Review: Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

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I loved the previous book, Wintersong, and while I was hoping for a sequel, I also thought the story could end there. But when SHADOWSONG was announced, I was hopping mad to get a copy, eager to revisit the Underground, and hoping for a happy ending for the Goblin King and Liesl.

As a whole, Wintersong came across as a tightly plotted story, while SHADOWSONG seems a bit scattered. There was none of the intensity of the previous book. Maybe it was because of the mystery initially presented–what’s with the dying people being found with silver frost on their lips? Who’s the green-eyed woman? What’s happening with Josef, and what seems to be up with Liesl, who seems to be distant in this book? And as I read on, the story starts to captivate me, maybe not as much as Wintersong, but enough to ensure that I would forge onward to the very last page. Continue reading

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Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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All I can say is “Wow!” I’m speechless with wonder, with awe at the twists and turns the story had taken. Though I’m expecting things not to go swimmingly for Mia, I never imagined the routes the plot would take to bring her to where she was by the end of the book.

Mia just keeps on evolving throughout the series. In the first book, she is out for revenge against the three men who are instrumental in murdering her family. In the second book, she has not forgotten this purpose, yet, she now sees other things, too, like how the riches that are enjoyed by the few are provided by broken backs and blood of the many. And what she has seen, she cannot forget. What would Mia do about these things, if she even can? Continue reading

Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

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I had this book in my Kindle for months, and my thought when I finally cracked it open was: Why did I just start this now?

But better late than never.

NEVERNIGHT is a compelling, surprisingly delightful novel about assassins (is there an oxymoron there somewhere?). The author painted a sympathetic picture of the heroine, who though she trained to be an assassin to avenge her family, never quite lost her humanity.

The worldbuilding is superb, the story intricately plotted–the twist at the end totally took me by surprise. Love it!! The footnotes are a nice touch; they added history and depth to the world. And humor/comic relief, though Mister Kindly had that job, too. Or…could it be…that he’s the narrator? Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

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And here’s my review of the second book…

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THE GIRL IN THE TOWER continues the story left off from The Bear and the Nightingale, where Vasya decided to go off adventuring into the world, to avoid the villagers at home who accused her of being a witch and perhaps because she also felt guilt at what had happened to her father. This is still a coming-of-age story, where Vasya tries to find her identity in a world that would suppress her movements and desires, just because women have a “place” in society–either marriage or the convent. Yet, for Vasya, who is wild and spirited and clever and brave, either of these wouldn’t have been enough for her. They were traps she wanted to avoid, especially when she holds her independence so dearly. Continue reading

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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I blogged about the stunning cover of the 3rd book in this series, and I think it’s apt that it be entitled “The Winter of the Witch”. After all, we’re dealing with winter in the books and her romantic interest is Morozko, the frost demon. But will they have an HEA? I guess we’ll know in August. In the meantime, here’s my review of the first book in the series!

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THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE is a captivating, edgy tale of growing up and finding one’s self and beliefs. It has been recommended for fans of Uprooted (by Naomi Novik), but I thought fans of Wintesong (by S. Jae-Jones) would also enjoy this as well. There’s the same coming-of-age heroine and a supernatural “hero”, though Wintersong is a tad darker and more intense. More than a romance though, both of these stories chronicle the heroines’ journey into self-actualization. Needless to say, I enjoyed both books thoroughly and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either one. Continue reading

Review: Cinderella by Mike Klaassen

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This reimagining of a well loved fairy tale is amazing! I love how the author breathed life into the cardboard characters in the fairy tale. Even the prince has some sidekicks that we didn’t know about and Cinderella’s fairy godmother is of a different sort. I enjoyed this revisit into my childhood, and I believe every kid should know this version of the tale as well.

However, and it may be the adult romance junkie in me speaking, but I wish we could have seen more of Ella’s interaction with the prince, instead of her um…(spoiler) to know his thoughts and intentions. If they had talked more, it would’ve strengthened the bond and connection between them. She could’ve opted not to use her ability when it comes to the prince. Also, how Ella got the prince to fall for her? Romance readers all over the world would revolt. On the relationship development side, it’s definitely not recommended for it to happen that way. I wouldn’t have believed in their relationship or that it would even last, unless through sorcery. That said, fairy tales are not known for in-depth character and romantic development (if there’s any romance at all), so perhaps this story is merely staying true to its origins. Continue reading

Review: The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen

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I love what Mike Klaassen has done to The Frog Prince, the fairy tale we all know and love. He has fleshed out the characters of the frog prince and the princess, made them more well-rounded with motivations we can believe in and get behind. The frog prince also exhibited growth in his character, a lesson learned over the course of his period as a frog–though I wish we could see just how he came about the revelations that prompted this growth. The story ended on a whimsical note, a perfect period to the tale.

Overall, I highly recommend Mike Klaasen’s The Frog Prince, especially to tweens and teens. Continue reading