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text 2017-08-17 09:08
DNF: Beasts Made of Night
Beasts Made of Night - Tochi Onyebuchi

I received a copy from Penguin First to Read.

 

I used some of my points to secure a copy of this one. I was quite looking forward to it. While it's not bad, at 187 pages, I've come to the point where I just don't care anymore. The concept is quite fascinating. In this Nigerian inspired fantasy, the hero Taj is an Aki, a Sin Eater. The Royal Family of the fictional city of Kos are supposed to be pure and free of sin, sin comes in the form of Sin Beasts which the Aki consume and absorb into their skin in the form of tattoos. Interesting enough.

 

But there was something off about the plot and the execution of the story. I can't say I felt particularly attached to any of the characters. The world building was interesting enough but the writing was kind of flat. And the plot seemed to jump from one thing to the next. There was a barely there romance that felt way too insta-lovey for my liking. He meets with a princess once or twice and then he's fascinated with her. Understandable, but again, there was something that just wasn't there to make it work for me.

 

It's getting to the point where I'm not looking forward to finishing, and as I said early, I'm bored with and don't care enough to find out how its end. There is definite potential in the writing and as I said the world building was interesting and quite unique. While this book was not for me I would certainly be interested in seeing more from this author.

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review 2015-05-10 20:28
Review: Dark Triumph
Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers

I gota copy from Netgalley when this title was available as a read it now.

 

A fantastic follow up to Grave Mercy, picking up almost immediately where the first book left off. As much as loved Ismae from the first book, I found myself liking Sybella even more as a character. While the political and historical aspects of the first book were a little daunting, the second novel was a lot easier to follow the storyline on that front. I think also it helped that this book seemed to be more focused on character development.

 

Sybella was a wonderful character, a much more tragic background and at times her history revelations are positively stomach churning. She's got a definite attitude and some obvious issues with authority which given her circumstances are understandable. Her inner strength and character development is just amazing. Her voice is deep and compelling, troubled as she struggles to determine her place even after finding solace in her God of death and the convent where she is trained.

 

Beast was a fascinating character as well, fans while I didn't think his character was nearly as well developed as Sybella was, I greatly admired his strength and loyalty. And I really liked the romance angle in this one as well. It was hinted at and barely there but well developed and made me happy for both characters.

 

This one also touched a little more on the mythology side, I found it quite fascinating learning about some of the different Gods and Goddesses.

 

Really enjoyed this one and looking forward to the final book in the trilogy.

 

Also crossing off a square for my Spring 2015 Book Bingo - Thieves, assassins, Pirates 

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review 2015-04-07 11:27
Review: The Dolls
The Dolls - Kiki Sullivan

This one started off pretty good, but the last few chapters were a let down. This comes under the heading of 'rich people problems'. Now, this is the sort of rich people problems though, I enjoy. A magical town with a history, the girl who was taken away, and brought back in. 

 

Spoiled rich girls and witchcraft is never a good combination, though it does make for entertaining books. In this case, the mysterious town history is built amongst a type of voodoo lead by three girls who come into their powers at 17. Eveny, our heroine, has been living outside the town most of her life after the death of her mother and is brought back in. 

 

Eveny, at least, was the most sensible character of the lot. Not swayed by her new uber-rich lifestyle or the queen bees who try to befriend her. She's kind of fascinated, but (good for her) prefer the regular kids on the "poor side" of town. There's a big divide of the rich side and the poor side in this, there's explanations worked in. But the more Eveny gets involved, the more she succumbs to the magic and power of the snooty girls, The Dolls. 

 

The world building and the uses of voodoo, the town history was fairly interesting. There's a lot about using herbs and plants, calling on their power, but there's also lessons and warnings about balance as well. The Dolls don't give a fuck about the balance part, Eveny to be fair, starts to realise how wrong this is. Trying to persuade the idiotic Dolls about this however, when you have two hundred years of tradition working against you, tends not to work.

 

There's a sort of romance plot as well, and a plot involving a sect of hunters who are dead set on eradicating practitioners of the type of voodoo the Dolls play with. While it was very superficial and silly in parts (there's a lot of nonsense about who's wearing what, including voodoo for beauty enhancements) ceremonies for allowing to be possessed by certain spirits which come across as one big ass orgy (there are reasons for this, of course) but the end was a bit of a rush and it was all so fast and silly it kind of spoiled it.

 

While it was daft, it was entertaining.  

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review 2014-09-29 11:41
Review: Everneath
Everneath - Brodi Ashton

I don't actually have a whole lot to say about this one. I liked it. I thought the concept was pretty good, though the main character did irritate me quite a bit. She was of the woe is me variety.

 

It was an intriguing plot, though. And I did quite like the use of mythology woven into the Everneath - an underworld like place. Mixed with both Greek and Egyptian mythology. The premise of the novel was Niki had been seduced by bad boy Cole, an Everliving, a denizen of this Everneath underworld and tricked into going with him when she discovered a secret about her boyfriend she didn't want to know.

 

Its a mix of the Persephone myth and Orpheus and Eurydice woven together and it actually works pretty well. The novel focuses on Niki's sort of escape from the Everneath and trying to figure out how to deal with her family and friends who are reeling from her disappearance the first time she was suckered in.

 

Cole is your average YA bad boy hunk, in a bad, with special soul sucking powers. Though I'm somewhat baffled as to how he managed to be attracted to Niki. Who is the ordinary type with a great best friend and a cool jock boyfriend. Jack the boyfriend is the hottest guy in school and Niki gets him. She's insecure and whiny. She knows a few less than endearing facts about Jack, including the cheerleader exgirlfriend who wants him back.

 

I can understand why she liked him, and I can even understand how she can be insecure, I would guess it would be a fairly safe bet to say that most girls in Niki's position would love to have an awesome hot superstar boyfriend. But...eh, something about it annoyed me.

 

The story is told in a then and now fashion, what led Niki to be suckered in by Cole and what happened when she escapes. Though I must admit, Jack really did come through for her in the latter half of the novel. There was some good world building, and I liked it enough to have already picked up the other two books in the trilogy so looking forward to seeing where this is going.

 

 

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review 2014-06-13 18:54
The Curse Breakers (The Curse Keepers series) - Denise Grover Swank

Actual rating 2.5 stars.

 

I got a copy via Netgalley.

 

I didn't love this follow up to the Curse Keepers as much as I loved the first. There was something...missing in this one though I can't quite put my finger on what it was. There was still an abundance of Native American mythology, fighting evil spirits, a new character introduced....

 

This was just a rather...meh...read for me. The plot picks up shortly after the first book, Ellie is now dealing with the consequences of what happened at the end of the Curse Keepers. I found the plot repetitive, a lot of unnecessary recapping of events in the first book to bring the new character up to speed. It did get irritating. And not a lot seemed to happen, there didn't seem to be much advancement in the story.

 

it was still well written, Ellie was still awesome, less Collin who hadn't improved much when he did show up. A new romance angle with the new character. Some grisly murders of people and animals (the animal mutilations were more upsetting than the people being killed) even so..

 

It just wasn't as good as the first book. Even though I didn't like the book as much as the first one, I will still be looking out for the next one as I do enjoy the series and want to know where the story is going.

 

(I have auto approval from 47 North on Netgalley, I think I also had an invite for this title, so thank you 47 North if it was an invite).

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