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Two-faced Nitpicker

I'm here just to scope this place out as an alternative to goodreads and as a little bookbank in case I ever bank out of goodreads. (And did I also mention goodreads?)


About me: I'm a pretty lazy reviewer but big on reading so don't expect much reviewing but when reviews come, do beware of endless rambling about everything, including things unimportant like digressing on other unrelated books.


"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you"

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2) - Kresley Cole Wow. Just, wow. The pacing, storyline, plot and its twists- EVERYTHING was just so. good. One of the few Urban Fantasy YA this year I really loved. The storyline draws me in while hinting at me of more to come and *excuse me while I recover* still manages to give good world-building????
Endless Knight has managed to stopped the line of disappointingly meh books I've been reading for the past few months and need I say I'm desperately clamoring for the sequel already?
The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) - John Flanagan This was really not what I was looking for in my children's high-fantasy.

Firstly, I like my books to treat morality and humane restraint as a given. I really did not enjoy the revenge scene where Halt beats up the battleschool bullies and allowed Horace to injure his bully intentionally. Allowing an ambiguously 30 year old man who is responsible for the enforcement and protection of the villagers beat up a 17/16 year old? No matter the physical abuse done to Horace or not, this scene could definitely be treated much more differently. Because what this scene is promoting is basically: if you get bullied, find someone powerful to pound them bloody them and then, get to exact your bloody cruel revenge on them as well mua-ha! And I think that's a terribly awful mindset. You know what would be good? To outsmart them. Halt could show that he was on Horace's side and give a small display of power that would make them piss their pants and this would potentially result in them leaving Horace alone in school because who knows, Halt could always be there watching with his really really sharp knives. In the context of the novel there was no precipitated need for violence. This isn't a situation where the whole world is against you and the only way to stop them is to send a violent message. This scene just says more about Halt's and Horace's character that isn't very mature or ethically right, and if they are the ones responsible in delivering justice in the future, I fear for the lives of the entire city.

Next, I find the characters in the novel really shallow and unbelievably immature. Let's give a little more context, shall we? Will and his homies are 15 year olds. FIFTEEN YEAR OLDS. I remember being fifteen like, 6 MONTHS AGO. THAT IS NOT HOW FIFTEEN YEAR OLDS ACT.
The characterization and the style of writing made this seem like it's geared more towards middle-grade than YA, so it was really confusing to keep reminding myself that the protagonists were 15 and not 10.
The style is very tell, not show and if this was intentional it did not work for me. I assume that Flanagan want the tone of the story to be a very storyteller-like third person but in doing so I think he overlooks the importance of interpretation. But telling me that "Jenny made a small gesture with her hands, urging Will to drop the matter" or "suddenly he hated them all" you're not effectively conveying to me their emotion. Tell me more about how Jenny's eyes might have implored Will to stop, or tell me the emotions that were running through Horace's mind that tells me in vivid clarity, the intensity of his hate. See that's the thing-- it's not enough to just tell me :this happened". I need to know the level of intensity and how the emotional arc builds up and I'm not feeling that throughout the whole book and it's so disappointing. Considering that the conversation between multiple characters are sometimes meant to be rapid fire and are meant to build with tension, the constant telling me of extraneous detail dissipates the tension every single time and it makes the plot too distant and unrelatable.

I'm also disappointed by the lack of action and adventure. It's basically the reason why I was so obsessed with high fantasy in my earlier years. I loved the scene where we see how Will blends in with the background and goes all super stealth, but that same sense of momentum and action doesn't carry on consistently throughout the books. I'm looking for a rollercoaster ride when I read such action-based novels and it didn't fulfill in this area. It needs to be able to hold up emotionally and action-wise with a sense of an arc in tension with fast paced action because that's what keeps me reading in high fantasy. I felt increasingly bored and I waited for the book to get to the point too many times to count and that definitely does not score you any brownie points.

I wouldn't really recommend this book for anyone who loves a crazy heckuva ride while reading High Fantasy. I don't hate it however, I just have this mild dislike for it, so if the style of the novel fits you then by all means, enjoy! But if, like me, you've seen the comparisons to Percy Jackson, don't. believe. them. If there's one thing this novel's not, it's Percy Jackson. (in so, SO MANY WAYS)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood I'll need to reread this again sometime in the future- There's so much going on beneath the surface but I don't have the time to explore them as of now :(
Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo 4.5 stars. This one's a crazy emotional ride with a ton of thrilling episodes *stares at hands in confusion* *walks off dazed*
Gameboard of the Gods - Richelle Mead 3.5 stars. Wasn't as bad as other reviews claim, but then again, not Richelle Mead's best.
The Sea of Tranquility - Katja Millay 4.5 stars
Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia I started reading this I think a month ago? and I almost fell asleep. (and so started the dusty life of a forgotten, unfinished book.)
Ugh, I'll try again when I can muster the energy and enthusiasm.
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey 2.5 to 3 ish? Not my type. Romance was so contrived "I saved you because you saved me" my foot. I was so creeped out by Cassie waking up in Evan's house with NO EXPLANATION as to why he saved her. Insta-love really does not work in a apocalyptic setting, especially given Cassie's character. and the plot was increasingly banal. Not going to elaborate much (I'll direct you to the better written reviews) but I don't hate the plot or the book, I just don't feel particularly enthusiastic for it.
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike This was surprisingly quite well done! Before reading I was expecting some mindless reading fun (Why thank you, misleading book cover) but the book was actually so much more deeper than that.

It doesn't have as much momentum as I would normally prefer but Pike's portrayal of interpersonal relationships really made up for it. She manages to show the "nobody's perfect" part of well, everything, and the process of reading it really makes you evaluate your own actions irl (through all characters, really. Kim, Jeff, Khail, the policemen etc). Self-revelation is basically the point of reading-- which I find many other books fail to accomplish and Pike has managed to do so, and despite the novel's many other merits, this should be the clincher for the man-should-i-read-this-i-have-like-A-HUNDRED-BOOKS-ON-MY-WAITLIST readers.
The Program - Suzanne Young 3.5 stars
The Son of Sobek - Rick Riordan All my crossover feels are tingling happy happy *rocks back and forth smiling*

and now YOU too?) *attempts to calm my fangirl heart*
My blood pressure rises by the day. I swear, authors probably have a little powwow session with tea and crumpets, giggling over our slow descent into madness and planning More Ways In Which To Torment us Further.

*pops into Hyperion* *hacks computers* *retrieves ALL THE FILES*
Oath Bound - Rachel Vincent 3.5 stars
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar - Kady Cross 3.5 stars
Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare I'm actually pretty conflicted about this *sighs* *keels over* I really like it... but I really hate it too????
(((Is there a star for that pls goodreads help mi)))

Review to come!
Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger 3.5 stars.

Droll at some parts and requires quite some more fleshing out of characters and plot, but not too bad.
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer 3.5 stars