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review 2016-04-19 23:15
Cogling
Cogling - Elizabeth Jordan

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

One of those in-between books. I liked it more than not, but due to my lack of interest in the beginning, procrastination, and the fact that most Netgalley books expire after a couple months, I realized I had two days to read this, which after company came and we played Pinochle all day long, that meant a few hours of staying up in order to finish this. So I was reading a little faster than normal so I could go to bed darnnit. (Daylight Savings is brutal).

At its core, this story is all about family. Edna's brother is stolen away by a hag and replaced with a cogling, and come hell or high water, she's gonna get him back. Enter Ike, who has his own agenda but is willing to help Edna get her brother back. They become a thing, but it was handled fairly well, and was mostly put on the back-burner and the rescue/quash hag takeover took precedence. Which I mightily appreciated.

Also, it must be noted that hags and ogres are not your typical hags and ogres of folklore. These guys are all magical folk who got magic by living on a swamp and then they came back to the city, and whoops, everyone hated them now (because ewwww and magic) and banished them, and then the hags and ogres rebelled and won, and then THEY were rebelled against and quashed, and now some of them are allowed to practice magic to heal the elite, but are mostly scorned, and shocker, some of them would very much like to try for a hostile takeover. The females are the hags and the males are the ogres, and much like the non-magical humans, they can be either good or bad, though of course, with derogatory names like "hag" and "ogre", quite a bit of ill-will has been cultivated against them as a whole.

I guess I liked the overall idea of this book, but it failed a bit in my estimation in the execution. I didn't get a good sense of atmosphere, which with this world and the magic, would have been very nice to have. The world building in general felt rather one-dimensional, and the religion concerning the "Seven Saints" (which were mentioned frequently by both the hags and Edna) was vague at best. Not a bad book by any means, but not great either.

 

I figured out Edna had magic nigh instantly, and was reminded of this fact every couple chapters because "the evil" running through her blood kept being mentioned. This got old pretty quick, and also makes me wonder if we were supposed to immediately know she had magic, or was it supposed to be a surprise?

(spoiler show)
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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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review 2016-02-26 18:19
The Looking Glass Wars: CrossFire
The Looking Glass Wars: CrossFire - Frank Beddor,Curtis Clark

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

I've always loved The Looking Glass Wars, and pretty much anything having to do with Alice in Wonderland, but I wasn't a fan of Hatter M. Thankfully, this was a whole lot better. Not only was the art somewhat better (still not very good), but the story was so much more cohesive. It is a continuation of the LGW (after 7 years!!), with a big cast of characters that were really great to revisit.

I'll definitely be around for Vol 2!!

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review 2016-01-03 16:02
Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum
Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum - Gregory Funaro

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

 

 

As this book is less than a month away from publication at this point, an actual review doesn't really have to wait, but is gonna have to for all eternity. Suffice it to say that this was a fun installment in this series, nearly as much so as the first one. Possibly more, because Lorcan. Not only does it have underwater adventures, and a Madame Mim-esque witch, Lady(ies) of the Lake, stained glass prophecies, and the continued presence of a Scottish clock, but invisible flying fairies, organ playing, accidental murders, totally-not-accidental murders, and the identity reveal of Prince Nightshade.

 

I thought it could have been moved along a bit quicker, but also I read this over the span of three months, so who am I to complain about moving slow? But the very fact that it took me three months might speak to that it wasn't the most attention-grabbing book to be had. However, I did enjoy it, and I'll be back for Book 3.

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