Review of “Kingdom of Ash” by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Kingdom of Ash
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #7
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 984
Published: 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing
My Grade: 5 out of 5 worlds

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

 

MY REVIEW

I don’t like finishing series. Especially not one of my all time favorites. Many years ago one of my mom’s friends told me about this series. At that time, there were only two or maybe three books published and Maas had a long way to go before this series was done. Fortunately for me, and all other fans, I didn’t have to wait unreasonably long between each book (unlike other great authors who can’t seem to keep the years between releases under a decade). And when it was teo years between, she released a book in her other series A Court of Thorns and Roses which is also one of the best I have ever read! And on that note, before I start reviewing this thousand page brick, she managed to intertwine these two series in a perfect way. It was a spoiler, but I guess I knew that would happen anyway. But it was fun that she did that, the characters of the both series briefly meeting and helping each other, or at least one helping the other.

This book was long, 273k words to be exact. That is insane. No wonder it took me forever to finish it (also because I have been writing non-stop during November-January instead of reading). But it was worth every page. There was so much to be wrapped up and she did it really well. Many battles, many plot twists, many unpredictable saves. It was exactly what you’d expect after reading all of the other books in this series.

I still think that it is kind of silly that all main characters end up together as couples and all the relationships starts with trouble but turns out to be destined to be. It doesn’t really feel like that fits with reality right now, if that makes sense. But I did like that the focus was more on the events this time, not the trying-to-write-sexy-thing she did a few books back where the sex scenes just became a bit awkward.

Something that I have noticed, but not quite sure if if bothers me or if it is really, really smart of her as an author, is that she doesn’t write everything. She leaves out huge parts where Aelin for the most part, is plotting and making plans and they are not even mentioned the slightest until it saves the day. It makes it very unpredictable, but after seven books, you kind of know that Aelin’s secret plans will save the day, somehow.

But overall, the ending was great, all thousand pages of it. I am sad that this was the end and I truly hope Maas will write a new similar series. I get the same kind of cozy fantasy feeling from both Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses and I hope that she will find some new inspiration toward a new series with the same feeling. It is new, it is original. I call it good-feeling-fantasy and this is what I am trying to aspire in my own book that I am currently writing. This feel-good sensation while it at the same time feels hopeless and you can’t stop wondering how more messed up the plot can become.

I have to say though, that intertwining of her two series was a true delight, so I suggest you read all of those books before reading this. Otherwise you will miss it and just have an amazing book behind you. The whole series gets a five out of five! Easy!

Review of “Mortal Coil” by Derek Landy

Title: Mortal Coil
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #45
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 604
Published: 2010, HarperCollins
My Grade: 4 out of 5 remnants

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Following the shocking revelations of DARK DAYS, get ready for the fifth instalment of the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series — guaranteed to contain at least 40% humour, 50% action, and 100% thrills!

The blonde girl with the black lips turned to Valkyrie. ‘We know,’ she said. ‘We’ve seen the future. We know you’re going to kill the world!’

Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back — just in time to see their whole world get turned upside down! While they struggle to protect a known killer from an unstoppable assassin, Valkyrie is on a secret mission of her own. This quest, to prevent her dark and murderous destiny, threatens to take her to the brink of death and beyond. And then the body-snatching Remnants get loose, thousands of twisted souls who possess the living like puppets, and they begin their search for a being powerful enough to lead them. Facing such insurmountable odds, Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly and Tanith can trust no one. Not even each other!

MY REVIEW

Not even halfway through this series and it is already going very very badly for everyone. How will it end?

It took me almost a month and a half to finish this. Perhaps I wasn’t in a reading mode this summer, or I actually might have gotten a little tired of it. I enjoyed it and I smiled widely at some remarks but I found it hard to concentrate. Was it too much action? Too much going on all the time? I generally feel that fighting scenes in books are hard for me to follow. And there were a lot of them in this fifth book in Skulduggery Pleasant series. I will take a break now from it because another book was just released and other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while. But, Landy is so good at writing cliffhangers. It’s insane. The last one, in the fourth book, was intense and very surprising. And so was this, not as strong though.

Many people died and one thing that bothered me was that it was so casual. As a reader, I barely even noticed that they died. Some books have made me cry out in the open while reading about someone who almost died. But this, with characters I liked, nada. Neither did the characters left alive feel anything. It felt unreal.

Something Landy is really good at, is connecting everything. I didn’t really look for plot holes, but it is very obvious that he has put in a lot of thought into everything. Everything written has a meaning and that is very enjoyable. There most likely are some plot holes, but they are hidden and not very noticable.

I will take a short break in this series and read a couple or three other books. I hope I will have something more constructive to write about #6 when I haven’t almost straight-read all previous ones.

It gets a four out of five.

Review of “Dark Days” by Derek Landy

Title: Dark Days
Author: Derek Landy
Series: Skulduggery Pleasant #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 419
Published: 2010, HarperCollins
My Grade: 3.5 out of 5 villains

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Skulduggery Pleasant is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possibly survive? (Yes, all right, he’s already dead. But still.)

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior.

Oh yes. And dead.

Skulduggery Pleasant is gone, sucked into a parallel dimension overrun by the Faceless Ones. If his bones haven’t already been turned to dust, chances are he’s insane, driven out of his mind by the horror of the ancient gods. There is no official, Sanctuary-approved rescue mission. There is no official plan to save him.

But Valkyrie’s never had much time for plans.

The problem is, even if she can get Skulduggery back, there might not be much left for him to return to. There’s a gang of villains bent on destroying the Sanctuary, there are some very powerful people who want Valkyrie dead, and as if all that wasn’t enough it looks very likely that a sorcerer named Darquesse is going to kill the world and everyone on it.

Skulduggery is gone. All our hopes rest with Valkyrie. The world’s weight is on her shoulders, and its fate is in her hands.

These are dark days indeed.

MY REVIEW

My general feeling about Dark Days is that this is mostly an in-between-book. That this book is only taking you from the previous and transporting you to the next. Som big reveals, recurring characters, but nothing really new.

I did really enjoy the first part, where Valkyrie tries to save Skulduggery in the dimension of The Faceless Ones. That was new and interesting and fun, after that it basically only felt lika a transportation from book 3 to book 5.

Still very entertaining and I smiled several times while reading. As usual.

Review of “The Fates Divide” by Veronica Roth

Title: The Fates Divide
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Carve the Mark #2
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 450
Published: 2018, Katherine Tegen Books
My Grade: 4.5 out of 5 stars

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Fate brought them together. Now it will divide them.

The lives of Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth are ruled by their fates, spoken by the oracles at their births. The fates, once determined, are inescapable.

Akos is in love with Cyra, in spite of his fate: He will die in service to Cyra’s family. And when Cyra’s father, Lazmet Noavek—a soulless tyrant, thought to be dead—reclaims the Shotet throne, Akos believes his end is closer than ever.

As Lazmet ignites a barbaric war, Cyra and Akos are desperate to stop him at any cost. For Cyra, that could mean taking the life of the man who may—or may not—be her father. For Akos, it could mean giving his own. In a stunning twist, the two will discover how fate defines their lives in ways most unexpected.

With the addition of two powerful new voices, Veronica Roth’s sequel to Carve the Mark is a chorus of hope, humor, faith, and resilience.

 

MY REVIEW

Carve ther mark might not have been my favorite book, but I really liked the plot and I knew I would instantly give The Fates Divide a chance when it was released. I waited a couple of months to read it. And I have to say that it kind of felt that Veronica read my previous review and did something about it. It was so much easier to read, the distinctions between the different characters writing style made it easy to see who was in the spotlight at the moment (if you somehow forgot what the chapter name was). The world got more colorful with more and more thorough descriptions. I had no problem seeing everything in my head.

The plot continued in the same way as Carve the Mark left it. Still as good, still not unecessarily twisted or complicated.

It was a great end in this duology and it raises the grade by 1.5 points up to a 4.5 out of 5.

Review of “The Time Paradox” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Time Paradox
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #6
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 391
Published: 2008, Puffin Books
My Grade: 4 out of 5 monkeys

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

After disappearing for three years, Artemis Fowl has returned to a life different from the one he left. Now he’s a big brother, and spends his days teaching his twin siblings the important things in life, such as how to properly summon a waiter at a French restaurant.

But when Artemis Fowl’s mother contracts a life-threatening illness, his world is turned upside down. The only hope for a cure lies in the brain fluid of the silky sifaka lemur. Unfortunately, the animal is extinct due to a heartless bargain Artemis himself made as a younger boy.

Though the odds are stacked against him, Artemis is not willing to give up. With the help of his fairy friends, the young genius travels back in time to save the lemur and bring it back to the present. But to do so, Artemis will have to defeat a maniacal poacher, who has set his sights on new prey: Holly Short.

The rules of time travel are far from simple, but to save his mother, Artemis will have to break them all.and outsmart his most cunning adversary yet: Artemis Fowl, age ten.

MY REVIEW

Another Artemis Fowl book devoured but different than the rest. I think I was a little bit afraid that all the books would be the same. The young, criminal master mind who was selfish like no other, always coming up with new schemes, the next one more thoroughly thought through than the last. But no. This was what I assume that I thought after reading The Arctic Incident three years ago. I am glad I was wrong and took up this series again. It is really good!

The Time Paradox is kind of obviously about time travel to save his dying mom. And for once, he dives headfirst into this adventure without having a real plan. I am guessing that he is truly stressed about his mom and therefore acts recklessly. It turns out well in the end anyway, obviously, but it takes a while and many events to get there. It was entertaining to read about an Artemis who didn’t have a plan yet still solved everything, after many ifs and buts. I also like how he is developing into a young adult who have feelings.

Even if it was good, it does not quite feel like a five, so it gets a 4.

Review of “The Lost Colony” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Lost Colony
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #5
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 385
Published: 2006, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 demons

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear that they could not win, all of the faeries moved below ground—all except for the 8th family, the demons. Rather than surrender, they used a magical time spell to take their colony out of time and into Limbo. There they have lived for decades, planning their violent revenge on humans.

Now the time spell is unraveling, and demons are beginning to materialize without warning on Earth. If humans were to find out about them, all faeries would be exposed. To protect themselves, the faeries must predict when the next demon will materialize. But in order to do so, they will have to decipher temporal equations so complicated, even a great brain like Foaly can’t understand them. But he knows someone who can: Artemis Fowl.

So when a confused and frightened demon imp pops appears in a Sicilian theater, Artemis is there to meet him. But he is not alone. Someone else has unlocked the secrets of the fairy world and managed to solve complex mathematical problems that only a genius could. And she is only twelve years old…

MY REVIEW

Goodreads says that The Lost Colony was shorter than The Opal Deception, yet I really got the feeling that this was a longer book. Maybe because it contained so many events and so much action? The other books have so far focused on a few happenings, while this one took place in other dimensions and through time travel. Quite different as well. For once it felt like Artemis wasn’t in control the whole time and is so great to se him develop sympathy feelings and actually becoming a good guy.

As usual, Eoin Colfer is very throrough with details but for the first time I got the impression that he writes, and whenever he stumbles onto something that could be a plot hole, he gives the characters the ability to deal with it. Either the characters are extremely detailed and have a long list each of stuff they can do or have, or Colfer comes up with solutions as he goes. Although, it works and it doesn’t feel like a last resort.

The ending was great and I will start with the next one right away. The Lost Colony gets a 5!

Review of “The Opal Deception” by Eoin Colfer

Title: The Opal Deception
Author: Eoin Colfer
Series: Artemis Fowl #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Published: 2005, Puffin Books
My Grade: 5 out of 5 probes

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The evil pixie Opal Koboi has spent the last year in a self-induced coma, plotting her revenge on all those who foiled her attempt to destroy the LEPrecon fairy police. And Artemis Fowl is at the top of her list.

After his last run-in with the fairies, Artemis had his mind wiped of his memories of the world belowground. But they have not forgotten about him. Once again, he must stop the human and fairy worlds from colliding—only this time, Artemis faces an enemy who may have finally outsmarted him.

MY REVIEW

This was a really clever book. A  lot of thought must have been put into it. The whole thing is about Opal Koboi, the pixie who started the goblin rebellion in the second book, and her way to revenge after Artemis stopped her. It constantly looks very dark for the usual gang, but it was fun to read about another mastermind who had everything planned out and seemed to succeed. Spoiler alert! Of course she didn’t, then that would have been the end of the series and we all know that there are several more.

Because it felt so thorough, it actually gets a 5.