Throne of Glass, More Epic Than It Sounds


I’d like to preface this review by saying I devoured this 406 page novel in 48 hours, less if you don’t count the hours I spent sleeping.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was definitely a whirl wind of excitement, intrigue, turmoil, lust, emotions, and just old fashioned will power. It was definitely a fun and good read. Maas has a way with balancing description, action, and dialogue that I strive for in my own work. Her novel reminded me of Maria V. Snyder’s style, yet with a touch more brutality, I loved it.

That all being said, the praise being dolled out in spades, I’ve got to put in my two or five or ten cents regarding criticism. Now, I realize that coming up with an original plot is difficult, and while Maas’s plot was in fact relatively original I found many concepts or scenes were, let’s call it “borrowed.” I found that Throne of Glass, if completely broken down was an amalgamation of The Hunger Games (twenty-four “champions” fighting for their right to survive), Poison Study (a young girl trapped between death and working for a king she loathes, as well as a world overtaken by a ruler who has banned and destroyed magic), The Chamber of Secrets (fighting a giant scary monster in a secret room under a castle summoned by a dark magic wielder), Cinderella (a girl forbidden to attend a ball does so and dances the night away with a Prince), Game of Thrones (every person in any political standing is out to destroy anyone for power, including the king), True Blood (the whole Fae/Faerie ancient magic deal), and Daughter of Smoke and Bone (the power to jump through to other worlds with deadly monsters and creatures of light).

I love all these books/movies/shows, so I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I know it can be hard to reduce the influence reading can have on your work. I know my own work can be compared to many other works and have many similarities.

Bottom line, it’s a great book. Of course, it was recommended, and by “recommended” I mean she gave it to me as a Christmas present and said I must read it, by my very best gal, writer of Lea At Sea. She always gives me the best recommendations and I then pass on these glowing reviews to you.

Read Throne of Glassit’s a good read and the first fantasy I’ve read in a while that’s actually written well! Maas knows her prose and the english language. She’s a good writer, I’m excited to read more of her work.

Looking for Alaska, Spoiler, I didn’t Find Her


I promptly decided, after reading The Fault in Our Stars, that I better get through Looking for Alaska before moving on to anything that may cheer me up and sway me from going back to the depressing honesty of life that is John Green’s prose.image

For such a positive, well spoken, and brilliant mind, Green is serious obsessed with the grief, guilt, morbidity, and anguish of teenage death. I realize that many “youth oriented” books do not address this issue truthfully or have any inclination as to how they may approach it, so in that sense Green is actually providing a service to the masses.

Considering all Green’s talent, skill, and insight I do wish he would write something that wouldn’t depress me! Yes, life is depressing, people die, we live on, etc, etc, and it’s not all the end of the world, we forgive and we move on and we even forget. I get it. I was looking for more philosophical insight into my soul… sorry, but I was.

Looking for Alaska is a good read. It portrays the teenage mind accurately, as did The Fault in Our Stars. It’s not as dismal as the later and it even threw in a chuckle now and again. But, Green’s obsession with teenage death really doesn’t sit the best with me. I’ve lived through grief, it’s not fun, and while I can see why Green wants to bring these issues to the present mind I don’t really enjoy delving into it all that often. I guess reading these books as I recover from minor surgery with a few complications isn’t really the best time to read books about death.

Anywho, it’s very well written and worth a read if you want to get a sad, sinking, mortal feeling in your gut. Best left for a sad rainy day where you’re not particularly sad, but don’t want something happy-go-lucky to read.

I think I’m going to delving into some fantasy reading for a bit, or at least some Tom Robbins to tickle my funny bone.

Cheers and be well!

The Fault in Our Stars… or Tears


I’ve been sitting on my bed for two days now, my left leg propped up on two pillows, recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Yesterday, I decided that, since I have two weeks off of work, it’s prime time to burn through a fraction of the stack of books I have sitting on my shelf waiting to be discovered. image

My best friend recommended The Fault in Our Stars by John Green some time ago and I bought that along with Looking for Alaska about a month ago.
I began The Fault in Our Stars yesterday afternoon, and while it was a relatively easy read, I had to put it down before the final 100 pages, What the hell had I gotten myself into? I had teared up twice before I put it down and about four more times when I finished it today.

My gods, what a roller coaster of pain, sadness, depression, grief, and beauty. It’s clearly a modern tragedy written in a style to appease and relate to the modern teenager, but it was still a decent read, and getting me to shed a tear is a big deal.

But it’s one of those books that you need to prepare yourself to be depressed after, just warning you.

Green is an excellent author, though. I’m debating on whether or not to delve into Looking for Alaska now or go for a fantasy novel to give myself a break from tireless teenage-type emotions.

I wouldn’t call The Fault in Our Stars a masterpiece or genius by any means, really. The thing that it does is really understand the struggle with grief and the struggle with consciousness and reality.

I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, but if you want to put yourself through some hard times and come out on the other side less damaged than Gabriel  Garcia Marquez and Jose Saramago would leave you then go for it!

I don’t see how they’ll make it into a movie though, the majority of the story is Hazel’s thoughts, not the action of the plot that would be portrayed on screen, good luck Hollywood.

Bellman & Black, Truly Beautiful


I just finished reading Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, whilst sitting on a park bench adjacent to a cozy little lake. The story, while seemingly uneventful to some, was written in the most skillful and beautiful of prose. 

The first time I read anything by Setterfield was her debut novel The Thirteenth Tale. I fell in love with that book the minute I got through the first chapter. Bellman & Black  was no different. Setterfield has such an enchanting command of the english language, it’s absolutely mesmerizing.

The only thing that bothered me was the way in which Black spoke to Bellman in their last encounter. I felt that Black could have been speechless and merely been looking at Bellman for the same event to unfold and with a more ominous touch than with Black commanding Bellman to remember. But, that may just be a personal preference.

I urge you, go and read Bellman & Black. It’s the kind of book that makes you love reading and the kind of writing that makes you love a good writer.

Cheers to all, keep reading.