A Court of Mist and Fury: Wow.


Moments ago I finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. Wow, does not cover it. There are too many words that I want to use and non of them can encompass the amazing novel I just spent my entire day reading because I couldn’t put it down.

I did pause for food and water, I’m not that self destructive, but I had only read about a quarter of the way through this 624 page book before I sat down and devoured it today. Just shows how much I can read on a day that I don’t have to deal with adulthood.

Maas has outdone herself. The way she managed to manipulate my emotions and my sensations was remarkable. I lived and breathed with Feyre, the main character, through the whole novel. I don’t understand the power that Maas wields over me with there words, but I love it.

The novel starts slow and that’s likely why it took me some time to actually sit and read through, but it has to. Once you get midway through you realize that Feyre needs that time to adjust and deal with her PTSD. You go through it with her and you’re on her side, willing that fire in her to ignite, for her to become that strength you know she is.

Normally, I would find flaws in even my favourite novels, but apart from a few editing errors where clearly spellcheck added the wrong word, I found no flaws in her plot, no re-story telling of that same story so over used.

There’s not much more I can say other than read it. READ IT. Maas is the top of my list for authors, without a doubt. You don’t read her work, you live it.

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Queen of Shadows – Yes! Yes! Yes!


Last night I finished Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas, well more like this morning at 2am. I have to say, this is the best one yet of the Throne of Glass Series. Maas has outdone herself both linguistically and through her plot. There was not one moment in the novel that I predicted, not one pause for me to catch my breath between incidences. I wish I had even half of Maas’ talent. 

I remember my review on her first novel, Throne of Glass was definitely harsh and cynical, but Maas has bloomed into an amazing author. The way she crafts a fight scene is unbelievable. I struggle with fight scenes myself, because how do you fit a flurry of movement that in reality would take 2 seconds into a description that will likely take the reader a minute to read without losing authenticity and the feeling of speed and chaos?

Usually when I read novels like this, I’m not really a fan of jumping between character perspectives. It tends to feel like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario. But, Maas does this remarkably well. She utilizes this technique in order to enrich a scene, to show it from all angles and all eyes. She does this most effectively at the end of the novel where she has short snippets of the same scene viewed from multiple characters to show the chaos of the moment.

I can’t praise Maas enough. I dragged out the reading of Queen of Shadows because I honestly did not want it to end, then I finished the last 250 pages in one sitting last night. Maas’ next novel in the series, Empire of Storms is already out in hard cover, but being my OCD self I need to wait for the North American paperback version to buy it. I also don’t like not reading the copies of my own novels so I will be waiting until then to read Empire of Storms, so no spoilers!

I highly recommend to anyone, if you haven’t already started the Throne of Glass series, DO IT!

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The Night Circus – Yeah, Okay.


I’ve just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have mixed feelings about this one.

Normally, you’d find me rattling off the praise for the novel first off, but there’s something that truly had me struggling with this novel. The execution of the actual sentences was poor. So many times I had to stop and re-read a sentence or two because I honestly did not understand what Morgenstern was trying to convey. Many of the sentences were wordy and unnecessarily long. I’ve always found that great writing conveys exactly what is meant to be conveyed in as few words as possible. Yes, I know that we embellish and add words for flourish and style, but Morgenstern’s sentence structures felt fumbled and in disarray rather than stylistic.

That being said, I did enjoy the story as a whole, even though I felt that the organization of her multiple perspective structure could have used some more work. Some pieces didn’t seem to fit in the flow of things, others seemed obsolete nearing the end and didn’t need to be there.

However, despite all these technical flaws the story itself was well thought out. The characters were rich and vibrant, while the challenge surrounding the circus is what kept me reading.

My favourite characters, which will likely be everyone’s favourite characters, were Poppet and Widgets. Their mixture of brilliance and innocence made them so enchanting. Plus, I just love red-heads.

The concept of the circus itself was wonderful and well described. Each tent had it’s own individual personality that resinated well on the page. I found when I was reading the descriptions of each tent that I fumbled far less over the sentence structure.

My final verdict for this novel would be to read it, only for the general story idea, rather than the execution of it. I’m, of course, very picky when it comes to the execution of an idea and for me it needs to be done well so that I can immerse myself in a novel without tripping over awkward sentences. But, unlike me, a lot of people won’t notice these things that grind my gears.

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A Light in the Darkness: A Review of Shadow and Bone


As my reading frenzy continues, I devoured yet another novel: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardvgo.

Final thoughts: Great story, weak ending.

I had the same problem with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I know there are second novels to come and unanswered questions but it ends in too much of a happy ending. Granted, you can’t really call the end of Shadow and Bone happy, but our main character prevailed and there is no immediate danger. I know this is just a personal preference, but at the end of the first novel there should be more problems than resolutions and more questions than answers. I have a very bittersweet relationship with cliffhanger endings, but I find I’m usually disappointed when they aren’t there.

Bradvgo does a good job of skirting that line between good and evil, but I wish the Darkling had a bit more of a human edge. I understand that it’s important to the story that he doesn’t and that the character itself has developed to be less humanly, but I think it would have been harder to dislike him, which would have made the read all the more thrilling.

My favourite character has to be Mal. No, not just because he has the same name as one of my all time favourite space captains, but he is the unwavering tree that you take shelter under during the storm. He seems like a real guy to me, which I don’t find very often in novels, as usually I find male characters the embodiment of what women expect, which is not even close to what they are. Mal, actually falters with his feelings, he’s slow to realize them and quick to act on his impulses. He’s actually a dude! He even develops like I expect a boy would in a circumstance like his. It’s safe to say I like Mal more than I like Alina.

I did really enjoy reading this novel. While, I didn’t order the next two novels just yet, you can rest accused that they are definitely on my to-buy list. If my other half has to keep his gaming purchases in check, it’s only fair I do the same with my book-buying obsession. But I digress…

Bardvgo has a great handle on character development and I find myself eager to find out how Alina develops further. Her handle on the psychological edge that Alina teetered along the whole book was spectacular. I do love it when main characters are damaged and have a fragile human core just like the rest of us…

(Cat interruptions – U////////////…..)
I love my furry baby, but she can’t keep her paws off my keyboard!

Excuse the interruption, I will now valiantly press on with the looming siege of kitty paw’s close at hand.

As I was saying, we all love when protagonists seem so bitterly human that we can relate, I mean that’s why we read don’t we? As Alina we want to feel less alone, no matter the amount of loneliness that holds it’s place within us.

This has evolved into more of review of the reader than the novel. Oops.

Anyhow, I do indeed recommend Shadow and Bone. It’s a good quick read. I look forward to seeing Alina’s progression, as well as Bardvgo’s.

Top of the Charts: A Review of A Court of Thorns and Roses


Literally, moments ago I read the last few pages of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I’ve got to say, Maas has done it again. I’ve loved every single one of her Throne of Glass novels and now she’s got a new series I’m so excited about I pre-ordered the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury before I even finished reading the first book.

I’m sorry Snyder, just Maas has just beat you to the top of my favourites list.

A Court of Thorns and Roses seems to start off slow, building your understanding of the main character, Feyre. Also, I have to appreciate that within the first ten pages, Maas actually explains the pronunciation of Feyre so that I stupidly wasn’t reading it wrong through the whole book. It was very subtle and perfectly placed.

Some of the later plot points are kind of obvious and you can tell from which stories Maas has used these incidences, but we’re all guilty of that. I believe someone said there are only a finite amount of stories in the world and they’re all re-told in different ways.

Maas’ prose keep you captivated throughout the novel and her descriptive talents are intimidating to say the least. Rarely was I reading, but rather watching the story unfold in my mind’s eye.

The story flows very well, and while I sometimes struggled with the rather “quaint” intelligence of Feyre I really loved the novel. To be fair, her character is a minimally educated, young and impoverished girl so I can’t really blame her lack of knowledge on anything but her situation.

I highly recommend this to those looking for a great fantasy read. Especially if you’re into faerie lore. I absolutely devoured this book.

I don’t really recommended it to the guys though, despite some really great “steamy” scenes, this novel is really geared towards a female reader.

Back in the Saddle: A Review of Night Study by Maria V. Snyder


Last night, I did that thing we all do. I stayed up late, sitting up in my bed to finish an enticing novel.

I know I mentioned a review of Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins, but I finished that and felt like it was a lesson I’m going to need to mull over for a while.

Any who, I finished  Night Study by Maria V. Snyder, one of my favourite fantasy authors. Now, when I read Shadow Study, Snyder’s first attempt to revive the Study Series I was not impressed. Shadow Study felt forced. It was as if I was being spoon-fed one “oh shit!” scenario after another without much plot in between. Snyder relied too heavily on her reader’s former investment in the majority of her characters to really have them rounded out this time around. The only character in Shadow Study I thought had any real plot to handle was Valek, and that’s only because he had multiple flash-backs.

Night Study is a completely different experience.

The best way I can describe the two novels is that moment when you stumble over your own feet while walking and you break into a run so no one notices. Shadow Study is the stumble and the panic, Night Study is the lurch forward and the run that exhilarates and redeems you.

Snyder, to quote a 90’s cliche, got her groove back with Night Study. My favourite characters felt rich and alive again, the plot ran a twisted course which kept me going, and the “Eureka!” moments I had about the plot before the characters just made me feel that much more satisfied.

All in all, Snyder has found her way back into my heart. When I started reading yesterday I was on page 140, the novel ends on page 444. I feel like that says it all. My only two pet peeves are that the new Study Series titles don’t feel anywhere as relevant to the plot as the first three did. Also, the covers of my first three don’t match my fourth and fifth novels because they stopped making the covers I have! Which really pisses me off because they are the best looking covers, in my opinion, and my bookshelf OCD is now going insane. Also Shadow Study has different cover measurements than Night Study. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT MIRA NOVELS?!?!? I feel as if the publishers are trolling me.

If you haven’t yet read all of Snyder’s Study Series, I suggest you get to it! Poison Study, the first in the series is still one of my favourite reads and I blew through Magic Study, the second in the series, in 48 hours and I was going to school then. Go, go dear readers and experience the heart-breaks and the triumphs of the Study Series. I can’t wait for Dawn Study, which I have to wait another year for!

Writing! Why am I having so much trouble?


I promised myself that I would finish the draft of my novel.

I’ve managed 600 words in 14 days. Baby steps, I guess?

But seriously, why am I having so much trouble? It’s not like I have writer’s block. I have my notes and know exactly where my story needs to flow to unfold and what key points need hitting and how my characters need to interact etc, etc…

It might have something to do with the fact that I feel quite brain-drained after a day of staring at a computer screen that’s broken and nearly sezure worthy while trying to please everyone with a job done well and quickly. I’ve also developed laziness when it comes to my own writing.

I’m also having trouble thinking any sentence that comes out of me is anywhere near decent. I know my editing addiction is a factor, but I swear I’ve been doing so well fighting it!

I’m just currently a terrible writer, mostly because I’M NOT WRITING ENOUGH!

I need to get my brain into gear…

This weekend I need 1,500. I know this is not a big goal, I know this is barely a pebble on the mountain, but I need to get started. If by Monday I haven’t reached 1,500 (not including what I already have) you all have permission to pelt me with books! Preferably the virtual kind so that I don’t bruise too badly, they might ask questions at work. 

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