Down the TBR Hole #28

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Welcome again to Down the TBR Hole! This meme came from Lost in a Story. All book descriptions taken from Goodreads. 

Current TBR Total: 151

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Continue reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week they provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. You don’t have to do all ten. Instead you can do three, five, fifteen, whatever you want. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

This week’s theme is Bookish Worlds I’d Want to/Never Want to Live In. Continue reading

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

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“This is always how the story would end,” he says to me. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”

Oh, I am silent. This book left me in a bad place. If any of you caught my rambling, emotion driven review of Golden Son you’ll know that I was over the moon about getting my hands on this book. I needed it like I need air. I thought my world was going to crash down around me if I didn’t get my weirdly small adult hands on this book. I had to have it.

Well, I got it and it has left me in a deep, dark place.

I hate to say it, but I have issues with this book. I wanted to adore it the way I adored Golden Son. I wanted to have that same connection with Morning Star as I had with Golden Son that gave me the burning desire to read more. I just wanted to love it. Is that so wrong?

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Cons

  • Sevro – For the first two books Brown has given us a very clear impression of Sevro. Things we know we can expect from him and how he behaves. In Morning Star that seems to have been thrown out the window. I have adored Sevro and rooted for him for two books only to be annoyingly frustrated with him in this one. He wouldn’t shut up, made very poor choices without thinking anything through, and generally just got on my nerves to the point I wanted to skim the scenes with his dialogue.
  • Jackal – Those of you who have read the books know how Golden Son ended. The Jackal was the end of that book. The entire plot revolved around him at the end. In Morning Star, despite the fact that large parts of the plot still depended on him, we hardly saw him. All we got were mentions of him and, I’m sorry, but that just wasn’t enough for me.
  • Deaths – Brown did not shy away from killing off characters for two books. If it worked for the plot, they got the ax. Period. No remorse. With this conclusion that wasn’t the case. Characters whose deaths I felt could greatly further the plot line were left alive and useless while the one who I thought deserved to live was killed. I don’t understand. I just don’t.
  • Mustang – I still don’t like her. In Golden Son I got the impression that she was just trying to figure things out and hadn’t quite found her place in the world. I was greatly looking forward to watching her claim her place, whatever that happened to be. However, I don’t think she actually grew as a character in the slightest. Sure, things happened to her but they didn’t change her. The Mustang we ended with is the same one we started with. How could Sevro change so much and Mustang so little? Irksome.
  • Loose end – Did I miss something? I admit, I skimmed a page or two, but I don’t recall Harmony being given an ending. I think for the story to have truly closed, she needs one. Her story line needed to be distinctly wrapped up and instead she is in the wind.

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“If you’re watching, Eo, it’s time to close your eyes. The Reaper has come. And he’s brought hell with him.”

Pros

  • Battles –  Of course we have the epic space battles in this book. I simply cannot fault Brown for how he puts these scenes together. You can feel the urgency, hear the singing of a slashing blade, and see the dance of battle unfolding. It is masterful.
  • Darrow – Through Red Rising and Golden Son we came to know Darrow as an overconfident yet lovable, militaristic, single minded, pain in the butt. I say that fondly. In Morning Star, he becomes something more. He has been completely broken apart and rose from the ashes a better man.
  • Roque – Even though I’m probably the last person to read this book, I’m going to try to leave out anything spoilery about Roque. I will just say that his end felt right and was well done.

As you can obviously see, my con list is longer than my pro list. For some reason, though, I still find myself giving it 4 stars on Goodreads. While I didn’t particularly like how the third book went, it still felt true to the story that Pierce had already set up.

We’ve all read those trilogies or series that, after a couple of books, they stop feeling true to themselves. The rules within their universe change and the characters change without reason but simply to move a story line along. At no point in Morning Star did that feel like it was the case.

Except the very end. The last scene felt incredibly forced and awkward, but besides that…

In a nutshell, did I love this book as much as I did the first two in the the trilogy? No. Was it still a good book? Yes. Do I think Brown could have done better? Absolutely.


Find this book on

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository

 

WWW Wednesday – June 21

WWWWednesday

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

ClockworkAngel

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare. I don’t think I have had a single person say something bad to me about this book. Everyone seem to be absolutely beaming about it! I admit, I am having trouble getting through the world building bit but I’ll get there. I want to enjoy this. Nearly all of the reading community can’t be wrong so I know it has to get better.

What did you recently finish reading?

ThroneOfGlass

“You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas. I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as I hoped I would. The story felt like more of a love triangle disaster than anything else. Sigh. I’m still going to give the next book in the series a shot but, I admit, I don’t have high hopes. Maas can do better than this.

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“Justice isn’t about fixing the past, it’s about fixing the future. We’re not fighting for the dead. We’re fighting for the living. And for those who aren’t yet born.”

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown. After the miraculous wonder that was Golden Son, this book was a bit of a drag. I actually made a pro/con list of everything I liked and disliked about it which will go up with the review next week. Hint- the con list is longer. Despite that, I still liked the book. I think. I’m still working it out. It didn’t meet the same standards as Golden Son but still…

What do you think you’ll read next?

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“You fought and fought to keep all the cruelty locked up in your head, and for what? None of them ever loved you, because none of them ever knew you”

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1) by Rosamund Hodge. Currently, I have this one as a requested hold at the library so hopefully it comes in soon. Since it was released it has certainly had mixed reviews but I’m still interested. It seems that the consensus is that this book is a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast and that could be a lot of fun.


 

What are you reading this week?

 

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”

It’s been three days since I finished reading this book. It left me a wreck so I waited to write my review in hopes that I would chill out about it. I haven’t. Pierce Brown, you left me wrecked and desperate for Morning Star. Desperate. Of course I had to go on a wait list at the library to get it. In the entire county the library system only has one copy of that book. WHY?! (Luckily they got it in pretty quickly and held it for me so I got to pick it up yesterday afternoon)

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Despite my aching need for Morning Star, here I sit still brooding over Golden Son. I’m not even sure where to begin. This review is going to be a disorganized mess of enthusiasm and feels. ALL OF THE FEELS. Brown gave us love, hate, betrayal, violence, logic, apathy, desperation, more violence, prejudice, sadness, hurt, frightening levels of intelligence, violence…and it has left me a weeping, hollow shell of a book enthusiast.

But not so hollow that I didn’t wake a sleeping toddler and usher her into the car when the library e-mailed me that Morning Star had come in. Speed limits were broken. Over a book. Worth it.

Now, Golden Son…

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

We return to our spy/warrior/widower/champion Darrow 2+ years after his spectacular victory in Red Rising. He is now captaining a fleet against his sponsor’s rival and he has become even more overly confident in himself. That particular characteristic would be highly annoying if he didn’t, for the most part, deserve that confidence. Unfortunately for Darrow, in this case, he didn’t. But, man, what an opening sequence. He had all the swagger and confidence of Captain Kirk (Pine, not Shatner) and I was rooting for him hard within the first few paragraphs.

Unfortunately this is followed by an epic fail on his part and he doesn’t have a Mister Spock to bail him out of the situation. Every ship’s captain needs a Spock type character in tough situations. Most of his crew dies and Darrow discovers that he is being cast to the wind by…you’ll have to forgive me here I can’t remember or find the man’s name to save my life. Usually I’d just open the book and look it up but I was a dunderhead and returned it to the library before writing my review. Stupid, right? Unless his name hits me like a ton of bricks I’m going to call him “the sponsor” although I admit that I am tempted to call him Caesar for my own amusement’s sake. Give me a break, folks. I have a toddler and am thirty. The brain and memory aren’t what they once were to say the least.

Anyway, Caesar (told you I’d do it) is going to effectively sell Darrow’s contract because he is convinced that Darrow isn’t worth the time or hassle. Darrow, of course, finds a way out of the situation. It includes quite the dramatic blood bath. Brown really knows how to write fantastic battles. He can make you hold your breath during hand to hand combat as well as big space fleet fight sequences. It is amazing. This man is a miraculous wonder with words. The divine with dialogue. The Zeus of…something. You get the point.

After this highly entertaining carnage Caesar (yup, still calling him that) decides to keep Darrow at hand. From here, the epicness reaches new heights. We get the amazing Sevro back. Goblin or not he is probably the most entertaining character in these books. You don’t always understand exactly why he does what he does and he can be a total ass but you can’t help but love him. He is our pocket sized Howler and is just phenomenal.

Mustang also returns and I have to admit I was a bit on a fence about her. In Red Rising I questioned a lot of her decisions although in the end she came through. In Golden Son she oozes a similar swagger to Darrow’s but it feels much less candid and earned. Then that confidence is punctuated by moments of meekness which makes her feel less genuine. I’m hoping that in Morning Star she gets sorted out because her character seems confused about who she is. It makes it difficult to like her.

I told you this review would be all over the place and I wasn’t lying. I just want to gush about it like a school girl with a crush.

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To keep this under 1000 words (barely), I’ll just say that this book is epic. I liked Red Rising, but Golden Son blows it out of the water. If Red Rising is champagne on New Years then Golden Son is Dom Perignon after you win the lottery. Yes, folks, it’s that good. If you haven’t read these books and at all like fantasy, read them. It’s a space opera for the imagination. Now pardon me while I go dive into Morning Star feet first with a box of tissues handy because, like with GRRM, you just never know who is going to die next. I love it. I leave you with Dean who has some wise words to say about this book…

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Find this book on

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository

WWW Wednesday – June 14

WWWWednesday

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

ThroneOfGlass

“My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas. Despite my frustration with A Court of Wings and Ruin I decided to give Maas another shot. Honestly, this was the only book the library had in that was on my TBR list the last time I went. I’m only about 100 pages in but so far I’m not impressed. None of the characters seem to be genuine. We’ll see how the rest of the story goes. I’m sure there is an awkward intimate scene somewhere in those pages I have yet to scoff at.

What did you recently finish reading?

18966819

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown . I’m happy to say that I finally got over my reading slump and devoured this book in just a couple of days. I’ll have my review up for it on Friday but, let me tell you, I’m still reeling from that ending. Holy crap! Brown sure knows how to write an engaging story. I bet he has to keep reams of notes just to keep all of the little details properly sorted.

What do you think you’ll read next?

ClockworkAngel

“Sometimes, when I have to do something I don’t want to do, I pretend I’m a character from a book. It’s easier to know what they would do.”

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare . Lately, I have noticed so many people excited about Clare’s books. Not to feel like an unworthy reader, but I had never heard of her. Yesterday I put in a request at the library for this book so hopefully it comes in soon. I want to know what all the fuss is about!


 

I’m so happy to be out of my reading slump and to actually have books to put on the list today! As soon as I finish this post I’m going to go curl up in my big, comfy chair and continue reading Throne of Glass before I have to go do the whole “adult” thing later today. Shudder. Have a beautiful day, everyone!