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?

5

“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)

want it now

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.

Jonah-Hill-Squeals

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…

DeanAwesome


 

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!

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

RedRising

 

I finished reading this book several days ago and have put off writing a review of it of. This book is very popular and so many people have had their say about it, what could I have to add that would put something new into the conversation? What thoughts could I have that dozens of other people haven’t brought up before? So, I waited to write this, hoping for some kind of epiphany. I’m sorry to say that epiphany moment never came. All the same, I felt the need to throw my two cents in regarding this book.

Why? Because it is wonderful.

“I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.”

It was impossible not to fall in love with this story. I tried. I don’t like hopping on the bandwagon. But, when Rick Riordan and Patrick Rothfuss both gave it glowing reviews on Goodreads I thought I would be doing myself a disservice to not pick it up. So, I picked up a very well thumbed copy of it at my local library (this sucker was falling apart at the seams) and settled in.

Not going to lie, those first couple chapters are a hard sell.

We are introduced immediately to our hero, Darrow. Darrow lives in a mining community on Mars. These miners and their family’s are a part of the Red class. They are there working to make Mars habitable for future generations to settle the planet from the dying Earth. These miners are very serious about their jobs and the work is hard. Most die young. Darrow is very good at his job, if sometimes a little reckless. He also has a loving young wife, Eo, who he obviously adores. If it wasn’t for Eo, Darrow would be nothing. She is his hope, his dreams, his everything. When she is put to death, he is broken.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”

Now, I very nearly put down the book and returned it to the library at this point. Darrow seemed like a spineless, gutless sack of flesh and I couldn’t see how he could possibly grow to be anything else. He annoyed me. He was completely and utterly broken by his wife’s execution as she was the only thing he had ever cared about and was just a slobbering mess. No thoughts of his own, no nothing. Just Eo.

So, with a great deal of sneaking and deception, Darrow is taken from his Red camp and is shown by a leader of rebellion that everything he thought he knew was wrong. His people weren’t living and dying in the mines to make Mars habitable to save future generations. The future was already here and the planet was settled in glorious fashion. Towering cities, lush accommodations, and so much frivolity that it was sickening to Darrow who had never had enough. The rebellion selects him to lead a revolution, freeing the people from the ugly caste system of which the Reds are the lowest. The Golds, the ruling class, fly high above everyone and govern with an iron fist.

To succeed in this rebellion, Darrow must become a Gold.

The story from that point on is entirely enthralling. Each time I put it down I only wanted to pick it up again. Darrow joins this group of rebels and commits to their cause for Eo. Her dream was to be free, for her people the be free, and Darrow lives on and fights for her. Nothing is going to stop him.

I couldn’t care less about his little love story but since it is his driving force it is certainly important for the plot to progress. From that point Darrow finds himself transformed into a Gold and put into a game that is meant to train a class of Golds to rule. That’s where the real story for this book is, during this game. This training exercise. Golds that are on the cusp of becoming adults are tested and conditioned to become the best of the best. They slaughter each other to come out on top and through this Darrow must adapt or be destroyed. If he dies, Eo’s dream is lost.

I think Darrow ended up being such a good character because of his capacity to learn. He starts the story as a weak willed little shit that annoyed the crap out of me with his mindless drudgery. But he learns. He makes takes chances, makes mistakes, and learns how to be better. He learns how to be good enough to maybe, just maybe, win in this war game with the young Golds. If he does that, he will then have the opportunity to try to topple the government and free the enslaved people of not only Mars, but all humans who are subjugated to a slave-like existence under the ruling class.

If you haven’t read this book I sincerely suggest you give it a try. The world Brown wove is so vivid and enthralling I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. I’ve seen many people compare this to The Hunger Games but it is so much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed those books, but the story with Darrow has so much more depth and detail. The Reds, Golds, and everyone in between are written as to seem human with their flaws and triumphs. I’m very much looking forward to reading the other two books in this trilogy down the road. I don’t think there is any way that Brown can let me down.

“Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.”