Broken – David H. Burton

I have discovered my local library has free online books. I haven’t figured out how to navigate it properly yet and a lot of the books that I am interested in have long wait times but it’s nice to know I have options when my bank account is low. This is the first book I tried. I
This was a quick enjoyable read about a woman who finds out her hallucinations are real and then goes on an quest to save her own life.
Katherine finds out that all her ancestors were cursed to die at age twenty-four. She needs to find out why and how to stop it.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue – The Raven Cycle #3 – Maggie Stiefvater

About ⅓ of the way through, maybe before, I couldn’t wait for the book to end. It was just dragging and getting too weird. I felt disconnected from the characters, the story, from everything.

I thought this was the last book and I’d get answers. It was the only reason I pushed through but I was wrong. It was not the last book.

I’ve had enough.

The Dream Thieves – The Raven Cycle #2 – Maggie Stiefvater

This book was much better than the first book. I think it was faster paced or maybe I liked the characters more in this one.

I still think something is missing. The characters, although I like them, lack warmth. The author describes them too robotically instead of getting into complex emotions.

Despite that, I love the storyline. It’s different and refreshing. I can’t wait to read the next book.

Ronan can literally take things out of his dreams. His father was murdered for this secret because he could do the same. Now, dangerous people are looking for the Greywaren, something that can take things from dreams. They just don’t know it’s a person yet. Ronan and his friends are in danger.

The Raven Boys – The Raven Cycle #1 – Maggie Stiefvater

I’m having a hard time with what exactly I felt about this book. My first thought upon finishing it was, “What a strange book.” but I don’t think that adequately describes it or maybe it does.

Blue lives in a house full of women psychics. She’s been told all her life that if she kissed her true love, he will die. The prophecy isn’t specific on how long afterwards he will die or if just a peck on the cheek will do it.

Every year on Saint Mark’s Eve, Blue accompanies her mom to corpse road to record the spirits of the people who will die in the following year. Corpse road is on a ley line. Blue is not psychic. She only enhances psychic energy so she’s surprised to see the spirit of a boy there. He tells her his name is Gansey. Her Aunt told her that the only way she could have seen him was if he is her one true love or she killed him.

Later, she meets Gansey and his friends who are hunting for ley lines and something or someone called Glendower. Gansey is obsessed with it.

The book is kind of slow in places but good nonetheless. I’m not sure I connected with any of the characters except Ronan who was sometimes a jerk but he seemed more interesting than the rest.

I have downloaded the second book. We’ll see how it goes.

Assassin’s Gambit – Hearts and Thrones #1 – Amy Raby

Whoa! That was my first thought when I read the prologue. It started out in the middle of a sex scene where the protagonist kills the man she’s having sex with. I was debating on whether or not to continue reading but money is tight and books are expensive so I decided to keep reading.

I had just finished reading an excellent Young Adult Fantasy series and was looking for something similar so I looked into romantic fantasy and found several blogs with lists. This series was recommended on two lists so I tried it.

Vitala is an assassin who has trained since she was eight years old by the Obsidian Circle, an order of assassins and spies for the country of Riorca. She has been sent to kill the emperor of Kjall who has invited her to his palace because she is the world champion in Caturanga, a strategy game much like Chess but more difficult and complex.

The Obsidian Circle believes killing the emperor will throw Kjall into a civil war while nobles vie for the throne. But Vitala wonders if killing Lucien, the emperor, might put someone worse on the throne like Cassian, Lucien’s highest ranking military officer and a distant cousin. Heis middle-aged and has eyes for Lucien’s thirteen year old sister because it could put him on the throne if something happened to  Lucien. His goal is to obliterate Riorca but Lucien keeps him in check.

The story was okay but I think there should have been more background story building with secondary characters and political scheming to keep me interested in future books. As it stands, I didn’t connect with any of the background characters. I did with one but he was killed off early in the story. That left none.

I’m still debating on whether or not to buy the next book.

The Bitter Kingdom – Girl of Fire and Thorns #3 – Rae Carson

This book frustrated me. I felt there was too much detail or what I call “filler” in Elise’s travels–and she traveled a lot in this book. I think a lot of it could have been either cut out or shortened. Other than that, I enjoyed this final book of the trilogy.

Instead of just Elisa’s POV, we get Hector’s too while he is the prisoner of Franco, the Invierne assassin, and traveling through the freezing mountains. It was interesting to get his perspective.

Elisa and three of her friends are traveling not far behind, trying to rescue Hector before they reach Invierne, the enemy’s country. She’s tapped into her power now so she and Storm, an Invierno loyal to her, practice their new powers.

Elisa has to rescue Hector and has to figure out how to get her country of Joya d’Arena back from Conde Eduardo and General Luz-Manuel who have usurped it, risking civil war.

It is always hard to come to the end of a good series because I have the daunting task of finding a new series that will live up to it.

The Crown of Embers – Fire and Thorns #2 – Rae Carson

How unlucky in love can you be? Lucero-Elisa lost her husband and the man she loved in the last book.

She was the second born princess in her father’s kingdom so she was married off at the age of sixteen to King Alejandro of the not-so-near country of Joya d’Arena. He was handsome and kind but they never consummated the marriage because Alejandro had a mistress whom he was in love with. Oh, and he forgot to tell anyone in his country that he got married. Apparently, he married her because her father and sister needed to get her safely out of the country because she is the bearer of the Godstone and they agreed to send troops to Joya d’Arena to help Alejandro with his upcoming war with Invierne. One every hundred years someone is chosen by God to Bear the Godstone which is embedded into the stomach just below the skin. Each bearer has some kind of unknown destiny to fulfill. Some succeed and some don’t.

Her Godstone makes her a target of Invierne spies who seek to either kill her and take her stone or use her to win their war.

She was kidnapped by a maid named Cosmé who turned out to be a spy but not for Invierne but for the hill people of Basajuan, an ignored territory on the border of Invierne where it’s people are getting massacred by the fire-throwing magic wielders of Invierne called Animagi. Cosmé and her people believe Elisa’s destiny is to use her stone to somehow defeat the Animagi. Elisa decides to help them and fell in love with Cosmé’s brother Humberto who ended up getting killed in front of Elisa.

Fast forward to Elisa returning to Joya d’Arena only to have Invierne invade. Alejandro jumped in front of an Animagi when he flung his magic fire at Elisa. Elisa was finally able to tap into the power of her Godstone which turned all of the Animagi who invaded the city into dust but Alejandro died a few weeks later of his injuries. He signed a decree making her his heir which made her the queen.

In this book, Elisa is the queen over a broken kingdom. Her advisors are all working their own agendas and some are even working sneakily against her so she doesn’t know who to trust. She only has a few people she trusts: Ximena and Mara her two attendants, Father Nicandro, Father Alentin and the Captain of her royal guard, Hector.

She develops feeling for Hector who has been there for her since the first day she moved to Joya d’Arena. I just kept wondering when Hector was going to get the axe.

This book is another wild and scary adventure. A few interesting characters were introduced in this book but I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who wants to read this trilogy so I won’t get into any of them here.