Crystal Storm – Review

Greetings Readers!

So I have been on a mini-hiatus. I have only come on to like some posts and reply to comments, but no concrete posts because January has just been so crazy for me! This month I  am reading a total of 0 books at the moment #ShameOnME. But I did finish one book which I started in late December and as you can tell from the blog post title, it was Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes.

This book was one of my most anticipated books of 2016. I am in love with this high-fantasy series by Morgan Rhodes and I just cannot get enough of it! Also, Morgan is Canadian, so it’s really great to love and celebrate an author from my own country!

On to the review!

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes

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via Goodreads

As aforementioned, I love, love, LOVE this series and my expectations for each novel specifically this one, are always very, very high! So when I first started reading, I went in with a sane mind, clear and perfectly ready to take every punch thrown at me. Yeah…I was slaughtered by this novel. S L A U G H T E R E D.

What I liked:

POV/Characters:  This series is multi-perspective and it follows five POV at once, so it can be a bit tricky to digest and keep up with each plot line. However, Rhodes did an excellent job of keeping things and people in order, in my opinion. Also, I adore multiple POV, so I had no problem with it whatsoever.

Cleo: I love Cleo, honestly. I have been on her side since book one and had my heart broken alongside with her own. I like Cleo because she’s cunning, adventurous, sometimes foolish but overall a strong person. This girl has been put through hell and lasted five books worth of it. She deserves an applause.

Jonas: I like him, but I am not overly concerned about him. He has his good moments and other times I just want to yell, “YOU IDIOT”. He is lost, per se. His leadership is not as strong as he wants it to be and he feels like he has lost sight of where he’s going. Yet, Jonas overcomes that and in the end does the right thing. He grows up in this book.

Lucia: I honestly never cared for her, I thought she was a privileged brat (which she is) who was too selfish (again, she is) to see real suffering and sadness. But Lucia is turning a new leaf in this book, she’s acknowledging her role as the sorceress and I appreciate her efforts to redeem her terrible past actions. I hope to see more of this side of Lucia because I really enjoyed it.

Amara: We were so close to killing her, but she lives. *I’m sorry if that was spoiler-y?* I understand why she does, what she does. Why she is, who she is. But, geez this girl has some serious issues.

Chrisley Knows Best tv television crazy tv show

via giphy.com

MAGNUS: My brooding Prince. My LOVE. MY EVERYTHING. There were times in this novel where I wanted to throttle him. His decisions were not all great BUT this book showed a great amount of development from him. Magnus goes from the “I don’t really care what the hell happens” to “Fine, maybe I do care” to “Dammit I have to help, don’t I” which was great. Not to mention he is the king of comebacks and his snarky banter is part of his dark charm!

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via giphy.com

The World: I think Mytica is a really cool and simple place to remember. The north, Limeros is cold, the south, Auranos is hot and in between in is Paelsia which is meh, neither hot nor cold. A wasteland per se. In this novel we get to explore Paelsia more, actually the whole book takes place in it which was very exciting and fun. We get inside the minds of Paelsians and witness how scary it is when the oppressed find their salvation in an oppressor. It’s not good, but it happens.

The Plot Twists: There were many. Some were predictable, not going to lie. Others were just a slap in the face! I did not see them coming and they hit hard and pummelled me. Hence, why I said I had been slaughtered by this book. The ending people. The ENDING! I gasped so loud at three o’clock in the morning! I though I had woken up my family. The ending is killer, it left me feeling trapped and suffocating!

The romance: MAGNEO is in full force in this book. I loved every single moment. There were some intense moments and softer, tender ones. I think my favourite scene is the one that involves a sketchbook, even though only Cleo is part of the scene! Also, Lucia and Jonas could, possibly, maybe become a thing. Who knows? Also I ship Felix with myself. My poor rebel, I want him to be happy, but I have my suspicions that things will not end well for him! Also, other ships spring up, some that are foreshadowed in books two and three!

The baby: I guess only the people who have read the book will understand. But when the baby’s name was revealed, literal tears welled up in my eyes. It is probably also one of my favourite scenes in the book!

What I disliked:

It could have used more backstory: I mean with a certain someone back from the dead and a certain someone’s brother also present, I felt like we could have learned more about those two characters. Even though they are definitely not the main characters, I felt like their stories were still missing within the overall story.

Slow Beginning: The beginning was tedious, things were getting in motion, not to mention we have to go through five chapters of it because every characters needs to be re-introduced. Not a huge complaint, but I was a little bored at the start, nothing was moving fast enough. It’s made up for at the end when everything is happening so fast, you feel like you are a black hole just sucking in information and details.

 

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Rating: 5/5 stars ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Recommend: YES YES YES YES (Read more Canadian authors!)

Overall, I loved it. I thought the novel was fantastic, despite the slow beginning. It completely tore me apart and I anxiously anticipate the next instalment. If you are into high fantasy and like magic, kingdoms, twists and brooding princes, definitely try this series. They are quick reads and very entertaining!

What is your favourite fantasy series? Has anyone read this and is willing to fangirl with me right now? Comment below!

-Rendz

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2016 Year in Review Tag

Greetings readers!

I come to you with another tag, there seems to be a lot I need to catch up on for being absent a couple of days. Even though we are a two weeks into 2017, it is still early enough to share fun stuff from 2016. Right?

I was (once again) tagged by Mandy from Book Princess Reviews to do the 2016 Year in Review Tag. She has a fabulous post up on her blog which you can see here. She always has great posts and tags so you should really go hang out on her blog too!

Let’s get started!

Trump vs. Clinton: Name is your favourite character rivalry.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)     Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Chaol Westfall vs Rowan Whitehorn from the Throne of Glass series.

*minor possibly major spoilers here*

This is less of a character rivalry and more of a Fandom rivalry. The amount of arguments caused over these two characters is both ridiculous and laughable. I don’t like to fight people over plots we cannot control and although being on the losing side stings , I respect other peoples opinions.

I really liked LOVE Chaol. Let me put it out there. Crown of Midnight is amazing and absolutely thrilling. He has his good attributes and his flaws. He’s human, (like the only one in this series…) so he makes mistakes. I still enjoy his character, even though he’s been pushed aside. Then in Heir of Fire (book 3), Fae Warrior, Rowan is introduced. And he had a great PLATONIC relationship with Celaena, who by the end of the novel becomes Aelin. Rowan was never a favourite of mine. He was just a big, bulky, warrior who had to teach Celaena some tactful fae-warrior-ness, to defeat her enemies. I was alright with that.

But then in Queen of Shadows, this guy spent the whole novel, trying to keep it in his pants. Yes, he was helping Aelin (note: She is no longer Celaena, whom I liked better)  get revenge, but all the while having lustful thoughts and or trying to calm his hormone levels., i.e. dumping ice water over his head (not a lie, it’s in the book). I don’t find him interesting at all and honestly wish his relationship stayed a friendship with Aelin.

The point is, is that I’m on team Chaol. I do not have any interest in the new Aelin/Rowan ship, nor do I ship Aelin with Chaol, at all. I am Team Chaol because I do not think he deserves the hate and blame he has been getting throughout the recent novels. Being blamed for a certain characters death *when this character orchestrated their own death* is unfair and tiresome.

So although the rivalry doesn’t really involve pitting Chaol against Rowan physically, the amount of bitter remarks and retorts from each side of the fandom is enough to fill in this tag.

Turkey Failed Coup: A book you started but failed to finish? DNF.

Forbidden (Forbidden, #1)

Forbidden by  Kimberley Griffiths Little

I started this book at the beginning of the year and only made it nine chapters in. Parts of the novel intrigued me, like the culture and world. However, the first chapters didn’t grip me enough to continue on. There were definitely intense scenes, but not good enough to keep reading.

Pokemon Go: What book did you buy or read based on the hype? Did you enjoy it?

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

Another Throne of Glass answer. I read books 1-4 of the series in 2016 because I heard so much hype revolving around book 5, Empire of Storms.

Enjoyment levels:

  1. Throne of Glass: 5 stars YESSSS
  2. Crown of Midnight: 5 stars ALL THE STARS YASSS
  3. Heir of Fire: 4 stars Okay, this is cool. I like this Manon character. And SORSCHA! SORSCHA IS ME, I AM SORSCHA! SHE ROCKS!
  4. Queen of Shadows: 3-3.5 WTH. This was not up to par…
  5. Empire of Storms: I avoided it. But I will read it…eventually.

Stranger Things: What’s one book you want everyone to read?

Gosh, there were so many amazing books I read in 2016. I know the tag asks for one but I am going to pitch 3! (tehe, I’m a rule-breaker)

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)  A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)   The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

1 & 2) An Ember in the Ashes/ ATorch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir Why? This series is epic, diverse and AMAZING!

3) The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski Why? This series gave me chills and I relate to    Kestrel so much. It’s fast and intense!

Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Mr. Robot: What was your favourite book cliffhanger within a series?

Crystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5)

Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes.

This. Book. Left. Me. Trembling. It was absolutely fantastic and the ending was by far the best (worst) one I read all year! (Review to come)

The Tragic Crisis in Aleppo: Name the last book that made you cry or teary-eyed.

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)

Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch

I don’t usually cry when I read fantasy, even moving and emotional deaths don’t bring tears to my eyes. There are the exceptions though. For instance this book. The last two paragraphs just destroyed me. The words were not sad, but full of hope and healing. Raasch takes some time at the end of her novel to reflect and look back at the intense scenes and emotions within the character’s lives. Not with action but with thought. A beautiful thought that brought tears to my eyes and made me sob.

Brexit: Name a book you have an unpopular opinion towards.

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I liked Red Queen. I gave it 5 stars, but now that I think about it I didn’t like it that much. Glass Sword was not a great sequel. It was slow, repetitive and Mare was unbearably annoying. I am looking forward to King’s Cage however, solely because the ending of Glass Sword was so intense. Otherwise, Glass Sword was not great, 3 stars.

Four new elements discovered in the periodic table: Name an author you discovered/read for the first time this year.

Evelyn Skye, Jessica Cluess, Sabaa Tahir and Sarah J. Maas

Evelyn and Jessica are debut authors of 2016 and I loved their novels. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye was by far my favourite debut of the year and A Shadow Bright and Burning was by Jessica Cluess was also amazing. (Review here)

Sabaa Tahir debuted in 2015, but I read her books in 2016. Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to meet her when she came to my town and it is my biggest regret ever. *Here is to hoping she comes back soon*

Sarah J. Maas has been around for a while, but as mentioned I just started her books this year. I look forward to readng her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses when I get the chance!

#AllLivesMatter: Your favourite diverse read.

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)      Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Rene Ahdieh

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

These two series vary in race, culture, sexual identities and character personalities. I find them to be eye-opening and intriguing. Reading from different races, backgrounds and experiences is really wonderful and I look forward to more diverse reads in the future.

I especially want to read more books based on Latin/Hispanic culture becuase that is my background and if anyone has any recs throw them at me!

Zika Virus: A book that spread like wildfire.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

This book was IS everywhere! From bookstagram to book blogs to booktube to Twitter. I never hear the end of it. This has also caused me to be heavily spoiled as to what goes on in the books, but I am still anticipating the day I get to read this series!

Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won the Oscar: What was your most anticipated book release this year?

Caraval (Caraval, #1)    Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer

These two books both come out in January (on the same day and I cannot wait to own/READ/pet them endlessly!) XD Caraval has such an intriguing and mysterious synopsis that I have been dying to read it. And Wires & Nerve is part of the Lunar Chronicles and written by Queen Marissa Meyer, so I’m obviously going to read it!

In Memorium: Name a memorable character death. 

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes, #3)

Frost Like Night by Sarah Raasch

*SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS*

As mentioned before, this book made me sob. The last two paragraphs were of Meira glancing around the ballroom and talking about all the gaps that filled the crowd. The spaces where Henn, Finn, Noam, Nessa, Garrigan and Sir should be standing:

And that unity makes the holes in the crowd feel complete. Where Sir should be standing next to Mather as he talks with Jesse, Rares, and Oana; where Nessa and Garrigan should be following Conall as he weaves toward me through the crowd; where Henn and Finn should be talking with Greer at the edge of the room; where Noam should be laughing with Nikoletta and Caspar.

I don’t fight the smile that eases across my lips, the tears that blur the colors and light of the ballroom into a shifting, sparkling kaleidoscope.

Rares and Oana were both right. We are our own magic now. And nothing can stop us.

I think Sir’s death hit me the hardest because Meira never fully established that father-daughter bond she really wanted with him and had to leave him to die in order to save the world…Also Nessa and Garrigan </3 😥

The hope and heartbreak from reading the scenes of their deaths came back and I felt so overwhelmed. The tears started spilling out of my eyes and I couldn’t stop them. This is my favourite passage from the entire novel and I’m getting choked up just writing about it right now! *cries*

Samsung phones: One book that blew your mind this year!

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

I now realize how repetitive this list is. OH WELL.

This book just took my breath away. So many twists and turns. The amount of hope and inspiration that ran within the hearts and thoughts of these characters in order to survive the brutal and evil world they live in is eye-opening. The representation of a female protagonist who is not brave and strong from the start, but has to find the courage to move forward from loss in order to find those she loves. The painstaking search for freedom that is always being deterred by another challenge, another choice, another twist that keeps him trapped. Being inside the mind of a character who is being broken, tested and eventually remade. The violence and the hope. It’s about finding a way to govern your own destiny.

It tore me apart and blew the pieces away.

I loved it.

Runner up: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

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Tagging time!

I tag you! YOU! YOU! YOU and….that’s right YOU!

Go ahead and rant like I did. 2016 may be over but book feels never pass!

Happy reading and tagging!

-Rendz

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Most Anticipated Releases of 2017-Pt 2

Greetings readers!

As promised, the second half of 2017 releases that I am excited to read are here. (Not actually here-here as in released…obviously…but here as in, my post is up!) The first half of 2017 was pretty great, with so many amazing releases like Wires & Nerve, Caraval and Blood Rose Rebellion. The second half of 2017 might be a little sparse because not many details are out since it is so early in the year, but that doesn’t mean this list still cannot be great.

There are so many books coming out this year and I can’t list them all, mostly because I  don’t know of them or have yet to discover them…so if you see anything missing in this list let me know because I will definitely check it out!

This list covers July to December…so these books are a long ways off. Hopefully you guys can wait that long. I sure can’t! #AmDyingOnTheInside

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*all images via Goodreads*

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of VillainyJuly

BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME: 13 TALES OF VILLAINY Anthology edited by Ameriie

 

August

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

WONDER WOMAN by Leigh Bardugo

WICKED LIFE AND WILDFIRE by Lana Popović

September 

THE GLASS SPARE by Lauren DeStefano

THRONE OF GLASS #6 by Sarah J. Maas

October 

WARCROSS by Marie Lu (I will read anything (and EVERYTHING she writes)

RINGER by Lauren Oliver

Warcross (Warcross, #1)November

THE GALTON SCHOOL FOR VIGILANTES by Marissa Meyer (Once again, will read EVERYTHING she writes)

December

FALLING KINGDOMS #6 by Morgan Rhodes (Not exactly sure it comes out in Dec…but I need to read this NOW)

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This is a VERY short list, but I’m sure as the year goes by more books can be added to it! I hope to add more (as always). If you have any recommendations (they don’t have to be coming out in 2017) that you would love to tell me about leave a comment below or tweet me @RwRendz!

Happy reading!

-Rendz

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Harry Potter Tag!

Greetings readers!

I know I have been inactive for a while!, but I’m happy to be back! SO many things are going on this month that I will be doing blogging in mini chuncks of time I guess!

I was tagged by Mandy from Book Princess Reviews (Thanks Mandy!) to do the Harry Potter Tag! Fun Fact: I’ve never actually read Harry Potter! *collective gasps* Or seen the movies * more collective gasps* Well actually I watched the second part of the last movie, but had  no clue as to what was going on! *gasp gasp gasp* Yeah, I’m not a “Potter head”, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do this tag right?

Perhaps after this tag, I might feel more obliged to read Harry Potter, who knows!

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A book whose theme you found interesting. But would like to rewrite it.

Relic (Books of Eva, #1)

Relic by Heather Terrell