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review 2015-08-27 18:38
The Girl at Midnight
The Girl at Midnight - Melissa Grey

On its own, without considering anything else, I enjoyed the plot and the little bit of mythology within the world.  BUT, I just can’t overlook the lack of originality that was peppered throughout the whole thing.  It has been said in so many reviews already, but seriously, this is too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  And when this did verge away from DoSaB it touched on The Grisha series.  It seemed like the author just mushed those two series together and came up with The Girl at Midnight.  If I hadn’t read both of those series before this I probably would have been more into this book.  Unfortunately for Melissa Grey, I did read both of those series before this and they were superior to this effort.  


The MC, Echo, was a little snarky and sarcastic, which I love to read.  It keeps novels fun and adds an relatable element to the character for me.  


That said, she drove me nuts on a number of occasions.  


First - - and I cannot emphasize this enough - - she just FORGOT about Rowan.  You know Rowan...the boy she was swooning over in the first few chapters.  The boy she has known all her life...and been “in love” with for a while.  Rowan...her boyfriend!  As soon as Caius was introduced it was as if Rowan didn’t even exist.  Some people have said there was a love triangle in this book but I would disagree.  I love triangle would require the MC to actually think about both partners.  This is no love triangle, this is Echo abandoning Rowan and not looking back.


Second - - Echo switched her allegiance way too quickly.  She has been raised by the Avicen her entire life to believe that the Drakharin are vicious, demented creatures.  She has been raised to hate and fear them.  Yet, one look at Caius and she is willing to ally with him and Dorian - not just to escape - but to find the firebird as well.  She could have returned to the Avicen, she didn’t.  She could have continued her search without what should have been her mortal enemies, she didn’t.  No, she took them to an Avicen safehouse and starts making googly eyes at Caius.  I don’t care that this fit nicely with the plot line, it was too easy.  There was no real attempt to provide Echo with doubts or to have her reconcile what she has been taught to believe with the reality of what she is seeing.  


Third - and I may be a little picky here - after all her hemming and hawing Rowan she literally throws herself at Caius.  She had a traumatic event, which Grey attempted to explore, but ended up just using as a plot device to further the romance that she needed to build between Echo and Caius.  This was an opportunity for Grey to really build Echo, to give her some development and growth, to address a serious issue (PTSD).  This could have been a moment for Grey to really show us her writing chops.  Instead, she makes Echo weak and needy.  I was really disappointed with this turn of events.


The world-building by Grey was lacking as well to me.  She barely touched on the mythology of the world, and only did so to bring the Firebird into things.  I wanted to know about the Drakharin and Avicen, their societal structures, power structures, customs and traditions.  We get none of that, nope, we get a pathetic so-called-romance between Echo and Caius that took up far too much of this book.

There was a gigantic area where this book excelled - and that was Jasper and Dorian.  I loved the inclusion of LGBT characters and the fact that they were central to the plot, frequently seen and explored as characters.  They weren’t just thrown in there to appease a demographic and forgotten.  They mattered, in some small way, to the overall plot.  Their romance, to me, was sweeter and more believable than that between Echo and Caius.  Kudos to Ms. Grey for taking the time to write these characters well.  This is getting 2 stars - one for Jasper, one for Dorian.    

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review 2015-07-08 03:35
The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (The Kane Chronicles #2)
The Throne of Fire - Rick Riordan

Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.


And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.


To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.

First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?


Hmm, I can guess that I am a huge minority! I never wanted to give The Throne of Fire a two and a half star rating . . . so I gave it three stars. But honestly . . . I just couldn’t love this book.


I listened to this book back and forth today between an audiobook and a reading my physical copy. I seriously just could not.


I like the writing, I like the characters, and the world-building is done pretty well. It’s just the actual plot of the story and the mythology it’s based on. I’m honestly just not interested in the plot of this story.


Everything just seemed predictable and convenient—it’s hard to explain how, exactly. I felt like two kids (either brother and sister, or some team) have to save the world. Then they go through a huge adventure and manage to do just that.


I’m really not into kid adventure stories anymore. If I was a middle-grader, I would’ve loved this! I feel bad for not enjoying this series, but on the bright side: I’m enjoying Percy Jackson much more! :D


Overall, The Throne of Fire had basically a regular children’s adventure plot. There’s the great writing and characters though! But, for a level of personal enjoyment, I didn’t really enjoy this as much. I feel really bad and unfortunately, I am not going to continue this series . . .


Thanks for reading my horrible review guys! I know this doesn’t have the same things as my other reviews, but I am extremely exhausted. I’m really sorry! Hope you have a great day and until the next one! :D

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review 2015-05-15 21:45
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld

So I am not going to totally rip this.  But it is something I am not going to spend any more time on.


I never got into this.  I am about 50% of the way and couldn't care less about the characters or the plot.  I thought the premise would be strong enough to hold me but it never even got me going.


In reality the premise seemed weak and the world-building was not there to support the plot.  I honestly feel like I know nothing about the world or the characters at this point.  Normally I would feel some connections to at least one character or feel absorbed into the plot.  None of that is happening.


Too many books and too little time are gonna do this one in for me.  DNF at roughly 50%.

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review 2015-04-10 05:08
The Dark City - Relic Master Series
The Dark City #1 (Relic Master) - Catherine Fisher

Started 4/08/2015

Finished 4/09/2015


I don't really know where to start with this one.  I never got absorbed into it.  Never fell through the rabbit hole and lived in the world.  


The writing was acceptable.  Nothing was overly flowery or burdensome.  The pacing was good.  Really there wasn't anything overtly wrong with this that makes me not really care for it.  I just don't.


I never invested in the characters.  Raffi and Galen were just boring for me.  Carys was moderately more interesting but had no real depth.  The Sekoi were interesting for me but were a very small part of the book......certainly not enough to make it worthwhile.

The story itself.....not much to it actually.  Sure a lot happens.  The characters move about, have their adventures, reach the conclusion, etc. etc.  But nothing really happens. Even though the "twist" that is coming in future books wasn't revealed I feel like I already know where this is going and it doesn't really interest me. 


The Watch is a murky bad guy group for me.  There are very few details about them to really sink your teeth into.  And what is given is lacking in any real clarity as to what is going on.  It is unclear why the Watch hates the Order, unclear what is really going on, unclear what the characters motives are.  Really.....this whole thing is a mess if chaos with no real conclusion.  Even for part of a series I expected some portion of the tale to come to a satisfying end....even if the main plot is left in a cliff-hanger.  It sorta did with the crow....but then it sorta didn't.


Not my cup of tea......or shot of whiskey.  I will not be continuing the series.

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