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review 2016-10-30 20:51
Love and War
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

"The Winner's Curse" surprised me. It was more than angst and bloody battles. Psychological warfare techniques are strengths for characters in this book. The heroine is not a superb fighter. She has a sharp mind for strategy. Her father, a General, is not one-dimensional either. He feels like a real military leader with many shades of gray.

The relationship between slave (who wants to be free) and owner (who's ashamed of owning slaves) has its complications from the perspective of both sides and wreaks havoc, yet despite their backgrounds they find a delicate balance. It made me wonder how they will things work out if they became a couple. How will it all end? What will it look like? Since this is book 1 of a trilogy the answers have yet to be answered. I won't go into detail about "The Winner's Curse" but between the cover is a meaty story that is very hard to put down.

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text 2016-09-13 19:12
August Wrap-Up
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J.K. Rowling,John Kerr Tiffany,Jack Thorne
A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski
The 100 - Kass Morgan
The Archived - Victoria Schwab
City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz - L. Frank Baum

I just realized I haven't posed my August wrap-up yet!

I read a total of 7 books during August (including two re-reads).

 

What I read

- Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (5/5)

- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (4/5)

- The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkosky (3/5)

- The 100 by Kass Morgan (4/5)

- The Archived by Victoria Schwab (4/5)

- City of Lost Sould by Cassandra Clare (4/5)

- Dorothy and The Wizard in Oz (4/5)

 

What I watched

 

I'm still watching Gilmore Gilrs, I'm currently watching season 3. It's so good!

 

I'm going to post a haul quite soon and then hopefully some picture of my brand new shelves (I'm moving really soon!). I won't post reviews in the near future, because I'm not reading that much these days and I don't have the energy to go on the computer after 8 hours staring at it at work... That's sad, actually.

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Line.

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text 2016-08-15 10:38
Holiday wrap-up
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski
The 100 - Kass Morgan

I'm back from Spain where I spent one week with my family. It was short, but great. I finished The Winner's Curse, which was good but not as great as I thought it would be. Then I read The 100 and I adored it, I can't wait to read the next book and watch the TV show. And I'm currently reading The Archived which is really strange but so good right now! I'm almost done with it.

 

I had no time to write reviews on holiday, and I don't want to write them now. I have my last exam this week as well as a job interview. Here are my ratings:

 

- The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski 3/5

- The 100 by Kass Morgan 4/5

 

I hope you're all having a great summer! As far as I'm concerned, it was really lazy and now it's time to work. 

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Line.

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review 2016-07-27 02:09
Review: The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Initial reaction: Consider me very surprised. I really enjoyed this book, and I wasn't expecting to at all. Thinking somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. I'm definitely reading the rest of this series.

Full review:

What a rollercoaster ride of a read this was. I'll admit I had my reservations about beginning this series, but in the end, it was a strong beginning to what ended up being a interesting story (though with flaws, as I'll discuss soon). Part of the reason why I enjoyed this read as much as I did was Justine Eyre's excellent audio narration. She nailed the performance and brought out the writing and emotion in a way that held my attention throughout the novel. Inspired by Antiquity and taken from the Greco-Roman period, "The Winner's Curse" novel is a fantasy that notes the conflict between two parties: the Valorians and the Herrani. The novel begins when Kestrel, the high ranking daughter of a General in the Valorian army, purchases a Herrani slave, Arin, in market on a whim - though she reasons he'll be useful to her household because of his blacksmithing skills. She's also intrigued by his purported musical ability, as she has a heart for music rather than following in her father's footsteps as a soldier.

Arin is a man who's lost his family in the tides of conflict, not so subtly working behind the scenes to aid in an uprising to which Kestrel is naive to. She lets him do as he pleases in places because she's intrigued by him, and the two end up having an unlikely connection that becomes more complicated as the conflicts build behind the scenes. I'll admit that it took a while for the momentum of the novel to hit the ground running, but it was the strength of the audio version and the way the writing wove the two narratives together that held my attention throughout. I expected to have qualms about the portrayal of slavery in this book, but I felt like the conflict was done in a way that was realistic - the betrayals hitting home and the onset of a bitter war a real reality with heavy costs looming in the backdrop until it broke open with subsequent events. The uprising at the ball somewhat reminded me of a scene from the anime/manga Rose of Versailles that I saw a long time ago. Injustices are present, but it still feels like it doesn't quite go as deep as it could go for those conflicts.

I'll admit that while this is strongly sold as a romance (and the focal points of the book definitely confirm that) - I'll admit I was intrigued primarily by the interactions between characters and the layers upon which they made their decisions. Rutkoski does a great job of shaping Kestrel and Arin's loyalties to the people around them, while at the same time building the conflict of their relationship to each other and the division between their societies. I almost wish the book had delved into that more and developed it to where the world was more vivid (though it proves to be functional for the story presented).

There were some scenes where Kestrel's naivete grated on me in the beginning of the story, but I felt she did have points of growth as the story moved forward, same with Arin. It's difficult to say because as a whole - "The Winner's Curse" is an intriguing story that doesn't quite go as deep as it could go - and that's what disappoints me to some degree in reflecting upon it. I like the intrigue, I like the backdrop, but it feels like it has a hesitant finger lingering over the button to lend to something bigger. The novel builds to a pulse point conclusion, and I'm intrigued to see where the overarching series goes from here on out.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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review 2016-07-15 02:55
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Well, I enjoyed this immensely. Let's talk about why.

Kestrel is freaking amazing. She's smart, cunning, ruthless. But she also has her weaknesses, things that make her vulnerable. As for Arin? Arin's alright, I guess, but I don't love him as much as I love Kestrel.

I like the romance! Didn't feel like insta love, didn't feel obnoxious or unrealistic at all.

Absolutely no slut-shaming and a strong female friendship between Kestrel and Jess. I love it!

Also, the writing is gorgeous. It's not for everyone, I can see that, but I personally found it beautiful.

Apologies for the short review. Hopefully my review for Winner's Crime will be longer.

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