Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

37769929Rating: 3 stars

Series: The Four Horsemen #1

I wanted more of everything: emotion, depth, plot, character development, history, and most importantly world building. Pestilence is the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse to terrorize the world. A plague spreads wherever he goes. Sara draws the short straw and sacrifices herself in an attempt to kill Pestilence. She waited for him to come as if she actually would have known which road he’d ride in on. Then she violently proceeds to kill him somehow being deluded enough to believe she is doing the right thing and is the first one brave enough to try. Amazingly enough he’s immortal and can’t die. As if I didn’t see that one coming.

From the very beginning of the book I did not like Sara. The way she attempted to kill Pestilence was extremely painful and sick, but it was okay in her mind because she was doing the right thing for mankind. Doing something evil for the right reasons does not negate the fact that something evil was done. She never even saw the hypocrisy of her situation. My first impression of her was not a good one. It didn’t help that she was immature. My opinion of her didn’t change because she didn’t change much. It was hard to believe that someone who had been alive since the beginning of time would find her of all people throughout time to be the only interesting one. Yeah freaking right.

The world building was severely lacking. Pestilence never explained anything because he couldn’t speak for God. All he gave was a brief description of his very long existence. There was never any explanation for why he felt the way he did about humans or about what his purpose in the grand scheme of things is. I desperately wanted to understand him so he would seem like more than a bastard who wanted to wipe out mankind for some unspecified reason. For most of the book I had sympathy for him because he was in a shitty situation; he was hated and reviled for being what he was meant to be. The end of the book ruined things for me in regards to how I feel about the characters. I have spoilers that explain more about this in my review on goodreads.

There wasn’t much of a plot. Pestilence went around spreading the plague. Sara, his captive, went with him and complained about it the whole time. People would try to kill him and hurt Sara because she was with him. Then they’d go onto the next place where the cycle would repeat. For a book that revolved around death, it wasn’t highly emotional. It was about suffering, everyone’s suffering, but the only suffering I felt was having to get through this book.

Advertisements

Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

downloadRating: 4 stars

Series: The Messenger Chronicles #1

I would have given this 5 stars but the ending left me feeling betrayed. It was meant to. I’ve never been fond of unreliable narrators. I don’t like getting to know a character intimately through their thoughts and feelings to find out I have been lied to. It’s totally different if they lie to other characters or themselves as long as it’s understood that’s what is going on. I prefer it when their thoughts are honest. IDK how to feel about Kesh. She was honest in her thoughts but not forthcoming. The things she withheld painted her thoughts and actions in a different light. She’s not a character I can trust. Kesh will have to prove herself to me before I can say I trust, understand or like her.

All of that aside, it was rather good. I was hesitant going into this. Books about space, even fantasies, aren’t my thing. The world building was excellent. The fantasy and space aspects were blended seamlessly. Everything was explained well enough that all necessary information was given as needed, but there is so much more to learn. I can’t wait to learn more about the different planets and races. I really liked how the world worked in regards to tek and magic, two opposing forces unexpectedly working in concert.

The characters were compelling whether good or bad. Each had their own hidden backgrounds and motives. Kellee seemed to be the most straightforward although I doubt it’ll stay that way forever. Damn did I like him. He was tough, strong and unique. It was great that despite his history he was determined to move forward and make things right. Sota was barely in the story but I was desperate for him to come back.

Honestly reverse harems have never interested me. This is a Pippa DaCosta novel so I had to read it. I prefer two people to be focused on each other romantically. There wasn’t much romance in this. Kesh did only seem interested in one person beyond sex, which made the multiple lover bearable. Kesh wasn’t deluding herself into thinking she actually cared about the three men in this. It didn’t seem like what I assumed a harem would be, so I gather more lovers will enter the series later on. Although I haven’t minded the reverse harem aspects of this, it hasn’t inspired me to read others. It has inspired me to continue with this series. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read this yet because it’ll be months before the next one is released and the cliffhangers gut me every time.

Winter’s Reach by Craig Schaefer

23508962Rating: 4 stars

Series: Revanche  Cycle #1

Epic fantasies are not my favorite. Unlike most epic fantasies, this wasn’t weighed down with overly complex world building, which made it easier to get into. It did have a lot of characters, but not so many that it was hard to keep track of who they were and how they were related. However it didn’t grab me from the start. I had tried to read this 3 other times and never got more than a few chapters in. I’m not sure why it interested me this time. Maybe I needed to be in the right mood for it.

The pope is dying and wants his worthless son to take over when he dies. The other clergymen weren’t blind to the son’s faults and knew letting him be in charge would be disastrous. Many other powerful men and ones wanting to get more power were taking advantage of the situation in the church and playing their own manipulative games.

I didn’t love any of the characters. Some are definitely better than others, but I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface in regards to what these characters are capable of. It doesn’t appear that this is a series with clearly defined good and bad guys; these people have varying shades of gray. I am curious to see how all of this plays out because knowing Craig Schaefer, things are bound to take a few unexpected turns.

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

61siwssh-el-_sx329_bo1204203200_Rating: 4 stars

Peter Pan has never been one of my favorite stories. Everything I know about it comes from the Disney movie and Finding Neverland. I never read the original. With that said, I did like it, but it took awhile for me to get into it. The first half of the book was slow moving. It was obvious Peter was a selfish ass, but I kept waiting for more. Once the story got going, things got crazy.

Peter’s issues went far beyond being an extremely selfish child. He was a psychopath in the truest sense of the word. It was hard for me to understand the love any of the boys had for Peter but Jamie in particular. He was never charming or kind. Manipulation made his island of lost boys possible, but it was almost like his magic made them blind to his faults.

This is the story about how Jamie aka Hook finally saw Peter for what he was. Jamie was the good guy. However he wasn’t truly a good guy; he was just good in comparison to Peter. Despite all of the good things Jamie did, he had lots of blood on his hands, most of it for no reason other than to please Peter. The worst thing about Jamie was that he did not see Peter for who he was for well over 100 years. Everything Jamie did was out of love, even when he did horrible things for Peter. They loved each other as friends but it was more like obsession for both of them.

At first I was annoyed by Charlie. The island of lost boys felt extremely domestic because of him. He was the driving force behind the story, which was obvious by the end. Sal was a great addition. There were a few unexpected twists and a few heartbreaking moments. The end was not a happy one, but I hadn’t expected the story of two friends becoming enemies to be happy. It will probably never happen but I’d love a sequel where Hook gets the upper hand.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

26032825Rating: 4 stars

Series: The Folk of the Air #1

Think Game of Thrones without sex and less violence with fairies.

It had a slow start. For a while it seemed just like tons of other YA novels about the fae where the lowly human and faerie prince beat the odds and eventually fall in love. That’s where I thought this was going. I was wrong. Halfway through I couldn’t stop reading. The level of treachery impressed me. I had a few things figured out but not all of it.

I’m giving this 4 stars because of the phenomenal plot. It would have been 5 if I had liked the characters. It is told from Jude’s POV. I did not like her and couldn’t relate to her at all. She reminded me of Arya on GoT, but even she is more selfless than Jude. Being angry and bitter caused her to be hellbent on getting vengeance on the people who had wronged her. To stop people from looking down on her, she needed power and lots of it. Jude wasn’t evil but has the potential to be because she wanted power for all the wrong reasons. It could easily corrupt her. Power was a way for her to make her life better, not the lives of others. Her concern for the downtrodden was vastly eclipsed by her concern for herself. Anger and selfishness are two of my most hated traits in people, and Jude exuded them. Her lot in life was not fair, but it is no excuse for the person she became. Despite her claims that she was an excellent spy, clearly she was not. There were many things she did not figure out and could have if she looked beyond the obvious.

Surprisingly Cardan was the only character I really liked. Despite his tendency to be an asshole, he was incredibly charming when he wanted to be. Some of his appeal may be because he wasn’t drawn to power although he was in a position of power. Ironically Jude was like him, the prince she hated. Both were mad at those in their families who had wronged them and took it out on people their own age to feel better about themselves.

There may be a romance later on in the series, but it wasn’t the focus of this. It’ll definitely be a slow burning enemies to lovers romance. It was great that Jude didn’t turn into a complete idiot just because a good looking guy showed interest in her. I was very happy with the ending. Jude’s plan was not sitting well with me, to think that she would subject a young child to that kind of life with no choice of their own in the matter. I am looking forward to the next one to see where it goes from here.

Best Books of 2017

Happy almost New Year everyone! It’s a fitting way to end the year with a list of my favorite books that were released this year. Most of the books I read this were less than noteworthy. There were a few that stood out as ones I’ll think of often.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

28145767-_uy200_

My favorite book of the year! It was not perfect, but I absolutely loved the way it showed that it is dangerous to make assumptions and to judge others. Read my review here.

Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire

30688517

The best book in the series yet, and the first one featuring Antimony as a MC. I was surprised to like this as much as I did. The glimpses of Antimony from the other books didn’t make me look forward to being in her head. It all worked out for the best though. Read my review here.

The Soul Eater series by Pippa DaCosta

The last three books in the series were released this year, and what a wild ride it was! It’s a blend of fantasy and urban fantasy. It’s not often that Egyptian mythology is featured in this type of story. It was great and completely original. All three received 5 stars from me. Read my reviews here and here.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

51mebqxpwcl-_sx327_bo1204203200_

I’m not usually a fan of books with carnival themes, but this worked for me. I devoured this in three and a half hours. It was that damn good! Read my review here.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

51jpv68vvzl-_sx333_bo1204203200_

The best book no one is reading. This had a few surprises, and it was YA that wasn’t obnoxious. I’m hoping for a sequel. Read my review here.

The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

23383896

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a Seanan McGuire fangirl. This is my favorite series ever! If you haven’t read it, please check it out. If you don’t like the first few books, keep reading. I promise it gets much better. Read my review here.

Double or Nothing by Craig Schaefer

35100125

It’s dark UF with a slower pace. Nonetheless it is compelling read. I love this series! It always manages to surprise me with the way Daniel Faust gets himself out of impossible situations. Read my review here.

The Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews

Ignore the cheesy covers. This series is amazing! It’s UF, not romance. I waited a long time for these to be released, and they did not disappoint. Read my reviews here and here. I went to a book signing of theirs this summer. ICYMI here is the post I wrote about it.

The Awakening by Amanda Stevens

91mpjtaddjl-_ac_ul320_sr180320_

I loved this series! It’s PNR with gothic mysteries. Definitely worth the read. Read my review here.

What were your favorite books from this year?