War Storm – Red Queen #4 – Victoria Aveyard

This series began as one of the best stories I have ever read but gradually deteriorated into something else. The main character, Mare, started out as a fun and interesting person and ended up being someone I could barely stomach. The pages and pages of introspection of each character not only annoyed me but bored me to tears. Sometimes it is better to just describe something simply instead of using every adjective in thesaurus. Is it necessary to describe in detail what everyone in the room is wearing including the servants?

This last book trudged along, annoying me with every turn of the page. It was written from just about every character’s point of view. The only character I enjoyed reading about was Evangaline. She’s the only one who had any kind of positive character growth. Everyone else was full of themselves

I was so disappointed in this book that it depressed me. I was hoping for so much more but just got a bunch of hot air, really descriptive hot air.

The Cruel Prince – The Folk of the Air #1 – Holly Black

I liked this book. I did, but one thing bugged me above all else. Jude hated being human and seemed to have low self-esteem because of it. She kept describing all the different Faeries with horns, tails, hooves and green skin as beautiful which baffled me because, you know, ick.

The book begins with a Fae named Madoc arriving at six or seven year-old Jude’s house and killing her mom and dad in front of her twin sister and older sister, Vivi.

It turns out that her mom was married to Madoc in Faerie but while he was away at war, she faked her and Vivi’s, his daughter, death and ran off to the human realm with another human. Madoc discovered the truth and killed them both. He then told the three girls that it was now his responsibility to raise them. He put them all on a horse and rode away to Faerie.

Ten years later, Jude and her twin Taryn have adjusted to Faerie and even love Madoc who has treated them well and has given them everything they need. Vivi is still not a fan of his.

But humans aren’t treated very nice in Faerie. Faeries get bored easily and think it’s entertaining to enthrall humans and make them do what they say or make unfair bargains with them which can end up badly for the humans. Humans who don’t have powerful fathers like Jude can end up being servants who waste away because their Faerie masters overwork them, starve them and forget to let them sleep. These humans do it happily because they are in a magical daze.

Madoc is a general so Jude and Taryn have protection but they get picked on at school by one of the princes and his friends. Taryn tells Jude that she makes it worse by being defiant and not cowering to them.

Jude hates that she is just human and has no powers. She’s an excellent swordsman though and thinks if she becomes a knight, it will earn her the respect of the Faeries. She just has to convince Madoc.

The story and plot were interesting enough that I want to continue with the series. Unfortunately, the next book doesn’t come out until January 2019. I didn’t realize that or I probably wouldn’t have started reading this series. I like binge reading so I choose series that have at least three books already published. Hopefully, I’ll still be interested by the time the second book comes out.

King’s Cage – Red Queen #3 – Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow has been captured by Maven, the Norta King. She’s paraded in front of the noble houses and world with Maven holding a chain connected to a spiked collar around her neck.

No one is coming to rescue her and escape is impossible. She’s put in a cell to rot. Bracelets and anklets of Silent Stone were specially made to extinguish her abilities to manipulate electricity. She has at least two Arven guards with her at all times. Their power is to block the powers of others. Without her abilities she begins to slowly waste away.

Mare will not fade easily though. She keeps fighting anyway she can.

I was really disappointed in her when she, once again, read Maven’s propaganda to the world. Most heroes would have fought or died for the cause before they did something that would hurt their movement.

The POV of Cameron, a fairly new character, shows the reader what is going on with the rebels. She does not want to be part of the cause but is there because she has no other place to be. Her only goal is to free her brother from the front lines of the war. She helps the Scarlet Guard while petitioning their leaders to help her rescue her brother. She’s a thorn in everyone’s side but I agree with her that Cal and Mare’s futile hope that Maven has some kind of good in him has caused a lot of problems. Maven is a lost cause. He’s twisted and evil.

I am not a fan of detailed battle scenes, especially if they go back and forth a lot or last a long time I skip over most of it until the end of the battle. This author includes a lot of scenes where people are sparring during training and actual battles. I only like when a villain is killed.

I did start liking Mare a little in this book. She had a lot of time to reflect on all her mistakes and how short-sighted she had been.

I think there is only one more book left in the series but it doesn’t come out for two more days.

Glass Sword – Red Queen #2 – Victoria Aveyard

Like the first book, this book was action packed and kept me interested all the way through but this one, at times, dove a little too deep into the main character’s introspection. I skipped paragraphs of Mare looking inward at herself.

I found myself not liking Mare at all. She’s becoming selfish and heartless with an exaggerated sense of importance. All she cares about is the cause now. I’m pretty sure that is what the author intends but it’s hard to watch such a quick transformation of a lovable character into an uncaring jerk.

Mare, with the help of the Scarlet Guard, has escaped the cruel Silver prince–now the king–who she thought was her friend and his evil mother. His older brother, Cal escaped with her but the Guard is treating him as a prisoner and enemy. She’s not so sure he’s on their side but she knows he helped her and wouldn’t hurt her.

Her goal now is to find others like her with special abilities before Maven, the king, finds and kills them. He’s a Silver and wants to keep it quiet that Silvers aren’t the only ones with powers.

Reds and Silvers aren’t just different because of the color they bleed but by their special abilities. Reds have no super powers. All Silvers have certain abilities depending on which House they are from. House Samos are Magnetrons who can manipulate metal. House Skonos are skin healers. Cal and Maven are Burners who use fire as a weapon. Queen Elara is a Whisper who can read your thoughts and control your mind.

But they’ve discovered there are Reds with special abilities. Mare calls them newbloods. Her friend, Julian Jacos found a special mutation in certain Reds blood from the blood database the Silvers keep on the Reds. He gave her a list of names. Unfortunately, Maven has the list too.

Mare needs to find these newbloods before Maven does.

This is such an interesting and original story that I can’t help but be intrigued. I like the characters except for the main character, at the moment, but hope that will change in the next book.

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

Astounding! Extraordinary! Excellent! I don’t know how to express how wonderful this book is. It’s the best book I have read this year and I have read some pretty good books so that should tell you something.

In this world, there are two kinds of people Reds and Silvers. Reds are ordinary humans who bleed red. Silvers have special abilities and bleed silver. Silvers rule and Reds are servants.

Every Red, if they don’t get an apprenticeship, gets conscripted into the army at eighteen. They get shipped off to the war that has been going on for over a hundred years. Mare Barrow is almost eighteen and will be headed to war soon just like her older brothers did before her.

She meets someone named Cal who gets her a job at the palace. He turns out to be the elder son of the king.

Mare discovers she has a special ability in front of all the nobles during an event. The queen and king have to find a way to explain this so they lie and say she’s a Silver raised by Reds.

She soon gets caught up with a rebel group of Reds. She’s playing a dangerous game that could get her and a lot of others killed.

I was thoroughly absorbed in this story and forgot to eat. I like eating and can eat and read at the same time so foregoing food is an anomaly for me.

I’ve already downloaded the next book. See ya in a day or two.

City of Bones – The Immortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

Right up front, I’m going to confess that I only read this book because I was curious about the lawsuit that Sherrilyn Kenyon filed against Cassandra Clare. Kenyon is one of my favorite authors but I saw no similarities between this series and the Dark-Hunter series.

Clary and her best friend Simon went to a club and Clary was checking out a cute boy when she saw him go into a storage room with another girl. She saw two other boys following him and saw one pull out a knife. She alerted Simon who went to find security.

Clary went to investigate and entered the storage room. She witnessed some unbelievable events. The cute boy turned out to be a demon and the other two boys and the girl were demon hunters or Shadowhunters. They killed the demon who folded in on himself and disappeared.

When Simon and the security guard entered the room, they could only see Clary. She realized they couldn’t see the others so she said she must have been mistaken about seeing a boy with a knife.

Clary gets thrown into the world of the Shadowhunters when she is attacked by a monster demon and her mother goes missing. She discovers that her mom has been hiding a lot of secrets from her.

There was a lot of action in this book, almost too much. I just felt overwhelmed at times and felt these kids acted before they thought things out. Maybe it is that I’m too old to connect with the characters.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series. Sometimes, the second book gets more familiar with the characters so it helps the reader connect. We’ll see what I decide after I go through my “to read” list.

Opposition – Lux #4 – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Hundreds or maybe thousands of Luxen just arrived on Earth and Daemon, Dawson and Dee just left with them without even looking back.

These new Luxen, aliens originally from the Planet Lux, are cold and unfeeling. They all think as one like a hive. Their goal is to take over the world and Katy isn’t sure whose side Daemon is on now.

Cities are being destroyed and Luxens are killing humans like they are ants. Luxen are stealing certain human bodies and taking on their appearances, mainly people in powerful positions and people who are of childbearing years. Humans are panicked and the government is considering drastic measures.

Katy might have to turn to the very people who tortured her to save the planet, the good Luxen and herself.

My anxiety was at peak levels while reading this final book of the series. This author must be related to George R.R. Martin because throughout the series, she has had no qualms about killing off beloved characters. I was afraid to see who else might die.

I was sad that this was the last book of the series. I’ll have to look at what else is out there by Jennifer L. Armentrout.