Review: Tiger Lily

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Date of Publication:  July 3, 2012
Pages: 292
Source: Library
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
Review:
For the longest time, Tiger Lily wasn't working for me. There was nothing wrong with the story. Good writing style, great world, and so imaginative, but it wasn't till near the end where it finally all came together. By which I mean the resolution.

This isn't normal for me. I read Tiger Lily due to endless hype from the girls at Epic Reads and I wanted to love it but for so long I couldn't.

The story is written in the perspective of Tinker Bell, the mute fairy who is watching everything happen between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan. As a fairy she has special insights and is able to read people so she can share most of her thoughts. I thought she was a cute part of the story. However, the story was biased from her perspective. She almost never interacted with the main characters so there are parts to their personalities that weren't explained. This story was all show, not much telling except that Tiger Lily was still while Peter Pan was in constant motion.

The other interesting thing was the characters. Tiger Lily's life in her tribe was well described, but I never really liked her. I didn't not like her either. She didn't have a typical personality and it was hard to place her. She was brave and wreckless but also caring. She was oblivious of so much and I remember hating that, but that's not fair to judge her as an impartial observer. In the end, she made her mistakes and I accept them.

Peter was very intriguing and he was never solved. Now that I think about it, I like that. He was in constant motion and he was unique and magnetic. I always wanted to know what Peter was doing. The way everyone looked up to him was fascinating.

The plot was written in the style of a fairy tale. There is a lot of suspense and it ends up with a bittersweet ending. I think this is probably one of the best bittersweet endings I've ever read. What happens suits the story and the character, but there's also the whisper of "What if". Another ending could have happened as easily and the best part is wondering whether that ending would have been just as good.

It wasn't until near this ending, which had me in tears, that I truly appreciated Tiger Lily and all its intricacies. The ending had an emotional punch with consequences that I wasn't expecting. It's the type of ending that changes my mind about the story.

The setting was another nice thing. I've always wondered about Neverland. As a kid, the Peter Pan story was one of those that stuck with me on a bit of a deeper level and it was interesting to see Anderson's interpretation/ideas. From the Sky Eaters to the Pirates, nothing was as I expected. Tiger Lily touches on a lot of issues and is a lot deeper than one would expect. It's probably a book that deserves a reread to be fully appreciated.

That being said, the plot was not my taste. There's nothing wrong with it, except the story was so fantastical and a little slow and I tend to prefer some more action and events taking place. The stillness in Tiger Lily had me a little impatient as I waited for something to happen. The things that did happen began small but had little  ripples. The significance of the buildup of the ripples isn't known until the ending.

In general, I would recommend this book to people who want a slower, more thoughtful read. People that want to be enchanted in a world they can learn about in depth. Not exactly my style, and I hovered between 2 and 3 stars, but eventually decided 3 stars because I did like it. (And oh man. That ending.)


-P.E.

10 comments:

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The Weekly Progress: Balance Edition

The Weekly Progress is a type of wrap up post that happens every Sunday on The Sirenic Codex looking on the week that was.

Bear with me here, it's Saturday night and lately I have a hard time staying up past 8:30, so this post may be even more rambly than usual. 

Let's get to the books. 

Books Read


I did a reread of Code Name Verity for the Elizabeth Wein event in Ottawa (there's a recap). It was a while since I read it and so the ending blindsided me all over again. The Pledge was less interesting although I still adore the cover. I wrote a review for that too. 

Currently Reading


Yeah, I know I said I don't like zombies, and honestly I try my best not to look at the cover for this book because it's gruesome, but I decided to give the story a shot and so far it's not bad. I like the writing style and some of the characters, although the main character is incredibly immature. I'm curious to see what happens next. 

The Week That Was

I volunteered at the Elizabeth Wein event and I got Code Name Verity signed. I also won a signed copy of Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo so that was fun! And I managed to get my hands on The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas so I'm definitely looking forward to reading that book too. So it was a pretty great book week. 

Last week, I wasn't the most upbeat, but this week was pretty great. I joined some clubs at school and have gotten into some sort of rhythm. I'm exhausted though. It seems like I accumulate hours of sleep missed until the weekend where I make up for it. I'm the type that needs a lot of sleep yet refuses to take naps. I'll probably go to sleep after writing this post. 

Blog Recap

It started off with my review of Masque of the Red Death which didn't impress me. 

Mari featured Crash Into You as her WoW pick, which just reminds me that I haven't read Dare You To yet. 


Mari reviewed Crown of Midnight too, which I may end up reading. 

Overall, I think it was a good content week .

Goodreads vs. BookLikes

I'm extremely annoyed that I had to delete my really long post about how awesome Goodreads is, but at this point I'm not moving, policies be damned. Goodreads made a stupid decision because now I don't really trust them anymore, but their catalogue is still the best so I'll use it until BookLikes or some other website catches up. Also, and this may seem incredibly lame to some people, but I'm not joining BookLikes until they get an app. I mostly use Goodreads through my phone anyway, and features like barcode scanning are not just for fun: they are musts. Until BookLikes has a comparable app and catalogue, I'm not interested. 

I am curious though for those that have made the switch: thoughts?

Song of the Week

This song has this awesome melodic part, and this awesome drop. It's catchy in a lot of ways. I dare you not to groove to the beat. Epic by Sandro Silva & Quintino



Have a great week guys!

-P.E.

8 comments:

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Best of Saturday (10)




Best of Saturday is a feature on The Sirenic Codex about highlighting YA blog posts. It's a way to showcase the best of the blogger community. You can read more about the rules, and the idea behind this feature here.

Remember, post other people's awesome posts. The second linky is the one to use for awesome links, the first is if you wrote a feature post about their post.

Mari's BoS

Friday Reads: Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

In Love With Handmade


This week Pili @ In Love With Handmade's review of Antigoddess was what caught my attention. I've seen this book around but the cover does nothing to capture my attention so I ignored it, until I read this review. It's clear, well written and explained. After reading it, I'm quite intrigued by the book as the review did what the cover couldn't, catch my attention. Loving the whole idea of dying greek gods and some reflection of the Battle of Troy. Great review Pili and I can't wait to read the book!

Your Turn






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Review: Crown of Midnight

Author: Sarah J. Mass
Date of Publication: August 27,2013
Pages: 420
Source: Bought

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. 

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?



Review:
"Ms. Maas you had me scared there. Never mind, now you have me terrified." That was my reaction throughout the novel and just when I thought she was giving me a break, we were on another hell of a ride. Needless to say, I thought Crown of Midnight was fabulous. 

The book starts out with a bang. It's now only a few months after the events of the previous novel and Celaena is going out on missions as the King's official Champion. Everything is dark and mysterious; dangers lie at every twist and turn. It's next to impossible to peel your eyes off the pages in fear that something will happen and you'll miss it

The characters in Crown of Midnight really impressed me. We got to know and fall in love with and hate many of the characters in Throne of Glass, but in Crown of Midnight we start seeing the grey streaks in all their personalities. A lot of that is due to the multiple narratives in Crown of Midnight. Through it we got to see more of Chaol. *Swoons* Chivalry anyone? Chaol is the definition of the right and honourable man. In this book, we get to see more of him and his growing relationship with Celaena. It's really nice to see the fun young man behind the Captain of the Guard's uniform. And as the plot progresses we get to see more of him and the extent of his honour and loyalty; he is really lovable. 

I also liked Celaena. Going into Throne of Glass I was expecting a strong and kickass female assassin deserving of the title, Adarlan's Assassin. What I found was a strong and courageous girl but I felt like she pranced around in pretty dresses more than I would've liked for a deadly assassin. The dresses are still around in Crown of Midnight but we also get to see more of her as an assassin. We get to see more of her past and started to see more about how Celaena earned her reputation as Adarlan's Assassin. After finishing the book, Celaena has officially joined my list of kickass protagonists. 

One of the greatest components of fantasy books are the incredible worlds built by the authors. Ms. Maas has done a phenomenal job with this one. If I had any artistic ability whatsoever, I would draw Adarlan and hang it on my wall. Everything from the castle to the crypts underneath and the city, was so enchanting. I was always looking forward to the next time Celaena ventured into the city or even outside her room. 

Evidently, world building was a big part of Crown of Midnight, the places introduced in the first book were explored in this one to a fulfilling degree. I can't wait to see what else is brought to the table in the next four installments.

Overall, if you haven't noticed yet, I recommend this book and series. It's fun, exciting, and suspenseful. You can count on it to keep you on the edge of your seat. My only problem was that the suspense was sometimes dragged to an unnecessary amount. There were half truths told only to end up telling all of it once everything blew up in their face. However, as an action adventure junkie, Crown of Midnight kept me happy and interested so I don't have much to complain about. I loved it from start to finish. 


-MARI

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Stacking the Awesome




It's something I've been doing for a while, and I wonder if anyone else does it too. Stacking the awesome is my name for when you have something awesome and you make it even better.

Life is full of ups and downs, and while it's important to have a happy medium, when the highs are really high, it's amazing. As a booklover, one of the best highs I can get is when I'm reading an awesome book. I've already written about how awesome books can make me feel, and everyone knows it's really rare to find that perfect read. So why not enjoy the time we do spend with these incredible books as much as we can?

That's what stacking the awesome is about. For me, it goes like this.


You start with an awesome book. A book you have been waiting forever for, or something that once you read, you're completely hooked.

Then, you add other awesome things. First, you read the book in the perfect environment. For me, that's my room, lounging across my daybed.

We all have that special spot. 

You read it at the perfect time, which is a time where you won't be interrupted. For me that's after dinner when most of my family is sleeping.

Then comes the food. Food is essential to making me happy, so I save some of my favourite foods for when I'm reading a good book.

That's me right there.

The food I always pick when reading is chocolate. Toblerone, Lindt, Ferrero Rocher, M&Ms, Hershey's Dark, etc. I always have at least one type of chocolate in the house that I save for special occasions. And what can be more special than reading an awesome book?

In the past, I've also made myself a smoothie (strawberries, bananas, plain yogurt, apple juice, maple syrup, milk, and maybe chocolate chips, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries), a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, a chocolate chunk or blueberry muffin, or a slice of cheesecake. Either way, good food and good books go together perfectly.

There are other ways you can also stack the awesome. Sometimes I'll listen to my current favourite song before reading. It'll get me upbeat and happy.

Happy dancing teddy!

Basically, there are ways to make an awesome experience even better. Do you stack the awesome? What do you use?

-P.E.

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WoW - Crash Into you




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Crash Into You

  November 26, 2013

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 
Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 
But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

 


Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is one of my all time favourite contemporaries and I love anything similar to it. I got into Pushing the Limits thinking it's another good guy/bad boy type read that I enjoy but I came out of it really loving the book for so much more.

Isaiah has been one of my favourite characters since book one, so I'm really excited to read about him and see him get his happy ending (fingers crossed). I wasn't very happy with the way he was treated in Dare You To, but I have high hopes for this one! Can't wait.

What Are You Waiting On?

-MARI

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Cover Wars: Nearly Gone vs. Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Dreams of Gods & Monsters managed the won against Dissonance! It was a surprisingly strong win, but will Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor manage such a win against Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano?


Both covers are extremely dark. Nearly Gone brings the chilling, creepy factor while Dreams of Gods & Monsters is a little more stylish an urban. Both fonts are also extremely distinctive. I love the '4' turned 'a' in Nearly Gone, as well as the contrast between solid text and gothic cursive in Dreams of Gods & Monsters. 

Both covers are worthy, but there is only one winner. Which will it be?

Let the Cover Wars begin!



Which cover should win Cover Wars?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

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Review: Masque of the Red Death

Author: Bethany Griffin
Date of Publication: April 24 2012
Pages: 319
Source: Library 

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Review:

When I first began reading Masque of the Red Death, I wasn't impressed. I thought it was boring and slow. There was a cool premise but there was such misery in both the world and the characters that I worried whether I'd ever get to a point where I'd enjoy it.

Then, something really cool happened. I don't know how, I wasn't even conscious of it, but the story picked up and my dad told me to stop reading at 11:45, which shocked me because I didn't even think it was 10. I truly did get lost in the story and that's something special. There is a certain quality to Masque of the Red Death that is fascinating.

However, I did have my fair share of issues. It begins with the characters.

Araby is tragic and cold. Her brother Finn died and she can't get over that grief. She is very damaged and her perspective was very bleak. I don't know why but I could never bring myself to care much about her. The good thing about Araby is that she grows. She slowly heals. However, it was hard to establish an emotional connection to the story through someone that was so unfeeling.

There were two characters that intrigued me. Araby's father, who created masks which can be used to protect against getting infected by contagion, was one of them. There's so much more to him and he seems like someone with so much potential but lost. His strained relationship with Araby, along with a more rebellious side to him has me very curious.

I also found Elliott to be an interesting character. Both love interests in Masque of the Red Death fell flat to me because I didn't care much about Araby at all. This isn't me being Team Elliott. Rather, I find him fascinating. Elliott is dangerous because he says he'll do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal of saving the city. He has ideas for what to do and he's okay with sacrificing some people for the good of all. At least, his version of the good of all. He's passionate about the city and while it seems everyone else is giving up and being all, "Me? I'm just one person, I can't do anything!", Elliott is trying to make a difference. He has such conviction that he can help and make the city better and I find that very interesting to read about. It would be completely fine with me if Araby and Elliott don't work out and he gets over her because I hope she doesn't hold him back.

The world is bleak. There are a few things I don't understand about it. If everyone is going to die, what separates the rich from the poor? The city seems to have lost all contact with the outside world so why is money important in the slightest? The economy seems to have stalled completely, and the Prince sounds like a douche, so how in the world do the guards listen to him? Why are they even guards? Why don't they just become loyal to the dude that has the best chance of finding a cure and screw all the rich people? What's a Prince without an army?

It's hard to find a time frame for Masque of the Red Death but it became apparent that it's written like an older society what with the class levels. That could be an explanation, but to me, the world just doesn't make sense. Maybe that's why Elliott is trying so hard to change it, which is another reason why I like him.

I've already said the plot starts slow and picks up speed. I hope it continues to do that with more focus on action than Araby's life. To this point, the plot is fascinating with a few twists, but one of the betrayals didn't faze me at all, and that's an issue. In the sequel, which I'll probably read, I'd probably like the author to develop the rest of her characters into more real people.

I feel like there's a lot more to Masque of the Red Death and I'll definitely be looking forward to reading the sequel hopefully for its better plot plot. The Red Death and the contagion are both very creepy and I want to see some hope in this miserable world.

The writing in Masque of the Red Death didn't do much for me. I hope it improves in the second. All things considered, the story shows promise but I couldn't enjoy it because of a lack of emotional connection or a main character I supported. I hovered between 2-3 stars, which is a huge testament to how good one section was because at the beginning I was considering DNF-ing or 1 hearts. I give 2 hearts because overall, my feelings are mixed. The story is meh and there's room for improvement. I hope this is one of those series where the second book is so much better than the first after the ball gets rolling.


-P.E.

12 comments:

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The Weekly Progress: Moving On Edition

The Weekly Progress is a type of wrap up post that happens every Sunday on The Sirenic Codex looking on the week that was.

Ok, to be completely honest, my week sucked. It was a combination of sickness (with what felt like a neverending headache from a cold that I'm still dealing with), school, and just pretty much failing at everything I'm supposed to be good at. I didn't read too much, and most of the time I was trying not to freak out so much.

Books Read


I managed to finish only one book, but it was an awesome book so it's not that bad!

Currently Reading


Elizabeth Wein is coming soon so I'm rereading Code Name Verity in preparation!

The Week That Was

Um, can I forget it? Okay, it wasn't that bad. It's hard though because this is senior year and I need my marks to be stunning. (And I'm very clearly overreacting.)

Blog Recap



I reviewed Quintana of Charyn, which is absolutely freakin' awesome. Seriously, read The Lumatere Chronicles. 

Mari also spotlighted Academy 7. I read it a while back and liked it, so you should probably check it out. ;)


Song of the Week

I may have used this song before, but I don't care. This is the song in my heart. Well, not really, but I love it, so here you go! It's a little bit aggressive and heavier than what I usually listen to, which is what I'm in the mood for. Iron by Calvin Harris and Nicky Romero.

4 comments:

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STS/ Showcase Sunday





Welcome to this weeks Stacking the Shelves/Showcase Sunday!
Stacking the Shelves and Showcase Sunday are two weekly memes held by Tynga's Reviews and Books, Biscuits and TeaHere we share all the new and amazing books we acquired over the past week!

It feels like forever since I've done one of these posts. However, I acquired a bunch of really cool, awesome books this week!

First, I was really lucky and won some awesome books from @IndigoTeenBlog


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is gorgeous and I actually finished The Coldest Girl in Coldtown already. It was an amazing read. Anyway, I received these books on a bad day and they made it a lot better!

I also checked out a ton of books from the library. I go every few weeks and this time I swore I would only pick up three because I'm going to visit the library a lot next week. That obviously failed and I walked away with 7 new books. Whoops. 


A lot of these books have been on my TBR for a while and I'm looking forward to digging in! There a few series I haven't kept up with that I'm trying to catch up on, as well as some new releases I've always meant to read. Anyway, I hope to enjoy them all! 

What's new on your shelves this week?

-P.E.



20 comments:

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Best of Saturday (9)




Best of Saturday is a feature on The Sirenic Codex about highlighting YA blog posts. It's a way to showcase the best of the blogger community. You can read more about the rules, and the idea behind this feature here.

Remember, post other people's awesome posts. The second linky is the one to use for awesome links, the first is if you wrote a feature post about their post.

Mari's BoS

Cover Snark (72): The One Where I’m Trying to Figure Out WordPress

@ A Reader of Fiction


This week I found a fun new feature that Christina @ A Reader of Fiction has on her blog. It's called Cover Snark, where she basically talks about some new covers and gives us some snark :) I think it's quite fun, so I hope you guys enjoy as well!

Your Turn






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Spotlight - Academy 7

Academy 7 - Anne Osterlund
Release Date: May 14, 2009
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Buy the Book: Amazon
With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin, son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance consistently out-talks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship and romance begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.
Synopsis and cover taken from Goodreads 

Why It's Awesome:
  • Standalone Sci-fi
  • Genius main characters
  • Intellectual clashes
  • Dark pasts and hidden secrets
  • Space ships
  • Short yet exciting read featuring some of the most lovable and memorable characters. Smart characters are always fun to read about as not only are they brilliant but some of that brilliance tends to rub off!

Recommend If You Liked:
  • Legend  - Marie Lu
  • Inside Out - Maria V. Snyder (mostly because it's the only other sci-fi I can think of!)
For the Manga lovers:
     
Comment: 
Academy 7 is one of my personal favourites. I read it in 2010 but I can still remember that I enjoyed it, a lot. It was also one of the first sci-fi books I read and it set the bar high for all those that followed. The reason that this book stands out to me is the brilliant relationship Osterlund developed between the two main characters. I love smart characters and I love it even more when two smart people clash. Also, there is a striking similarity between this and the Legend series by Marie Lu. So if you like spunky, smart and daring protagonists like Day and June than you will like Aerin and Dane.



4 comments:

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Review: Quintana of Charyn

Author: Melina Marchetta
Date of Publication: September 26 2012
Pages: 516
Series: Lumatere Chronicles #3
Source: Library

Separated from the girl he loves and has sworn to protect, Froi must travel through Charyn to search for Quintana, the mother of Charyn's unborn king, and protect her against those who will do anything to gain power. But what happens when loyalty to family and country conflict? When the forces marshalled in Charyn's war gather and threaten to involve the whole of the land, including Lumatere, only Froi can set things right, with the help of those he loves.


Review:

This review contains no spoilers for Quintana of Charyn but does indeed spoil the events of the first two books in the series.

Goddamnit.

Nope, I did not want this series to end. Not at all. But if there's one comforting thought, it's that Melina Marchetta did it right. She ended a wondrous series that speaks to the heart and enthralls as well. She somehow satisfies the reader in every way. The plot is tied up. Nothing is perfect, but there is always hope. And as sad as I am, I'm also very excited because I can't wait to do a thorough reread of the entire trilogy; one of the best book series I've ever read. I probably won't be able to properly convey my thoughts in a worthy review, so if you're looking for a bottom line, here it is: read this trilogy.

Read it if you love amazingly deep characters with great development. Characters that you will care about. But beware, these characters may break your heart.

Quintana of Charyn encompasses multiple perspectives and resolves the story of all these characters appropriately. Froi is broken and battered, but his story of being caught between two world is inspiring. Quintana is a character I will never forget. The strength of this wild, savage girl and the way she continues to endure all make her one of the most compelling characters I've ever read of. There's also Finnikin's arrogance and more insight into his relationship with the fierce Isaboe. And Lucian. And Phaedra. I could go on for quite some time naming all the characters and how wonderful every one of them were, even the side or supporting ones because they added so much depth and believability, but this is something for you to discover. Let's just say that they weren't perfect. Sometimes I was exasperated with their actions and disagreed with them, but as an impartial observer. I could understand why every character made the choices they made.

The plot is twisty and wraps everything together adequately. At some point I didn't know if everything would end up okay. For a fantasy book, the emotional writing is such a godsend because when something awful happened resulting in an awful reaction, I actually had goosebumps and was shivering. I'm not joking. The story is enormous with so many characters and two kingdoms at stake and somehow it manages to tie itself together in a satisfying conclusion. There were times where I had no clue whether there would be a happy ending, but I did manage to guess the ending and that was because all the pieces and clues fit together so well. It wasn't disappointing to guess either. Rather, it made me very happy.

Some scenes were truly brilliant. The relationships are so vibrant that even a happy scene between a mother and her son can make you tear up. There aren't any unnecessary details or clutter; instead there is an eye for detail, especially when it comes to characters. This made the world building absolutely fantastic.

One of my favourite aspects of this series are the political aspects. Everyone belongs to a different kingdom with a proud culture and language. There is a need to preserve their kingdom, which wars with the ideal of having peace. Froi in particular is stuck between Charyn and Lumatere. His internal conflicts were fascinating and well fleshed out.

There's a lot to enjoy in Quintana of Charyn. It's an epic fantasy with all the elements of a good book; action, tragedy, love, hope, character depth, emotional writing. There's nothing left to say except this trilogy is a must read. 5 hearts.


-P.E.



12 comments:

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WoW - Lady Thief




"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Lady Thief

A.C. Gaughen
  February 11, 2014


Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.



I am floundering for this book to be released. I think I've raved enough but I'm still not satisfied. Scarlet is one of my favourite books of the year and all time favourite retellings. Therefore, it is a given that I'm shocked at the lack of people who have read it. I've talked more about it's amazingness in my Spotlight post. Overall, it's a phenomenal action, adventure, retelling of the beloved Robin Hood. I obviously loved it immensely and now I'm dying for the sequel. I have high expectations for this one although I'm not sure where Ms. Gaughen is going to take the story.
 

What Are You Waiting On?

-MARI

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Cover Wars: Dissonance vs. Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Last week, Dissonance finally managed to knock off The Winner's Curse from the top spot. It was a tight battle between two covers with some stunning dresses. This week, Erica O'Rourke's book cover faces off against the dramatic Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor.


There's almost an overload of pretty here. Seriously, these covers are absolutely stunning but in completely different ways. Dreams of Gods & Monsters brings the drama, the high contrast with that amazing shade of gold and that gorgeous smoky eye. Dissonance brings a more suave, oceanic feeling. I'm kind of in love with both of them. 

As beautiful as both covers are, only one cover wins and moves on to next week. So who's it gonna be? That's up to you. 

Let the Cover Wars begin!


Which cover should win Cover Wars?
  
pollcode.com free polls 

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DNF Review: Department 19

Author: Will Hill
Date of Publication: March 1 2011
Pages: 540
Source: Library

Jamie Carpenter's life will never be the same. His father is dead, his mother is missing, and he was just rescued by an enormous man named Frankenstein. Jamie is brought to Department 19, where he is pulled into a secret organization responsible for policing the supernatural, founded more than a century ago by Abraham Van Helsing and the other survivors of Dracula. Aided by Frankenstein's monster, a beautiful vampire girl with her own agenda, and the members of the agency, Jamie must attempt to save his mother from a terrifyingly powerful vampire.




Review:

I don't often stop reading books, but I was 195 pages in and I wasn't interested in the story at all. I was actually frustrated to the point where I didn't believe continuing Department 19 would bring me any joy.

The writing didn't work for me. I don't know why, but it failed to capture my attention. It had no emotion and it seemed to lack depth or personality. I couldn't read every sentence. I tried not to, but I couldn't help but skip boring parts. The descriptions weren't natural or believable to me.

The thing that turned me off Department 19 was the characters. They made such unbelievably stupid decisions that it was hard to sympathize with them. Jamie is a freaking neanderthal. He is insolent and refuses to listen to anybody. He's mouthy and I can't find anything redeemable about him besides that he loves his mother. I still can't stand him. He throws temper tantrums all the time. Like, he hears something he doesn't like and so he screams and flips over a table with sharp objects that could hurt the people around him. What the hell? Dude you're hurting. Whatever. That's no excuse for acting like an idiot. And this guy thinks he of all people can rescue his mother. With that type of discipline and self control? I don't think so.

Except that's something else I didn't like. He probably will rescue his mom. He's already some sort of prodigy within the department after 24 hours of training. He can already fire a T-Bone (don't ask) straight into the target. He's already from one of the most influential families although they still aren't the most powerful because we're supposed to feel bad for Jamie.

I don't like Jamie. His character rubbed me the wrong way. The story also seems not be my sort of thing which confuses me because this premise is totally my type. I'm disappointed in Department 19 but I don't want to continue reading it. Thus, DNF.

-P.E.

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The Weekly Progress: Life Goes On Edition

The Weekly Progress is a type of wrap up post that happens every Sunday on The Sirenic Codex looking on the week that was.

Books Read


Ghost Hand was for review and I ended up enjoying overall, although there were a few issues. Don't Breathe A Word was recommended by Mari and it was fun and I think I finished it in one sitting, so it was good too. 

Currently Reading

I'm actually on the first few pages so I can't comment very much about this book at all. 

The Week That Was

Twas a busy week that absolutely flew by with more school. Some big assignments, some procrastination, and an essay I still haven't started summarize my school week. 

It was also a pretty big sports week for me. I'm an enormous fan of hockey and this week was my favourite team's training camp. To say it was a turbulent offseason would be an understatement, and I'm looking forward to seeing the new changes on the team.

Elizabeth Wein!

I live in Ottawa where people are lovely but authors (at least, YA authors I read) very rarely come. Elizabeth Wein is coming, however, and I'm super excited for that! Mari will read Code Name Verity for the first time and I'll do a reread in preparation for the event. It goes without saying that we'll have a recap and maybe some live tweeting. I'll be volunteering for the event (AKA best volunteer job EVER) and it should be fun. If you live in Ottawa and want to see the cool authors coming around this fall/winter, check out Teen Author Fest.

Blog Recap

After some technical troubles, we got the review up for Don't Look Now by Michelle Gagnon!


I never was much of a DNFer but recently, that's changed. Check out my all time DNF roundup. 



Saturday, Mari double posted with the requisite Best of Saturday and showed off all the new books she got.

Song of the Week

How could it not be Zedd and Hayley Williams' new song? Hello: new music! And this song is SO catchy and totally my genre. Also, I love following Zedd on Twitter (he's pretty funny) so I want this song to succeed! 



Hope you enjoyed it! Have a greet weekend!

-P.E.

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