Category Archives: third in a series

Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Graceling Realm

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a few years since I read either Graceling or Fire. And since I have so many books I want to read, re-reading books is no longer a priority when new sequels come out, unfortunately. Maybe if I had reread Graceling, and even maybe Fire, I might have loved Bitterblue. As it was though, I only liked it. Fair warning, this review does contain spoilers, so if you have not read it yet, please do not highlight the next paragraph. It has been whited out so that you will not be spoiled.
I felt like there was a love triangle, only a weird one. Bitterblue was obviously attracted to Sapphire, but was anyone else rooting for Giddon? Because I sure was. Even if that age gap of only 8 years, they were pretty much able to be honest with each other about everything, even if Giddon had to wait until after doing something to be honest about it. And they obviously cared for one another. As much as I liked Sapphire, and I did, I am team Giddon all the way.
Other than that though, the story was interesting, if a bit dull and dragging at times. This book is huge, and crams so much into it. But still parts drag here and there. But when it’s revealed what is happening, it’s horrifying how deep Leck’s control is, even years after he is gone. If you just stop and think, you are disgusted at what’s happening, but heartbroken for these people at the same time, because it’s not really their fault.
At the end, I have to say my first thought was “I’VE DONE IT!” I’ve completed this monster of a book. Goodreads informs me that it is the longest I have read so far this year, shoving Insurgent out of that spot. I was glad to visit this world again, and would definitely love a sequel to Bitterblue detailing what happens in her 20s maybe, when she has a few more years added on to her reign. Just maybe not quite this size.

Review: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: May 3, 2011
Source: Purchased
Series: Wings #3

Laurel hasn’t seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

As of right now, Spells is still my favorite book in this series. Illusions maybe second. But overall I was not as impressed with the third book in this series as I was with the second. Spells had this atmosphere because of the time Laurel spends in Avalon. In Illusions, we only get one or two quick trips that don’t last long enough.

I’m not going to say who’s team I’m on, just for those who have not read this series yet. Most of you have, but not all. I quite liked having Laurel know she was attracted to two guys, but set firmly in her decision of one of them. We didn’t have any of that indecision that comes with love triangles in Spells. Illusions made up for that though. So much indecision that it went in a way I was not expecting, but then again half expecting in one aspect. That is the kind of love triangle I’m not fond of. I like the ones where the girl is set, and even though the one guy she doesn’t choose fights for her, she never deviates. I must say I was disappointed in Illusions for going the other way.

And lastly, story-wise there just didn’t really seem to be a whole lot going on. We don’t really get an antagonist until slightly more than halfway through the book, and even so they’re an absent antagonist. They don’t really do anything until the big reveal of things at the very end in the last couple of chapters. And by the way, except for one random troll attack in the middle of the book, the only other action happens at the very end

The thing that saves Illusions for me though is what is revealed in the last quarter of the book. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where that’s taken in Destined. Illusions is a must read if you’ve already started this series, just beware that it might not live up to your expectations.

Review: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Release date: January 3, 2012
Source: Around the World Tours
Series: Nightshade #3 (Final)
Purchase: Book Depository

The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy.

Bloodrose, you’ve broken my heart. But I can’t say why because I don’t want to give anything away. While I’m happy with the way this series has ended overall, I’m not entirely happy about some of the paths this book took to get to that ending.
Now, even keeping that heartbreak in mind I’d have to say of the three books in this series, Bloodrose is my favorite. I don’t remember Nightshade very well, except a feeling of dislike towards Shay. Wolfsbane was very good, but this was the most fun book in the series. Cremer sends you on a quest with these characters, in which they’re retrieving the last three pieces of Shay’s Cross weapon. And boy let me tell you, Cremer is not afraid to do what needs to be done with her characters. So prepare yourself for some hard spots for these guys. The writing was done so well that I even felt like I was in those locations with everyone.
The following sentence will be whited out for now since it is considered spoilerish. Please do not highlight the text if you do not want to be spoiled. You have been warned. In terms of the love triangle, there is of course a decision made, and was clear early on what that decision would be before Calla even did anything to really confirm it. This I will also not say because I don’t want to spoil that for anyone. It was nice seeing even more of the new characters from Wolfsbane. This book only cemented my love of Conner, Ethan, and Adne. I did miss Monroe, because even though he was only around for a little while, he did leave an impression.
I have to say, honestly, the last battle was not quite what I thought it’d be. It just seemed a little less than what all the build-up throughout the book was pointing towards. Stuff happens, and believe me, depending on which team you’re on, you’ll probably be crying at one point. I know I did. I was shocked by that twist, though I guess it had to happen. Then once the final battle is won, there’s another twist. I wasn’t sure I liked how it ended at first, but after more thought I decided it was perfect. Though a little sad, since Shay recovers something, only to lose it minutes later.
Seriously, Bloodrose is an explosive end to series that I’ve come to love. I felt truly sad when I realized that this was it. I’ve gotten to know these characters, so I’m sure I’ll reread these books many times to revisit them. I recommend this of course for fans of the series, but also just for fans of werewolves in general, whether you read YA or not. Andrea Cremer is an excellent writer, and I will read anything she writes in the future.

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release date: January 25, 2011
Source: Purchased
Series: The Iron Fey #3
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.
I thought about going back and rereading King and Daughter to review on the blog as well, but decided against it. Mostly because I thought The Iron King was just okay, and The Iron Daughter almost made me give up on the series. The second book saw Meghan just whining nonstop about this and that, and actually took me many months to finish because at one point I just stopped. So when The Iron Queen came out, I waited to see what reviews were saying, and a lot of people were saying this one was the best one yet. And I agree.
Meghan felt so different from what I remember of her in The Iron Daughter. She’s grown up so much, accepts responsibility and commitment with grace. Even does a few things I used to not think her capable of. She really surprised me, and that’s one of the things I loved about The Iron Queen. Ash was as awesome as ever, but it did feel a bit weird to see him acting all lovey-dovey after the previous novels. It grew on me though, since I’ve been Team Ash from the very beginning.
I loved the story itself too. The first half dragged just a bit, but once things got rolling with the Iron Kingdom again, it was one thing after the next, constant moving. And I love how it worked out, even with Ash. At the time of writing this, I’ve already started The Iron Knight and I’m loving how the story is unfolding from where Queen left off.
The only problem I had with The Iron Queen is one I’ve had with all the books. And that is Puck saying “princess” every single time he says anything to Meghan. Or “ice-boy” or “prince” whenever he says something to Ash. If it was every once in a while, like 2 or 3 times out of 10 it wouldn’t bug me at all. But it is every single time. I’ve honestly taken to just ignoring the word when I read Puck’s dialogue.
Overall I’m glad I stuck with this series, because even with Puck annoying me most of the time, this book has really jumpstarted The Iron Fey for me. I can’t wait to delve further into Ash’s story in The Iron Knight.

Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Release date: July 12, 2011
Source: Around the World Tours
Format: ARC paperback, 390 pages
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls #3
(Shiver review, Linger review)
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater.
 
In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.
I’ve responded emotionally once or twice before to a book. It doesn’t happen very often for me though, just because the writing usually never reaches that far into me. Forever reached in and squeezed everything it could out. I’m writing this only minutes after I’ve finished it, and I don’t know what to say. There’s so much running through my head right now, and nothing at the same time. Shiver was one of the most magical experiences I have ever had with a book. Linger was less so, but still enjoyable. Forever… Forever is in a way less than Shiver and more than Linger, but at the same time more than both because of the reaction is has elicited from me. I felt everything these characters were feeling. All the pain, joy, terror. This book made me cry.
I’ve ended this series loving every single character, but one. We only ever got glimpses of Paul or Ulrick, or any of the other wolves named, through Sam’s memories. I felt like I knew them and when I realized they weren’t part of the main story anymore I was sad that I wouldn’t get to know them more. I felt like I had lost friends. Beck. I know what he did is wrong, but unlike Sam who struggles with the full truth of what happened, I can’t find it in me to hate him in any way. He did more for Sam than Sam’s own parents could ever have done. Cole St. Clair and I started off on the wrong foot in Linger, when he was still too destructive. In Forever though he has a purpose, and starts living again. I don’t know exactly when or how, but I’ve completely changed what I think of him. Rachel and Isabel are in their own ways great friends to Grace. We see Olivia again in Forever, but not how I thought we would, which also saddened me.
And the story itself was well done. There were times where it might have seemed a little slow, but I thought it worked for the development of this book. The twists and turns in this never ceased to surprise me, and by the last 60 pages or so I was on the edge of my seat, feeling the gamut of emotions mostly in that stretch. I’ve seen around that there were many people unhappy with the way it ended, and I can understand that, but I was satisfied with it. Sure it isn’t clear-cut what will happen in their future, but that’s where we the readers come in. we hope for them, and they live on happily ever after in our imaginations.
This was definitely for me an emotional ending to a stellar series overall. No matter what genres you like you definitely should not pass this up. Of everything and everyone in these books I’m going to miss Sam and Grace the most, how they were with each other. That absolute love that was never shaken, even in the most dire situations. Truly a masterpiece.

Review: Sirensong by Jenna Black

Sirensong by Jenna Black
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release date: July 5, 2011
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Format: ARC paperback, 336 pages
Series: Faeriewalker #3
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
When Dana is invited to Faerie to be officially presented at the Seelie Court, it’s no easy decision. After all, everyone knows Titania, the Seelie Queen, wants her dead. But Titania claims not to be the one behind the death threats; and her son, Prince Henry, makes the decision a whole lot easier when he suggests Dana might be arrested for (supposedly) conspiring with her aunt Grace to usurp the Seelie throne. So she and her father better do as they’re told…

The journey through Faerie is long – and treacherous. Dana thought it would be a good idea to have friends along, but her sort-of-boyfriend Ethan and her bodyguard’s son, Keane, just can’t seem to get along, and Kimber’s crush on Keane isn’t making things any easier. When a violent attack separates Dana from their caravan, the sexy Erlking saves her just in the nick of time… and makes it clear that he hasn’t given up on making her his own.

Arriving at Titania’s beautiful palace should be a relief. But Dana is soon implicated in an assassination attempt against Titania’s niece, and is suddenly a fugitive, forced to leave her father behind as she and her friends flee for her lives. Will she be able to prove her innocence before the forces of the Seelie Court catch up with her? Or, worse, the Erlking? And will she save her father before he pays the ultimate price in her stead?

Warning: There might possibly be spoilers in this, so please keep that in mind if you have yet to read the first two books in this series!

This by far is my favorite of the Faeriewalker series. Glimmerglass was pretty good, but Shadowspell was much better. And now we have Sirensong, which is the best. Jenna Black just keeps the awesome coming.

We’ve seen everyone develop and grow throughout the series, except for the mother. She’s still as in denial as she ever was, which pisses me off. That was the only thing I didn’t like about Sirensong, the mother. Thankfully we see very little of her throughout the entire story. Just at the beginning and end. Her dad, Seamus has really grown as well, even if it might not seem like it. He’s more tolerant of Dana’s ways, seems to understand her better now that he’s gotten to know her more. The experiences that Ethan went through in Shadowspell benefitted him overall I think, even though they kind of sucked at the time. He’s not the playboy he was once, even when he first met Dana. I really believe now that he can commit himself to Dana, and this book only cemented that in my mind. Kimber and Keane of course were present as well. I really liked the direction Jenna takes them in this book, and would love to see more development of that. I think Kimber was a little quick to forgive though when certain things came to light.

I absolutely loved that Sirensong was mostly set in Faerie. Getting to finally meet that world and its denizens was fun, and written so well that I could picture myself actually there. And finally meeting Titania! Now we just need to meet Mab. As they were setting out for Faerie in the beginning, Seamus gives something to Dana to take with her, and because of what it was I thought a certain plot point might end up being predictible, but boy was I wrong. There are definitely some twists and turns that will end up surprising you.

I’m very much hoping that this was not the last installment, as there are many subplots left for Jenna to write about in another sequel. If there is another one in the works, I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.