally is designed to do (unlocking a door and such). The Language is ever evolving, adding grammar and vocabulary, as most books brought back to the Library are studied and the words or phrases or cool descriptions of the color black are added to the Language. (Or the Language itself evolves from the newly gathered literature???)

Chaos can infect a world, and after the world has been infected and corrupted, then the Fey can manifest to wreck more havoc. But thenDragons are like super chill and creatures of order and often show up to help restore order to the Chaos-corrupted world. Dragons can also take humanoid form.

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review 2016-06-14 18:18
After Alice
After Alice: A Novel - Gregory Maguire

I wanted to love this, I mean, I even tried to love it, but it wasn't working for me. To be honest, though it has been years since I read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, I'm pretty sure everyone would just be better off reading the original. Oh, sure, there are occasionally very clever bits and the writing, while often overly pretentious, is pleasant enough and even sometimes quite lovely. Alas, beyond that, there is very little of which to speak well. The narrative, while omniscient, skips back and forth between Ada, who tumbles into Wonderland and basically has a small collection of adventures Alice has already had, and Lydia, Alice's oft frustratingly dull older sister, and also Siam, a rescued slave-boy who wanders behind the Looking-Glass.

There are innuendos aplenty, and even an F-bomb, which I'm fairly certain is not quite in the vein of the original. (And yes, I realize this is "adult" fiction, blah.)

Really the only good bits are Ada in Wonderland, which I feel is basically what one could garner from reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass. Also, there wasn't all that much of Ada in Wonderland for this being nearly 300 pages.

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review 2016-05-30 07:08
Sleeping Giants
Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel

**An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Oh, and I also won an ARC copy of this through Goodreads Firstreads!! So pretty.

2.5 stars.

I less liked this book than I was intrigued. And even at the end (whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?), I'm only really going to be reading Book 2 because I kinda NEED to know what's going on.

The Writing

So the book is told through a series of interviews and takes place over a number of years. Books from this POV can be really rough, but it worked in this case. Probably even more so because most of the characters know as little as the reader does. So at least you aren't alone.

The Characters

I didn't connect with any of them, so weirdly plot is the only reason I'm keeping with this series. I can't tell you if I didn't connect due only to the characters themselves or if the interview style of writing contributed in any way.

I liked Rose the best of the bunch, but she died too quickly to really make it devastating for me. Ryan was pretty annoying, but he was actually chill in the last half. I felt sorry for Vincent and I liked him well enough, but Kara also annoyed me. BUT the Interviewer, whoever he is, at once made me hate him and like him and I'm just so conflicted?? He's so clever and mysterious and SUCH AN A-HOLE. I just really want to know who he is, where he came from, what he knows, who he works for, etc. Oh, and Mr. Burns was legit, though I have so many questions about him as well.

I thought the romance aspect of this, though it was definitely put on the back-burner, was hecka frustrating and really just didn't need to be in here. I guess maybe it was supposed to put a little more of a personal side to the story, but really it didn't help anything and I just want to know about the alien robots, okay?


Haha, I don't actually understand it at all, because every time I thought we'd figured something out, then we'd find something else contradictory to what I thought we knew. So I am just gonna admit I know nothing. I also will admit I want to know everything. Basically, there's giant alien robots and we found one with pieces of it buried all over the earth and maybe it's from a more technologically advanced alien race that wanted to communicate with us but when they visited we were too lame to know what the heck they wanted to say so they left it for us to find once we were cool and now we have it but we definitely don't want to use it as a weapon because then the alien race will wipe us out because they only want us to use it for defense? If the alien race wanted to communicate with us and they would know enough to know we used it as a weapon, why aren't they communicating with us now?? Also, is this giant alien robot one from the giant race mentioned in Genesis in the Bible??? Or it is a Titan???? Or could it be both? (Because you know, the myth of the Titans doesn't actually have to be gods, they just would have been seen as them, because....they were giant alien robots.)

The Ending


Huh. I didn't see that coming.

(spoiler show)

So yeah, I'm SO there for Book 2, but I do wish I liked the characters more, because that was pretty much my only only complaint. (Also, if this isn't optioned for film nigh immediately, I'll be surprised.)

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review 2016-04-10 20:37
A Stolen Kiss
A Stolen Kiss (The Stolen Royals) (Volume 1) - Kelsey Keating

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**


What to say about this one...it's a tough one to talk about, in my opinion, because it's not bad per se, but not good either. (Ugh, these books are the worst to review.)


Mainly, I didn't care. I thought about giving up pretty much the whole way through, which is just never good. But some of the actual issues I had with this beyond lack of interest are that this is labeled YA but the writing, the dialogue, everything is juvenile, and not in a good way. Especially as the oldest MC is supposed to be 18, with the rest of them a few years younger, but they all pretty much have the same maturity level. Ellis was the best character, and there was a definite lack of the shapeshifter, alas.


Also, for being near 350 pages, it's actually quite surprising how basically nothing happens. For that reason, it also moves very slow.



Pretty sure this whole thing could have been solved so much quicker if Derric had just FRICKING kissed her as soon as he realized he was the one who had cursed her in the first place. Could have saved like 100 pages but whatever. 

(spoiler show)



Honestly, it's not terrible, but it didn't hold my interest, and is the exact opposite of what you might call memorable.

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review 2016-03-01 18:29
The Last Of The Firedrakes
The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles, #1) - Farah Oomerbhoy

**An copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

How? HOW does this have such high ratings and favorable reviews? 'Cos this was so bad, you guys. Oh, I should have DNFed. There's an hour of my life I won't be getting back.

It started out, not promising perhaps, but not totally terrible, in a generic fantasy story marginally better written than if written by an average 12 year old sort-of way. And it continued in this vein for the next 350 pages or so, with the addition of about a bajillion hackneyed cliches, an honest to goodness Pixie Hollow (with accompanying names eg. Penelope Plumpleberry), and a terribad romance. Let's look at the story, noting some of the cliches, shall we??

(Okay, not all of this will be totally 100% chronological. I'm only human. And I was speed reading.)

Aurora, an orphan, lives with her horrid adoptive aunt and uncle and cousin. Her uncle sells her to some baddie, who takes Aurora to a magical land, where Aurora discovers she is not only royalty but has inherited both of her parent's powers; she is both a mage AND an immortal fey, the combination of which is practically unheard of. She is also literally the most powerful fey-mage since the bestest and most awesomeest fey-mage whose names escapes me but basically he was super important and powerful. Her aunt wants her dead so she can take over the throne with absolutely no competition from the true heir. (But the "true heir" was in an entirely different fricking WORLD before the aunt brought her to Avalonia.) She falls into Insta!love (she actually refers to him as the love of her life, and her soul mate *gag*) with the Black Wolf, a dashing tall dark and handsome dude who runs around the kingdom doing who knows what but he's got this big huge reputation and he is actually the crown prince in disguise (I didn't see that coming AT ALL) and a total smarmy ass-hat. Aurora can talk with Pegasi, and she has one named Snow, and every scene with those two was dripping in awful saccharine pretty princess Pegasus power hour writing. Aurora is sent to a magical boarding school to learn how to control her powers, and where she encounters an Avalonian version of Draco Malfoy named Damien Blackwater, if memory serves, who blathers on about his pure "bloodline", is a general twat, and whose family is secretly in cohoots with Morgana. (At which point, I was jabbing at the Ipad screen at the rate of probably 20 pages a minute, just scanning the pages, because I was pretty confident there was nothing worth reading past that.) Aurora moons over Rafe, and they make out a bit but it never seems like it comes from any place of actual affection and it's written TERRIBLY. (This, and what was going on plot wise, had started to induce groaning and facepalming.) And then I think we are learning more about this special book of Abraxis that Morgana wants so she can control Dragoth (who is a demon?? I forget) but there are four keys you need to open the book, and she only has one. And then Aurora is an idiot (see below) and opens a portal (to hell?????) and lets Lilith (...like....that Lilith???) into Avalonia, and I don't know, Lilith is gonna use Morgana as a host body, because her wraith form will dissipate or she's weak in wraith form, or something like that. And that's mostly the end.

Aurora is also incredibly stupid. She's on the run from people who want to kill her, but instead of trying to get to someone who can help her, she begs to stay in Pixie Hollow (or whatever it was called) to sightsee the fairy market. Which gets raided by the Shadow Guard and she gets captured. Aurora also decides NOT to tell on one of the girls at the boarding school who let the Shadow Guard in, and is basically a big fat traitor, because.....that would be...tattling??? Oh gosh, there were so many instances of her stupidity, but here's another goodie. Aurora is told that bringing Snow back to life would be "dark magic" aka VERY VERY HELLA BAD DON'T DO IT and she fricking does it, because she neeeeeds Snow back. Well, guess what, Aurora? I hope you're happy that you using dark magic opened a hell portal.

(spoiler show)

Anyways, up till the last 60 pages or so, it was pretty darn bad, but it would have probably gotten two stars, because it was basically just a poorly written generic fantasy amalgamation of tropes and tween dreams when you'd daydream in your backyard about secretly being magical royalty. It wasn't something I would ever recommend, but as a wee girl with very few standards I might have even enjoyed it. Until Aurora and Rafe's gag-o-matic tripe of a "romance" was two-sided, and the plot went completely haywire.

Also worth mentioning is that this reads VERY middle grade, from plot to characters to the writing style, but then some bits felt more like they belonged in a YA? I think maybe this is one of those weird little books that was meant and marketed as YA but comes off as extremely childish and MG.

Thank goodness it's finally over.

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