Friday, March 25, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo --Yet Another DNF--

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. (Taken from

I DNF'd this book 342 pages in (73%)

I know I am in the minority with this review...HUGE minority. I have seen nothing but 3-5 star rave reviews.

*a la Linkin Park* I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end I just couldn't do it.

A lot of people said this book was slow going in the beginning, but once the heisty stuff starts, it is really good. I read adult fantasy, I am used to slow going books, so I wasn't too worried. I had enjoyed Shadow and Bone, but when people were buzzing this book saying it was Bardugo's best book yet, I was pretty excited to pick up this beautiful book. I was let down...hard.

Let's start out with something positive: World building, again, I thought was pretty good. I really liked getting to know Kerch and the other countries that weren't Ravka. The world was expanded and I was hungry for more information about this world. I still wanted a lot more, but what I got was fine.

I also thought there was some good quotable moments and nice images that she had created though her writing, but these were the only things that were positive...unfortunately.

On to the negatives: Characters. Everyone says this is a character driven novel and that the characters help you get through the first half of the book (the tedious bits). I really didn't like any of the characters. Everyone was a cliche of a character that has been written multiple times in YA literature. There was not one character that I liked even a little bit. Their dialogue was dull and their emotions didn't seem real to me.

The flashbacks. Oh the flashbacks...These were the most annoying parts of the entire book. At first I didn't mind them because I had hoped that they would get me interested in the characters more. I hoped that they would give me insight to the characters and that it would make me feel for them when others didn't understand them...or just make me feel things in general. Well, needless to say, they didn't make me feel any different about the characters. Then there were flashbacks mixed in when things were getting started. By the point that things start moving, you want them to hurry up and go already, but then something would be happening and you would be all, "oh wow! Now what?!" turn the page, flashback....It totally took you out of the moment and totally quelled whatever excitement you may have started to get. The flashback were usually noted by a little crow that split the page up...I began to hate those little crows, and I would get annoyed every time I saw one, even if it didn't lead to a flashback.

ROMANCE: Dear YA authors, not every book needs a romance. If you are going to add romance, make it bloody good, or something to move the story along. Don't just put it in there to have it in there. K thanks, bye. This book had two separate romances and maybe a third? or a triangle? I don't know what was up with that, as I didn't get that far, and personally I don't really care. But they were both angsty and full of dumb sexual tension that I found super annoying. It totally took away from EVERYTHING that was going on. The romance between Nina and Matthias was kind of a plot point...but I hated every moment of it. I am sure younger audiences might have enjoyed this, but I hated it.

I was so bored and annoyed with everything, that when I got to the actual heist-y, action-y part of the book, I didn't care. I was skimming, and even while skimming I was annoyed and bored. I hated the characters so much, I didn't care what happened to them. I just wanted them to stop. Everything they did annoyed me and things that were supposed to surprise me or frustrate me (as in frustration for the characters' situation), didn't. They only left me rolling my eyes and counting pages/chapter to see how much more I had to read.

I really really REALLY wanted to like this book....Not only is it gorgeous, but I did enjoy Shadow and Bone. Oh well...

This is very surely becoming the year of the DNF. What a crappy trend...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo --A Review--

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart. (Taken from

I gave this book 5/5 stars

(revision: I am down grading this to a 4) 

I actually really liked this book. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews on this book, so I went in with zero expectations, and I loved it! I haven't stayed up until 2 AM reading since the Harry Potter books were coming out. That says something.

That being said, here is what I enjoyed about the book: I loved the world. I loved that this was a fantasy novel that didn't take place in a "British" modeled society. It takes place in a "Russian" type of setting and I found it fascinating. Leigh Bardugo created a very cool magic system that I really wanted to learn more about (hopefully we do in the next two books). I just couldn't get enough of the world and the magic.

Also, being the language nerd that I am, I LOVED that Bardugo used Russian words (or I am assuming they I don't speak a lick of it) and other languages. It made the world feel more real and fleshed out. I also felt like the surrounding countries and their languages helped to make this world more real. These things really made the book so great for me.

Of course, I found a lot of flaws with this book as well. I didn't get enough of the magic system. There were more things I wanted to learn about it, more theory, I suppose, and see other Grisha using their powers (not just the Darkling and Alina).

Another thing that left me kind of 'meh' were the characters. I didn't really care about them/for them too much. I thought a lot of them accepted things too easily, or resisted things too much. Also, Bardugo did something I hate......F***in' love triangles....why....geh...I hate them. XP Especially because the characters were only mildly interesting (one more so than the other, but I don't want to give away too many details). Even though I didn't really care about the characters, I was interested to see what was going to happen to them.

I really did enjoy this book, and I am interested to see what happens next. I am going to continue to keep my expectations low (maybe only stay excited to get back into the world, haha).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima--another DNF

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her...

The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards. (Taken from

I seem to be doing a lot of DNF'ing lately....I give it a 1.5 though for clans and history

I got 188 pages into this book before I thought, "Why am I even bothering?"

I am used to fantasy books...the long set up, the world building, the character development and all that jazz...but this? Geh...I can't even tell you why I really didn't like what I read...because nothing stood out!

The characters were flat and full of tropes. The main female was whiney, bitchy, entitled and just plain stupid. The main male was....meh. Neither good nor bad...just kind of there. He was made out to be a bad ass street assassin, but he made sooo many stupid mistakes...All of the other supporting characters were boring and also stupid. I hated all of them...

What I did like about this book: The world was kind of interesting. I liked the clans people. They had a very Native American/healer tribe kind of feel to them that I really enjoyed reading about. I wish they would have been the entire book, to be perfectly honesty. The history of the world was kind of interesting...but I think there were a lot of things about it that were just kind of meh.

All in all, this book was meh. I don't think I enjoy Chima's writing style, so I unhauled her other book that I got (The Warrior Heir....which is a bummer because it was signed by her) because after doing some research, I don't think I will like it either. Oh well...can't please everyone. ^^''

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard--Another Super Salty DNF Review

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she's a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden - lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult's true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls' heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. (Taken from

DNF'd at 120 pages

Ugh.  I was so into the hype because she was Sarah J Mass' friend and I loved the idea of reading a fantasy book that was about friendship. Now, because I didn't finish it, my review is going to be a I do have a lot to say about it.

My friend and I read it together and we both had the same problems with it. The names of places and characters were hard to read because I wasn't really sure how to pronounce them, I didn't really understand what anything was because nothing was really explained and the book seriously could have benefited from a glossary. The world was extremely flat and so were the characters. I had such a hard time caring for anyone because I didn't really have a reason to. Things happened to them and I was like, "why is this important? What does this even mean? I have no reason to care because I don't even know what's going on?!" People were mad or mopey for reasons I couldn't even understand. There were entire chapters where I would just roll my eyes or yell at the book for not giving me information.

Another problem I had with the book was that I felt things were happening just for something to happen. It was like, "let's insert drama here because we need to move this non moving story forward and get people excited or nervous for the characters." But I refer to a former problem, I didn't care about the characters, so why would I care about these crazy happenings?

I made it about 120 pages in and decided it wasn't for me. I consulted my friend, who has pretty much the same taste in books as me, and she told me it wasn't worth it, that it didn't get better. So I DNFed it. I am not saying at all that Susan Dennard is a bad writer, she just isn't for me, I guess. This book has gotten rave reviews, people love this book! I am in the minority of people who weren't sold on it. You can't like everything. ^^'' I really wanted to like this book...

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks--A Long Winded Salty DNF Review

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death. (Taken from

I DNF'd this book at chapter 15, page 116.

I had soooo many problems with this book. Where to start...

The world, for one, was flat. The author name dropped place after place and didn't really give us a reason to care. I didn't even know where our story was taking place! I looked at the map several times and still wasn't sure which "C" country we were living in. They would talk about the Warrens, but we never got a good description besides shitty and shitty (literally). I think this author is obsessed with the way things smelled. So many different descriptions and mentions based on the way things smelled. It was too much...the world has more than just scent.

The characters were also flat...and tropey as F***. Cardboard has more personality than the characters in this book. I love books about assassins, ESPECIALLY the ones that have no feels (even if they eventually show that they have feels). But Durzo...boring. Azoth/Kylar (Really...Kylar (KILER))...boring. I don't even know who else I met, but 10/10 times...boring. So much so that I can't even remember meeting them. ^^' I could barely keep track of anyone either. Name drop after name drop...and no reason to care. We are introduced to Doll Girl in the beginning (I believe she becomes important later), and some horrible stuff happens to her...but I didn't care. Jarl, Azoth's friend, has some horrible stuff happen to him....didn't care. Azoth does some stuff...didn't care and Durzo, the emotionless killer with a heart of gold, had some stuff happen to him...still didn't give two shits. Also I didn't feel it was necessary to make every female a whore (with a heart of gold) (or a virginal wonder, as I found out in some of the reviews I read). It's just...blah.

The politics...I don't even know what is happening. I don't know the world or the characters, so this makes zero sense.

Magic...I didn't get that far....I know it was a thing that exists in this book, but I didn't really understand what I had read. Does not everyone know that magic exists in this world? Durzo talks about talents and mages, and I'm guessing not everyone has magic, but they must know it's a thing....right? I mean, I understand being an assassin and not flaunting whatever power/talent you have, but NO ONE has made any mention of ANYTHING! O-o Had I not known that there was some magic in this book, I would have had no bloody ideal. I know it's a low fantasy (or I believe it is), but wow. It's like he threw it in there to make it more fantasy or something. I dunno.

All in all, this book is not for me. I could see people who are new to fantasy enjoying this. I have heard that the beginning is kind of rough, but it really picks up in the middle. I have heard that it is a page turner and that it has some cool magic and some awesome plot twists, but seeing as I don't really care about the characters, this doesn't really excite me. I definitely seem to be in the minority when it comes to disliking this book, but in doing some research, those who didn't like it had the same problems I had. The book is a giant fantasy trope with zero character development, confusing politics and nonexistant world building. If you aren't going to give me an interesting world, give me good characters. I don't care if the plot is the most amazing thing I have ever read or if the action is orgasmic, if the characters suck, who cares about what happens to them. Light them all on fire, gut and murder them all with out any mercy, see what I care.

I know this review was super salty and maybe I missed something...I know I probably did...but yeah. This book was not for me. No hard feelings though. Will just move on to something else. That's just how I do.