Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

GoodReads Summary:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. 

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I just finished reading this book.  Like literally two minutes ago.  I had it on pre-order for my Kindle and it was delivered yesterday.  I haven't put it down since I got it!  I've been waiting for this to be published since I first set eyes on it on Fictionpress about 10 years ago and it did not disappoint.

There were lots of changes to the original storyline, which was to be expected, but nothing so drastic that made me sit there, scratch my head and go "what the hell?"

I have read some reviews on Goodreads that said they felt like they were missing part of the story, that the mythology wasn't explained, but I know that it's coming, and I feel confident that the author wouldn't just leave us hanging like that.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's Assassin, sent to the salt mines of Endovier as punishment for her crimes, but after a year as a slave, she is released under close guard so that she can compete with other warriors/criminals, all vying for their chance at freedom and to become the King's Champion.

I'll be honest, I am annoyed with her at times.  For a world class assassin, she sure doesn't stir one bit when someone enters her room.  Someone could have easily killed her in her sleep if they wanted.  She is completely arrogant, and at times, childish...but then I have to remind myself that despite her accomplishments, she is only 18.

I kind of wish there wasn't so much of a love triangle scenario going, that she wouldn't waver so much in her affections for Chaol and Dorian.  It almost seems like she's playing them both for fools, but the love triangle seems to be prevalent in most YA novels these days.

As a standalone story, I can see how those who had never read the original could be disappointed.  There's much that isn't properly explained, such as what Celaena's connection to Elena is, or what the real story of Celaena’s past is.  Those who aren't familiar with the story might not realize that this is just a slice of a much larger pie.

Now for the good.  It was AWESOME!!  *squeals like a fan girl* I was counting down the days until it was released and was not disappointed with the final product.  Ms. Maas has a fluid writing style that has always been able to capture and keep my attention.  She doesn't waste time with flowery description, but instead focuses on the important stuff.  The plot flowed smoothly and was exciting, with a bit of mystery, magic, and intrigue.  Throughout the book, I was completely sure of who the culprit was and I was right, but that didn't stop me at all from being riveted to each page.

Even the action sequences, which I normally gloss over because I'm bored with them, were very well written.  And despite the fact that Celaena is, essentially, a "bad guy", you're rooting for her the entire time because you know there's something deeper there, unlike Cain, who seems to be bad just because he likes it.


Get it here

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Goodreads Summary:
Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games, not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. President Shit has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.
This book, for me, was a big disappointment when compared to the first two books of this trilogy. I had a hard time even getting through it, where with the first two books I read them in a couple days each, it took me almost a month to get through this one. I really didn't feel like anything was really resolved, and there were only more questions left to answer.
I was really disappointed with Prim's character development and how the author just seemed to discard he'd like yesterday's leftovers. The story didn't even really start to pick up until about three-quarters of the way in.