A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Champion (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 16 on My Book List 2021

“Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”

I just wrote down that quote and I’m already bawling my eyes out… again! T_T Marie Lu certainly killed me with that ending. It’s like a shot in the heart and I’m still not over it and this even though I finished “Champion” about a month ago. Jeez! A month and my feelings are still all over the place. Yes, it was THAT good! T_T I don’t think I’ll get over it anytime soon. Well, maybe if I borrow “Rebel” from the library and replace the ending of this book with new information from the fourth instalment.

Seriously, I hope this will work because I can’t live with the ending of “Champion”. Does this sound a little bit too dramatic? Well, for me it is! Anyway, let’s get back to the overall review. When I began to read this book I thought that it would be mostly about June and Day because Commander Jameson and Thomas were finally out of the picture. Unfortunately the Colonies decided they wanted a piece of the cake that is the Republic and used the plague as a cause to invade it. Which basically meant that our infamous OTP is forced to fight against them while Day’s health is slowly deteriorating. And this just broke my heart! T_T

Of course there were a lot of plot twists I didn’t see coming even though I probably should have known better because Marie Lu is very adept at throwing them with the biggest impact. This said, the pacing of the book was slower this time around and there wasn’t as much action as in the first two books. I think this was realistic though because 1.) This book was more character driven than its predecessors and 2.) Day’s condition just didn’t give enough room to go for unrealistic action scenes. Still, despite all that “Champion” was a great finale and I can’t wait to dive into my characters section, which I’m going to do right now because I have feelings that need to pour out!

2

You are entering Antarctica the country of modern technology and progress. Be careful, though, not everything is as shiny as it seems and there might be backstabbing spoilers ahead of you. 😉

June:

June sees the hesitation on my face and knows it’s a confirmation of her fear. She bites her lip. “It’s my fault,” she says, as if it’s just simple logic. “And I’m not sure I will ever be able to earn your forgiveness. I shouldn’t.”

June broke my freaking heart. She stabbed me with her knife and left me bleeding all over the floor and the thing is, I can’t even be angry at her?! It might have killed me but she grew so much as a character and I can’t really hold it against her. She knows that her actions were unforgivable and that they hurt Day, yet she can’t change anything about it. Add Anden and his advances to the picture as well and you have a really confused girl that doesn’t know what to do. XD I kinda liked to see that side of her though because it was in total contrast to the girl she was in the first book. She learned to deal with her emotions while still being a badass soldier and the combination of both is just sexy. *lol* Still, the sacrifice she made in the end killed me and I basically yelled at the pages! >_<

”Now fate has handed the solution to me on a silver platter – Day survived his ordeal, and in return, I need to step out of his life. Even though he looks at me now like a stranger, he no longer has the look of pain and tragedy that always seemed to come with the passion and love he gazed at me with. Now he is free.
He is free of us, leaving me as the only bearer of our past’s burden.”

Day:

”I feel so out of place among these aristocrats, with their bank accounts and posh manners. No matter how much money the Republic throws at me, I will forever be the boy from the streets.”

*screams in heartbreak* Day crying alone in the abandoned kitchen of his family’s old house was legit one of the saddest moments in this series. T_T Gosh! Where to start?! Day suffered so much in this series already and to see how he got weaker and weaker with every passing day just killed me. I think after finishing “Prodigy” I was kind of in denial and thought that his brain tumour might just be a cruel way to keep him in line. But no… Marie Lu actually went through with it and I died about a thousand deaths. To see how his health deteriorated was so painful and yet still he worried about Eden and June and the people of the Republic. If anyone ever needed proof that Day is an angel: Well, this is it! I mean despite everything he still fought for what he believed in and gave it everything. I just can’t with this precious boy! <333

”What makes me lose my breath, though, is that he’s leaning heavily on a pair of crutches. How long has he been here? He looks exhausted, pale, and distant. I wonder what new drugs the doctors are trying on him. The thought is a sudden, stabbing reminder of Day’s waning life, the few seconds he has left, slowly ticking by.”

”My heart’s been torn wide open, just like I feared it would be, and i have no willpower to close it back up. Any barrier I might’ve succeeded in putting up around myself, any resistance I might’ve built up against my feelings for her, is now completely gone. Shattered.”

”Help me,” I whisper desperately to the empty room. “I can’t do this.” I want to, I love her, but I can’t bear it. It’s been almost a year. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just move on?”

”The Republic is weak and broken.” I narrow my eyes. “But it is still your country. Fight for it. This is your home, not theirs.”

”You and I will probably never get a chance to meet. But I know you. You have taught me about all the good things in my life, and why I’ve fought for my family all these years. I hope for great things for your own loved ones, that they can go through life without suffering the way mine have.”

Anden:

”I don’t want to hear anyone else right now. I want to hear you. You are the heart of the people, Day – you always have been. You’ve given everything you have in order to protect them.” Day stiffens beside me, but Anden goes on. “I fear for the people. I worry about their safety, that we’ll be handing them over to the enemy just as we’re starting to put the pieces together.”

You know, Anden is actually a very decent guy. I really liked him and I appreciated that he trusted Day so much. He’s exactly the kind of elector the Republic needed and I’m sure he will do a great job at guiding his country into the future. If anyone can do it, it’s him! He cares for his people and he only wants the best for them. This makes him already very different to his father and I loved that about him. Plus he’s a good loser! He knew exactly that June’s heart was with Day but he never resented her for it. Quite the contrary, he accepted his defeat with dignity and there aren’t many people who would have been able to do so. I guess I’m an Anden fan now. =)

”I envy Day, you know,” he says, his voice as soft as ever. “I’m jealous that he gets to make decisions with his heart. Every choice he makes is honest, and the people love him for it. He can afford to use his heart.”

”You are a soldier, Ms. Iparis, through and through – but it has been an honor to see you as a Princeps-Elect.” The Elector of the Republic bows to me. “Whatever happens from here, I hope you remember that.”

3

June & Day:

Half of my heart is breaking at the pain on her face; the other half, I realize guiltily, is swelling with happiness to know that she still cares. There’s love in her tragic words, in the folds of that thin metal ring. Isn’t there?
Finally, I take a deep breath. “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”

Talk about star-crossed lovers! I swear Marie Lu is a master at giving us star-crossed love stories. She seems to love to kill us and I have yet to come across a Marie Lu series that doesn’t stab me with the feels. I mean THOSE TWO… I CAN’T!!! T_T My freaking heart got stabbed repeatedly just to shrivel into a little black pea at the ending of the book. Because unlike the majority of this planet named earth I JUST CAN’T with bittersweet endings like that! Like ARADKAFJASDFKASJFAKSDFJSDADKF! 10 YEARS??!!! Are you freaking kidding me?!! I’m having a déjà vu now because I just remembered the ending of Pirates of the Carribean 3. And my reaction back then was basically the same. >_< Didn’t we suffer enough already, Marie!? Why did you have to do this?!! ARGH!!!! *has a mental breakdown* Okay, I’m fine. *says it like Neil Josten* Also is it just me or did June really never tell him that she loves him?!! ARGHIIIIIIIIIIIII! If she doesn’t say it in “Rebel” I’m probably gonna die! Yep, I’m THAT invested! I mean I understand why June didn’t and let him go in the end but still… I’m fine. Totally. T_T

”Has it really been so long since the last time we kissed? Have I really missed him this much? Have all the problems threatening to crush us both weakened us to the point where we are gasping for breath, clinging desperately to each other for survival? I’ve forgotten how right it feels to be in his arms.”

”Why do I do this to myself? I see you and feel such – “ He has tears in his eyes now. The sight is more than I can bear. He takes two steps away from me and then turns back like a caged animal. “Do you even love me?” he suddenly asks. He grips both of my shoulders. “I’ve said it to you before, and I still mean it. But I’ve never heard it from you. I can’t tell. And then you give me this ring” – he pauses to hold his hand up – “and I don’t know what to think anymore.”

Day just smiles at me, an expression so sad that it breaks through my numbness, and I begin to cry. Those bright blue eyes. Before me is the boy who has bandaged my wounds on the streets of Lake, who has guarded his family with every bone in his body, who has stayed by my side in spite of everything, the boy of light and laughter and life, of grief and fury and passion, the boy whose fate is intertwined with mine, forever and always.
“I love you,” he whispers. “Can you stay awhile?”

”I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”

”It’s you,” he whispers. There is wonder in his voice.
“Is it?” I whisper back, my voice trembling with all the emotions I’ve kept hidden for so long.
Day is so close, and his eyes are so bright. “I hope,” he replies softly, “to get to know you again. If you are open to it. There is a fog around you that I would like to clear away.”

Tess & Day:

”What were my last words to her … back when we had botched the Patriot’s assassination attempt on Anden? Please, Tess – I can’t leave you here. But that’s exactly what I did.
I turn away, taking another drag on my cigarette. Do I miss her? “Every day,” I reply.

I’m so glad they resolved their differences and finally had this dire needed talk! They had to sort their feelings first and needed to talk things out properly. Also it made me happy to know that Tess was there for Day and accompanied him on his difficult way. To be honest it was kind of sad to hear that they didn’t have as much contact ten years after, but then I guess that’s life and it was very realistic that they kind of grew apart over time. I mean they obviously still kept contact but it was different than their super close relationship as teens. Still, I’ll always be happy they reconciled. =)

I swallow hard and look down. “but I don’t love you the way you want me to. I’m sorry if I ever gave you the wrong impression. I don’t think I’ve ever treated you as well as you deserve.” My heart twists painfully as the words leave my mouth, striking her as they do. “So don’t be sorry. It’s my fault, not yours.”

”When the entire world turned its back on me and left me to die, you took me in. You were the one person who cared about what might happen to me. You were everything. Everything. You became my entire family – you were my parents and my siblings and my caretaker, my only friend and companion, you were both my protector and someone who needed protecting. You see? I didn’t love you in the way you might’ve thought I did, although I can’t deny that was part of it. But the way I feel goes beyond that.”

June & Thomas:

”Your brother froze, like I thought he would. There was complete stillness. We drew apart, the silence heavy around us, and for a moment I wondered whether I’d made a huge mistake, whether I’d simply misread every signal from the past few years. Or perhaps, perhaps he knew what I was up to. I felt a strange sense of relief at that thought. Maybe id’d be better if Metias figured out Commander Jamesons’s plans for him. Maybe there’s a way to get out of this.”

I didn’t think it would be possible for me to despise Thomas even more but boy, “Champion” really made me hate him! How could he do this to Metias?! A person he obviously loved?! Or he wouldn’t have kissed him. Thomas was such a FOOL! He’s the living and breathing epitome of ignorance! How could he be so thick in the head?! Like seriously?! How can he live and breathe every single day knowing he killed the only person who ever loved him?! My only explanation is that Thomas was an unfeeling robot. His death was random and stupid and truth be told exactly the kind of death his character deserved. No tears for Thomas just one sentence: Good riddance! XD

”I could’ve chosen Day’s route. I could have become a criminal. But I didn’t. I did everything right, you know. That was what Metias loved about me. He respected me. I followed all the rules, I obeyed all the laws, I worked my way up from where I started.” He leans toward me; his eyes grow more desperate. “I took an oath, June. I am still bound by that oath. I will die with honor for sacrificing everything I have – everything – for my country. And yet, Day is the legend, while I am to be executed.” His voice finally breaks with all his anguish and inner torment, the injustice he feels. “It makes no sense.”

Day & Eden:

”Man, look at us,” I reply. My laughter turns into coughs. “What a team, yeah?”
Eden finds me by placing a tentative hand on my head. He sits beside me with his legs crossed and gives me a wry grin. “Hey – with your metal leg and half a brain, and my four leftover senses, we almost make a whole person.”

Day’s unconditional love for Eden will always tug at my heartstrings. This boy loves his family so damn much and since Eden is the only one who is left of it his baby brother means the world to him. <333 I just loved those two and their close relationship and gosh, when Day carried Eden even though he was shot by Commander Jameson I was covering my mouth and praying that June would take out that cold hearted bitch before she could shoot him a second time. This boy really gave everything for his family and people. T_T I just hope Day and Eden will always have such a close bond. As it seems they are still close 10 years after all the happenings in “Champion” so there’s that, right?

A lump rises in my throat. “Eden,” I begin, “we’ve lost Mom and John. Dad is gone. You’re all I have left. I can’t afford to lose you too. Everything I’ve done so far, I’ve done for you. I’m not letting you risk your life to save the Republic – or the Colonies.”
The defiance fades from Eden’s eyes. He props his arms up on the railing and leans his head against his hands. “If there’s one thing I know about you,” he says, “it’s that you’re not selfish.”

”A small, bittersweet smile tugs at the corners of my mouth. Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves. Except it’s not his life that we need in order to save Tess, but his brother’s.”

”You did good,” I reply. “I’m proud of you.” And I am. I’m prouder of him than I’ve ever been of myself – I’m proud of him for standing up to me.”

4

And here I hoped Marie Lu would give me an ending that wouldn’t break me. I should have known better. She’s famous for her bittersweet endings and this one was as bittersweet as they get. I definitely need to get my hands on “Rebel” and I hope it will be able to ease my mind because right now it’s still reeling. 4 weeks after finishing “Champion” I can say that the book finished me instead. My heart is still bleeding. >_<

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Cress (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Kiss her, she thought. Isn’t that what people did after they survived thrilling, near-death experiences together? She was sure it wasn’t an appropriate suggestion, but this close, it was all she could think about.”

Ahh, Cress is such a romantic! ❤ The way she swooned over Thorne was just adorable! But let’s not get off topic here and focus on the overall review instead! This said “Cress” was already the third book in “The Lunar Chronicles” and basically everybody and their grandma told me that it’s the best book in the series. Of course there were also a couple of voices that said it’s the weakest book in the series so I decided to just read it and form my own opinion. (As always. Did you expect anything different from me? ;-P)

So did “Cress” live up to my expectations or not? Well, the answer is: Yes, I think it did. It was very entertaining and I loved to see how the story of all those different characters came together in the end. What I really liked about this book was that we got some background info about all the characters and that some of them finally got a chance to confront not only each other but also their personal problems as well. No matter if it’s Cinder, Thorne, Cress or Wolf, they all experience things that force them to act and ultimately lead them to finding themselves and their own path in this (by now very) huge storyline.

Interestingly enough Queen Levana didn’t have an all too big part in this instalment but I’m actually glad she had a secondary role. It gave our protagonists room to plan their next moves and to come to terms with their destiny and their individual parts in the game. The introduction of Princess Winter and Jacin was interesting as well and I can’t wait to read their story. Considering Winter’s mental state I’m sure it’s going to be quite something though. XD For now let’s get down to business and talk about the MCs of “Cress”!

2

If you dare to take a trip to the Sahara be my guest! It’s wise to be careful though, there are many dangers that can be found in the desert and mirages and spoilers are just two of them. ;-P Consider yourself properly warned. That’s all I can do for you, my friend!

Cress:

Cress glanced up, and though his expression was sympathetic, she thought he was probably mocking her. ”I’m not crazy. I know she’s just a computer. It’s just … I programmed her myself, and she was the only friend I had. That’s all.“

Okay, Cress is probably one of the most innocent characters I ever came across in a book but considering she spent almost her entire life on an isolated satellite this doesn’t really come as a surprise. (On a side note: You just gotta love how Meyer turned the initial tower into a satellite. ;-P) She is definitely a cinnamon roll and it’s no wonder she had troubles to adapt to the life on earth. I suppose everyone would have troubles to adapt to life in a desert though so I think she actually did pretty well! Also I kinda liked the contrast of her being a hacker wizard on the keyboard and knowing nothing about the real world. XD I’m very curious where her character arc will head. Still, to find out Dr. Erland was her father was really quite the plot twist. It makes me sad that he died before they could get to know each other. T_T

”She tried to swallow down the rising panic, this sensation that her existence was as small and unimportant as the tiniest fleck of sand blowing against her shins. There was a whole world – a whole planet. And she was stuck somewhere in the middle of it, away from everything. There were no walls, no boundaries, nothing to hide behind. A shudder swept over her, goose bumps crawling across her bare arms.”

Thorne:

”Yeah, I guess you’re right,” he said, squeezing. “Maybe there’s a little bit of a hero in me after all. But … really, Cress. Only a little.”

Poor boy had it really rough in here. He lost his sight due to the satellite crashing and I was really worried about him. I think it was amazing that he never gave up though. You could tell that he was struggling with his fate and had trouble to adjust to a life without his eye sight but he did what needed to be done and he helped Cress as best as he could. Some might say Thorne is arrogant and self-assertive but I know he isn’t. It’s just a way to hide his insecurities and he is indeed the misunderstood hero Cress thought him to be. I loved to get a glimpse at his true thoughts and to see his character arc was really amazing. ❤ Thorne came a long way and I think his journey isn’t over yet.

”She was a girl. A living girl, smart and sweet and awkward and unusual, and she was worth far more than they could ever realize.”

”It seemed like hours since he’d so flippantly said good-bye to Cress, when she was still in the bath, when her singing was still echoing in his ears. And he’d left her. He’d just left her – and why? To show off his gambling skills? To prove that he was still self-sufficient? To prove that he didn’t need anyone, not even her?“

Cinder:

”Of course I will. I’m the rightful heir!”
She drew back, stunned by her own words. She didn’t think she’d ever felt so invested in her identity, and determined to claim her place. It was a strange feeling, bordering on pride.

Cinder actually accepted her powers, but she still feels conflicted about them and I think that’s a good thing! I loved to see how she got stronger and started to see the Lunars as her people and came to terms with her identity. She had to make a lot of difficult choices though and I was really afraid that she might break under the pressure. To think you’re just a cyborg that works as a mechanic and to realize you’re the rightful heir to Luna… I can’t even fathom how tough this must have been. It’s no wonder she’s so insecure, but she has a lot of people that love and support her so I’m sure she’ll make her way. =)

”Standing on the hotel step, with sixty guns trained on her, Cinder realized she was no better than that thaumaturge. This really was war, and she really was in the middle of it.
If she had to make sacrifices, she would.”

“News flash: I have never manipulated you. And I hope I never have to. But you aren’t the only one with responsibilities and an entire country of people who are relying on you. So I’m sorry, Your Majesty, but you are coming with me, and you’re just going to have to figure out whether or not you can trust me when we’re not so pressed for time.”

”You want to know another secret? The biggest secret?” She sat, splaying her legs like a broken doll in front of her. “I’m scared, Kai. I’m so scared.” She thought it might feel better, to say the words out loud, but instead they only made her feel pathetic and weak.

Kai:

”Excellent. And have you given any thought to your wedding vows?”
Kai snorted. “Delete anything that has to do with love, respect, or joy, and I’ll sign on the dotted line.”

Seriously whenever I read about Kai’s and Levana’s upcoming wedding I felt dread! >_< I really, really, really didn’t want him to marry her and ahhh the mere idea of their wedding was already enough to cause me to scream and tear at my hair! He still defied her though and I’ll never get tired of this boys defiance! *lol* Kai is the best and I love him so much! <333 The things he did for his country and people were amazing and I hated to see his self-doubt and insecurity. He did everything he could and it’s not his fault Levana was cunning enough to plan this invasion for years or even decades. It could have happened to his father if he wouldn’t have died of the plague so I really hope he stops blaming himself for everything that happened. It’s not his fault. T_T

”He hated Levana. He hated himself for giving in to her. He hated that his father had managed to keep her and her threats of war at bay for years and years, and within weeks of Kai taking the throne, he’d let everything fall apart.”

”Maybe she’s trying to help me. Cinder knows that if she finds the princess, it could be the end of Levana’s rule. I wouldn’t have to marry her. She would probably be executed for treason. Cinder risked her life going to that farm, and she did it … she may have done it for me.”

”He would never tell Torin that a part of him hoped Cinder would be safe. And he would never tell a single living soul how terrified he was, every moment of every day. How afraid he was that he was making an enormous mistake.”

Iko:

”Aaaaw,” squealed Iko. “Did Wolf just say that he loves Scarlet? That’s so cute!”

Iko fangirling over Scarlet and Wolf was one of the best things in this book! *lol* She’s basically the embodiment of every shipper and the comical relief of this series. XD Also I almost choked when she spoke about Adri and Pearl. Haha! I just adore Iko and I’m so glad she got a new body now. Thorne really picked the perfect robot. It’s a shame she got hurt when she tried to help them, but I’m sure Cinder will find a way to fix her. =)

”See? Injustice. Here we are, risking out lives to rescue Kai and this whole planet, and Adri and Pearl get to go to the royal wedding. I’m disgusted. I hope they spill soy sauce on their fancy dresses.”

Jacin:

”Because Thaumaturge Mira was preoccupied with your operative. Otherwise, I would have been the same brainless mannequin that I usually am.” His tone was self-deprecating, but Cinder could detect bitterness beneath it. Nobody liked to be controlled, and she didn’t think anyone ever got used to it.

Now here’s a new character that has me intrigued. Mostly because he’s still one big question mark and we all know how much I love question marks. XD But please, Jacin! I don’t believe you a single second that you’re not in love with Princess Winter! He so is! It was pretty obvious. After what I saw from Winter I can’t help but wonder about their relationship though. Is his love one-sided, does she reciprocate? I need answers and since the last book is named “Winter” I’m sure I’ll get them soon. 😉

”Do you … do you love her?”
He glared at her, disgusted. “Don’t try to push your swoony psychodrama on me. I’m sworn to protect her. Can’t very well do that from down here, can I?”

3

Cress & Thorne:

”Carswell Thorne wasn’t a heartless scoundrel at all. If anyone bothered to get to know him, they would see that he was compassionate and chivalrous.
He was exactly the kind of hero Cress had been dreaming about her entire life.”

Those two are such an unlikely pair but they still worked somehow. XD I loved them together and they were pretty cute. I mean Cress is super innocent and Thorne well, let’s just say he has a lot of experience with women and all sorts of crimes. *lol* Despite everything they are still kind of perfect for each other. I loved that Cress brought out the compassionate and chivalrous side of Thorne and that he didn’t care about who she was or how she looked like. The fact that he couldn’t see her might have helped to see her inner values more clearly but that was exactly what it was supposed to do so yeah. Also Thorne protecting Cress and taking care of her was legit the cutest thing! She saw his true self long before he saw it and I think her believing that he’s a good person might have helped to actually make him one. Plus can we appreciate that Thorne is super gentle and caring with her. He’s kind of a rake but he got all protective and considerate with her. So, nope, I don’t agree with Dr. Erland. I think Thorne is exactly what Cress needs! <333

”But you’re a prisoner,” said Thorne.
“I prefer damsel in distress,” she murmured.
One side of Thorne’s mouth quirked up, into that perfect half smile he’d had in his graduation photo. A look that was a little bit devious, and all sorts of charming.

He rubbed her shoulder. It was the kind of touch that would have filled her with giddiness and yearning if she hadn’t been too tired to feel anything. “You have to trust me, Cress. I’m going to get us out of this.”

”Good idea,” he said, wrapping an arm around her waist. “How could they not think that we’re in love?”
“How couldn’t they?” she murmured. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to memorize the exact feel of him.

Knees suddenly weak, she reached for his forearms to stabilize herself. “You came for me.”
He beamed, looking for all the world like a selfless, daring hero.
“Don’t sound so surprised.” Dropping the cane, he pulled her into a crushing embrace that tore her away from Wolf and lifted her clean off the floor.

”While Cress’s thoughts continued to churn through the horrible things that could happen to her, she felt herself being suddenly sprung around and dipped backward, a supportive arm scooping beneath her back. She yelped and caught herself on Thorne’s shoulder.
Then he was kissing her.”

Cinder & Kai:

”Right. And what if I’d said, oh, sure, Your Highness, I’d love to go to the ball with you, but first you should probably know that I’m cyborg. And then what?”
Kai looked away.
“You never would have talked to me again,” she answered for him. “You would have been mortified.”
“So you were just going to keep it hidden forever?”
“Forever?” Cinder waved her arm toward the window. “You are the emperor of an entire country. There was never going to be a forever.”
He was surprised how much the words stung. She was right.

I was so glad they finally got a chance to talk!!! This conversation was so overdue and I was damn happy when they eventually had their confrontation! Also I remember wishing that Cinder would kidnap Kai before he marries Levana when I wrote my Scarlet review and well, it happened! *lol* Marissa Meyer actually threw me a bone here! YAY! XD I guess now that Cinder cleared things up and Kai knows that she’s Princess Selene they got closer to getting their happily ever after and I can’t wait for it to happen!!! <333 I ship them, HARD! Both on their own couldn’t do a lot against Levana but Cinder and Kai together? They’ll crush her! I know they will because they have the potential to be a power couple! 😉 And it definitely helps that they both know how it feels to be responsible for an entire nation. They can support each other and push through their doubts together and I’m so ready to see that!!! ❤

He lifted his gaze. “Just to be clear, you’re not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?”
She blinked. “Of course not.”
“Just checking.”
Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her.

”Arms wrapped around her. Cinder pressed her face against his silk shirt. There was some sort of cologne or maybe soap there – so faint she hadn’t picked up on it before.
“I know exactly how you feel,” Kai said.
She squeezed her eyes shut. “Not exactly.”
“I think pretty close.”

Scarlet & Wolf:

Cupping his chin, Scarlet tilted Wolf’s face away from her and pressed a kiss against the wound. He inhaled sharply, but otherwise became as still as a rock – an unusual feat for him.”

They broke my freaking heart!!! T_T I can’t believe Scarlet got kidnapped by Sybil and ended up as a prisoner on Luna. I felt so sorry for both of them because Wolf knew exactly what they’d do to her and Scarlet suffered so damn much. >_< Poor girl!!! I could understand why Wolf considered her to be dead because the torture she went through physically as well as mentally will leave its scars and make her a different person than she used to be. Ahhh! I feel so damn sorry for Scarlet! To lose her grandmother was already horrible enough but now this?! T_T I really hope Meyer gives my girl a break in the next book! Wolf and her deserve to be happy and neither of them are right now and it’s just not fair. =(((

”She suppressed the voice out of nervous panic that her mistress would sense her confusion. She did not want that. There was no confusion.
She knew precisely where she wanted to be. Precisely who she wished to be serving.”

”But then Wolf’s breath hitched and all the fury drained out of him with a shudder. Like a man shot fatally through the heart, he collapsed over his knees, covering his head with his good arm like he wanted to block out the world.”

”The illusion and the pain vanished, but the horror lingered. The rawness of her throat. The damp salt on her face. Scarlet rolled onto her side, sobbing in the middle of the playroom floor, grateful that the boy couldn’t maintain the brainwashing while he was distracted.”

4

All told “Cress” was one of those sequels in which most of the plotlines come together and finally turn into one central theme. The only loose thread that’s still left is Winter’s and Jacin’s story and I’m already very curious about it. I really liked that some of the character’s problems were addressed, resolved and smoothed out. This lays a good foundation for the final book and I’m ready to read it soon! =)

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Caraval (Stephanie Garber)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 12 on My Book List 2021

”Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world.”

I think I’ll just go with this quote and add: “Whatever you’ve heard about ‘Caraval’, it’s nothing like ‘The Night Circus’. “ 😉 When I went into this book a lot of reviews compared it to “The Night Circus” but I think that simile is misleading. In my opinion those two books have nothing in common except of the magical aspect and the atmospheric and poetic writing style. This said, I really enjoyed reading this and I was more than just happy to follow Scarlett on her journey!

To be honest I loved everything about “Caraval” and the characters were great and interesting. I enjoyed exploring this world alongside Scarlett and I wish this book would have been even longer. Thankfully book two and three are already out so I guess my wish of reading more about this world was already granted. XD What really hooked me was the storyline, the constant guessing, following all the hints and the unexpected plot twists. I never saw some of those coming so the author did a great job!

Not to mention the amazing magical atmosphere! You all know I’m a sucker for magical things and of course this immediately drew me into the world of “Caraval”. In some way this actually reminded me of the old school magic performances. We’re constantly deceived and no matter how hard we look and how desperately we’re trying not to fall for the trick, in the end we still do. XD And I loved it!!!
But before I go on and on I’ll just let this speak for itself and head right to my characters section. 😉

2
Welcome to Caraval! ”Remember it’s only a game.” A game that feels very realistic and that will spoil you like no other! So if you don’t want to gamble for knowledge and would rather prefer to remain ignorant you better don’t enter this show! This is all the warning you’ll get so make your choice and accept the consequences! 😉

Scarlett:

”Scarlett had always seen her own emotions in color, but she’d never seen another person’s. She didn’t know what shocked her more, that she could now see the color of Julian’s feelings, or that those feelings were so wounded.”

Scarlett or Crimson like Julian liked to call her wasn’t really a character I could relate to. I mean I got where she was coming from but she was definitely a person that was totally prude and never took any risks. She was playing it safe and to say this stood in her way would be putting it more than just mildly. To discover the world of Caraval through her eyes was definitely a one-sided view but I think Stephanie Garber wrote her like that for a reason. We’re supposed to discover this new world through her eyes and if Scarlett would have been more open-minded we as the readers couldn’t have been as immersed in this experience as we were while reading it. 😉 I don’t think Scarlett had a huge character arc but I think she had one that fitted her personality. A person like her can’t change overnight and old habits die hard, so I think her rebelling against her father in the end was already a huge step. I can’t help but wonder how she’s going to change in the next book and I’m very curious about her “powers”. I mean she obviously can see people’s emotions, so where does this ability come from? I’ve a lot of questions and they need to be answered. XD

”This was wrong too. When she’d kissed Julian, it had felt right. Two people choosing to give tiny vulnerable parts of themselves to each other. That’s what Scarlett wanted. That’s what she deserved. No one else had the right to decide this for her. Yes, her father had always treated her like a possession, but she was not a thing to be bought or sold.”

”It pained her to breathe and it took effort to speak. But she was still alive. She was still breathing and speaking and feeling. Most of what she felt was agony, but she also didn’t feel afraid of anything.
And for the first time, her father looked afraid of her.”

Julian:

”She tried not to stare. Every inch of it was muscled, just as his torso had been, but that wasn’t the only part that captivated her attention. A thick scar disfigured the space between his shoulder blades. Two more crossed his lower back. As if someone had stabbed him multiple times.”

And here we go with mystery boy! *lol* Despite being a very active part in the entire game Julian is still one huge question mark for me. He started out as a sailor and then turned out to know more about Caraval than he let on just to be revealed as one of the performers at the end of the game. Plus he seems to know Legend personally and I can’t help but be curious about their relationship! What is Julian to Legend? He seems to be one of the few people who even know how he looks like so their connection must be strong. Also what’s with those scars on his back?! We never got an explanation for them and I am CURIOUS af! *lol* I definitely want more of Julian in the next book and I hope some things will make sense after reading book two.

”That girl gave a performance, meant to make you drop your guard. They say they don’t want us to get too carried away, but that is the point of this game. Legend likes to – play.”

”I know you want to find your sister, but on this isle secrets are valuable. Be careful about giving yours away too freely. If people know what you want the most, it can be used against you.”

Legend:

”Legend was as prideful as he was handsome, and he believed she was wrong. He told himself if he were famous it would allow him to marry Annalise. So he wished for that. He said he wanted his performances to be legendary. Magical.”

Enter the most interesting character of the entire game: Legend! I am so damn intrigued by him and I just want to find out more! Who is he? How did he become the person he is now? Why is he a villain? Is there some truth to the story of Annalise? Did he get carried away by his own game and therefore become the person he is now?! AHHHHH!!! I just need more info! And scenes with him! Judging by the letters he wrote he’s such an interesting character and we all know that I can’t resist a well done villain or a good mystery for that matter. 😉 So I’m definitely ready to find out more about Legend and since book two is named “Legendary” I really hope it will be about him! Throw me some breadcrumbs, please?!

”Oh yes.” Caspar laughed, as faint as his smile, seasoned with something bitter. “Legend is very real, but most people have no idea if they have met him – including many of his performers. The master of Caraval doesn’t go around introducing himself as Legend. He’s almost always pretending to be someone else.”

”Legend had changed over the years, and not for the better. He takes on a part of whatever roles he plays, and he’d been playing the role of a villain for too long, he’d become one in real life. Finally, a few months back, I decided to leave, but Legend convinced me to give him another chance and stay.”

”I am beyond redemption. However, depending on how far you’re willing to go, I’ve thought about it, and I may be able to work with you.”

Dante:

”Dressed entirely in sleek black, he was the type of boy Tella would have called uselessly pretty, while secretly thinking of ways to gain his attention. She noticed all the ink covering his hands and moving up his arms. Tattoos, carnal and intricate, arcanists’ symbols, a mourning mask, lips curved into an alluring pout, bird talons and black roses. Each of them was at odds with the rest of his refined appearance, which made Scarlett more curious than she ought to have been.”

Who is Dante?!! Obviously one of the performers but damn that boy had such a mysterious vibe going on! Next to Legend he’s one of the characters I’m the most curious about! *lol* His appearance and all the tattoos. Ahhh!!! I already have a picture in my mind. He doesn’t seem to be all too friendly though and is definitely a bad boy so I don’t know where that leaves me. I never shipped him with Scarlett but Tella… mhmm… that could work. XD I really need more of that boy with a non-existing moral compass! Haha! ;-P Hopefully he’ll be a part of book two.

”He won Caraval last time I played. Remember what I said about this game costing people? Even winning comes with a price, and his triumph cost him, a lot. My bet is he’ll do anything to win the wish and try to get back everything he lost. If you think my moral compass is damaged, his doesn’t exist.”

3
Scarlett & Julian:

Inside the house, violin music, richer than the darkest chocolate, started playing. It seeped outside and whispered to Scarlett as Julian’s smile turned seductive, all shameless curves and immoral promises. And invitation to places that proper young ladies didn’t think about, let alone visit. Scarlett didn’t want to imagine what sorts of things this smile had convinced other girls to do.
“Don’t look at me like that.” Scarlett said. “It doesn’t work on me.”
“That’s why it’s so fun.”

I really liked the chemistry between those two and they were obviously made for each other. I guess as stereotypes go they both fit the bill of the geek and the bad boy. *lol* At least they both gave off those vibes whenever they were around each other. Scarlett the very guarded and careful character and Julian the daredevil. It worked for me. XD Julian must have fallen really hard for Scarlett in order to stay in the game for so long. And he even got mutilated by her father and still decided to stay by her side. He seems to be a very loyal character and that really caused him to grow on me. He couldn’t leave Scarlett’s side and he obviously can’t leave Legend’s either. Whatever their connection may be. I guess Scarlett is the same when it comes to Tella. So I’m kind of worried this might lead to problems between them in the next book. I guess I’ll just have to read it and find out.

”He’d never stared at her like this before. Sometimes he gazed at her as if he wanted to be her undoing, but just then it was as if he wanted her to undo him.”

”Dimly, she knew she tasted his blood. It was like no other gift she’d ever received. Strangely beautiful, alarmingly intimate. And she wanted more of it. More of him.”

”His steady gaze was even softer than his voice. It reached out to the broken parts of her like a caress. The type of touch that moves through damaged flesh, past fractured bones and into a person’s wounded soul. Scarlett felt her blood go hot as he watched her. She could have been wearing a dress that covered every inch of her skin and she would have still felt exposed to Julian’s eyes. It was as if all her shame, her guilt, the awful secret memories she tried to bury, were laid bare for him to see.”

Scarlett & Tella:

”Her sister had always been wilder; Tella liked the taste of trouble. But it wasn’t the wildness that hurt Scarlett. Tella was the most important person in the world to Scarlett, but it always broke Scarlett to know her sister did not feel the same way.”

We only got Scarlett’s POV so it’s really hard to say if Tella truly doesn’t care as much about Scarlett as she thinks. They most definitely couldn’t be any more different though. Tella seems to be the daredevil while Scarlett never risks anything and if the next book is really from Tella’s POV things will most certainly get even more interesting than they were in “Caraval”. *lol* I can’t wait to see the world of “Caraval” through Tella’s eyes and to hear her thoughts about her sister. We only got a one-sided not all too positive impression of her in here and I’m curious if it will be rectified. The fact she was absent for most of the book didn’t really work in her favour either so I guess we’ll see what “Legendary” will bring.

”Please, trust me.” Scarlett held out a hand. No longer stained in blood, she hoped she could save Tella in the way she hadn’t been albe to save Julian in the tunnels. “I will find a way to take care of you. I love you so much.”
“Oh, Scar.” Tella said. Tears streamed down her pink cheeks. “I love you, too. And I wish I was strong like you. Strong enough to hope it could be better, but I can’t do this anymore.”

Tella & Legend:

”She practically fell into the arms of her newest partner. He pulled her closer than the others had. His large hands snaked determinedly around her, bringing with them a new surge of pleasure. Tella liked the confident way he touched her. As he tugged her toward the edge of the party and farther from the crowd, she imagined feeling his hands on places besides her waist.

I’m convinced this was Legend and I’m sooo damn ready to read about their love story!!! Because I’m about 99,99% sure that there will be one between those two! ❤ Alone the way she reacted to him touching her!! Can I have more of this chemistry, please?! Also I’m pretty certain Legend had his reasons to play with Tella. He wouldn’t have answered everyone and there seems to be something that attracted him. I’m so READY to read more about those two, I can’t even! ❤

4
I loved “Caraval” and for me it was one of those books that had me super intrigued. The idea of Caraval was so fascinating and I adored the magical atmosphere. There was always an undercurrent of danger and mystery accompanying the MCs actions and I lived and breathed for it. =) I can’t wait to read “Legendary”! Let’s hope I’ll get my hands on a copy soon!

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Prince (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten
 

”It is always better to live the truth than to live a lie.”

I love this quote because it sums up everything that happens in this book. There are many truths that come to the light of day and there are even more lies that are revealed and cause some damage. The difference between “Clockwork Angel” and “Clockwork Prince” always kind of astonishes me. While the first book is pretty slow and character driven this second book is all those things as well but it still feel so very different than “Clockwork Angel”.

For one thing, it’s way darker than its predecessor and we get a better understanding for all those characters and the struggles they have to deal with. They were already amazing characters on the surface but “Clockwork Prince” digs deeper than that and we finally get to see all of their different facets. Jem is more than just the kind angel everyone expects him to be, Tessa is more than the damsel in distress everyone believes her to be and Will is not the self-centred and arrogant scumbag he wants us to see. So if I have to name the difference between the first and the second book I’d say that this one goes deeper.

There’s more depth to the characters, the stakes are higher. Everything – from the storyline to the protagonists – is darker and more pronounced. There’s an urgency to “Clockwork Prince” that was never visible in the former book and it’s like an undercurrent that runs through the entire story. I just love how CC doesn’t only manage to capture my attention but also makes me feel so much with her characters. They are real people and my heart is bleeding for them. ❤

And before I write another essay (which I totally could! *lol*) I’ll go to my characters section instead and talk about all those wonderful feelings! ;-P

2

The London Institute is full of secrets and once you take a closer look you’ll not only discover the truth but you’ll also be spoiled! XD So if you continue on your way:  Stay alert and be aware that there will be spoilers at every corner! Continue at your own peril!

Tessa Gray:

”You didn’t think about him,” said Tessa. “But perhaps you should have. Don’t you understand he thinks you made a mockery out of what’s killing him? And you’re supposed to be his brother.”

I really love Tessa’s character arc! At the beginning of the first book she was naive and basically a damsel in distress but in here we see how strong she’s become. She fights for the people she loves and cares about, she talks back to Will and gives him a run for his money and she tries to help Jessamine even though she betrayed her in the worst way possible. Tessa is a really compassionate, brave and kind character and I’m not surprised both, Will and Jem, fell for her. Also it’s nice to see her take the initiative and to go for what she wants. She’s more determined and headstrong than she was before and I like it. XD It was difficult to see how she struggled with Nate’s death because no matter what he did to her, he was still her brother and she just couldn’t hate him. >_<

Tessa was unmoved. “I won’t know if I like it until I try it, will I?”
“I’ve never swum naked in the Thames, but I know I wouldn’t like it.”
“But think how entertaining for sightseers,” said Tessa, and she saw Jem duck his head to hide the quick flash of his grin.

”Do not mock him.” Tessa’s tone was sharp.
“Nothing is beyond mockery, Tess.”
“Jem is. He has always been good to you. He is nothing but goodness. That he hit you last night, only shows how capable you are of driving even saints to madness.”
“Jem hit me?” Will, fingering his cheek, looked amazed.

”He could never stay angry at you, Will; he loves you too well for that. I do not even think he would hold anger toward me. But this morning he told me he thought he would die without ever loving anyone as his father loved his mother, without ever being loved like that in return. Do you want me to go down the hallway and knock on his door and take that away from him? And would you love me still, if I did?”

Will Herondale:

„If I might make a suggestion,” said Will. “About twenty paces behind us, in the Council room, is Benedict. If you’d like to go back in there and try kicking him, I recommend aiming upward and a bit to the left-“

First of all I want to say how amazing that “throwing the apple and the dagger” scene was! *lol* There’s a nonchalance about this boy that is amazing! XD Yes, he can be super arrogant but in contrast to others he can back up his arrogance with truly remarkable skills. He has every reason to be confident. ;-P This said, I suffered so much with Will in this book! The entire thing with the curse from the demon Marbas was so heart-breaking and once he found out the truth… Oh gods! Just imagine living 5 years like that and then finding out that there was actually never a curse. To gain this kind of knowledge! It must have been so devastating! T_T When Will finally realized it and broke down I just wanted to hug him and make it better. >_< That poor, poor boy! Still, I’m glad the truth is out now and it was really good to see Will’s true self. The person he hid behind all those walls for so long is a truly beautiful boy and I can’t wait to see even more of him in the next book! <333

”What did they do?” Will’s voice rose. “What did they do? Nothing. It is me. I am poison. Poison to them. Poison to anyone who loves me.”

”Can you imagine it? Can you?” He raked his hands through his black hair, letting the tangled strands fall back into his eyes. “Never letting anyone near you. Making everyone who might otherwise love you, hate you. I left my family to distance myself from them, and that they might forget me. Each day I must show cruelty to those I have chosen to make my home with, lest they let themselves feel too much affection for me.”

”I feel myself diminished, parts of me spiraling away into the darkness, that which is good and honest and true – If you hold it away from yourself long enough, do you lose it entirely? If no one cares for you at all, do you even really exist?”

”You and I, Tess, we’re alike. We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them.”

„Will slid to his knees. His hands were locked across his stomach as if they were keeping his guts from spilling out. Five years, he thought. Five years wasted. He heard his family screaming and pounding on the doors of the Institute and himself ordering Charlotte to send them away. And they had never known why. They had lost a daughter and a son in a matter of days, and they had never known why. And the others – Henry and Charlotte and Jem – and Tessa – and the things he had done –“

Jem Carstairs:

”When Will truly wants something,” said Jem quietly, “when he feels something, he can break your heart.”

It’s kind of funny but with this reread I started to appreciate Jem’s character even more. Not that I didn’t already do that but with every reread I fall more and more in love with him. The first time reading the series it was only Will, but now my heart is beating for Jem as well. There’s just something about him! His innocence and kindness is charming and for him every relationship is built on love, trust and consent. He’s so damn pure I can’t even!!! <333 And to know that the drug he has to take in order to live will also kill him one day is … it’s just not fair. T_T Jem deserves so much more than this short life is able to give him and it hurts so damn much to know that he won’t get it. Every time I read about his struggle my heart ached even more! Every moment he showed his true feelings for Tessa I sighed. And whenever we got a glimpse of his fear I felt like dying. Jem’s impending death is looming over his head and he’s doing such a great job at trying to be brave. T_T My heart is breaking so much for this sweet, kind and gentle boy. *sobs*

”Please,” he said softly. His voice was husky. She recognized the emotion. It was shame. “I do not want you to see me on my knees, grubbing around on the floor for the drug that I need to live. That is not how any man wants the girl he-“ He took a shaking breath. “I’m sorry, Tessa.”

”What does it matter?” he said in a voice so low it was almost a hiss. “What does any of it matter? I’m dying. I won’t outlast the decade. What does it matter if the violin goes before I do?”

”She had assumed his kindness was so natural so innate, she had never asked herself whether it cost him any effort. Any effort to stand between Will and the world, protecting each of them from the other. Any effort to accept the loss of his family with equanimity. Any effort to remain cheerful and clam in the face of his own dying.”

”If I was harsh with you, it was because I cannot bear to see you treat yourself as if you are worth nothing. Whatever part you might at to the contrary, I see you as you really are, my blood brother. Not just better than you pretend to be, but better than most people could hope to be.” He placed a hand on Will’s shoulder, gently. “You are worth everything, Will.”

”I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain. But I love you enough to hope that you will not care that I am being selfish in trying to make the rest of my life – whatever its length – happy, by spending it with you. I want to be married to you, Tessa. I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life.”

”His beauty did not blaze like Will’s did in fierce colors and repressed fire, but it had its own muted perfection, the loveliness of snow falling against a silver-gray sky.”

Mangus Bane:

”He was really going to have to do something about this annoying softhearted impulse to assist the desperate, Magnus thought. That, and his weakness for blue eyes.”

I really liked that Mangus was a bigger part of this book and I still love my warlock like crazy! I swear he’s the constant in every Shadowhunter book and since the thing with Camille didn’t work out it makes me so happy to know that he WILL find true love in the later books! ❤ Also can we take a second and appreciate his humour and the fact that he always interrupts people when things get too steamy? *LOL* He’s such a – sorry for the crude language but there is no other word to describe him – cockblocker. XD Haha! I mean Magnus interrupting couples before they can get it on is such a running gag. I loved the short nod at his weakness for blue eyes and the fact that he kissed Will just to make Camille jealous! Typical Magnus! Even if he’s going down, he’s going down with style! ;-P

”We’re well equipped to handle danger,” Tessa said.
Magnus eyed her bosom openly. “I can see that,” he said. “Armed to the teeth, as it were.”

”There is a soul under all that bravado. And he is really alive, one of the most alive people I have ever met. When he feels something, it is as bright and sharp as lightning.”

3

Tessa & Will:

”Tessa,” he said, holding out a hand to stop her.
She looked at him, wishing she could ask him to go back to calling her Miss Gray. Just the way he said her name undid her, loosened something tight and knotted underneath her rib cage, making her breathless.

Their relationship in this book just about killed me! I mean we all know they love each other, yet we also found out about the reason why Will is pushing Tessa away and the poor girl is so confused because she has no idea why he’s treating her the way he does. Everything between them is hot and cold and then right back to hot and cold again. They can’t find a middle ground. It’s either all consuming passion or it’s pure iciness. A huge part of that is due to Will’s fear of the curse and what it might do to Tessa and so we can only watch and suffer while those two make irrevocable decisions that tear them apart even more. To witness this was so painful and urgh I just wanted to jump into the book and tell them to be honest with each other. So unfortunately when the truth finally comes out it’s too little too late and their ship goes down, down, down… T_T After everything Will did to keep Tessa away it’s no wonder she went right into Jem’s arms though. >_<

”When he saw her, he wanted to be with her; when he was with her, he ached to touch her; when he touched even her hand, he wanted to embrace her. He wanted to feel her against him the way he had in the attic. He wanted to know the taste of her skin and the smell of her hair.”

”He would have given everything he had in the world and everything he would ever have, just to lie beside her in the narrow infirmary bed and hold her while she slept. Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off, but he’d had to do it.”

”I don’t care,” he said fervently. “I don’t care.” His arms went around her, and he held her; she rested her cheek against the warm juncture of his neck and shoulder.”

Tessa & Jem:

She smiled at him. “How did you know just what I’d want to see?”
“How could I not?” he said. “When I think of you, and you are not there, I see you in my mind’s eye always with a book in your hand.” He looked away from her as he said it, but not before she caught the slight flush on his cheekbones.

So after Jem held back in the first book and gave Tessa and Will a chance to hit it off (which they didn’t); he finally decided to step out of the friendzone and told Tessa about his feelings for her. Which I adored!!! I mean here’s a man that says what he’s thinking! He’s so direct and honest with her it’s amazing! <333 I love their relationship and that they can talk about everything without holding back. The communication between those two is great and Jem is an angel! Seriously, he didn’t even expect Tessa to reciprocate his feelings and the fact that he didn’t makes him even more precious! I loved that we finally got to see Jem’s passionate side and it’s so cute that he always seems to lose control whenever he’s around Tessa. He can’t take his eyes off of her and everything he feels is plainly written on his face. XD This said, I was no huge fan of the ending. I mean I know Tessa is confused and Will finally telling her the truth must have been quite a shock. Still, the insinuation that she will stay with Jem because he’s going to die and she doesn’t want to hurt him left a really bitter taste in my mouth. She should love Jem for being Jem and not because he has a terminal disease. The way this last scene was written implied that she would gladly go with Will if she wouldn’t have accepted Jem’s proposal and I’m not okay with this. For some reason I never noticed this in my former rereads but it felt like Jem is second choice and I don’t like it. Jem deserves the world! He deserves everything! Especially a person that loves him for who he is! So yeah, I’m feeling kind of bitter about this but I hope that Tessa’s feelings in the last book will be genuine.

”James,” he said. “Ordinarily only Will calls me that.”
“I’m sorry –“
“No. Don’t be. I like the sound of it on your lips.”

”He gasped against her mouth. He must have been so sure she would push him away that for a moment he went still. Her hands glided over his shoulders, urging him with gentle touches, with a murmur against his lips, not to pause.”

”Every time you say that word, ‘friendship’, it goes into me like a knife,” he said. “To be friends is a beautiful thing, Tessa, and I do not scorn it, but I have hoped for a long time now that we might be more than friends.”

”I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.”

”She willed herself to melt into the kiss, to dissolve against him as she had done before. His mouth was soft on hers and tasted sweet, and his hand when it cupped her neck was strong and gentle. She moved closer to him, wanting to feel the beat of his heart.”

Jem & Will:

”Jem’s your parabatai. I’ve seen you with him. You love him, don’t you?”
“Jem is my great sin,” said Will. “Don’t talk to me about Jem.”

I really loved how nonchalant Jem was about giving Will a black eye! *lol* Heaven knows he deserved it so I don’t feel bad about it and I’m glad Jem didn’t either. Haha! Their relationship is still EVERYTHING! And I stand by my opinion! I still ship them! They have such a strong connection, they feel so close and their deep love for each other, it’s unlike anything I ever read! <333 To say they had it easy in this book would be a lie though. Both of them struggled with their personal problems, yet they always found their way back to each other. They would do everything to make each other happy, even if it means to let go of the one thing they both want more than anything else in the world. >_< I just can’t with those two. They are so gentle and tender with each other and you can see their love in every single action they make. To hear Will voice his feelings about Jem… it broke my heart. A love so strong shouldn’t be severed by death and it kills me to know that Jem is getting weaker. T_T Ahh I just love them so much! My two precious boys! *sobs uncontrollably*

Will looked at Jem thoughtfully. “I seem to have woken up with what they call a Monday mouse,” he said, pointing at the bruised skin under his eye. “Any idea where I got it?”
“None.” Jem helped himself to some tea.

”He owed Jem his life. He could not take from him the one thing Jem wanted more than anything else. Even if it meant Will’s own happiness, for Jem was not only someone to whom he owed a debt that could never be repaid, but, as the covenant said, someone he loved as he loved his own soul.”

”I would always have forgiven you,” he said. “I would have forgiven you if you hadn’t apologized. In fact, I wasn’t expecting you would. Tessa’s influence, I can only guess.”
“I am not here at her request. James, you are all the family I have.” Will’s voice shook. “I would die for you. You know that. I would die without you.”

”He is like me,” said Jem simply. “An addict.”
Will looked at him over their joined hands. “He is not like you. And you will not die like that.”

”What?”
“I said that Jem proposed to me,” she whispered. “He asked if I would marry him. And I said I would.”
Will had gone shockingly white. He said, “Jem. My Jem?”

Charlotte & Henry:

”I would change it if I could. Of all the people in the world, I did think you understood. You know – you know it isn’t just tinkering for me. You know I want to create something that will make the world better, that will make things better for the Nephilim. Just as you do, in directing the Institute.”

It’s so weird that both of them thought the other didn’t love them! They should have spoken more about their feelings and shouldn’t have assumed things but then again they are both not the kind of type to speak about their emotions so directly. No matter how openly they show their affection for Will, Jem, Jessamine and Tessa, they apparently never showed it to each other as well. So I’m glad they finally had that conversation and I feel so sorry that Jessamine betrayed them. She was like a daughter for them and all they got was scorn and betrayal. Poor Charlotte broke my heart when she gave Jessamine over to the Silent Brothers and to stand up to Benedict and to face all those other Shadowhunters couldn’t have been easy. I’m just glad her and Henry talked things out and are finally on the same page! XD

”You are not plain,” Henry said, his face still blazing. “You are beautiful. And I didn’t ask your father if I could marry you out of duty. I did it because I loved you. I’ve always loved you. I’m your husband.”
“I didn’t think you wanted to be,” she whispered.

”Jessamine has been with us since she was a little girl. It would have been too much for him, too much. He does not have it in him to be cruel.”
“Charlotte.” Tessa touched her shoulder gently. “Charlotte, you are not cruel either.”
“I do what I must. There is nothing to worry about,” Charlotte said again, and burst into tears.

Tessa & Nate:

”You couldn’t leave well enough alone. You had to pry into my business. Delighted to see me brought low, are you? What kind of sister does that make you, Tessie?”

I just hate Nate, okay?! This boy was so selfish and horrible! Every time he met Tessa he made sure to let her know how little he cared about her! What’s even worse is that he tried to give her a bad conscience for not going along with his plans. Like seriously! Are you kidding me? You blame your sister because she didn’t agree to being married off to an old lunatic who wants to use and hurt her?! URGH! I just can’t with Nate! I understand that Tessa is heartbroken because he died, he was her brother after all, but the things he did were just vile and if it would have been me I wouldn’t have forgiven him. Also Jessamine… why the freaking hell did she marry him?! She should have known better than that.

”My brother,” Tessa said in a barely controlled voice, “is a lying murderer, incapable of feeling. He may have married you, Jessamine, but he does not love you. The Shadowhunters have helped and protected me, as they have done you. And yet you turn on them like a dog the moment my brother snaps his fingers. He will abandon you – if he does not kill you first.“

4

I love this series and its characters with every fibre of my heart! ❤ It might have taken me four months to read this but that’s just because I savoured every single letter and sentence. XD The background stories were amazing and to read this was bittersweet. “Clockwork Prince” is a wonderful sequel and I can’t wait to read “Clockwork Princess”. I know it will destroy me, but my faerie heart is kind of looking forward to it. *lol*

P.S: That demon pox song, though!!! XD

 
 

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

“Some things you hear with your ears. Others, you hear with your heart.”

To say Sarah J. Maas stepped up her game in the second book of her “Throne of Glass Series” most certainly would be the understatement of the century. No, scratch that, it actually doesn’t even get close to the truth. XD

I swear in comparison to the first book this truly was an action packed and suspenseful read! =)
Alone the many awesome fight scenes and the countless revelations throughout the entire book were already enough to cause my head to spin! Plus Celaena finally lives up to her reputation as Adarlan’s best assassin and actually kills people, which was amazing and involuntarily made me love this even more! *lol*

Yes, Sarah can write and her action scenes always had me at the edge of my seat. Once or twice I might have even been close to falling off of my chair, but that’s another matter for another day! ;-P
For now all you have to know is that ”Crown of Midnight” was an awesome read and that it was able to keep me on my toes and considering how many books I already read, this certainly should speak for itself. 😉

Since I don’t really feel like talking about the plot (you’ll read plenty of it in my characters section aka The Spoilery Spoiler Section anyway) I’ll do something completely mean and will only give you a few words:
Celaena, Chaol, Dorian, The King, Roland, Kaltain, Nehemia, Archer, missions, blood, death, creepy, magic, dungeons, books and let’s not forget about Fleetfoot!

There you go! *lol* Haha! Oh Jeez that’s so vague you’ll hate me! XD

Well, anyway! *smiles innocently*
Let’s get to my favourite section!

2

Do I still have to say it?! Yes? Okay! This is the aforementioned “Spoilery Spoiler Part” so if you don’t want to read quotes or spoilers or my crazy thoughts, you better stop now and never return. ;-P Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Celaena:

”Some days, it feels like another person did those things. And most of those lives I’m glad I ended. No matter the cause, though, it – it still takes away a little piece of you each time. So I don’t think I’ll ever forget them.”

Celaena is so kick-ass, I love her!!! We finally saw the relentless killer in her and I just couldn’t get enough of it! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the fighting scenes and the one with Baba Yellowlegs was definitely the best! XD I can’t wait to read more about those Ironteeth Witch Clans and I really hope they’ll be a part of the other books! Aside from the action I probably enjoyed Celaena’s character development the most. She’s no longer afraid to show her true self and she doesn’t only open up to Chaol but also to Dorian. I can’t say how much I loved all those new revelations about her and the fact that she’s fae took me entirely by surprise. I definitely didn’t expect that and I was like “WOAH WHAT?!!!” when I read it! I mean I always knew she had a secret and Sarah mentioned it often enough, I certainly didn’t expect it to be this kind of secret though!! *lol* I’m sure after the promise at Nehemia’s grave we can expect great things in the future and I’m so curious about Wendlyn; I immediately want to start with “Heir of Fire”.

”I failed him,” she said. “In every way that counted, I failed him.”
Another long silence, then a sigh. “Not in one way.” Chaol said. “I bet he would have wanted you to survive – to live. So you didn’t fail him, not in that regard.”

”I want you to know,” she whispered to the wind, to the earth, to the body far beneath her, “that you were right. You were right. I am a coward. And I have been running for so long that I’ve forgotten what it is to stand and fight.”

”The ship began moving. And Chaol – the man she hated and loved so much that she could hardly think around him – just stood there, watching her go.”

Chaol:

”She was a whirlwind of steel and blood. As he watched her cut through the men as though they were stalks of wheat in a field, he understood how she had gotten so close to touching Endovier’s wall that day. And at last – after all these months – he saw the lethal predator he’d expected to find in the mines. There was nothing human in her eyes, nothing remotely merciful. It froze his heart.”

Ahh Chaol! My problem child! *sighs* I don’t hate him, actually I like him, but ARGH!!!! He screwed up big time in this one and I just couldn’t believe what I read! I mean come on! You’re the Captain of the King’s Guard! You should be smarter than that!!! Seriously, in this book I really began to hate his loyalty to the king and it made me more than just angry that he never even thought about questioning the king’s orders! Chaol basically is the embodiment of the unthinking and unblinking soldier! Stupidly loyal to a fault!!! And that moment when he got kidnapped in his own domain? WHAT THE FREAKEDY FREAKING HELL?! Like: Are you kidding me!? I can’t help but wonder how he even became the Captain of the Guard. *lol* I’m so not impressed. Not at all! Plus he should have told Celaena about Nehemia, but he didn’t and that once again tells me that he still doesn’t trust her. At the end I felt kind of sad for him though. I mean he finally realised that he was blind and probably made the biggest mistake of his life. Unfortunately by then it was already too late to change anything about his misguided actions and he ended up suffering like crazy. Poor Chaol! =(

”Once, Chaol might have argued. Once, he might have protested that his loyalty to the crown was his greatest asset. But that blind loyalty and obedience had started his descent.
And it had destroyed everything.

”But when Celaena walked out, leaving that damning will behind him, he didn’t even make it to his own room. He barely made it into an empty broom closet before the sobs hit.”

”But he could do this for her. Even if he never saw her again, even if she abandoned her duties as King’s Champion and stayed with the Fae in Wendlyn forever – as long as he knew that she was safe, that no one could hurt her … He’d sell his soul again and again for that.”

Dorian:

”You have power in you, Prince. More power than you realize.” She touched his chest, tracing a symbol there, too, and some of the court ladies gasped. But Nehemia’s eyes were locked on his. “It sleeps,” she whispered, tapping his heart. “In here. When the time comes, when it awakens, do not be afraid.” She removed her hand and gave him a sad smile. “When it is time, I will help you.”

My charming and precious cutiepie!!! I love Dorian so damn much! He’s the best thing about the entire series and in “Crown of Midnight” he broke my heart. I suffered with him throughout the entire book and I really hate the idea that Sarah might make him a second Lucien. Neither of those two boys deserved what she put them through and I really hope she won’t continue to harm him in the next book. He’s just too pure for the world and he needs to be protected at all costs!!! Plus he’s amazing!!!

I love the fact that he has raw magic in him and I see so much potential for the next few books! Still, his loneliness caused my heart to ache and I felt really sorry for him. He’s so alone and no one is there to help him, yet his first thought when he discovered that he had magic was that he needs to find out if his brother has it too. He wanted to protect Hollin and that’s so damn sweet! <33 Oh boy, how much I wanted to hug him when he frantically tried to hide his research in the library or when he was looking for Nehemia and waited in front of Celaena’s rooms. All this anger and despair – He doesn’t deserve it!!! Sarah, please have mercy on him!!!
#TeamDorian forever and for always!!!!

”How long have you been yearning for him? Was what he really wanted to ask. Damn him for caring. Damn him for every moment he’d spent with her.”

”How about you spend a year in Calaculla, and when you’re done, you two can sit here and tell me about your plans for expansion.”

”Something invisible slammed into the creature, sending it flying into the wall with a crunch. Gods. Dorian didn’t just have magic – he had raw magic. The rarest, and deadliest, kind. Sheer undiluted power, capable of being shaped into whatever form the wielder desired.”

Nehemia:

”I won’t deny that you have suffered, Elentiya, but there are thousands more who have also suffered – and suffered more. And they do not sell themselves to the king to get what they, too, deserve. With each person you kill, I am finding fever and fewer excuses for remaining your friend.”

WHY SARAH!!!?? Why did you have to kill Nehemia? She was such a lovely character and I didn’t expect her death! When Celaena found out about the King’s intentions I really thought that she’d be able to safe her or would at least come just in time to exchange some final words with her. But no! We found a dead Nehemia and Celaena never got a chance to fix things between them. T_T I hate it that they had an argument before she died and I really don’t like the way Nehemia had to die. I mean she didn’t even get a fighting scene. We’re presented with a fait accompli, which sucked! Well, at least in my opinion. So there’s that! Can’t say I feel sorry for Grave or Archer though. They had it coming and they should have known better than to mess with Celaena. *lol*

”I have grown up knowing the weight of my crown. When the king invaded Eyllwe all those years ago, I knew that I would someday have to make choices that would haunt me.” She cupped her forehead in a palm. “I didn’t think it would be this hard. I cannot be in two places at once.”

”Nehemia was gone. That vibrant, fierce, loving soul; the princess who had been called the Light of Eyllwe; the woman who had been a beacon of hope – just like that, as if she were no more than a wisp of candlelight, she was gone.”

”But no matter what I did, Elentiya, I want you to know that in the darkness of the past ten years, you were one of the bright lights for me. Do not let that light go out.”

Kaltain and Roland:

”Sometimes,” Kaltain said softly, and Celaena paused. “Sometimes I think they brought me here. Not to marry Perrington, but for another purpose. They want to use me.”

I still don’t know what the king plans with Kaltain and Roland but whatever it is, it can’t be good! That thing in the dungeons underneath the clock tower was so creepy and I really don’t even want to know what else is locked up there! *shudders* There’s no doubt the King of Adarlan is up to something and I’m kind of worried about Kaltain’s fate. I have no idea where and how Roland comes into play, but I get the slight feeling he’s allied with the king. I mean yeah he helped Dorian but maybe that was all show? Who knows? I’ll definitely watch those two closely from now on. 😉

„They encourage the crows to fly past here,“ Kaltain murmured, more to herself than to Celaena. „And my headaches are worse every day. Worse and worse, and full of all those flapping wings.“

3

Celaena & Dorian:

”She deserved a loyal, brave knight who saw her for what she was and did not fear her. And he deserved someone who would look at him like that, even if the love wouldn’t be the same, even if the girl wouldn’t be her.
So Dorian closed his eyes, and took another long breath. And when he opened his eyes, he let her go.”

Those two!!! I know they had troubles at the beginning but the friendship that formed between them is so perfect!!! I’m so happy that they were able to settle their differences and I love Dorian for letting her go! This was such a powerful scene and I’m so glad they eventually managed to become friends again! I loved it when Dorian told Celaena that she will always have a place with him and that she could come to his dorms whenever she needed something. THAT is friendship!!! THAT is trust!!! Oh gosh, I really hope Sarah won’t crush this again! *lol*

”Their eyes met and held. A line stretched taut between them – a moment of trust, and a promise of answers from both of them.”

”But looking at Dorian as he smiled at her, this prince who was smart and thoughtful and kind, who inspired good men like Chaol to serve him …
Celaena wondered if Nehemia’s impossible, desperate dream of that court might yet come to pass.”

”Thank you for all that you have done for me, Dorian. Thank you for being my friend. For not being like the others.” He paused, turning to face her. She kept her chin high, but her eyes were gleaming.
“I’ll come back,” she said quietly. “I’ll come back for you.”

Dorian & Chaol:

Dorian’s lips were pursed, his face stony as he quietly said, “I’ve been busy, too.” The Crown Prince turned his horse away, heading in another direction, but paused. “Chaol,” he said, looking over his shoulder. Dorian’s eyes were frozen, his jaw clenched. “Treat her well.”

*sigh* Their friendship suffered so much in this book and I really wish this wouldn’t have happened. I loved that they were so close and could talk about everything, but I guess now that Celaena got into their way things between them might never be the same again. >_< It’s sad that Dorian can’t tell Chaol about his powers but I definitely understand why he’s so cautious. I mean Chaol was always so damn loyal to the king and that actually makes it more than just hard to trust him. If I’d be in Dorian’s situation, I wouldn’t tell him as well. =(

”Dorian could have gleefully killed Chaol’s father for disowning him, refusing even to see Chaol when he brought his family to Rifthold for an important meeting with the king. Even though Chaol had never said it, Dorian knew the scars went deep.”

Celaena & Chaol:

”I know you can look after yourself. But I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”

I can’t believe Sarah used 1 ½ books to build this relationship and then decided to thoroughly sink the ship! Oh wait! I actually CAN believe it! *LOL* After reading ACOTAR nothing should surprise me anymore! Still, I mean I never was the biggest fan of this ship (everyone who read my review of ToG knows that) but I at least would have wanted them to be happy for a while. And the way it happened!!

I can understand that Celaena was angry at Chaol but I really didn’t get why she acted the way she did. I mean at first she’s all in love with Chaol and jumps to his rescue because he’s been kidnapped and all she wants is to save him because she loves him oh so much and then in the next moment she’s at his throat and almost kills him! Hell! She didn’t even give him a chance to explain himself! Yes, I’m aware this would have changed nothing about Nehemia’s death, but I think if she would have let him talk, she’d have realised that he didn’t know about the king’s plans. She wronged poor Chaol so much and even though he made bad decisions I still feel sorry for him. Because let’s face it, he might have never trusted Celaena but he certainly loved her deeply. T_T
What a shipwreck!!! RIP!

”She knew his every move and he knew hers, as though they’d been dancing this waltz together all their lives. Faster, never faltering, never breaking her stare.
The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realized she was home.”

”It had snuck up on him, this pain and terror and rage at the thought of anyone else with her. Every look, every word from her … He didn’t even know when it had started.”

”But he didn’t know how to get her in line. He didn’t know how to fix what had been broken. Both inside her, and between them.”

4

All told I really loved “Crown of Midnight” and I can’t wait to dive into “Heir of Fire.” Since this was another buddy read with my precious Gem I actually enjoyed the experience even more! XD I loved our discussions about the plot and characters and the fact Gem is such a hardcore Chaol fan only added fire to the fuel to the fun. *lol*

Let’s pick up book 3 soon!!! I promise I won’t talk bad about Chaol! Well, I’ll try not to! Scout’s honor! ;-P

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 3 on My Book List 2019

”Milton thought Hell was a city, you know. I think maybe he had it half-right. Perhaps London is just Hell’s entrance, and we are the damned souls refusing to pass through, fearing that what we will find on the other side will be worse than the horror we already know.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book has a very slow pacing and that there isn’t an awful lot of action, let alone an intriguing plot. No, this book has none of that, yet it’s still one of my all-time favourites and I’d recommend it to everyone who dares to talk books with me. (My opinions about books are always very strong and therefore book discussions with me can be quite… challenging. *lol*)

The thing is, this book is a good reminder that a great book can live from its character cast as well. It doesn’t need an awesome plot with twists and turns (even though there actually happen to be some in here) or action scenes that leave you gasping. Sometimes everything a book needs are well-thought out and realistic characters and yes, this is exactly what “Clockwork Angel” delivers. I’m in love with all the MCs and the way they see the world. The thoughts they share, the pieces of wisdom their words contain, the severity of the decisions they make, just everything! My love for this series is so deep I can barely put it into words. ❤

It’s true this book is very serious but it’s also funny as hell. There are book talks that will warm every bookworm’s heart, there is the first mention of “demon pox”, an MC that adores chocolate so much that he thinks people who don’t eat it are monsters and cannibal ducks that lead to the Herondale’s secret motto of “Never trust a duck.” Those characters are alive and breathing and they feel more than just real. They have their weaknesses and strengths, they love, they hurt, they joke, they cry, they are palpable and genuine and they are everything to me!

It’s safe to say that I love this series with all my heart. I just hope that you, my dear reader who’s reading this review right now, will end up loving it too! ;-P

2

Welcome to Victorian London! It’s moist, misty, filthy and the home of the Shadowhunters. 😉 Before you pass the threshold of the Institute you should know that you’ll be spoiled as soon as you enter their realm though. Scientia est potentia. Are you ready to gain knowledge?

Tessa:

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

I have no idea why I like Tessa so much but for some reason I do. *lol* At the beginning of the book she’s very naive and innocent. She has no idea why she was taken to the Dark Sisters and it made me sad to see her suffer so much. This poor girl didn’t even know what she was getting into and was totally lost. Well, until Will found her and brought her to the institute. I loved to see her character arc, how she changed from the shy girl into a determined woman. ❤ It was beautifully done and it was easily comprehensible. All the characteristics were already there, they just became more visible and prominent as she got stronger. =) By the end of the book Tessa is no naive and bland character any longer she’s become a stubborn woman that goes her own way and stands up for herself! And honestly, that’s exactly the Tessa I love. XD

”If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?”

”All your talk about Downworlders and how you don’t hate them. That’s all nothing, isn’t it? Just words. You don’t mean them. And as for mundanes, have you ever thought maybe you’d be better at protecting them if you didn’t despise them all so much?”

Will:

”He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass. Elegant cheekbones, a full mouth, and long, thick lashes. Even the curve of his throat was perfect. He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever conjured up in her head.”

Ahhh Will! My precious book husband! <333 I’ll never get tired of this boy! No matter how long I live he (and Warner) will always be my book husbands. *lol* I seem to have a weakness for tortured souls and if Will isn’t the embodiment of a tortured soul then I don’t know! ❤ Also he’s sassy as hell and very sarcastic and boy do I love those traits in my men. Haha! In this book we don’t know why he acts the way he does but I can’t wait to read book two and to watch the story unfold. Still, despite his attitude it’s plain that he cares about all the people that live at the institute. He defended Charlotte when the Enclave talked over her and the way he takes care of Jem and worries about him is adorable. He always tries to keep his distance but the harder he tries the more he seems to fail. >_< At the ending he’s so distraught that he takes a drastic step (at least for him) and since I know what’s going to happen in “Clockwork Prince” I’m already suffering with him.

Tessa looked at Will. “What about you? What do you believe?”
“Pulvis et umbra sumus,” said Will, not looking at her as he spoke. “I believe we are dust and shadows. What else is there?”

”Exactly. There was a man who was worthless, and knew he was worthless, and yet however far down he tried to sink his soul, there was always some part of him capable of great action.” Will lowered his voice. “What is it he says to Lucie Manette? That though he is weak, he can still burn?”

”Are you implying that shreds of my reputation remain intact?” Will demanded with mock horror. “Clearly I have been doing something wrong. Or not doing something wrong, as the case may be.” He banged on the side of the carriage. “Thomas! We must away at once to the nearest brothel! I seek scandal and low companionship.”

”I think I don’t understand your acceptance of his death.”
“And I think that you do not understand that sometimes the only choice is between acceptance and madness.”

Jem:

”He was bareheaded, which drew the eye immediately to his hair. It was an odd bright silver color, like an untarnished shilling. His eyes were the same silver, and his fine-boned face was angular, the slight curve of his eyes the only clue to his heritage.”

I never realized this before but Cassie kind of “friendzoned” Jem in this first book! *lol* Now I know why I never saw him as Tessa’s main love interest. You just can’t because in “Clockwork Angel” Clare wrote him as a friend and not as a lover. Cleverly done, Ms. Clare! ;-P It’s not just the way he is described but also how his character acts. Jem is very down-to-earth and so much wiser than Will. He’s no daredevil but a strategist and this automatically makes him a good listener and friend. So of course everyone is rooting for Tessa and Will to hit it off. XD Still, despite Clare’s efforts I can’t help but love Jem as well. He’s such a gentle, kind and patient soul and therefore the complete opposite of Will, yet this is exactly what draws me to him. They are like fire and water and I love them both! <333 Also, in “Clockwork Prince” we get to see his more passionate side and I’m so ready for him to step out of that friendzone in which Cassie so deliberately placed him! ;-P Break free, Jem! Break free! ❤

”If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.” He smiled then, seeming to have come back to himself, slightly embarrassed. “That’s what I believe.”

”You’re correct. But I’m surprised you know it. I know it. But I have had years to understand Will. To know when he means what he says and when he doesn’t.”

”He could probably have gotten there first – Will suspected Jem was in fact cleverer than he was himself – but he lacked Will’s tendency to assume the absolute worst about people and proceed from there.”

”We Shadowhunters have been what we are for so long, and are so insular, that we often forget to look at any situation from someone else’s point of view. It is only ever about whether something is good for the Nephilim or bad for the Nephilim. Sometimes I think we forget to ask whether it is good or bad for the world.”

”So why don’t you stop fighting? Will and the others –“
“Would understand,” Jem finished for her. “I know they would. But there is more to life than not dying. I am a Shadowhunter. It is what I am, not just what I do. I can’t live without it.”

Jessamine:

”I am not a Shadowhunter, Tessa. I despise everything about the Nephilim. I have never wanted to be one, and my dearest wish is to leave the Institute and never speak to a single soul who resides there ever again.”

Jessamine is one of those characters I never got warm with. She despises to be one of the Shadowhunters and she would rather live a normal life than to fight demons. I get why she feels that way and to some degree I even understand her wish to be normal. Unfortunately she was born as a Nephilim and therefore is expected to fight alongside the others. Jessie is a very inconsistent character because when push comes to shove she actually falls into the patterns of a Shadowhunter and fights with them. I think part of her anger might be even directed at herself because she hates herself for not being able to fight her true nature. Sooner or later her inner conflict will have major consequences but for now she seems to be okay. Well, at least she helped them out when they were attacked, so there’s that.

”I will not have this life, Tessa. I will not have it. I don’t care what I have to do. I won’t live like this. I’d rather die.”

Jessamine made a rude noise. “Chosen to kneel on the ground, are you?”

3

Tessa & Will:

”When he had come into her room at the Dark House, she had thought he was the most beautiful boy she’d ever seen, but just now, looking at him – she had never looked at a boy like that, not in this way that brought blood hot to her face, and tightened her chest.”

To say their relationship is complicated would be the understatement of the century. XD They care about each other deeply and they have an amazing chemistry, yet Will is keeping Tessa at a distance and never lets her get too close to him. Well, of course except of the one time he does and they kiss at the attic. I remember being as confused as Tessa when I first read this book. I couldn’t fathom why Will would so obviously love her, but still push her away. Sophie was right, there is some darkness in him and it’s consuming him from the inside out. T_T Poor Will! One of the best things about their relationship are not only their tender little moments but also their amazing bookish talks! ❤ I’m so glad I read “A Tale of Two Cities” because I finally understood all of their references! It added a new layer of enjoyment to my reading experience and I think I admire Cassandra Clare even more now. I love the way she involves literature and quotes into her books and to have two characters that are bookworms that fall in love is #couplegoals. *lol* Tessa and Will still have a long way to go though. *sighs deeply*

”Are you cold?” Lacing his fingers with hers, Will took her hand and pressed it to his cheek. She was startled by the feverish heat of his skin. “Tess,” he said, his voice thick and soft with desire, and she leaned toward him, swaying like a tree whose branches were weighted by snow.

”Tessa. I’m begging you. Do you understand? I’m begging you. Please, please leave.”

”Don’t you wish to go home?”
He didn’t move, his fingers still brushing her hand. “I can’t ever go home.”

Tessa & Jem:

His eyes were closed. “Will?” he said, without opening his eyes or ceasing to play. “Will, is that you?”

For some reason I love the moment Tessa and Jem meet for the very first time. It’s so tender and simple and the fact that he thought she was Will… Ahh! Just ahh! XD I like how they become friends and kind of bond over Will’s antics. Moreover I absolutely adore how Jem’s steady presence sort of conquers Tessa’s heart. They start as strangers that form a friendship and by the end of the book both of them begin to feel more for each other than mere affection. Also can we appreciate how considerate Jem is? He knows that his parabatai loves Tessa and even though it’s plain that he likes her too, he never acts on it. He holds back and lets them sort it out and he never, really NEVER takes advantage of Tessa’s confusion and pain. I swear he’s a patient angel and he deserves the world and more! <333

”There was something about the way Jem looked at her, she thought. Like he could see into and through her. But nothing inside her, nothing he saw or heard, could bother or upset or disappoint him.”

”He kissed the back of it, just a light touch of his mouth, and his hair – as soft and light as silk – brushed her wrist as he lowered his head. She felt a shock go through her, strong enough to startle her, and she stood speechless as he straightened, his mouth curving into a smile.”

”I think he did,” said Jem, “and does love you, in his way, but you cannot concern yourself with that. It is as great a thing to love as it is to be loved. Love is not something that can be wasted.”

Will & Jem:

Will shrugged. “The spoils of vice are a burdensome responsibility.”
“Yet one you seem strangely able to bear,” observed Jem, with an amused flash of his silvery eyes.

I LOVE MY TWO BOYS!!! They are everything to me and I’d die for them!! <333 Their relationship is one of the best things about this book and I’ve to admit that I ship them. Yes, you read right! I ship them… HARD! *lol* Even though the focus is on their friendship there is still some sort of chemistry between those two. And they love each other! It’s plain as day! Maybe not sexually but kind of romantically and in such a profound way that it’s impossible not to notice! I’d even go as far as to say that they have some sort of a “demiromantic relationship”. It’s really hard to explain with those two but boy do I love their relationship! <333 Plus you’ve to adore the way they tease each other! Their conversations are some of the best ones in this entire book. Only Tessa and Will’s book talks get close to the pleasure of reading their easy banter. ;-P I can’t wait to read “Clockwork Prince” because I know their special connection will be explored even more in the second instalment. =)))

”Hunger,” said Jem. “Were you thinking about blood?”
“No.”
“Were you thinking about eating me?” Will inquired.
“No!”
“No one would blame you,” said Jem. “He’s very annoying.”

”You think she’s pretty?” Will was surprised; Jem rarely opined on this sort of thing.
“Yes, and you do too.”
“I hadn’t noticed, really.”
“Yes, you have, and I’ve noticed you noticing.” Jem was smiling.

”I can minister angelically.”
“None too convincingly. And you’re not as pretty to look at as Tessa is,” Jem said, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the pillow.
“How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun.”
Jem still had his eyes closed. “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong.”

”You were ill,” Will said, not looking at Tessa as he spoke. “It’s nobody’s fault.” He paused. “I just think you should be careful. You’re not well still. Talking will just tire you out.”
“There are more important things than being careful.”

Tessa & Nate:

”I had disappointed him,” Nate said. “You disappointed him. You ran from the Dark Sisters, knowing what it would cost me. Your sisterly affection leaves something to be desired, Tessie.”

Well, I think we can all agree that Nate is a numpty, right? If anything his brotherly affection leaves something to be desired. I mean he basically sold Tessa to Mortmain and this even though she was his sister. Maybe she isn’t his sister by blood but they were raised together and she always took care of him. If you ask me he’s an ungrateful moron and the only thing he deserves is a heartfelt kick to his soft parts! I already hate him and I feel very sorry for Tessa. She definitely deserved a better brother than that! >_<

”She and her aunt had hidden Nate’s own weaknesses from him, the consequences of his own flaws and failings. Never telling him of the work Aunt Harriet hat had to do to make up the money he had lost gambling, of the taunts Tessa had endured from other children, calling her brother a drunk, a wastrel. They had hidden these things from him to keep him from being hurt.”

Charlotte & Henry:

”But you would never be so foolish,” Charlotte said. “Save that you are, at this very moment, being that foolish. You look at Henry and myself and you are not afraid of us. You are amused! A fairy tale come to life!” She slammed her hand down hard on the edge of his desk, making him jump.

Charlotte and Henry always make me feel warm and cosy! ❤ They can’t be a lot older than Will, Jem and Jessamine but they are like two loving parents that try to do what’s best for their kids. Yes, Charlotte might be harsh sometimes and Henry is sort of a dreamer, but they both kind of complement one another and they most definitely have their hearts at the right place! ❤ At the end of the day this is everything that matters and I’m sure our young Shadowhunters see it the same way. 😉

”Inanimate objects are harmless indeed, Mr. Mortmain. But one cannot always say the same of the men who use them.”

”Henry,” he said, “you’re on fire. You do know that, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes,” Henry said eagerly. The flames were now nearly to his shoulder. “I’ve been working like a man possessed all day.”

4

This series will always have a special place in my heart and I enjoyed this reread probably even more then when I read the book for the very first time. Three-dimensional characters, awesome quotes, meaningful conversations, great bookish discussions, a little bit of action and lots of humour made this a wonderful read. What truly distinguishes it from all of the other books are the deep relationships though. They add a good portion of misery and heart to the story and if we’re totally honest, we’ve to admit that we all love a tragic fairy tale every once in a while. Don’t you agree? ;-P

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 2 on My Book List 2019

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

After finishing “Cinder” I was kind of curious what other reviewers wrote about it and I was pretty surprised when I found out that a lot of my friends gave it only two or three stars. As it seems the main reason for those low ratings were 1.) It’s just not my jam or 2.) I read too many retellings. Sometimes even a combination of both. XD

Well, I guess it’s kind of good then that I wasn’t all too big on retellings over the last few years because I definitely enjoyed this! I don’t know if I would have liked it less if I would have read more retellings, but as some sort of “newbie” to the scene I actually ended up loving it to bits and pieces!

This was just amazing! ❤ I mean a cyborg Cinderella who’s a mechanic and lives in a futuristic world?! Sign me f*** up! I loved the entire New Beijing vibe and I was so down for all those “Star Wars” moments! XD (And just in case you wondered, I’ve been a Warsie AND a Trekkie since my early childhood days! *lol* Being a fan of both is impossible? Hah! I’m your living and breathing proof it’s not! ;-P) Anyway! I relished the breath of fresh air this retelling gave me and after reading all those “normal” fairy tales with my kid this was balm for my soul. *lol*

Finally something different! Finally a break from “Cinderella” who lost her glass slipper on the stairs. This so wasn’t your ordinary fairy tale and Cinder certainly wasn’t your ordinary heroine either. Before I go into more detail, I’ll head into my characters section though. Wouldn’t want you to get spoiled, right?! (Is it even spoiling if we all know about Cinderella’s story? *lol*)

2

Fair Warning: This is a spoiler well. If you lean forward you might tumble into the rabbit hole. I urge you to exercise caution. Proceed at your own risk. ;-P

Cinder:

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

Haha! I loved Cinder! She was such a cool character and totally down-to-earth! Funnily enough she didn’t seem to enjoy beautiful dresses (the real Cinderella would have been shocked!) and rather preferred to stay in her room working on androids instead of going out. Which in all honesty made her a very relatable character. XD I liked that she was so strong-willed and had her own opinion about everything, but I also felt very sorry for her. Aside from Prince Kai and Dr. Erland, Peony was probably the only person who ever showed her some kindness and to lose her must have been a more than just hard blow. >_< Especially because Peony was just lovely and kind! I don’t know how it came to be that Peony was the only one who accepted Cinder the way she was but I was really glad that she had at least one sister that cared. XD Still, no matter how sad her death made me I think Cinder would have never dared to be so bold if she would have been around to see it, so I guess there’s at least one positive thing that came out of it. Poor Cinder though! T_T

A flash of hurt crossed his face. “What? I can’t buy you a gift?” he asked, in a tone that nearly stopped the electric pulses of her wiring.
“No. Not after I’ve ignored six of your comms in the last week. Are you dense?”
“So you did get them!”

Prince Kai:

Kai stepped closer to Torin, ignoring a group of lab technicians that were forced to swarm around them. „I have a plan. My plan is to not marry her. Diplomacy be damned. There. End of discussion.”

WHAT. A. HOTTIE! *swoons* I adored him right from the moment he appeared in the book! GAH! Prince Kai was just awesome! I loved that he didn’t back down and fought Queen Levana with every breath he took. There was so much at stake for him but he stayed true to himself and this even though Levana and the other countries certainly didn’t make it easy for him. So much pressure! Poor boy! =(( Plus can we acknowledge how caring he was even though his own life turned upside down. I mean he lost his father to the plague and yet he still managed to keep Levana at bay, served his country, tried to persuade Cinder and wanted to find a cure. XD Not to mention his adorable humour and enticing defiance. *lol* The perfect prince for sure! 😉

”I will –“ He paused again, straightened, and focused his eyes on some distant, invisible point. “I will do whatever needs to be done to ensure the well-being of my country. I will do whatever needs to be done to keep you all safe. That is my promise.”

Iko:

Iko rolled to her side, clasping her metal grippers over her chest. “Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”

IKO!!! <333 She was one of the best sidekicks ever and she definitely asked the right questions. *LOL* The idea of an android with feelings might have been nothing new but the way it was executed in here was perfect! XD When you read about Iko you involuntarily see her as a normal person, well until some body parts of her are mentioned and you’re reminded that she’s actually a machine with a soul. 😉 I can’t believe Adri destroyed her and my poor heart bled when Cinder found her in her room. I really hope Cinder will find a new body for her and that this time around it will be a human looking one. Iko deserves it and she’d be so happy if she’d have curves to wear all those pretty dresses. *lol*

Cinder flinched. “Can we please not talk about the prince?”
“I don’t think that will be possible. You’re working on his android, after all. Just think about the things she knows, the things she’s seen and –“ Iko’s voice sputtered. “Do you think she’s seen him in the nude?”

Queen Levana:

”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai, “that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Levana tilted her head back so she could peer down her nose at Kai, even though he was taller than she was. “You do not wish to try my patience with your sarcasm, young prince.”

Queen Levana is no fun! Seriously, that woman has a stick up her ass. >_< The way she treated Kai and all her machinations… I really despised her for it! How can anyone be so cruel and heartless? I mean that moment with the mirror on her plate? ARGH! If I’d have been Prince Kai I’d have flipped her the bird multiple times. *lol* I guess in his own way he actually kind of did it. Haha! Considering how Cinder reacted to her once she saw through her glamour she must be as ugly on the outside as she’s on the inside and I really hope she won’t get Kai.

Adri:

”I think it a fair solution. After all, you bought it with my money, therefore it is mine to do with as I please. In some cultures they would cut off your hand, Cinder. Consider yourself fortunate.
“But it’s my foot!”
“And you will have to do without it until you can find a cheaper replacement.” She glowered at Cinder’s feet. Her lip curled with disgust. “You are not human, Cinder. It’s about time you realized that.”

There were moments when I wasn’t sure which one of them is worse. Adri or Queen Levana? And honestly sometimes I was even inclined to give Adri first place. For some of the things she did, she would have deserved to stand on the pedestal. *shakes head* I really don’t know what’s eating her but after reading “Glitches” I’m fairly certain that it had nothing to do with Cinder. As it seems she was always that hostile and I have no idea why Garan married her. That woman is just horrible and I hope she never meets Queen Levana! I don’t even want to think about what would happen if those two would join forces. *shudders*

3

Cinder & Prince Kai:

”I shouldn’t be telling you all this anyway. It isn’t your problem to worry about. It’s just … you’re easy to talk to.”
She shuffled her feet. “It is kind of my problem. I mean, we all have to live here.
“You could move to Europe.”
“You know, I’ve actually been considering that lately.”
Kai laughed again, the warmth returning to the sound. “If that’s not a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is.”

I’m totally on board of this ship! Those two were soo cute together and I loved their easy banter. ❤ Poor Prince Kai though! I have no idea how Cinder managed not to give into his advances. I mean there’s this amazing Prince who is determined to take her to the ball with him and she crushes his hopes again and again! WTH?? You might be a cyborg Cinder but I don’t think Prince Kai would have loved you any less if you would have told him the truth about yourself. I think if anything he might have loved you even more. If she would have just told him on her own terms. The way it was revealed was just too much for Kai and I can understand him, really. His words at the end of the book killed me but I get why he was so disappointed. There were plenty of opportunities to come clean with him, but Cinder never told him. =( Also I think that his last words were meant in the sense of it hurts him more to look at her than at Levana because he felt betrayed by her and at least Levana put her cards on the table. I’m really worried about him now because who knows what he might agree to now that Cinder is out of the picture. >_< He’s strong willed but the longer he stays in Queen Levana’s presence the harder it will get to resist her and I just don’t want him to give up on himself!! ARGH!!! I’m so afraid of what will happen to him in those next few books!

”It’s gone now,” she said. “I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” said Kai. “What causes it? What can we do to make it stop?”

Kai peeled his eyes away, finding some place of resignation off in the glistening garden. “You’re even more painful to look at than she is.”
Cinder’s heart shrivelled inside her until she was sure it would stop beating altogether.

Queen Levana & Prince Kai:

She was still battling Kai across the table, her eyes cold and calculating, and he unable to look away. “I have learned something valuable about you tonight, young prince. I hope you have learned something about me, as well.”
“That you prefer to rule through fear rather than justice? So sorry, Your Majesty, I’m afraid I already knew that about you.”
“No, indeed. I hope you noticed that I am capable of choosing my battles.” Her lips curved, her beauty returning full force. “If that’s what it takes to win the war.”

Those two were like cat and mouse! Unfortunately Kai was the mouse in this scenario and even though he held his own I’m afraid that Queen Levana might be able to persuade him to marry her. It’s not just her glamour but also the cure she offers. He always said that he only wants what’s best for his people and if it saves them he might even consider making a deal with the devil. =( Plus now that Dr. Erland vanished with Cinder he has no one that would continue his research for an antidote. To him it might look like there’s only one option left and I DON’T WANT HIM TO CHOOSE THAT FREAKIN OPTION! GOSH DARN IT!!! *dies*

4

I LOVED this!!! “Cinder” read like a unique mixture of “Cinderella” featuring “Star Wars” and even though I didn’t know it when I started to read the book this was exactly what I needed! XD Give me more of this and I might overcome my growing aversion to ordinary fairy tales. *lol* Maybe one day my kid will read those books too! 😉 This said: I can’t wait to continue with “Scarlet”!!!
Happy reading and enjoy!

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Circe (Madeline Miller)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 27 on My Book List 2019

”Of all the mortals on the earth, there are only a few the gods will ever hear of. Consider the practicalities. By the time we learn their names, they are dead. They must be meteors indeed to catch our attention. The merely good: you are dust to us.“

I thought long and hard what to write about “Circe” but when it comes down to it the first words that always pop into my mind are: “I loved this so damn much!!!” *lol* Which is neither especially eloquent nor particularly significant. So what to do? How to describe my love for this book in words that would do this masterpiece (and yes, in my opinion it truly is a masterpiece) justice?

”I felt myself tremble, but I would not let him see it. Great gods smell fear like sharks smell blood, and they will devour you for it just the same.”

I guess I might start with what it is not. “Circe” is definitely not like “The Song of Achilles”! To be honest those books couldn’t have been any more different even if they tried. Whilst the main topics of “The Song of Achilles” were the Trojan War and the undying love *weeps* between Patroclus and Achilles the major themes in “Circe” were her solitary life in exile and her encounter with Odysseus. This setting alone makes for an entirely different story and sets a completely different pace. The tale of Circe is slow and unfolds over time, the many centuries that pass away giving the reader not only a good sense of the change of the world but also an insight to our heroine’s lonely life. Just like the love between Patroclus and Achilles was almost tangible in every single page from “The Song of Achilles” Circe’s solitude is palpable in every written line.

”I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

The remarkable thing about her is that she didn’t let it get her down. She might have been in exile and shunned by her family but she never got bitter because of it. Quite the contrary. She took what she had and changed it according to her needs and she adapted to her new life and made the best out of it. And even more important, she defied the gods by doing so. It might have been small gestures and little actions but with every breath she took she refused to give them any satisfaction. Circe was a strong-willed, skilled and formidable woman and I couldn’t help but love her for it!

”We lit no tapers. The room was dark and warm from the day’s heat. Shadows draped the bed. No frogs sounded, no birds called. It was as if we had found the still heart of the universe. Nothing moved except for us.“

Despite her bravery and strong will it’s undeniable that she was a very lonely woman though. This however doesn’t mean that she didn’t know love. There were quite a few lovers and mortals she didn’t only take to her bed but also into her heart and whenever she did it; it left a mark on her soul. Circe loved deeply and gently and she always felt compassion for those men that came to her island and crossed her path. Well, at least until one day that changed everything.

”They moaned and squealed, and pressed their snouts to the earth. We are sorry, we are sorry.
Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”

And tell you what? I could understand her anger and wrath, because I think this was the first time she truly realized what had been done to her. The gods didn’t intervene on her behalf and left her to her own devices instead and the trust she had given to those who had needed her help was betrayed in the worst possible way. Add to that her acute loneliness and you get a goddess that becomes embittered and vindictive.

”And so,” he said, “which do you change, and which do you let go?”
“I change them all,” I said. “They have come to my house. Why should I care what is in their hearts?”
He had smiled and lifted his cup to me. “Lady, you and I are in accord.”

Who knows what would have happened if Odysseus would have never come to her island? Which kind of person would she have become? I guess we’ll never find out and I’m pretty sure that’s good the way it is. And here comes another scene that brought me immense joy, the moment Circe and Odysseus meet for the very first time. XD Gods, I loved their conversation so much! The tension and the way they tried to gauge each other’s reactions by talking about seemingly simple things! This was so masterfully done, I can’t even! One of the best book moments ever, I swear! <333

”I confess I’m in awe,“ he said, „they’re never so quiet for me. You must have had quite an effect on them.“
I heard a humming, like before a spell is cast. His gaze was a honed blade. All this had been prologue. As if we were in a play, we stood.

I’ve always loved Odysseus and I’ve been a huge fan of him ever since I read the Odyssey. I know he is a hero with many flaws and more morally grey than anything else, but this was always the reason why I loved him so much. He’s human, he’s intelligent, skilled, sly, he’s honourable (most of the time) and he knows how to manipulate people in order to get what the wants. Some might say he’s a dangerous man and they’d be completely right with it. So what’s not to love? *lol*

”The world was made of mysteries, and I was only another riddle among the millions. I did not answer him, and though he pretended frustration, yet I began to see that it pleased him in some strange way. A door that did not open at his knock was a novelty in its own right, and a kind of relief as well. All the world confessed to him. He confessed to me.”

Well, anyway! Those two meet and they clash! And yes, I savoured every single moment of it. Their conversations were really intriguing and it’s obvious Odysseus had a notable impact on Circe’s life. In more ways than one, I might add. ;-P Considering the circumstances this actually sounded kind of dirty now. *lol* Never mind my particular choice of words. XD

4

It’s undeniable that Madeline Miller has a way with words and no matter which kind of story she tells, she always seems to be able to turn it into gold. I loved how she managed to weave so many different parts of Greek mythology into “Circe’s” tale and I adored that our heroine was a constant part of it all. The pacing of the book might have been very slow, but this didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. Whilst the ending of “The Song of Achilles” made me ugly cry, “Circe’s” ending had an entirely different effect and gave me a sense of contentment and peace. This was definitely another one of Madeline Miller’s masterpieces and all that’s left to say is that I can really recommend it! 😉

 

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

Book 38 on My Book List 2019

 

”And so this exotic strain of gossip spread rapidly through the Levantine networks of the Asian jet set, and within a few hours, almost everyone in this exclusive circle knew that Nicholas Young was bringing a girl home to Singapore.

And, alamak! This was big news.”
I guess this quote is the perfect summary of the entire book. *lol* And yes, the title already tells us everything we need to know. Still, I expected something light and fluffy when I started to read “Crazy Rich Asians” but truth be told I was kinda thrown by the intense and serious turn this book took in the end. There happened quite some heavy stuff and this is probably the biggest understatement ever!! XD

 

Oh well, I’m getting ahead of myself here so let’s start at the beginning. Rachel and Nicholas have been in a solid relationship for two years and his best friend’s wedding is actually the main reason he’s taking his girlfriend with him. I mean he’s Colin’s best man so it’s only natural to take your long-time girlfriend with you, right? Yes and no! Because seriously, nothing and no one could have prepared them for what would happen when they set their feet on this island. XD It’s not only a clash of cultures but also some sort of grim war between two seemingly different classes of people. If there ever exists such a thing. Just because some people think they are better and superior this certainly doesn’t make them better and superior. Which already brings me to the first topic that got me really riled whenever I read this book:The audacity and obnoxious snobbery of Nick’s family and their “close” friends. Money can buy you a lot of things but it obviously can neither buy you a heart nor common sense!

”And unlike Leo, Eddie’s parents were the old-fashioned type – insisting from the moment Eddie graduated that he learn to live off his earnings.
It was so bloody unfair.

I had no, I repeat absolutely, no sympathy or compassion for “poor” Eddie. It must have been so damn hard just to have a big house instead of a villa or to have a small private jet instead of a huge luxury airplane. If you ask me those people are really rich and truly crazy. There are people starving in this world, there are people that don’t even have a place to call their home and all those rich spoilt brats cared about was their designer clothes, their food and how they could look better than the rest. Urgh! I know I’m taking this way too serious, but as a person who grew up in a hardworking family that had to work for every cent and never got anything for free I just lack sympathy for people like them. And therefore the list of the people I didn’t like in this book is as long as the equator. Probably even longer because to circle the entire world only once might not be enough. XD

So just to give you a short example: Eleanor, Bernard, Eddie, Lorena, Carol, Lauren, Francesca, Evan, Roderick, Wandi, Parker, Nadine, Jacqueline, Su Yi (aka Ah Ma), Alexandra, … and the list could go on and on!

Thankfully there are also people that I liked and that made up for the horrible snobbery of those others: Rachel, Nick, Astrid, Colin, Sophie, Peik Lin and all the Gohs in general, Alistair, Philip and Charlie. And maybe Oliver, but I really dunno what’s his angle in all of this. *lol*

”Oh, you really don’t have to do that. It’s not important to me what sort of family he comes from,” Rachel said.
“Nonsense, lah! Of course it’s important!” Wye Mun was adamant. “If he’s Singaporean, I have a responsibility to make sure he’s good enough for you!”

I wish Nick’s family would have seen it the same way because the way they treated Rachel was just horrible and mean! I think the biggest disappointment was Su Yi though. I really thought she would know better than her spoilt grandchild Eddie! Especially because if I got it correctly she’s only filthy rich because she inherited the money from her father and actually didn’t have to do anything to gain her wealth.

”Where she’s from is irrelevant. My youngest grandson is not going to marry some actress, especially one of questionable lineage,” Su Yi said simply. Turning to Alexandra, she said, “You will tell him to break off the engagement immediately.”

But every time I thought “OH GODS, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!!” some nice character made an appearance and I started to believe in the good in people again. *lol* Two of the best examples were definitely Nick and Charlie because boy those two men blew me away! And truth be told even Fiona showed some serious backbone when she defended her kids against their tyrant of a father! =)

”Who exactly are you trying to impress? The photographers? The readers of Hong Kong Tattle? You really care so much about them that you’d rather hit your own son over an accident that you caused in the first place by screaming at him for wearing the wrong cummerbund?”

And so it happens that events escalate and almost everything that can go wrong actually goes wrong in the end. I can’t even tell you how sorry I felt for Nick! I mean, yeah he was partly responsible for the things that happened but you can’t blame him for only thinking the best of his mum and grandma. I mean they are his family and they hurt him at least as much as they hurt Rachel. Up until the moment he realized what they did behind his back he was actually pretty clueless about their vindictive ways and the lengths to which they would go in order to keep him from marrying Rachel.

”She’s not something I can just give up, Mum. I love her, and I’m going to marry her. I don’t need anyone’s approval,” Nick said forcefully, rising from the table.
“Stupid boy! Ah Ma will disinherit you!”
“Like I care.”

”No, Rachel, please don’t go,” Nick said, grabbing her by the arm. “I need you to hear this. Ah Ma, I don’t know what stories you’ve been told, but I have met Rachel’s family, and I like them very much. They have certainly shown me a great deal more courtesy, warmth, and respect than our family has shown to Rachel.”

Poor Nick, poor Rachel! They both didn’t deserve to be treated like that! I felt really sorry for Rachel because her world was turned upside down, but to some degree I felt even more sorry for Nick because it was his own family that did all this stuff. Your family should be the people you can rely on and trust, your family should be the people that catch you when you fall and his family, well they hurt him because he wanted to marry the “wrong” kind of girl.

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And if this wouldn’t have been enough already Rachel even broke up with him because she couldn’t stand to see him anymore. He so didn’t deserve that!! I swear if Rachel wouldn’t have turned to him in the end I really would have thrown that book out of my window! *lol* YES! I felt that strongly about poor Nick’s misery!!!

 

4

“Crazy Rich Asians” was an interesting, unexpectedly intense and somehow educational book. It kept me entertained and forced me to read on because I always wanted to know what would happen next. Rachel and Nick were a great couple and I’m already curious about the second book. As it seems it’s not only about them but also about Nick’s cousin Astrid as well and after her encounter with her ex-boyfriend Charlie I’m really beyond excited to see where this is heading. Because let’s face it: As much as I liked Nick, Charlie is still the best!!!! ❤

spoiler

”If he didn’t have a chance of getting Astrid back, he at least wanted to try to help her. He wanted her to find love again with her husband. He wanted to see the joy return to Astrid’s face, that glow he had witnessed all those years ago at the bonfire on the beach. He wanted to pass it on.”

Imma gonna die if they don’t end up together and she actually goes back to Michael!!!! ARAHAKSDFASDFJASDKFJADSKF! Charlie is precious!! So damn precious that I can’t even! <333 If Astrid doesn’t take him, I will! *lol*

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

Book 9 on My Book List 2019

”We are the people who fill the king’s prisons, the people our kingdom turns into laborers. The people Orïshans try to chase out of their features, outlawing our lineage as if white hair and dead magic were a social stain.”

I really don’t know how to begin this review and I’m pretty certain that this is mostly due to the fact that it seems to be unpopular opinion time. *lol* Truth be told, this rarely happens when I read a book. If my friends say they loved it, I usually end up loving it too and when it comes down to it, I think Tomi Adeyemi actually did a great job with her book. It was different, the cast was diverse, the magic system was intriguing, the characters weren’t only morally grey but also complex and the world building was unique.

So if all of that was awesome, why didn’t I like the book as much as I thought I would? Well, there were some things I just couldn’t bring myself to overlook. For instance I had kind of a tough time to get into the writing style (I guess it just wasn’t for me) and I would have liked to get a little bit more background information. I mean I still don’t know what exactly an agbön game is. Is it a war strategy game in real life? Why is it mentioned that Tzain is muscular due to it? Do they actually fight? Is it some sort of water combat?

Also how exactly do all of their powers work? Sure, at the beginning of the book there is an explanation of all the ten Maji clans but whenever someone uses their power we only see what they do but we never get to know HOW they do it and what’s behind of it. Sure, we could argue that the knowledge was lost when magic died and that no one really knows how to use their abilities properly, I think it would have been helpful to explain the machinations behind those powers and incantations though. For a die-hard fantasy fan like me the short explanation we got during the book definitely wasn’t enough. But once again that’s my subjective opinion.

Still, there is one thing I really couldn’t overlook and that was the way the ships developed or should I rather say the way they didn’t develop. They came out of nowhere and quite literally smacked you in the face. *lol* One moment it was like: „I hate you with a fire so bright I want to destroy and burn you to the ground“ and the next it was „I love you and want to be with you until our bones are dust on that aforementioned ground“. So urgh! A 180 degree change because of what? A single moment you agreed? Nope, definitely not working for me. #SorryNotSorry

If I convince myself to overlook all of those little things the book was a really great read though and I have no qualms to recommend it. Well, okay if you don’t like insta-love you might get annoyed and probably should keep this in mind. *lol* It’s just a suggestion though. ;-P

2

Welcome to my characters section! I don’t have any maji powers so if you continue to read your memory won’t be erased after you’re done with this part of my review. You will be spoiled for eternity and if you don’t want to take that risk you better leave now and never look back. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

Zélie:

”I see you dyed your hair.” She points at the color hiding my white streak and smirks. “You might want to add another coat. Some of your maggot’s still peeking through.”

I really liked Zélie! She was exactly the way you would imagine a heroine to be. I mean she had her beliefs and she stood by them and never gave up. No matter what happened, how torn and broken she felt, she always got up again and fought. For her family, for her people and for herself. I think if she truly sets her mind on something there is actually nothing she couldn’t do. Also, I kind of loved that we got to see both of her sides. On the outside she was always so brave and determined, but on the inside we could see her insecurities and fears. It was nice to see how others perceived her and how she truly was. XD My poor, poor girl though. =(( I suffered with her so much and as if the loss of her mother wouldn’t have been already enough she even had to fall into the hands of Saran. I will never forgive him for what he did to her and my heart will always bleed for Zélie! T_T

”Tell me, little prince.” I whip around. “What hurts more? The feeling you get when you use your magic or the pain of pushing it all down?”

”I won’t let your father get away with what he’s done. I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”

”You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!”

”You don’t have to be afraid-“
“I am always afraid!”
I don’t know what shocks me more – the power in my voice or the words themselves.”

Amari:

”Sadness swells inside me as I close my eyes and picture her face. Just a brief thought of her is almost enough to take me away from the hell of this desert. If she were here, she’d be smiling, laughing at the grains of sand that got stuck between her teeth. She’d find beauty in all of this. Binta found the beauty in everything.”

Okay, let’s be blunt and totally honest here: Amari is my one and only true Queen and I love her to bits and pieces! <333 This girl is nothing but amazing and even though she had her weaknesses, this didn’t stop her from trying to improve and to make things better in the end. Amari knew exactly what she was capable of but I think she had troubles to come to terms with it. I guess in general she’s a rather peaceful person but if someone hurts the ones she loves and cares about she becomes a Lionaire. *lol* That kind of reminded me of myself, so I could totally relate to her. XD Plus, I loved that she was Saran’s daughter but still recognized her father’s faults and mistakes, that she dared to get in her father’s way. No, that she even tried to save him and tried to show him that he was wrong. It didn’t work out in the end but it definitely wasn’t due to her not trying.

”Do not worry,” I whisper as he takes his last breath. “I will make a far better queen.”

Inan:

”Magic slithers inside me. Venomous, like a thousand spiders crawling over my skin. It wants more of me. The curse wants to fight its way in –“

*sighs deeply* What a morally grey, confused, broken, complex and multi-layered character. I really don’t know if I should hate or like him and usually that’s a really good sign. *lol* Inan did so many stupid things and sometimes I just wanted to yell at him, if you know his entire background story it’s not easy to judge him for his actions though. His father’s warrior or not, it was obvious that he had troubles to come to terms with his role. If you’ve been raised in the belief that magic is bad it’s not easy to accept that everything you’ve been taught was a lie. I mean he’s been indoctrinated his entire life and it didn’t come as a surprise that he would have difficulties to accept that he’s actually one of the maji. Plus, despite everything his father did, he truly loved him…. Unfortunately that love wasn’t reciprocated and my heart broke when Saran found out about his powers and tried to kill him. I’m saying “tried” because I really don’t know if he survived the ending or not. It didn’t look good for him but it still might be possible that he survived. If he did I’m convinced that he’ll be even more broken than he was in the first book though and I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to handle such a broken Inan. >_<

”I’m really one of them.
I’m the very monster I hunt.”

”I hate my magic.” I lower my voice. “I despise the way it poisons me. But more than anything, I hate the way it makes me hate myself.”

Tzain:

Mhmm… I really don’t know what to think about Tzain. I have the feeling that I didn’t really get to know him because we never got his POV and that obviously makes it kind of hard to gauge his character. For some reason I didn’t like the little that I saw, though. I mean I get why he was angry at Zélie but it’s really not like anything that happened was her fault. I didn’t like his overprotective attitude and sometimes it felt like he was acting very selfish. I mean he is a kosidán and I think because of that he didn’t really understand what it means to be a diviner, what it means to be despised just because you look different. Still, I think some of his worries and reservations were valid and when the shit hit the fan Zélie could always count on him. So all told, I guess it’s safe to say that he’s a good brother who loves his sister and only wants the best for her. =)

Saran:

”After the Raid you should’ve been desperate to keep magic away. You were supposed to be afraid. Obedient. Now I see there is no educating your kind. You maggots all crave the disease tainting your blood.”

I hated Saran and it made me sick to hear his thoughts. If there ever was a person in a book who’s the epitome of racism it certainly would be Saran. Gah, all those prejudices and that senseless hate I really couldn’t stand him. And if I didn’t hate him enough already, the fact he wanted to kill Amari as well as Inan, his own flesh and blood, only caused me to despise him even more. I’m sorry for Amari because my warrior princess didn’t deserve to have the blood of her father on her blade, but I’m definitely not sorry that he died in the end. I mean he didn’t even hesitate to kill them both…. What a cruel father! *shakes head*

Roën:

”Don’t – “ He stops me before I interject. “This isn’t about you. I couldn’t speak for weeks after I got my scars. I certainly couldn’t fight.”

Now that’s a character that really intrigued me! Roën seems to be right up my alley and I hope that we’ll get to see more of him in the next book. There weren’t enough moments with him but the little I saw automatically gave me a Nikolai vibe and we all know how much I love Nikolai Lantsov. *lol* I don’t know how I feel about him being a possible love interest for Zélie but I’m inclined to give their ship a chance. XD So I guess I’ll just have to wait until book two comes out.

”Apologies.” He smiles. “My feet have a nasty habit of following my heart.”

3

Zélie & Inan:

”An unknown force burns behind his amber gaze, a prison I can’t escape. Something in his spirit seems to claw onto mine. But before I can spend another second locked in his eyes, Nailah flies over the gate, severing our connection.”

That ship! *shakes head* Urgh! Okay, there obviously was attraction right from the beginning, but seriously, the little glimpses of “for a criminal I’m supposed to kill, Zélie actually looks hot” and “Inan is an obedient sexy bastard that wants to kill me” certainly didn’t prepare me for the fact that they made a 180 degree turn and became a ship all of a sudden. I’m saying this with all due respect but: WTF?!!! Inan’s powers show him Zélie’s pain and he understands everything? Yah, right. Totally relatable! It’s not like Inan was intent on killing her for half of the book and that they hated each other with a fierce passion. NAH! Oh wait, it WAS exactly like that! *rolls eyes* I can live with insta-love if it’s done well, but this was “INSTA love” (emphasis on “insta”) and I’m not okay with that. I like Zélie’s character and I like Inan’s character but I don’t like their ship?! Maybe I would have liked it if things would have gone more slowly, but the way it happened I just can’t… Well, I just can’t, you feel me? >_<

”Liar,” he decides. “You’re just trying to get into my head.”
“No, little prince. It’s you who’s gotten into mine.”

A smile spreads on my lips, one that’s coming more and more often in her presence. “You rather enjoy insulting me, don’t you?”
“It’s almost as satisfying as beating you with my staff.”

Amari & Tzain:

Tzain smiles, and it softens up every hard line in his face. “You’re not so quiet yourself, Princess. The way you snore, I should’ve called you the Lionaire this whole time.”

And here we go with another ship I don’t want to board. *lol* This felt so damn forced I can’t even. It’s like Tomi Adeyemi decided that she needed another couple and that those two would do. But just because they are two of the MCs and have the commonality that they don’t have any powers they don’t automatically have to become a ship! It’s just not working, especially because Amari is still in mourning for Binta. If you ask me they were definitely more than just friends and if anything I want to see Amari with Zélie which brings me to my unofficial ship of this book.

Amari & Zélie:

”I wipe away the remainder of her tears and place my hand on her cheek. I couldn’t be there for Binta, yet being with Zélie, I feel the hole in my heart closing. Binta would’ve told me to be brave. With Zélie, I already am.”

Now this is finally a ship I would board without a second thought or hesitation! XD Those two had chemistry and slowly but gradually became friends and grew on each other. They could be an amazing ship and I would totally support it. As for the probability: It was never explicitly mentioned but I’m pretty sure that Amari is bi. The way she mourned for Binta and the little glimpses we got of their relationship kind of gave me the impression that they were more than just friends and actually loved each other. Of course I could be wrong but I don’t think that I am. So from Amari’s POV it definitely would be possible. Zélie? I don’t know… Adeyemi focused too much on the male MC of the story so I doubt that Zélie is bi. Still, I’m curious to find out how the relationship between Amari and Zélie is going to develop and I’m definitely ready to read about it in book two. 😉

4

“Children of Blood and Bone” was a new and refreshing approach in the YA and fantasy genre. I might have had some issues with the execution but in general I really enjoyed reading Zélie’s story. So all told this makes 3,5 paws rounded up to four. I’m convinced there is a lot of potential and room for improvement so I’m really looking forward to read the sequel “Children of Virtue and Vengeance”.

And last but not least I want to thank the lovely Uzma for reading this book with me! It was a great buddy read and I hope there are even more to come! ❤ Maybe we could even go for the second book once it finally hits the stores? 😉 I’d definitely be up for another round. XD