Six of Crows

Six of Crows
“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”
-Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Suspense
Pages: 462
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Published: September 29th, 2015
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Six of Crows is very dark for a young adult novel, yet it still manages to be an easy and entertaining read. The character development is amazing, I loved the romantic tension, and it has some of the best world building I’ve seen since Harry Potter! The only major complaint I have is the plot. As far as I can tell, the first chapter is completely unnecessary, and the pacing seems kind of slow for the first quarter of the book. That being said, Six of Crows is easily one of my most favorite books ever because of the characters and world alone!

Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Gods and monsters
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil pressed their hands to their hearts
And started the apocalypse.”
-Laini Taylor, Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of smoke & Bone #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 613
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Published: April 8, 2014
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Dreams of Gods & Monsters opens by introducing a new character to the series. I would normally consider it a “writerly no-no” to add a main character so late in a series, but in this case, it works! Without the addition of a new key player, the plot couldn’t have ended as it did. The new character is also very well developed to have entered the story so late, and she undergoes a complete character arck by the end.
The plot of Dreams of Gods & Monsters is tight and well paced. While Days of Blood & Starlight seemed slow in places, Dreams of Gods & Monsters flows quickly and holds your attention until the very last page.
The writing style is very smooth and almost captivating in some places, but as with the first two books, the narrator switches were not handled as well as they could’ve been. There were several instances where a narrator swap occurred in the middle of a chapter, and it got super hard to follow! The fact that there were so many characters didn’t help matters either… Honestly, the whole problem could’ve been remedied if the narrator changes had happened at chapter breaks, but because they didn’t, it became “borderline head-hopping.”
The ending of the series was carried out beautifully! I did NOT see the plot twist coming, but I love how everything was wrapped up! The worlds were saved, everyone who mattered got their happy ever after, and the only thing I could find fault with was the head-hopping problem!

Days of Blood & Starlight

Days of blood and starlight
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.”
― Laini Taylor, Days of Blood & Starlight

Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2, (click here for my review of book 1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 517
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Published: November 6th, 2012
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Days of Blood & Starlight is a pretty good follow-up to Daughter of Smoke & Bone. The plot picks up basically where the first book ended, but introduces an entirely new setting and conflict. The overall plot was excellent, but the pacing did seem a little slow to me. It wasn’t the torturous kind of slow progression that makes you want to skip ahead, but it definitely could’ve gotten off to a faster start!
The character development was amazing! The book was definitely more plot driven than character driven, but all of the main characters began some kind of transformation that was obvious through their actions and the ways in which they interacted with each other. Each of the character arcs unfolded alongside plot events, and the changes they experienced were caused by the plot, which created a nice balance. By the end of the story, all of the key players were placed at a point where they had to make a decision for better or worse. At that point in the story, they had all progressed enough to understand the right choice, and therefore the story reached a form of closure while still leaving room for the next book.
The writing style of Days of Blood & Starlight is very unique. It has a melodic flow that is beautiful and interesting, yet hard to follow sometimes. Part of the confusion also came from the fact that there were multiple narrators. I think I counted three main narrators and a couple chapters from others. I normally don’t have a problem with multiple narrators, but this got super hard to keep up with! I definitely understand why there were so many narrators, and they were all necessary for the story to unfold, but I think it could’ve been written a little more distinctly. Thankfully it was written in third person, otherwise I don’t think I could’ve gotten through all the head-hopping!
This most definitely is not the kind of book you read for mindless entertainment! Coming from someone who can usually listen to audio books while doing a multitude of other tasks simultaneously without missing a thing in the book, this was not an easy read! I mean… I actually had to dedicate time to curl into a small ball on my bed with only a blanket and coffee to read this thing instead of just throwing on my headphones while being a responsible student! That being said, it told a very unique and amazing story, and I have already started the next book because I am totally hooked on this plot!

Fear the Drowning Deep

Fear the Drowning Deep
“And with the melody came the unmistakable sound of water slapping against the rocks far below us, slowly eroding the foundation of Port Coire and everything I loved.”
-Sarah Glenn Marsh, Fear the Drowning Deep

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adutly, Historical Fiction, Romance, Mythology
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: October 11, 2016
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.
Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.
Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Fear the Drowning Deep is told through the eyes of the main character, Bridey, who embarks on a quest to figure out what is making her friends and family willingly walk into the ocean to drown. At the beginning of the book, Bridey is terrified of the ocean that surrounds her island home, and haunted by memories of the night her grandfather jumped from the cliffs with a smile on his face. She saw a ghostly creature riding the waves that night, and now that others in her village are vanishing, she believes that it might’ve returned to claim more victims. However, she is ridiculed because of her fear and belief in the supernatural and apprenticeship to the island’s only witch.
Bridey’s character arc is one of the most complex and well developed transformations that I have seen in a while. It is very interesting to see how the first and last scene mirror each other to demonstrate her transformation. The first scene shows her watching as a drowned girl is pulled from the water. She’s afraid to be so close to the water, but at the same time she can’t quite make herself walk away. The girl reminds her of her grandfather and the creatures that ride the waves at night. The last scene is a mirror image of the first. Bridey has made peace with the sea and its inhabitants, and she sits proudly beside her father on his fishing boat, far out in the water that she was once terrified to go near.
Bridey’s character is strengthened further by the setting of the story and the cultural beliefs that she has grown up with. The book is filled with words in Manx, (Bridey’s native language), and mentions of her village’s superstitions and traditions pop up throughout the story. These cultural influences provide backstory in little bits and pieces, rather than large chunks, and make Bridey seem more realistic. It’s easy to dismiss all of the bits of language and beliefs as a fantasy world out of Sarah Glenn Marsh’s imagination, but in reality, they are parts of history! Manx and the culture surrounding it were very well researched, and as far as I can tell, everything mentioned in Fear the Drowning Deep is historically true to the setting and time period.
The plot of Fear the Drowning Deep is very fast-paced, but that doesn’t detract from any other aspects of the story. The plot, character arcs, and world building blend together almost seamlessly, playing off one another so they form an almost perfect balance. Every plot point causes Bridey to grow as a person, and the world building creates a perfect backdrop for the events to unfold. It’s usually easy to say whether a book is plot driven or character driven, but Fear the Drowning Deep weaves the two together so that they are inseparable!
With its smooth writing style, strong character arcs, and fast-paced plot, Fear the Drowning Deep is a very quick and easy read! Just don’t start it when you need to be productive because it will catch your attention and hold it until you’ve read the very last page!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Spoiler Free Review

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Cover
“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.
It did not end well.”
-Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Genre: young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 422
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: September 27th, 2011
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Coming from someone who is sick and tired of romance over-riding fantasy plots in books, this five star review is high praise! I literally cannot find fault with this book!
The quote at the top pretty much sums up the basic plot. An angel and a devil fall in love, and things end badly, but there is so much more depth to this story!
Karou makes an awesome main character! She knows nothing about where she came from at the beginning of the story. All she knows is that she’s caught between two worlds. One is made of magic, teeth, and monsters; the other is made of humans who can never know the truth. Karou keeps her secrets by telling the truth in such a way that people think she’s lying, which is a nice change. It seems that most fantasy characters simply weave a web of lies, but Karou hides behind a mask of sarcastically spoken truth.
The world building in Daughter of Smoke and Bone is super complex but blends almost seamlessly! In the beginning, Karou is part of two worlds: “Elsewhere,” where she spent her childhood, and the human world. However, her two worlds end up colliding with a third world: Akiva’s angelic realm. I can’t really continue with this train of thought because spoilers abound, but the way in which the three worlds meet is written very well. I don’t think I’ve ever known a book to juggle three worlds as well as Daughter of Smoke and Bone.
Something interesting is the way in which the “big reveal” was written. For the majority of the first half of the book, Karou has no idea where she came from, and that question is eventually answered through what is basically a giant flashback to her past. This kind of seemed like a writerly copout to me, but it also worked well in the situation. It was a little confusing to jump into another time and setting for a few chapters, but I honestly don’t know how it could’ve been done differently without altering the plot in a big way. I would typically knock off a star for something like this, but the writing was good enough that I decided to let it slide.
As you can probably tell, this is one of those books that you can’t really talk about without spoiling everything, so I’ll go on and end my review here. Overall, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an excellent read, and I definitely recommend that you have the second book ready to go as soon as you finish it because… talk about a cliffhanger!

The Islands at the End of the World (spoiler free review)

The Islands at the End of the World cover

Title: The Islands at the End of the World Author: Austin Aslan Series: Islands at the End of the World #1 Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Pages: 384 Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books Published: August 5th, 2014 Format Read: Audio Find It On:

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Synopsis From Goodreads

Right before my eyes, my beautiful islands are changing forever. And so am I …

Sixteen-year-old Leilani loves surfing and her home in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii. But she’s an outsider – half white, half Hawaiian, and an epileptic.

While Lei and her father are on a visit to Oahu, a global disaster strikes. Technology and power fail, Hawaii is cut off from the world, and the islands revert to traditional ways of survival. As Lei and her dad embark on a nightmarish journey across islands to reach home and family, she learns that her epilepsy and her deep connection to Hawaii could be keys to ending the crisis before it becomes worse than anyone can imagine.

A powerful story enriched by fascinating elements of Hawaiian ecology, culture, and warfare, this captivating and dramatic debut from Austin Aslan is the first of two novels. The author has a master’s degree in tropical conservation biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

My Rating: ☆☆☆

Before I get into this, I have to say that I would probably give this a two star rating had I read it and not listened to the audio book. There are a lot of long passages of Hawaiian language, and I think it would have detracted from the story had I been trying to read the text. When I see a word I don’t know in a book, I usually end up googling how to say it because it bugs me until I know. That being said, the audio book made all the Hawaiian words sound Beautiful! It pulled me into the story rather than bringing me out of it because I wasn’t struggling to read words I’d never heard before.

The Plot:

The plot was very original! We’ve seen stuff like this before: worldwide power outage, people panic, economy shuts down, government is obviously keeping a massive secret, there’s lots of fighting, and alien attacks and biblical prophecies come into play. However, The Islands at the End of the World does a really good job of putting a new spin on things. Because it’s set in Hawaii, we become amerced in a new culture that adds to the mystery. Austin Aslan does a fantastic job of pulling you into the Hawaiian world and making you believe in the culture, and then he throws a massive plot twist into the mix that creates an ending you’ll never expect.

The Characters:

Ok… Several of the characters seemed a little flat to me, (Leilani’s dad for instance), but Leilani kind of makes up for it. First of all, she has epilepsy, and it’s not one of those things where the character has a medical disorder just for the sake of having a medical disorder. It does cause a couple problems, and it is relevant to the plot. The only problem I have with it is that Leilani’s dad tends to have a… somewhat downplayed reaction when Lei has an epileptic seizure. There’s one point where she wakes up, and he’s just like, “Hi,” and I was left going “Shouldn’t you be a little more concerned that the world is in chaos and your daughter just had a horrible seizure?!” I personally have a disorder where my adrenals don’t work, and I’ve had some pretty bad seizures before, and my parents are not exactly cool, calm, and collected when I come out of it… I also question some of the language used when Lei has a seizure. It’s referred to as “fits” a few times, and I think I remember reading somewhere that that’s not accurate. Epileptics can feel free to correct me in the comments if I’m wrong!

Why is this not a five star book?

•Several flat characters. •The thing with the Hawaiian language mentioned above. •Downplayed reaction to epileptic seizures. •Some awkward dialogue. •Possible incorrect medical language concerning epilepsy.

Why is this rated three stars?

•Hawaii makes for an interesting setting. •Cool new culture. •Epileptic character that isn’t just epileptic for the sake of being epileptic! •Original spin on an old plot. •Cool Hawaiian shaman people. •Hawaiian language sounds beautiful in the audio book. •An ending you’ll never expect!

Conclusion:

I will be reading the second book as soon as I find it! I did point out a lot of flaws, but quite honestly I didn’t notice those until I started taking notes for this review. The writing pulled me in, and held my attention until the end.

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Islands at the End of the World? Do you want to read it? What are your thoughts on the use of foreign language in books and characters with medical disorders? Let’s chat in comments!

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Spoiler free!)

Girl In Pieces
“Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.”
― Kathleen Glasgow, Girl in Pieces

Title: Girl in Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: August 30, 2016

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
This is going to be one of those reviews where my words simply cannot convey how beautiful and heartbreaking the story really is. Sometimes you just have to read things yourself to understand the full scope of the words, but I’ll try my best!
Girl in Pieces was NOT an easy read for me. It took a long time for me to finish, but it wasn’t because of any fault in the writing. It is a very… I’m going to call it “heavy” read that deals with a lot of rough situations and difficult subjects. I am not typically one to read such, so I was a little out of my element. I originally picked up the book because I saw lots of really amazing reviews floating around youTube, and I am addressing some of the same mental health factors in my own work in progress. I thought it would help me out with research for my story to read from a character’s perspective who had those issues, but I really didn’t expect to get sucked into the story like I did!
The entire book is narrated in first person by Charlie Davis, a 17 year old girl who has gone through more than anybody should ever have to go through in a lifetime. Her father committed suicide, her best friend committed suicide, her mother abused her physically and emotionally, and the only source of comfort she came to know was her “tender kit,” a box containing the pieces of a broken mason jar and everything she needed to patch up her own cuts. She wrote her pain on her own body; every physical scar came to represent a much deeper internal scar that no one but herself could see. She shut the world out, built up a wall, refused to let even herself in sometimes.
Charlie’s story unfolded over three parts, each part revealing another layer of character growth. The beginning is rough, choppy, and somewhat disjointed, but it wouldn’t have been true to Charlie’s character to do it any other way. Charlie isn’t a character that anyone can just instantly connect with; you have to understand her first. The middle was smoother, but had a bit of a lost quality to it. Charlie was on her own, completely alone, and didn’t have any idea how to find her place in the world. She relapsed into old ways, fought her way back to the light, got caught up into toxic situations like she had before, and fell into the darkest point of the whole story as a result. The third part came full circle. Charlie found friends, came out of the silence again, and found a place where she belonged. The writing of the final part has an almost lyrical quality to it, and it gives a sense of hope and strength for Charlie’s future.
After finishing that last page, I feel like I understand self-harm and PTSD in a way I didn’t before. It’s one thing to read out of my psychology text book, perform extensive Google searches, and watch more youTube videos than is probably necessary or healthy, but another thing entirely to read something shown through the mind of a character with a particular disorder. Like I said before, this isn’t something I would normally read. I’ll almost always pick fairies and rainbows and witches trying to kill people over a YA contemporary, but something drew me to this book because I am trying to incorporate some of the same issues into my novel with a fantasy twist. It is definitely on the darker and heavier side for a young adult novel, but I realize now that it’s important for stories like this to exist because people are in all kinds of situations. As terrible as it is, there are a LOT of teenagers in situations like Charlie’s. I actually Googled the exact statistics because of my psych nerd tendencies, but I didn’t write them down, so I’ll spare you.
Throughout the book there is a strong theme of letting your voice be heard, of letting your story be known, and at the end of the book, Charlie is ready for the world to know her story and hear her words. It stresses the need to find an outlet for emotions, be it writing, or drawing, or music. In a way, I think that writing is an outlet for authors to share their own stories with the world. Even if they create their own fantastical world from scratch, it’s still going to hold a part of them in it because it came out of their brain. I somehow managed to not cry while I was reading Girl in Pieces, but that author’s note almost did me in. You’ll understand more if you actually read it, but it is clear that Charlie Davis and her story is Kathleen Glasgow’s way of sharing part of her own story in order to make an impact. It’s books like this one that really get the message across more than any news article ever could.

Conclusions:
Girl in Pieces is NOT for the faint of heart. There’s a lot of blood and drugs and alcohol involved, and some harsh language. Don’t read it if you’re gonna have a problem with that, (I am warning you now!)
■This is a book that is going to make you think about some rough stuff. If you don’t wanna think, go read something with unicorns and rainbows!
■It’s a little hard to read in some places because the writing is a little choppy, but it wouldn’t be true to character otherwise.
■The ending is beautiful, and I know it will give somebody hope.
■The whole theme of the book is to let your words be heard and your story be known. Charlie made her story known by the end of it, and I know her story will help a lot of people understand those like her.
■This book is amazing, and it gets a five star rating!

Share your thoughts?
Have you, or are you planning to read Girl in Pieces? Tell me what you think of the book, (or my rambling review), in the comments or on Twitter @Cheyenne_writes!

The Diviners by Libba Bray (spoiler free): NOT to be Read After Dark!

The diviners
“There is nothing more terrifying than the absoluteness of one who believes he’s right.”
-Libba Bray, The Diviners
Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Genre: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Pages: 578
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Published: September 18, 2012
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆

Want some creepy Halloween reading? You’re gonna love this!
The Diviners is unlike any book I’ve read before, and I’ve read a lot of books! The setting is New York City, 1926, but it’s fantasy! I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything with paranormal happenings that’s set in history. There are things like The Caster chronicles, but those show us history through flashbacks. This is actually set in 1926, and the world building is amazing! Actually, the writing is amazing throughout the whole thing! There are several narrating characters, (I believe I counted five???), and each point of view is separated by a chapter break. I was never confused about who was speaking as I am sometimes in Multi-POV books, but I do think it did detract from the story somewhat. Each of the characters had their own unique story, and we got a little more info about each character each time they got a turn at the mic, but I found myself caring about a few characters a LOT more than the others. It took a while to get that way, but towards the end of the book I found myself just wanting to GET BACK TO EVIE! BUT.. I have to give Libba Bray some credit here… She did a really cool thing, (there is probably a technical term for this that I am not looking up), with her characters and plot. Through those other narrating characters, we knew almost what was going on before Evie, who was the one trying to solve the mystery. It drove me insane because I thought I had the mystery solved and knew what was happening, and then what I had worked out in my head turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t completely off the mark, but it also wasn’t quite what I’d been thinking for the last 200 pages.
Now… Onward to why I said it’d be a good Halloween read… This book is seriously creepy, and it’s got some stuff in there that I normally would NOT read about. I didn’t quite know the extent of the ghost story when I picked it up, and I also skipped the prologue. i don’t typically skip prologues, but somehow I managed to scroll right past it in the Kindle book… If I had read the prologue, that would’ve been my warning flag to put the book down. I’ll read a lot of things when it comes to paranormal, but I draw the line at ouija boards, inverted pentagrams, and raising the devil. Tarot? Awesome! THAT board? Insert screaming emoji here!
Given a do-over where I knew more about the plot, I probably would never in a million years have read this book. I was 200 pages in before I figured out I’d skipped the prologue and made the connection to the creepy stuff, and by that point I was too hooked on the story to stop reading. My brain decided to associate whistling from the TV with the book for about a week, but I DID finish it! And I can’t justify not giving it five stars because it really was an awesome read.
At this point in time, I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book or not. The ending was a pretty big cliffhanger, so I’ll probably cave and read it eventually. This is a scheduled post, so if I decide to read it, you’ll see a review in a few days. And if I don’t read it, you will never hear about this series again…

Share your thoughts?

Have you read The Diviners? Do you want to read it now, or did my review scare you away? Let me know what you think in the comments, and I’d also really appreciate some historical fantasy suggestions!
From Cheyenne 🙂

The Raven King by Maggie stiefvater, (spoiler free): An Epic Ending For An Awesome start!

The raven king
“What a strange constellation they all were.”
-Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King
Title: The Raven King
Author: Maggie stiefvater
Series: The Raven cycle #4
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, SciFi
Pages: 400
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: April 26, 2016
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
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Synopsis From Goodreads:

The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆☆☆
Y’all know how I was kind of disappointed with The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue? This made up for it! It somehow managed to circle back around and wrap up all that five star awesomeness that The Raven Boys started!
I was hooked on The Raven King from chapter one. It picked up right where Blue Lily, Lily Blue ended, and not a word was wasted! From the get go there was a demon, a set of creepy triplets, and a couple nasty women after those amazing characters I’ve been raving over, and I was immediately pulled through plot twist after plot twist! That awesome character growth was still happening, but this time the plot rose up to meet it. And guys! The romance! My one true pairing actually happened! I won’t tell you anything else though because you have GOT to read this book! Lots of spoilers abound in my head right now, so I’ll just leave it at this: The Raven King was an epic finish to an awesome start with a sagging middle, and it was worth reading every page. I am glad I stuck it out with the middle two books, and I hope you will too.

You can follow these links to see my previous reviews for this series:
◦Book 1: The Raven Boys
◦Book 2: The Dream Thieves
◦Book 3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Share Your Thoughts:

Have you Read The Raven King? Do you plan to read it, or did the middle two books detour you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Blue lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue cover art
Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 391
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: October 21, 2014
My Rating: ☆☆☆
Amazon:
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Goodreads Synopsis:

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

My Thoughts: ☆☆☆

Ok… I don’t really know what to say about this book! It was weirs? But amazing? And beautiful? And really creepy? And I like crazy characters? And I’m kinda confused?
I’m giving Blue Lily, Lily Blue three stars for basically the same reason that The Dream Thieves got three stars… It just didn’t really seem to carry the plot as well as the first book did. I have to say that these characters are some of the most awesomest, (that is totally a word for the purposes of this review), characters that I have ever seen in a YA fantasy novel, and I’ve read a LOT of YA fantasy novels! I’m a sucker for characters with depth, so I would love to give it four stars for that alone… BUT.. I can’t justify it.

The Writing:

The writing is still really beautiful, and it conveys the characters’ thoughts and feelings perfectly, but it’s kinda hard to follow in this book… It was pretty while still being simple in the previous books, but now it’s… overly pretty? It’s not that way throughout the whole book, but it definitely sticks out where that is the case.

The Plot:

Hmmmmmmm… tries to be not blunt
I’m not really sure how the plot of this book has anything to do with the plot of the rest of the series… I mean… Ok… There might be minor spoilers coming??? But it won’t totally ruin it because I’m about to give some plot events WAY out of context! Just skip down to the next heading if you don’t wanna risk it!
At the end of The Dream thieves, Blue’s mother disappears. I’m not saying why… Blue Lily, Lily Blue picks up right where that left off! It shows Blue and the boys searching for her, but then it detours, and strays off the path, and does a lil circle, and somehow manages to tie everything up nicely. There is a LOT of really crazy weird stuff in between, but the ending does redeem it! Everything gets wrapped up in this nice lil bundle for The Raven King to bring to an epic finish! And it better bring it to an epic finish because I have too much invested in these characters!

The Characters:

I already touched on this, but i just have to fangirl… These characters are SO real! I feel like they’re going to come out of the pages! And those arcs!
Blue: Blue is experiencing a crisis in this book, but you can still see the developement! This is her book, and her story, and her perspective on the world shaped by the first two books, and her perspective is.. quite an interesting one! And she is falling for a character who I didn’t think I’d want her with at the beginning, coughs and suddleypoints you in the direction of previous reviews, but I think maybe I like it just the tiniest bit now??? It’s growing on me!
Gansey: I thought Gansey’s character was SO flat and fake in The raven Boys, but he’s gaining some depth now! We’re starting to see some backstory, and it’s making me really want to like him! Still getting that shatter Me vibe though if you get my drift…
Ronan: NOT gonna fangirl! NOT GONNA DO IT! But he’s my favorite….. I have this thing for characters who are just really broken and have basically nothing left to lose, and that’s Ronan in a nutshell. I reeeeeeeally want him to turn around and do something awesome! But I’m afraid his heart is going to be broken before that happens and I don’t like it!
Adam: Adam’s right up there with Ronan in my book! He’s had probably the worst life of any of them, but he’s got a big role to play, I just know it! At least he better! And his character gets stronger and stronger in each book. He was SO quiet and kinda in the background at first, but now he’s a key player!
Crazy Girl: No, that’s not her real name… But i’m not telling you her real name because I want you to be as shocked as I was when you find out who she is! Just know that she’s crazy, and she sings demented songs about crowns and birds and blue lilies, and I love her because she’s crazy for the sake of being crazy! Plus, Maggie Stiefvater actually composed the music for the song, and it played at the end of the audio book, and I love it when authors make something specifically for their story like that! Maybe one day I’ll be musically talented enough to make a book soundtrack… One can dream!

Final Conclusion:

I loved it! But mostly because of the characters… I have got to find out what happens to these awesome people! The plot’s a little iffy at this point, but I think the last book is going to redeem it. I will be finishing the series because that ending was a major cliffhanger! I know an that one evil person from the first book and a new evil person from the second book were trapped in a cave together, and I think they woke up something NOT good! Maybe it’ll kill them and leave Blue and the boys to live happily ever after on the leyline? Yeah, right… Anyway… If you like awesome characters, and you enjoyed the first two books, you should read it. I think you’ll like how it ends up.

Book In A quote:

“Her aura is like yours—it’s blue,” he said. “The clairvoyant aura!”

“Is it?” She was going to be extremely annoyed if this was how she had gotten her name—like naming a puppy Fluffy.”
-Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue