It’s A Perfect System: Thunderhead by Neil Shusterman Review

A corrupt piece of fiction that comments on the human experience. Neil Shusterman has crafted a delicious sequel that devours its readers. 

IMG_4847

My Rating 5 STARS

Goodreads Synopsis

Rowan and Citra take opposite stances on the morality of the Scythedom, putting them at odds, in the second novel of the chilling New York Times bestselling series from Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

Rowan has gone rogue and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?

I’m going to go into this review under the assumption that everyone has read Scythe, so if you have not read Scythe already, please do!

Plot

The plot of Scythe blew me out of the water, and Thunderhead managed to top that. It’s been almost a year since the events of Scythe, and both Citra and Rowan have accepted their new circumstances, and have begun to grow into their own. Citra is the Honourable Scythe Anastasia and Rowan is now Scythe Lucifer – a feared rumour amongst the Scythes. But, I’m getting sidetracked. The plot.

For me, this book didn’t feel as action-packed as Scythe, but that does not mean it wasn’t a bad plot. No, the plot was more political. It exposed the corruption of MidMerica. And, it exposed the reality of the human experience. I always find plots like this VERY intriguing – similar to The Purge films. By this, I mean how as a species we always manage to return to our primal urges or some of us return to those primal urges, because, evil can never really be cleansed from society.

Anyway, the plot. The Thunderhead plays a more prominent role in this instalment, advancing the plot at a faster rate. The readers are introduced to a new character Greyson. His role in the story gives a new dimension to the overall plot, giving more opportunity for the reader to learn about Thunderhead – previously just a side plot, but now it’s a more dominant feature of the novel.

Okay. The most notable plot point of this whole story is DEFINITELY, without a doubt, the ending. Those last, maybe 100, pages are perfection. All the build-up. All the information that the readers learn throughout the novel. It all leads to this climax and it’s beyond anything that I’ve ever read. There is this deep anticipation and worry. And, I think I’ll leave it there because it’s something that needs to be experienced while reading the book and not a review.

Characters

The development that Citra and Rowan both experience throughout Thunderhead is reflective of their growth in Scythe. Their personalities and action are amplified by the events of Scythe.

Citra. She, once again, had an enjoyable perspective to read. Now, Scythe Anastasia, she wishes to be a Scythe like her mentors Curie and Faraday and she has a new way of ‘gleaning’ her targets by giving them a months time to get their affairs in order – by then, they would be able to choose which method of killing they would die from. She humanises the Scythes, in a way that isn’t pleasing to most of them, and now other Scythes look to her as some form of figurehead to bring back the honourable ways of the Scythehood. It’s very poetic.

Rowan, on the other hand, has a more dark storyline. He, now Scythe Lucifer, is using his set of skills to find dishonourable Scythes and gleaning them for their wrongdoings. Rowan storyline puts him in an outlawed position, not being able to interact with anyone, and is on the run from the Scythehood. To be fair, there is not much I can say about Rowan without spoiling his storyline.

Greyson is a new character, who we are introduced to early on in the novel. He, an employee of the Thunderhead, is able to give us, the readers, an insight into the complexities of the Thunderhead. But, he is caught up in the scandal of everything and is consequently used as a scapegoat. This doesn’t diminish from his development. Greyson starts as a shy introvert and becomes a badass introvert. It’s great to watch him grow into his own.

There are other characters that are in this novel who I would LOVE to talk about, but spoilers are a massive hindrance to that. But, I will say that there are some returning faces.

The World

Thunderhead opens the world beyond what we read in Scythe. It broadens the government further, more so the Scythehood. The Grandslayers are introduced as the next level that High Blades can strive towards. The Thunderhead is more heavily involved, as mentioned above, and also, the journal entries that are seen between each chapter are more from the perspective of the Thunderhead. It is intriguing to read about an artificial intelligence from the conscious of the artificial intelligence.

And as the novel progresses the readers are introduced to the island of Euroda, which is a place that Scythes call home or more of a holiday destination. It provides Scythes with a location that is free of anyone who isn’t a Scythe. The way that Neal broadens the boundaries of the world, while still being able to constrain the novel is remarkable. Does that make sense?

Overall, Thunderhead brought the storyline to a place that I am excited to find out what happens next, but I will say that I did enjoy Scythe just a tiny bit more. Don’t let that distract from how amazing Thunderhead is. Definetly pick up these books!

And, lets all not forget the ten Scythe Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt kill.
  2. Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry, or malice aforethought.
  3. Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming, and to anyone else you deem worthy.
  4. Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist.
  5. Thou shalt serve humanity for the full span of thy days, and thy family shall have immunity as recompense for as long as you live.
  6. Thou shalt lead an exemplary life in word and deed, and keep a journal of each and every day.
  7. Thou shalt kill no scythe beyond thyself.
  8. Thou shalt claim no earthly possessions, save thy robes, ring, and journal.
  9. Thou shalt have neither spouse nor spawn.
  10. Thou shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these.

 

Advertisements

Thou Shalt Kill: Scythe by Neil Shusterman Review

A dark tale, overflowing at the brim with philosophical commentary, that traps its readers with likeable protagonists, unlikable antagonists, and a complex futuristic society. 

IMG_4658

MY RATING 5 STARS

Goodreads Synopsis:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Going into this book blind, I had no idea what to expect. #duh All I knew is that, Scythe had something to do death and that it was an amazing read.

I was NOT let down.

I think the most notable feature of Scythe is the structure. There is the normal storyline, but alongside this, there are a series of journal entries – which are written by the characters themselves. This extra addition allows the readers to delve deeper into their thoughts and motivations. These journal entries provide another layer of complexity and finesse to Shusterman’s writing, also, adding a slither of context to the subsequent chapter – which I thought was clever.

The atmosphere of Scythe was another aspect that I loved. Scarily realistic. There are points in the novel that mirror the current political climate and the inadequacies of the justice system, and I was SCREAMING out of frustration at these points. You just experience this sense of injustice for specific characters, and a sense of strong despise to other specific characters. Scythe perfectly summarises the corruption of modern governments around the world, while remaining fictional.

Scythe definitely had that Dystopian aura about it, and I would agree with Maggie Stiefvater that it’s a true successor to The Hunger Games. Scythe just had it all – the conflict, a unique plot, a love story, but never felt cringeworthy.

The characters in Scythe are…you know what, when I think about it, these characters aren’t the most interesting, but what IS interesting about them, is how they react to their environment. Both Citra and Roman are thrown into a situation that they would not necessarily see themselves in, and it’s how they reacted to it that intrigued me – that made me want to read more.

Citra, you’re typical Young-Adult protagonist; she’s snappy and hides her feelings – that’s a massive generalisation, but whatever. However, once thrown into the world of the Scythes, she changes and it’s for the better. Citra becomes a decisive, compassionate, and strong character; who by the way I NEED to know how her story continues in Thunderhead. What I found most notable, was her love for her brother – Ben. I enjoy when novels have strong sibling relationships, it always adds an extra level of interest to the story. Siblings ALWAYS have something unique going on – like Azula and Zuko have such an interesting dynamic – and in the case of Citra and Ben it’s unconditional love, and Ben is such a cinnamon roll.

There is a point in Scythe where Ben tells Citra a dream of his:

“I had a dream that you came to my school and gleaned all the jerks,” he told her.

“Really?” Citra said. “What colour were my robes?”

He hesitated. “Turquoise, I think.”

“Then that will be the colour I’ll choose.”

Ben beamed.

No doubt, that this is my favourite interaction between the two siblings. I won’t provide context, but if you’ve read Scythe, you’ll understand how cute this moment is.

Roman, a more well-rounded character to start with. He has a strong compassion for others, for example, staying with Kohl, the quarterback, and holding his hand, during his gleaning. Right from the start, Roman is a loveable character, but as the novel progresses, negative influences sway his judgement. In contrast to Citra, Roman does not have a strong familial connection to any of his family. One of nine, Roman is forgotten and overlooked, and he somewhat enjoys the attention that being thrust into the Scythe world brings. But, underneath all that, Roman remains true to himself. He definitely, for me, has the more intriguing storyline, but nonetheless, both, he and Citra, were an interesting pair of protagonists.

Now, the antagonists. Honourable Scythe Goddard and High Blade Xenocrates are extremely frustrating villains. One of my pet hates is entitlement and these two, as well as some of their followers, bathe in it. But, what is interesting about Goddard, is that he truly believes he’s right. It felt very reminiscent of the Red Lotus from the third season of The Legend of Korra. Every single scene that included these two characters, I was furious and annoyed – not in a bad way, but in an, ‘I hate how evil you are, but you’re such a good villain’ kind of way, does that even make sense?

Now, the world. I felt completely immersed in it. The thing is, Scythe doesn’t feel very different to ours. The ‘Thunderhead’ is referred to as an evolved ‘Cloud’ and the justice system is really no different to ours as well – everything is full of privilege, corruption, and collusion. What is also interesting, is death is no longer a problem. Humanity has evolved to a point where immortality CAN be achieved, but #surprise Scythes balance this out with their purpose to carry out death. And they have developed to a point where Scythes are feared and loved by all. It’s all very pathetic that everyone begs for the life when death is upon them, especially when they’re ageless anyway – no one ever welcomes death with open arms.

I think that’s enough. Overall I REALLY enjoyed Scythe and all I can think about is Thunderhead.

And, lets all not forget the ten Scythe Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt kill.
  2. Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry, or malice aforethought.
  3. Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming, and to anyone else you deem worthy.
  4. Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist.
  5. Thou shalt serve humanity for the full span of thy days, and thy family shall have immunity as recompense for as long as you live.
  6. Thou shalt lead an exemplary life in word and deed, and keep a journal of each and every day.
  7. Thou shalt kill no scythe beyond thyself.
  8. Thou shalt claim no earthly possessions, save thy robes, ring, and journal.
  9. Thou shalt have neither spouse nor spawn.
  10. Thou shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these.

LifeL1k3 by Jay Kristoff Review

LifeL1k3 is an action-packed masterpiece that entraps its audience with likeable characters and a page-turning story. Jay Kristoff has created a fun new spin on the typical Young Adult Sci-Fi.

IMG_4441

My Rating 4.5 STARS

I think we all know that sci-fi is one of my favourites genres. I might not have read a lot of it, but I’ve definetly watched my fair share of sci-fi films. LifeL1k3 has managed to combine a lot of my favourite films into one piece of fiction. The first chapter is a classic staple in any post-apocalyptic story. I mean? Giant robots fighting each other…But, regardless, the scene starts the novel on a high note, introducing our protagonist Evie.

Here’s the thing – I always comment on this – protagonists aren’t always my favourite, and that’s the case here. Evie starts off as a one-dimensional character. In my opinion, she is nothing more than a mechanist. Now, don’t let that description discourage you from reading, bear with me. Evie becomes one of the most interesting characters, and the ending really makes me want to find out whats next for her. The evolution that Evie experiences, and without any spoilers, the character than she becomes, is by far the biggest 180 ever. (Thanks @trufflebooks for that term.) If I were to make a comparison, Evie is a combination of Alice (Resident Evil), Furiosa (Mad Max), and Juliet (Romeo and Juliet). Another thing, this story is honestly Anastasia…I’ll let you decide what that means.

Then we get to side characters.

Lemon Fresh. Let me tell you about Lemon Fresh. She, out of every character in LifeL1f3, had my favourite storyline. Every scene that she was in, I enjoyed. She just added this aura of positivity and joy, Lemon added a zing to every chapter. (Get it? Zing…) Another thing, I was always questioning her actions, her secrets, and her motives. Lemon was THAT character. The character I wanted to know more about. Everything does eventually reveal itself, but still I was drawn to her charatcer right from the start.

Ezekiel. He definetly felt like a Stefan Slavatore or a Jace Herondale to me. I mean I liked his character, but I didn’t love his character. There isn’t much that I can say about him. (That sounds harsh, whoops.)

Silas, Cricket, and Kaiser. Each of these characters have my heart. Especially, Cricket. Very reminiscent of Dobby, and that is saying a lot. He, much like Lemon, adds a positive aura to every scene he’s in.

Now, let’s get into the plot. Talk about one of the most intruguing plots ever. Very Mad Max inspired and Blade Runner, I can see why those are referenced on the cover. I could not stop reading, LifeL1f3 is a novel that you WANT to know what happens next. The anticipation is painful, especially when responsibilties get in the way and you HAVE to put down the book.

I’m just really excited for more people to read this. It’s a culmination of some of the best sci-fi stories ever.

And yes, there is always going to be romance in a story. Here, the romance is a journey. As the reader, the romance slowly develops, not so much a slow burn, but it creeps into the story.  There are peaks and there are valleys. At times I gagged, and at times I swooned.

But, one of the best dynamics in the story is, hands down, Silas and Lemon Fresh. It’s a relationship that, I would hope, everyone can relate to. It’s just a warm, happy, cute interaction between the two characters. Don’t worry, its completely platonic – don’t get any ideas. Lemon Fresh just deserves the world. And you also have to read the book to be able to understand the awesomeness that is their dynamic. It’s my favourite part of LifeL1f3.

I really feel that this ‘review’ has gone on for a bit too long. But, I wanted to just mention that the villains in this story are SOLID. So complex and well-thought-out. Preacher is a ruthless character. Every time he showed up, I was like “Can’t these characters catch a break.” That’s all I’ll say.

LifeL1k3 will now be added to my all-time favourite shelf, and I am DEFINITELY looking forward to the next installment.

Goodreads Synopsis

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Hope Warms the Coldest Night: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas Review

A Court of Frost and Starlight manages to be underwhelming, disappointing, and yet fulfilling simultaneously. Sarah J Maas has encapsulated her readers, enabling an automatic buy reputation for sub-par content.

IMG_4283

My Rating 3.5 STARS

Too brutal? #sorrynotsorry There was an undeniable sense of anticipation for this novella. I had hopes and dreams. I was looking up to the stars and wishing. I’m not saying that this was bad, but I was whelmed throughout the majority of the story.

It’s been over a week since reading ACOFAS. I’ve been able to develop my thoughts and reflect on my original feelings towards it. A lot of people have emphasised the NOVELLAness of ACOFAS, and I can admit that having that mindset allows me to not judge this AS harshly. I do want to question the purpose of the story, what was the goal? Yes, there were elements of the story that left me emotional, but as an overall storyline, it does not connect with anything. ACOFAS is meant to discuss the aftermath of the war, but I felt that the characters were too preoccupied with the Winter Solstice to allow for that to happen.

That’s my main critique, there are others, but I’ll discuss those further down.

What I really enjoyed was the conversation of Feyre and her battle with PTSD, this whole arc felt most natural and genuine to me. Her developing interaction with Ressina is something that I can most definitely read more of. Feyre’s troubles with her art, which many of us can relate to, allowed me as a reader to connect to her character more.

Also, I love the latter half of this novella. The Inner Circle has one of my favourite dynamics in any book I’ve ever read. They are a family. They’ve gone through many trials and tribulations together and they’ve all made it out, TOGETHER. Side note: how dramatic would it have been if Rhysand died at the end of ACOWAR. That would have broken me. This concept was touched on in ACOFAS, but I wish that it was delved into further; Feyre becoming that overprotective partner, in comparison to Rhysand and how he typically acts. Back to the Inner Circle. Cassian, mainly, had some of my favourite moments in the novella. The Illyrian camps and Emerie, though only having a short scene, Emerie is a character that I want more from. Her interactions with Cassian made my heart sing. We all know that Nesta is in a mood and I think Cassian should just drop her and go with Emerie. Both Emerie and Nesta have had their lives drastically changed and one definitely is dealing with it better than the other.

Let’s just all talk a moment.

THE. WALL. SCENE. Even though I suffered from second-hand embarassment, it was well worth the wait. On the other hand, that constant need for sex was WAY overdone. Another thing, Rhysand didn’t have the same aura about him, compared to ACOMAF. To me, he regressed as a character, while Feyre progressed. There’s a point in the story, page 72, where Rhysand swears. I know this is nit-picking, but since when is Rhys a foul-mouth? To me, it didn’t feel genuine to his character.

Let’s all just take another moment.

My favourite line in the whole novella, “She would have loved you.” Page 199. My heart literally shattered. Out of all the lines in the whole series, THIS will, so far, forever be my favourite line.  It has so many emotional connotations and I was like #tear #doubletear Feyre replying, “I would have loved her,” just tore my heart out of my chest. The whole conversation surrounding Rhysand’s mother, and even his sister, is something that I wish would become a book or novella. The events before ACOTAR, back when Rhysand, Azriel, and Cassian were younglings would be a perfect story.

I think that’s really all I want to talk about. I was overall whelmed by ACOFAS, don’t @ me if your thoughts don’t align with mine. But, for me, it was a 3.5. And, do I think you have to read this for storyline purposes? No, I don’t. Would you want to read this in order for your emotions to be broken? Yes, you would.

Goodreads Synopsis

Feyre, Rhys, and their close-knit circle of friends are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have a far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

Welcome To The City of Sin: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody Review

Ace of Shades, a phenomenal story that pairs morally grey characters and gut-wrenching anticipation. Amanda Foody has written a masterpiece reigniting a love for Young-Adult Fiction. 

IMG_4298MY RATING 4.5 STARS

I want to start off by commenting on the structure of the storyline. Separated into ten days, ten parts, Ace of Shades is incredibly fast-paced. Although, I will say that the introductory portion of the novel was a bit slow, mainly getting familiar with the magic-system and social classes. But, besides that, all plot points move seamlessly between each other. Chapters end on a high and nothing feels irrelevant. Ace of Shades is a page-turner, personally, I finished it in two sittings, and could not put it down.

There were several aspects of Ace of Shades that I loved. One of those being the relationship that ‘develops’ between the two protagonists, Enne and Levi. Definitely a slow-burn type of dynamic, which I am a sucker for. But, beyond this dynamic, the two characters are unique, strong, and interesting. There is no point that these characters are defined by their ‘relationship’.

Enne is one of the most well-developed characters I’ve read in a while. I will admit, that she was not my favourite at the beginning of the novel, but she evolved into a weirdly satisfyingly complex character. @dontgobrekkermyheart on Instagram frequently talked about how Ace of Shades is full of morally grey characters, and Enne completely embodies that term. Going from an innocent tourist bent on finding her mother, to a ruthless, independent, and badass woman. I was presently surprised by her development. For one, reading the synopsis you wouldn’t expect the outcome of her character – sorry, but you have to read the book to understand.

Moving forward to Levi. Boy, if Levi does not have my heart, I do not know who does. My bisexual Lord immediately grasped my attention. Right from the start, I was intrigued by his story –  a lot of people make this comparison, but he has a Kaz Brekker vibe – although, he is completely his own. Much like Enne, Levi has that morally grey side. Towards the end of the novel, I felt complete anguish for this character, even for Enne. Both of them, I was rooting for. Everyone talks about becoming connected to characters and being able to share their wants and need. Ace of Shades was that book. It had me wanting these characters to achieve their goals, and not a lot of books have done that for me.

The one thing – ONE THING – that I found difficult about Ace of Shades was the magic system. Now, don’t @ me on this. It was only the introductory portion of the magic-system that felt muddled for me, and as the story progressed, everything fell into place. In saying that, the whole system was both unique and interesting. Having never read anything like it before, but I will say it does have an Avatar: The Last Airbender vibe – because paternity/ maternity decided which element you could bend. Here, in Ace of Shades, has that vibe, for example, Enne Abacus Salta, she has a dancing talent from one side of her family and a counting talent from the other. Also, within those talents, there is a kind of scale to how good a dancer one could be. It’s very simple, yet complex, took me a bit to understand.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to talk about. Ace of Shades has become a new favourite, and I will definitely be reading the next book – please let it come soon.

Goodreads Synopsis

Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unravelling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

 

Circe by Madeline Miller Review

IMG_4016.JPG

My Rating: 3.5 STARS

Goodreads synopsis:

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

I went into this story not really knowing anything. I really based my purchase on two things. The first was the cover because it is beautiful, and the second was the hype, I had seen this book all over bookstagram and decided to see what it was like myself.

Circe was somewhat of a let down for me. The novel has an amazing premise, with its Greek mythology and badass witch protagonist, but it lacks interest for me. The first 100 pages were uneventful and left me wondering, “Is this book worth my time?” But, beyond that point, I have to say, things began to escalate. Circe became a character that I could get on board with. Up until this point, Circe felt like a one-dimensional character.

Chapter 10 was definitely a point that shifted the story and introduced a side to Circe that went beyond the persona we already knew. Being with her sister opened this sense of vulnerability and as a reader, I resonated with Circe, she became relatable.

I feel that Circe embodied the underdog. She was always undermined and ignored. There is a moment where she says, “It is likely that you are not a witch…But you are something else. Something that you have not found yet.” We follow Circe throughout her years, she has several moments of doubt and upon finding her niche, she flourishes. She represents a large majority of today’s population. I just think it was a nice addition to her character and it felt right that she delivered this quote.

The overarching plot of this story is not existent. I felt that each chapter was a miniature plot and there wasn’t really a major plotline for Circe. What I did feel though, was that her character development was that major plotline.

My main source of enjoyment was the excessive amount of Greek mythology. As a lover of anything related to the subject, I heavily enjoyed the perspective that Circe gave to me as a reader. Normally stories are told from the heroes point of view, e.g. Odysseus, and here I feel that Circe is an unbiased storyteller, usually an NPC, here she provides a unique perspective.

Circe remained unapologetic throughout the entirety of the story and believed in her abilities. I for one want her confidence. The last paragraph of the novel was definitely a natural progression of her character and the ending was perfect, in my opinion.

Just to reiterate, the first 100 pages were not my favourite. They lacked action and interest and ultimately felt like filler for me. That first third of the story just introduced Circe as a character. Looking back I can see the relevance to those pages, but at the time of reading, it felt like I was climbing a mountain.  I reached the peak eventually and from that point on the story progressed at a nice rate and found its way to a perfect ending.

I would feel inclined to discuss this with people who have read the book, but I wouldn’t be dying for people to read it. By all means, read Circe, but maybe just read after the 100-page mark.

Happy reading,

Jakob.

20 Questions Books Tag!

Thank you so much to A Court of Crowns and Quills for tagging me to do the 20 Questions Book Tag! Please check out her blog because she is so cool and her photos are colour central.

Okay, this was definitely a fun break from reviews, and I really enjoyed answering these questions! I tag anyone who wants to do this tag!

1. How many books is too many books in a book series?

I think it depends on the series itself. For example, Throne of Glass is a series that calls for that amount of books, but I feel that the ACOTAR series should’ve stopped at the third book. These spin-offs that are being done don’t feel necessary to me, even though I will be reading them. It just depends on the storyline really, I don’t like it when authors try to stretch things out too far.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

HATE EM. If something requires a cliffhanger to retain my interest, then what was the point of the book? If a book can stand in its own right and have a solid ending, then naturally I’ll be wanting to read the next book.

3. Hardback or paperback?

I REALLY LOVE HARDBACKS, but living in Australia, where paperback is the majority, it’s difficult to purchase hardbacks. AND they’re so much more expensive than paperbacks, but if I really love a book I’ll most likely purchase it in hardback; as was the case for the Six of Crows duology.

IMG_1889.JPG

4. Favourite book?

This is for sure the easiest question. Right now, Crooked Kingdom is hands down my favourite book. It has everything that I love in a book. It’s fantasy, has a solid setting, a great magic system, amazing characters AND Dirtyhands.

5. Least favourite book?

The Battlemage. Horrible ending to a sub-par trilogy. This series had so much potential, but the writing let it down. Everything felt convenient, and the ending felt too easy and sudden. This is a case where the series could’ve had another book, a fourth book, it would’ve allowed for more development.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

No. If it’s something like Bella/ Edward/ Jacob than no. Love triangles that are well-developed and well-written are bearable, but I feel like there’s so much more that can be done. Love triangles are old news and need to die.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

I’ve never not finished a book. It’s just not something that I can do, but then again I only began reading this intensely last year. But, right now I’m reading Circe and it’s very hard to get through.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

Currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller, and I’m so annoyed. All this hype and I’m not liking the book. It’s very frustrating because it’s Greek mythology and I love Greek mythology. I’ll be sharing my thoughts in a review soon.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

The ACOTAR trilogy. Only because I wanted my friend to read ACOMAF, another favourite book of mine, and I wanted to know her thoughts on the issues with this trilogy. She didn’t hold back.

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

I’m not one for classics. They’re boring, well from what I’ve heard. But, I think the oldest book I’ve read, according to Goodreads is The Diary of Anne Frank. Which is weird and way out of my normal genre.

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

According to Goodreads, it’s Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and this book is one for the ages. Talk about a fantastic Fantasy. I have a review here on my blog if you want to check it out.

IMG_3749.JPG

12. Favourite author?

I’m just going to list a bunch: Leigh Bardugo is No. 1, Jennifer Niven, Jay Kristoff, Sabaa Tahir, Laini Taylor, S.A. Chakraborty is a new favourite, Marie Lu, and Pierce Brown.

IMG_3708.JPG

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

I don’t live anywhere close to a Library, but I really do prefer to own my own copies of books. It just makes me feel like they’re mine.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

The Summoner Series. I mean I don’t know if everyone loves it, but it’s the only series I don’t like. It’s not on my shelves, it’s in my cupboard and I’ll most likely donate the series soon. I was just disappointed with how everything turned out.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks. I would never mutilate my books.

16. A book you can always reread?

The Six of Crows duology, ACOMAF, and even though it’s my first time reading Harry Potter, I know that I could reread that series over and over.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

I prefer silence, but I can read with background noise. Like, I’ll be reading a book and have Kung Fu Panda on in the background. As long as something familiar is on I can read till my heart’s content, but if a new movie or show is on, then I’ll want to know what happens. You know what I mean?

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)

It depends. But recently, books with multiple POV’s are mostly what I’ve been reading. I guess I do prefer them, it breaks up the book and allows for more opportunities to experience the world.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

If I like what I’m reading and MUST know how things turn out, I’ll stay up to finish it. But, if I’m like meh, then it could talk me a while to read it.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

Much like A Court of Crowns and Quills, Strange the Dreamer was one book I bought because of the cover. The City of Brass is another standout. I have a review for it on my blog, here.

IMG_3341.JPG

And that’s it! That was actually really fun.