Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

51vak0h1c4l-_sy344_bo1204203200_Rating: 2 stars

Series: Chronicles of Elantra #1

This book managed to say so much and yet so little. The conversations and the descriptions rambled on and on and on. Everyone was evasive. Kaylin’s friends and team members withheld vital information from her. With friends like those who needs enemies. The worst part was people didn’t even try to be sly about keeping info from her; they’d flat out tell her they wouldn’t reveal anything. It took so long to get to the point that by the time something would finally be explained, I no longer cared.

Some things like Kaylin’s bad grades were mentioned repeatedly. Aside from that being annoying as hell, everyone else’s astonishment at her lack of education made her look stupid and ridiculous. Her tardiness was constantly mentioned also. At first I questioned how someone adverse to learning pertinent information and inept at following rules could be so well liked and tolerated. It’s quite easy to explain how that happened: Kaylin is a special snowflake. There weren’t any serious consequences for anything she did. Everybody was drawn to her, and I don’t think she was deserving of her fan base. Of course she had crazy magical powers, which apparently that alone made her worthy of respect.

Lord Nightshade was the only remotely interesting character, and he didn’t even get much page time. I’d like to know more about him, but it’s not enough to make me want to read the rest of this series. Severn was too possessive, secretive and boring. I have mixed feelings about his actions in the past although it is understandable as to why he did what he did. None of the other characters were memorable, and they lacked personality.

The world building sucked. I was really confused for the first half of the book. Kaylin was a hawk, but what does that really mean? Hawks were explained in the general sense but the specifics were lacking. What do they do? How were they different from the wolves or swords? What does it take to become a hawk? Wolves were briefly touched on but swords were only mentioned. Why were the swords even mentioned since they had no bearing on the story whatsoever? The way the different groups and species coexisted was vaguely explained. After reading the whole book I still don’t get what distinguishes one species from the next.

This book did have potential. The idea was good but poorly executed. IDK why I finished it. Every time I put it down I didn’t want to pick it back up again. I did things I don’t like such as cleaning or watching baseball games because it was vastly better than continuing to read this book. It was way too long for the minor amount of info gleaned from its 500+ pages. I did a lot of skimming. And I forgot to mention that there is a love triangle. It’s just one more thing to make this book unbearable.

 

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

18350798Rating: 4 stars

Series: Menagerie #1

The world was similar to our own except cryptids (mermaids, minotaurs, oracles, werewolves, mermaids, etc.) existed and people were aware of them. Everyone got along until 1986 when a massive number of children were killed in their sleep in one night by a specific kind of cryptid that people thought was human. Acceptance of cryptids suddenly turned to hate. Then they were either killed or captured.

Delilah lived a normal life. While visiting a menagerie which is a circus of cryptids, Delilah encountered a man mistreating one of the cryptids. As her anger rose, she turned into an unknown type of cryptid. Her life as she knew it was over in an instant. All of her rights were stripped away since she was no longer human. People she had known all her life abandoned her and acted as if she were a threat to them.

Menagerie is very dark. It was hard to get through at times. At the heart of it this is about hatred and the innocent ones who suffer as a result. Often those who hate and demean others are truly the ones worthy of being hated because they are vile, selfish people. What Delilah experienced was horrible, and her experience in the menagerie was far more pleasant than it was for the others. Most of the handlers were sadistic and cruel.

“[T]he only true difference between the hybrids and most of their handlers was that the handlers hid their beasts on the inside.”

Gallagher was different than the other handlers, but I spent most of the book wondering if he was trustworthy or not. There were many other characters. Occasionally some of them would get a brief chapter from their POV, and it helped to get a better understanding of what it was like for various people in the menagerie. The cryptids have a rough road ahead of them; it will be no easy feat to attain freedom legally.

Wake to Dream by Lily White

wake-to-dream-2Rating: 3 stars

Alice was in therapy for her disturbing dreams. Aside from those she was too lost in her own head to know what was going on in her life. It was obvious that the dreams were sprinkled with truth, and her amnesia and mental issues were preventing her from seeing the truth. It wasn’t easy to figure out exactly what was going on. Once I thought I had things figured out, it would get twisted into something different.

It was suspenseful. I didn’t want to put it down because I wanted to know what was going on. Although the book was dark and had several elements that would be triggers for people, it didn’t have the same impact as these elements have in other novels. Bad things don’t seem as drastic when the MC is delusional, and half or more of what is going on isn’t really happening although it does take a while to know what is really happening and what isn’t.

The book was good, but I was waiting for a mind blowing moment that never came. There was a big twist half way through and another at the end. They weren’t predictable but weren’t particularly shocking either.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dreams and Slumbers by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Toby Daye #10.1

I’ve never been an Arden Windermere fan, so I wasn’t thrilled to find out this story was about her. She’s so damn boring and whiny. She’s over 100 years old. Suck it up. Life isn’t fair. Stop whining about it like a teenager who doesn’t want any responsibility in life. Not wanting the throne makes sense. Ruling isn’t something everyone is cut out for. Just because someone is born into it doesn’t mean they’re fit to do it, and she is definitely one of those people. Nolan should have been declared the heir. Maybe it would have happened if their parents hadn’t died unexpectedly.

Whatever bit of respect I had for Arden is now gone. Her brother had about 20 more years to go before he’d wake up from being elfshot. She was debating whether or not she should give him the cure. Is she for real? Screw you Arden! Does she really think he would have been happy waking up to find out he could have woken up 20 years earlier and it didn’t happen just because she was insecure? This just proves she shouldn’t be queen. Everything she’s done is all about what she wants and that means taking the easy route and not fighting for anything.

Her opinions on Toby are another reason to dislike her. All the problems in her life are Toby’s fault. Sure because everything was peachy keen before Toby walked into her life. Toby is disrespectful. Maybe if Arden did something worthy of respect, she’d respect her. She should be grateful that Toby’s around or her reign as queen would be pathetic. Obviously she doesn’t get Toby at all since she thinks Toby gets everything she wants.

The best part of the story was getting a little more background info on the Luidaeg. It helped to explain why she does what she does and why she can be incredibly helpful and destructive to Faerie. Learning about Cassandra’s power was cool. I wonder how that will come into play later on in the series.