The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

34050917Rating: 4 stars

Series: The Winternight Trilogy #2

Vasya was independent as ever. She refused to do the only two socially acceptable things which were get married or go to a convent. With the help of Morozko she went out to see the world. The only way to do it was to pretend to be a boy. After inadvertently getting the attention of the Grand Prince, she put the lives of her siblings in danger.

I admired Vasya for being bold and brave. She was willing to risk it all to live life on her own terms. However risking it all meant possible death. She had no desire to die, but didn’t do much to prevent it either. Her recklessness aggravated me. It was hard to believe someone could be so cavalier about their own life. It was that behavior that made her seem immature. Even with everything she had been through she managed to be incredibly naive about the dangers of the world.

In those days the world did not favor women, so pretending to be a boy seemed wise in the moment. Some things about it did not seem entirely plausible. It was always emphasized that Vasya was not pretty, but would she have passed for a boy? Masculine was never used to describe her. It was unusual that two of her siblings lived in the palace yet no one thought it odd that they had a brother whom they’d never heard of show up. It irritated me that Vasya was blind to the consequences of her actions. Her rouse put her siblings and nieces in danger.

Morozko was my favorite character. He stole every scene he was in. I really like him and Vasya together although when I think about it I don’t understand why he feels the way he does about Vasya. She always doubted his motives. Creatures like him don’t do things out of the goodness of their hearts. OTOH how many times does he have to come to her rescue before she sees the truth? Almost everyone in her life let her down at one point or another, so that may be why she was hesitant to trust him.

It didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but a lot was left open ended in regards to Vasya’s fate and her relationship with Morozko. I looking forward to the next book especially since this was even better than The Bear and the Nightingale.

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

Advertisements

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

30969741Rating: 2 stars

I desperately wanted to like this. It was one of my most highly anticipated books of the fall. I love the fae. I should have loved this, but it fell flat. Although this was YA, that wasn’t the issue. The characters were mature enough. I thought this was a fantasy with a side of romance when all it turned out to be was a romance. You take out the romance and this book literally has no plot.

Isobel was a talented painter who did portraits for the fae. Her ability was so impressive that she was commissioned by the autumn prince to paint her portrait. She did the unthinkable and painted him with human emotions. Apparently this warranted the prince to kidnap her and drag her to his court to stand trial for her crime. Somehow this was meant to repair his reputation.

At the point she was kidnapped, she had known Rook the autumn prince for a fairly brief period of time. They had no meaningful interactions in the time they had known each other, but when the painting was finished, Isobel thought she was in love with him. The idea that they could be in love by this point in the book was ridiculous.

This had the potential to be good. The Wild Hunt wasn’t functioning normally. Three of the four fae courts were being weakened somehow. Many zombie like fae creatures made from human bones were rising. There was a fascinating world to be explored and developed, but it wasn’t. None of that stuff mattered in the end. The world building was awful. The explanations for how things worked were vague. I wanted to know so much more. I could have forgiven the mediocre romance if the world building had been focused on more.

It was emphasized that Rook was one of the most powerful fae in existence, which perplexed me since he often seemed weak. Even though he was often the most powerful man in the room, somehow he was always very close to being killed. Isobel was okay. She didn’t do anything too stupid but didn’t make the best decisions either. Since the romance was the plot, the big conflict impeding their relationship was the Good Law, which was a fae law that prevented humans and fae from being in love. It wasn’t having sex or procreating that was illegal but simply loving each other. It was stupid. The end was disappointing. The resolution to their crisis was too simple. It annoyed me that they defeated their powerful enemy with such ease.

I’d definitely be willing to give another book of hers a shot. This one wasn’t for me, but I’m sure most people will like it more than I did.

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

510nyozy-xl-_sy346_Rating: 1.5 “I’m too old for this shit” stars

Series: The Iron Fey #2

It was all so stupid. There’s nothing good to say about it. Meghan is a moron. If it wasn’t for her merry gang of followers, she either be dead or someone’s slave by now. Whenever something happens someone always pops up at just the right time to save her. People continually warn her that Fairyland is dangerous especially since she doesn’t know the rules and customs. Apparently she isn’t capable of heeding anyone else’s advice. She makes one mistake after another only digging herself into a deeper hole. Then she seems shocked when the thing that people told her would happen happens.

All of the characters act like petulant children. Meghan is young, so it’s somewhat excusable. Most of them are supposed to be hundreds or thousands of years old. They’re all so rash. Every time their feelings get hurt they immediately lash out. All of them use modern slang and simple language. Maybe it’s wrong of me to expect ancient beings to be more sophisticated and cunning.

Some things didn’t make sense. 1) Oberon asked Mab to release Meghan and let her go with him. She said no, and he was basically like well okay and rides off into the sunset. WTF? He is the king of half of fairyland. It’s pathetic to give up so easily. Shouldn’t someone of his caliber excel at bargaining? 2) Mab said Oberon couldn’t have her back because she made a deal with Ash to come to her. Wouldn’t that bargain have been fulfilled when she went back with Ash? She didn’t specify that she would stay for any length of time. No one ever noticed this. Fae are supposed to be crafty and manipulative and spot pathetic loopholes like that a mile away. 3) When Megan bargained with a fae in the last book and agreed to give up a memory, why is it that she can no longer remember the man she believed to be her father? She got fucking screwed on that deal. IMO that’s a lot of memories that were taken, not just one because someone being in a person’s life for 10 years comprises far more than one memory. None of these crafty fae saw that something was off with that situation either.

The love triangle was one of lamest, most pathetic love triangles ever. It was clear in The Iron King that Puck had feelings for Meghan although it wasn’t brought up. She and Ash lusted after each other. Neither of her relationships with them felt solidified romantically. From the start of this she acted like Ash was the love of her life. He had to put on a show and act like he hated her to protect her from his family. She was too stupid to understand what was going on even though he tried to explain how it was going to be beforehand. She was hysterical half of the time, going on and on about how she couldn’t be without him. It didn’t take long for her to inexplicably develop feelings for Puck, all the while still thinking of Ash. It was resolved at the end and went the way I expected it to, but it would have been so much better if there hadn’t been a bunch of bullshit along the way.

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

33380869Rating: 3.5 stars

I have mixed feelings about this. It wasn’t face paced, but I didn’t want to stop reading either. The writing was good enough that I still liked it despite being aggravated at some of the things going on. The first half was so good. I wanted to know what would happen next because it was obvious whatever goal Hector was trying to achieve was going to blow up in his face. Nina was so innocent. I felt bad for her. I didn’t like what Hector was doing, but I understood it.

Things changed about halfway through. I liked Nina and Hector much better then. They both grew and matured. The amount of drama that ensued was too much. It was frustrating and not in a good way. The one thing this story had not needed was another love triangle thrown in in the second half especially since it was obvious Nina did not have feelings for the other guy. Nina’s behavior was aggravating at times and seemed somewhat OOC compared to the earlier part of the novel. She had always been the type to do what she wanted regardless of whether or not others approved. Some of that defiance disappeared. Most of the truly dramatic parts towards the end could have been completely avoided if Nina would have been honest with herself and spoke her mind. The end was satisfying, but I wish there had been less angst in the process of getting there.

Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

6644117Rating: 3 stars

Series: The Iron Fey #1

It could have been better. Everything unraveled too quickly, so there wasn’t a chance for a mystery about who Meghan really was to build up. The plot was too chaotic. She constantly went from one dire situation to the next. She’s damn lucky she didn’t wind up dead. She bartered with the fae without giving a second thought as to what she was giving up. It really bothered me that Meghan had no forethought whatsoever. If she’s going to be dealing with some of the craftiest fae in existence, she really needs to up her game.

None of the characters were appealing. Meghan was annoyingly predictable because she’ll do anything to do the right thing which often means doing something stupid out of desperation. Puck was a pushover. He did anything Meghan wanted even when he knew it was a stupid thing to do. Half of the time if he had given it more effort he could have swayed her opinion. At first I thought he’d be a love interest but I quickly realized he’s way too boring for that. Ash had potential. He needed more wit or charm to be really interesting. I did like it that he was willing to bend the rules. Grimalkin annoyed me. He popped up at the most convenient times. He was always amused with Meghan although I can’t figure out why.

I’ll probably read the next one. It could be interesting to see where things go from here, but there needs to be more character development or I’ll never be able to finish the series.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

21518344Rating: 3 stars

Peter Pan was never one of my favorite stories although I do like it. This retelling of it had a darker twist but not enough that I’d actually consider the book to be dark. Gwen spent her whole life moving around. Her mother was odd and constantly afraid that people were after them. One night Gwen was kidnapped and whisked away to Neverland.

There weren’t any big surprises in the plot. It pretty much worked out the way I thought it would. Gwen got on my nerves sometimes. She was smart but had poor instincts when it came to people. Every time she believed something about a character, it went against what I believed, and my instincts were spot on.

The side characters desperately needed work. Rowan and Pan were fleshed out well enough, but all of the other characters were one dimensional. I didn’t care when anything happened to any of them often because I didn’t know much about them.

The world building was alright. Everything was explained well, but I wanted more details. They weren’t necessary, but I wanted them. I felt like there was a lot more that could have been explored. There could have been more to the history. All it did was touch on the surface of things. The dark fae were around and supposedly evil, but they didn’t do much. The fairies mattered but weren’t the focus.