Well, these reviews have been sitting in my drafts folder since January so in order to clear them out and get caught up on a few things, I’m putting them all together in one giant post of mini reviews. Weee!
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
I think perhaps I made a mistake listening to this one in audio and when I pick up the sequel I’m definitely going to get a print book out from the library instead of audio. The audio isn’t bad (in fact I enjoyed the different narrators and the sound effects made it interesting) but I do feel like I missed out on something by not reading it in print. I appreciate the way the story is being told in this one, through documents and recordings and a series of interviews–it makes for interesting storytelling. I do feel like this sometimes put me at a distance from the characters, however, so I wasn’t always engaged as I would have liked to be. One of things that I really loved in the latter half was all of the action and the high stakes with the hacking. Those things really ramped the tension up, which is good because I did get lost a bit somewhere in the middle where it felt slower paced to me. Overall I did enjoy this one though! 3.5/5 stars.
Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.
High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.
The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.
As what happens with mulit-pov books sometimes, there were parts of it that I enjoyed a lot more than others just because those particular story lines interested me more. So, let’s get this out of the way: I was reading this PURELY for Aeduan and Iseult’s story line because that’s really the only thing that interests me anymore in this series, the other characters really don’t do much for me. I’ve always had mixed reactions to the books in this series and this one continued that trend. That being said, I do think I enjoyed this one much more than the previous book, and started to care again about the other characters in the world. Although, I’ll also admit that I sometimes get confused as to what all is going on in the different parts of the world because, well, this book has a ton going on and there’s a lot of world building. I think this is purely a me thing and if you’ve been a fan of the series you’ll probably love this one. As for me, 3.5/5 stars.
POLITICS ARE HELL
Kaylin wasn’t sent to the West March to start a war. Her mission to bring back nine Barrani might do just that, though. She traveled with a Dragon, and her presence is perceived as an act of aggression in the extremely hostile world of Barrani-Dragon politics. Internal Barrani politics are no less deadly, and Kaylin has managed—barely—to help the rescued Barrani evade both death and captivity at the hands of the Consort.
Before the unplanned “visit” to the West March, Kaylin invited the Consort to dinner. For obvious reasons, Kaylin wants to cancel dinner—forever. But the Consort is going to show up at the front door at the agreed upon time. The fact that she tried to imprison Kaylin’s guests doesn’t matter at all…to her.
A private Barrani Hell, built of Shadow and malice, exists beneath the High Halls. It is the High Court’s duty to jail the creature at its heart—even if it means that Barrani victims are locked in the cage with it. The Consort is willing to do almost anything to free the trapped and end their eternal torment. And she needs the help of Kaylin’s houseguests—and Kaylin herself. Failure won’t be death—it’s Hell. And that’s where Kaylin is going.
I’ve been a huge fan of Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra series for years and here we are at book 14! These books have been a ton of fun and I love continuing to explore the world and all it’s crazy metaphysical magical weirdness which Kaylin always seems to find herself at the center of. In this one, we get to visit the Barrani court again, which is always fun because of all the politics. One of the issues that I’ve always had with these books is that there is just so much talking out of every little possibility between the characters explaining things to Kaylin and tons of tons of exposition through dialogue. Which is maybe a pet peeve but sometimes it feels like half the book nothing is happening but one single meeting. That being said, I love this world and these characters so much. And we got to learn even more about the Barrani in this one! 4/5 stars.
Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.
Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.
This is another book that just felt average to me. Which, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! But it’s sometimes hard to think of things to say about books where nothing stood out as amazing or glaringly awful. Now, I haven’t read the original Grisha books, but I did read the Six of Crows duology, which I loved. I enjoyed Nikolai’s story line here well enough but I never fully connected with the characters there, although there were moments. Nina’s story line was much more interesting to me. I was happy to visit with her again and see how she was faring after the events of the previous books. I wasn’t that intrigued by much happening plot-wise, but the characters kept me invested for the most part. I’ll definitely read the next book when it comes out because, in my experience at least, I think book two will probably be a lot more engaging for me. 3/5 stars.
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
This is one that I really loved and I’m not quite sure why I never got a review together for it. The world-building in this is just fantastic. I love the Japanese mythology incorporated into the story, including having a main character who is half kitsune. I loved the demon possessed sword angle too! Great opportunity there for a tsundere type, which I admit I have a soft spot for. There’s also a journey / traveling aspect to the story that I loved where reluctant partners set out and gather some other characters along the way. Every character in this is an oddball in some way and I think that’s fun. I’ll be honest and say I don’t actually remember much about the plot itself (some sort of mcguffin quest or something?) but who cares? Because this is clearly all about the characters. I had a ton of fun reading this book and am very much looking forward to the sequel. 4/5 stars.
27 thoughts on “Five Mini Book Reviews”
Shadow of the Fox sounds great!
I really had fun with that one! The sequel is coming out soon and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂
I hope it lives up to the first one for you!
This is going on my tbr.
Thanks, hope you enjoy it!
I can’t imagine not reading a physical Illuminae, because for me the visuals were half the story and just as important. Although I did read another review of the audio and that person loved it, so who knows!
The audiobook did have it’s moments, but I just think it didn’t work for me, personally. I’ve heard the visuals in the book itself are great, so I may have to go back and get a print copy.
I had the same thoughts on the King of Scars. I enjoyed Nina’s side of things a lot more than Nikolai’s but I do think that it is mostly foundation work for the newest book. So fingers crossed that it will be a more enchanting book.
Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping for too. I do notice with her work that she tends to do that, and then the next book is usually fantastic, so I’m not giving up on the series yet!
Must. Read. Shadow of the Fox. Argh, this has been at the top of my list for so long!!!
Oh, the Chronicles of Elantra series, I’ve missed you!! That was another series I’ve purely listened to on audiobook, i think I got six or seven books in? I sadly remember very little of the series now, other than magic tattoos….and the weird/cool races…….ugh, I hate when that happens!
Shadow of the Fox was so much fun! I hope you get the chance to read it.
Yes, magic tattoos! I love that series, they’re quick reads.
I totally agree with you about the audiobook for Illuminae. The first time I read these books I actually read the physical copy and I absolutely loved them. I’ve been rereading them by listening to the audiobook and I definitely feel like the experience is different and it takes away from my enjoyment but the audiobooks aren’t bad.
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been hearing, I think I’ll have to go back and read the physical ones for sure.
You’re the first person I’ve seen who felt the same way about the audiobooks as I did.
Well, I love audiobooks but certain narration styles and narrators don’t really work for me. It all really depends on the book.
Yeah some narrators are hit or miss for me as well.
I did Illuminae in print, and LOOOOVED it. But then I also did the two sequels Gemina and Obsidio in audio, and I loved them too, lol. You definitely miss out on a big part of the experience without the visuals of the hard copy. After the first book though, I think I was able to infer a lot of the materials from the book, and was okay with audio. Plus, I can never resist a full cast performance. And God, Steve West’s sexy voice in Gemina… 😛
That actually makes a lot of sense! I think I’m definitely doing the next one in print, I feel like I’ll connect to the story better that way. (Although, a sexy voice is hard to resit, lol!)
Great reviews 🙂
I haven’t tried illuminae on audio, but I loved reading the physical copies! I hope you will enjoy those better!
I recently read truthwitch and can’t wait to continue the series!
Yeah, I’m really hoping the print editions will be a better fit for me as a reader. Hope you enjoy the rest of that series! I have read up to the latest and they’re pretty good books. 🙂
Good idea to do some mini reviews. I might do that – I still have 3 SPFBO books (from round 1) that I read fully but just didn’t get time to review due to time constraints – I would like to review them but think thre mini reviews might work better.
Yeah, I think these work great for some books (and it also worked really great for clearing out my drafts folder. 😉
I’ve heard tons of mixed things about King of Scars, so your review seems right on. I hadn’t even though of listening to Illuminae on audio–it definitely would provide for a different experience, but I like that it had different narrators and sound effects. Illuminae is one of the strongest of the trilogy (not that the rest aren’t good, though!). Great reviews!
I think I may just try Illuminae again in print, I feel like I’d get along better with it that way. Thanks!
Oh haha welp, I was just telling myself last week that I should pick up Illuminae in audio form because I heard how great the full-cast was. But maaybe I’ll try reading while listening?
Ah that’s fair about Illuminae- it really works well in print. Glad you ended up everything it overall in the end. Such a shame to hear king of scars just felt average cos I still want to read it. But so glad you enjoyed shadow of the fox. and I agree that the characters were fun oddballs 😀 I’m actually currently reading and enjoying the sequel. Awesome reviews!
You may end up loving King of Scars a lot more than I did, you never know. 🙂 Shadow of the Fox was so much fun, love that the sequel is coming out soon, can’t wait for your review of it. 🙂