Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: One of Us Is Next (Karen M. McManus)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Phoebe Lawton, you’re up first! Text back your choice: Should I reveal a Truth, or will you take a Dare?”

Guess after “One of Us Is Lying” we all know that you better take the dare, right? Well, if you want to find out what Phoebe did you’ve to read the book, because this review is going to be spoiler free. ;-P
So this out of the way, what is “One of Us Is Next” about? It basically plays one year after Simon’s death and the events that followed. This time around there are three different POVs though. One of them is Maeve Rojas (Bronwyn’s sister that already was a side-character in book one) and the other two are Knox Mayers (Maeve’s best friend) and Phoebe Lawton. In this second instalment the plot is all about Truth or Dare. There is a mysterious person named Unknown who threatens to expose a secret of the chosen people if they don’t take the dare. So you either take the dare or your secret gets spilled and everybody and their grandma will talk about it.

”And then I remember why About That was so popular for so long. Because even though I hate Unknown, and it freaks me out that they revealed a secret I thought would never get out, and the idea of another Simon Kelleher prowling around Bayview High is straight-up nauseating – I can’t help being curious.
What’s going to happen now?”

Well, and that’s basically the concept on which this book is built. Who is going to be next and will they choose truth or dare? I’ve to admit this was an intriguing concept and that I really liked the characters. I already loved Maeve in “One of Us Is Lying” and Knox and Phoebe were two really likable voices as well. I loved that Phoebe was a very unapologetic and straight forward character and that she challenged the narrow-minded perception of people. She’s actually a feminist and I loved that about her. XD

”Really? Let me see if I have this straight. If I do what you want, I’m a slut. If I don’t do what you want, I’m a tease. What I want doesn’t count, but you’re the big man at Bayview no matter what. Does that about sum it up?”

Another thing that made me happy was to see more of the Bayview Four and how they did after all the events that happened in the first book. It was so wholesome to see where they are standing now and that despite everything that happened they were all doing good and leading a happy life. =) Also Bronwyn and Nate!!! AHHHH! Still, I kinda wish I would have reread the first book before this one though, because I couldn’t really remember Luis and had a tough time to place him in the events of “One of Us Is Lying”. But that’s just personal preference and doesn’t take away any of the enjoyment. 😉

”I was thinking about this stupid game last night, and how it has everybody dancing like puppets on a string. Whoever’s behind Truth or Dare is on a massive power trip. And the thing is, we’re giving them that power. By caring. Reacting. Spending all our time worrying about who’s next and what’s true. We’re feeding the beast and I, for one, am done.”

4
All told this book was great and entertaining. What made me like it slightly less than its predecessor was the mystery element, though. While I could guess and rack my brain in the first book I didn’t really get a chance to do that in here. I was able to unfold about 50% of the mystery but I would have never been able to discover the other 50%. There just wasn’t enough information to reveal everything properly and this was kind of a letdown. Still, “One of Us Is Next” was a nice book to read in between and I don’t regret it. I just wish I would have gotten a chance to wrack my brain a little more. *lol*

Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: On the Come Up (Angie Thomas)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten,5

Book 6 on My Book List 2021

”You’re gonna face a whole lot of Longs and Tates in your life, baby. More than I’d like. But you never let their actions determine what you do. The moment you do, you’ve given them the power. You hear me?”

So I thought long and hard about what to write about “On the Come Up” and to be completely honest I’m none the wiser. I mean I liked the book and read it pretty fast, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have issues with it. I know, I know. A lot of people will be like: “WHAT?” now and I don’t blame you guys for it. I can only give you my honest opinion though and so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Let’s hope I’ll be eloquent enough to put this into words.

”This Glock, yeah, I cock it, and aim it,” I write. Wait, no, something should come before that. Aim it. Ain’t it. Frame it… Claim it.”

This said, first things first. There were a lot of things I enjoyed and one of them was Bri’s thought process and how it was portrayed. I definitely found myself in this because for someone who started to write poetry as a young teen this was very relatable. The way she came up with lines and words and then rearranged them in order to give them an impact and meaning was pretty amazing and for me it was obvious that Angie Thomas is a great lyricist as well. You can’t come up (see what I did there ;-P) with lines like these if you don’t have a feeling for the rhythm and flow of poetry.

”Jay really did leave me and Trey at our grandparent’s house. She couldn’t take care of us and her drug habit, too. That’s when I learned that when people die, they sometimes take the living with them.”

Another thing I enjoyed were the little bits of wisdom you could find throughout the entire book and of course the representation of the characters. Just like in “The Hate U Give” there were a lot of different topics that were explored. This time around the theme of police violence was only broached lightly and the focus was more on drug dealing/abuse, the perception of people, their prejudices and how they react to the characters. No matter if it was the incident with Tate and Long that bullied and picked on black kids in Bri’s school or how the Crowns reacted to Bri’s rap lines, all those moments showed that there’s still a lot of work to do.

”I bite the inside of my cheek. I could take these, but the moment I walk out of here with them, I’m fucked. We’re fucked. It means we’ve gotten to the point that we need shoes that someone decided to give away.
I don’t wanna be that person. Yet I think I am that person.”

Also the representation of being poor was very well done, too. The initial bitterness and shame people feel when they are forced to ask for help, yet they know that they have no other choice than to seek aid. If you ask me, it’s the first step in the right direction though. I’ve been working at an NGO for years now and I know this first step is always the hardest to take. To ask for help is tough, because it means you have to acknowledge the fact that you can’t solve your troubles on your own and it takes a lot of courage to admit this to yourself. I really loved Jay’s character because she did everything she could in order to give her kids what they needed. There is no shame in being poor and about 98% of the human population aren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

”So, Ms. Reporter,” I say, “and anybody else who wanna call ‘On the Come Up’ this, that, or whatever the hell else. Do it. Hell, get the song taken down if you want. But you’ll never silence me. I got too goddamn much to say.”

So this all said let’s come to the part of the book I didn’t like and that left some sort of bitter taste in my mouth. The first thing I’ve to mention is that I couldn’t really relate to Bri and her actions. I found myself agreeing with her mother and her brother and even though I know that she was angry and hurt by their situation I still think that the way she reacted only made everything even worse. Of course we can say, she’s just a teen, impulsive and doesn’t know better but quite honestly, to go at the reporter like that, to attack that guy in the studio, if she would have just thought about it for a second she would have known that all those actions would only be for her detriment. Plus even her friends, who are the same age as her, told her that it’s not okay, yet she still insisted that her way was the only way. Bri was stubborn, juvenile and completely incapable to reflect on what she did. If everyone in your family and every single one of your close friends tells you, you’re doing something wrong, well, then you might actually DO something wrong! And what truly bothered me, is that there was no character arc that would have shown she realized her mistakes.

”Promise you gon’ get outta the Garden.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“Promise that you gon’ do whatever you gotta do to make it. Promise like it’s the last thing you’ll ever promise me.”

Quite the contrary, the entire book she fights with her friends because they try to start a movement by using the official channels and work on changing things in a sensible manner, at times she’s downright rude to her mother and to be entirely honest here, she hung out with her aunt Pooh who is a drug dealer (I know she loved her aunt but she was still a drug dealer who obviously did real shady stuff on a regular basis) and even worse she told her aunt about the gang members, knowing exactly how she would react. What did she expect? That aunt Pooh would go to them and ask them nicely? Gangs don’t do things the nice way; it always ends in blood. No one can tell me that Bri wasn’t aware of the consequences this would entail and yet she still did it. I know a lot of people will disagree on this with me but it felt that way while I read the book and this is my opinion. You don’t have to like it or to agree with it, I just want you to respect it.

”If I’m nothing else, I’m them, and they’re me.
That’s more than enough.”

4

All told this was a solid and good book! It tackled a lot of important topics and Angie Thomas did an excellent job at exploring them. She portrayed poverty, injustice and prejudices and conveyed the message that you should always make use of the power of your voice. Unfortunately for me Bri’s voice wasn’t as relatable and strong as Starr’s and I had quite some trouble to understand her actions. There happened so many things in here yet oddly enough I found myself not as emotionally engaged as I was when I read THUG. I guess we could always say it’s not the book it’s me and maybe that’s right, but maybe it’s not. 3,5 paws and a lot of mixed feelings on top.

Allgemein, K, K - O, Reviews

Review: King of Scars (Leigh Bardugo)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 22 of My Book List 2019
 

”I’d like nothing better than another opportunity to talk,” said Nikolai. “But I’m afraid I have more bad news.”
Genya slumped in her chair. “There’s more?”
“This is Ravka,” said Zoya. “There’s always more.”

I swear this quote is SUCH. A. MOOD!!! *lol* The entire book is nothing but bad news and well, yeah this is Ravka. There’s always more bad news to come. XD Leigh didn’t just nail it with those words; she also set the pace for this doulogy! To be honest I had no idea this was going to be a doulogy and after finishing “King of Scars” I have absolutely no clue how she wants to wrap this all up. There are so many things that need to be addressed and the mere idea of facing them all in the next book is already making me look like a copy of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”.  (Which is one of my favourite paintings btw ;-P)

Still, I trust Leigh and I know she’ll write a phenomenal sequel. She did with “Crooked Kingdom” and I have no doubt that she’ll do it with “Rule of Wolves” as well. This said, the pacing of this book was kind of surprising. I mean I certainly didn’t expect it to be so slow at the beginning. There was a lot of information we needed to get in order to understand the current situation of Ravka and to say it’s precarious wouldn’t even get close to the truth. I guess if you’d just say that they are screwed you’d strike home. *lol*

So yes, there’s a lot of build-up and all the new players are introduced and evenly spread on the chessboard. I think in a lot of ways this was a very serious book and even though Zoya’s and Nikolai’s banter was one of the highlights in “King of Scars” there were a lot of severe moments that ultimately forced our beloved characters to grow. Which is always a good thing in my book! You know I’m a sucker for character arcs and to see Nina, Zoya and Nikolai work things out was more than just amazing. Before I spoil anything I better just head over to my character section and write it all off my chest! 😉

2

Welcome to Ravka where bad news are the standard and scary winged creatures turn into kings during the day! *lol* The good news is: There’s a lot to talk about! The bad news is that you’ll be spoiled like crazy if you continue to read. So whatever you do, keep in mind that it was your own choice! 😉

Nikolai:

”I’ll find a way. All his life, Nikolai had believed that. His will had been enough to shape not only his fate but his own identity. He had chosen what he wanted people to see – the obedient son, the feckless rogue, the able soldier, the confident politician. The monster threatened all of that. And they were no closer to finding a way to drive the thing out than they had been six months ago. What was there to do but keep moving? Lesser animals whined and struggled when they’d been caught in a snare. The fox found a way out.”

I know a lot of people said that Nikolai isn’t the charming Nikolai from the Grisha trilogy anymore and that they didn’t like this. In my opinion this was only realistic though. I mean how is he supposed to be his charming and carefree self if there is a monster living inside of him? He’s trying to save Ravka from hostile countries, he’s dealing with a lot of problems in his own country and he’s working really hard on uniting his people. And all this even though he turns into a monster at night. I can’t even imagine how exhausted he truly is. Yet he still keeps up appearances and gives Ravka his all. I love that about Nikolai. He’s a man of his people, his country always comes first and he’d do everything to protect his land and the people within it. So yes, Nikolai might not be as easy-going as he used to be but he has thousands of reasons to be the way he is. My poor boy deserves a break and whenever I read about how much he loves Ravka and how tired he is my heart broke for him. T_T Can we get a happy Nikolai in the next book, please?! <333

”Nikolai looked again at the old map of Ravka – violent, hopeless, unappeasable in its constant need. Ravka was his first love, an infatuation that had begun in his lonely boyhood and that had only deepened with age. Whatever it demanded, he knew he would give. He’d been reckless with this country he claimed to love, and he could no longer let his fear dictate Ravka’s future.”

”That’s what the job requires, Zoya. Ruling is not just about military victories. It’s not even about setting fair laws and seeing them enforced. It’s about these moments, the men and women who choose to put their lives and livelihoods in our hands.”

”I think I can fix it,” he said at last. “I’ve always known Ravka is broken, and I’ve seen the way it breaks people in return. The wars never cease. The trouble never stops. But I can’t help believing that somehow, I’ll find a way to outsmart all of the kings who came before and set this country right.” He shook his head and laughed. “It is the height of arrogance.”

”Nikolai had always understood that he and Ravka were the same. He just hadn’t understood how: He was not the crying child or even the drowning man. He was the forever soldier, eternally at war, unable to ever lay down his arms and heal.

Zoya:

”She intended to find a way to protect Grisha throughout the world so no one would ever have to live in fear or hide their gifts again – a governing body with representatives from every nation to hold their countries accountable, a guarantee of rights and of punishment for anyone who tried to imprison or harm her kind.

I already said it in one of my updates and I’ll say it again: Zoya is like a good wine that gets better with time. She’s an acquired taste and I love her for it! *lol* I kinda lived and breathed for the little snippets we got about her life and her background story was truly heart-breaking. Liliyana sounded like such a great person and it’s so sad that she died when the Darkling expanded the Fold. Also I can’t believe her parents wanted to marry off Zoya at the tender age of 9!!! Like WTH is wrong with you people?! *GRRR* I’m really glad she managed to escape that marriage and became a Grisha instead. I never thought I’d grow so fond of her insulting tongue but haha she really grew on me in this one. Also OMG! Now that she has Juris’s power will she be able to turn into a dragon too?! Because damn it, I’d be so down for a Zoya dragon in the next book! XD That way she couldn’t just spit fire with her sharp tongue but actually well, you know, SPIT FIRE!!! *lol* I’m ready for it Leigh! Just bring it on! 😉

”Zoya did not desire, she was desired. And that was the way she liked it. It was galling to admit that she wasn’t at all sure she could make Nikolai want her, and more galling to think that a part of her longed to try, to know if he was as impervious to her beauty as he seemed, to know if someone like him, full of hope and light and optimistic endeavor, could love someone like her.”

”What will I do with this? Look at my old face?” said Liliyana. “Send it to your mother as a peace offering.”
“It’s a gift for you,” Zoya replied. “So you can look into it each morning and see the most beautiful person I’ve ever known.”

”But the Darkling saw me clearly even then. ‘Is that really what you wish to say?” he asked.”
Zoya pushed a dark strand of her hair behind her ear. “So I told him the truth. I put my chin up and said, ‘They can all hang. It was my blood in the snow.”

Nina:

”Saints, she missed him. The ache of his absence felt like a hook lodged inside her heart. The hurt was always there, but in moments like these, it was as if someone had seized hold of the line and pulled.”

Ahhhhh!!! Nina was so savage in this! And I kinda liked it? XD What’s wrong with me? *lol* On the one hand Nina’s POV repeatedly ripped out my heart because the way her thoughts revolved around Matthias was just painful but on the other hand to see how strong she became also made me kind of proud? I mean Nina was always a very strong-willed character and did things her own way, but the Nina of “King of Scars” was on an entirely new level! I mean WOAH! The way she dealt with the Wellmother and basically everyone else who got in her way. Boy, that girl means business! Yet she’s still compassionate, gentle and kind. I think her experiences just made her a little more… I dunno ruthless? She knows none of the Fjerdans would show her mercy so she pays them back in kind. I’m very curious how she’ll develop and which kind of person she’ll be at the end of this trilogy. No matter what happens I’ll always love my Waffle Queen and that will never change! ❤ (Also to everyone who watched “Shadow and Bone”: I loved Nina in there! I’m totally besotted with Netflix Nina. *lol*)

”I don’t like that word,” Nina said, advancing. “Call me Grisha. Call me zowa. Call me death, if you like.”
Birgir laughed. “Two guns are pointed at you. You think you can kill us both before one of us gets a shot off?”
“But you’re already dying, Captain,” she crooned gently.

”Of course,” she said. “Matthias, your country can kiss my fat Grisha ass.”

”Nina tucked two tiny quail eggs into her skirts in case Trassel had a taste for the finer things, and found herself wondering if they might finish with sugared almond cookies. One could plot violent espionage and still hope for dessert.”

”I told you I would pray for you,” said Nina as she closed the door and issued her final command to her soldiers: Give her the mercy she deserves.
Nina turned her back on the Wellmother’s screams.”

The Saints, Yuri and The Darkling:

”Most of us can hide our greatest hurts and longings. It’s how we survive each day. We pretend the pain isn’t there, that we are mad of scars instead of wounds. The hive does not grant me the luxury of that lie. I cannot go on this way. None of us can.”

Okay, I admit it: I never saw that plot line coming! Not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Leigh would introduce us to living saints and that we’d actually get to know some of them more closely. So that caught me totally off guard. I didn’t like Yuri right from the beginning because he was your typical religious fanatic and well as it turned out to have him around was a big mistake. I knew something was up with Elizaveta but I would have never expected her to go that far! Like OMG! Why??!! Juris’s and Zoya’s friendship was great and Grigori kind of grew on me too. It’s a shame both of them had to die because Elizaveta wanted to resurrect the Darkling and I can’t believe… I CAN’T BELIEVE she actually succeeded! I swear: The Darkling in Yuri’s body at the ending was… THE. DEATH. OF. ME!!! I can’t even!!! No, no I can’t! I mean I love the Darkling but OH GOSH!!! I think I might need a little time to digest this. *lol*

”Stop punishing yourself for being someone with a heart. You cannot protect yourself from suffering. To live is to grieve. You are not protecting yourself by shutting yourself off from the world. You are limiting yourself, just as you did with your training.”

”The Darkling could have killed either of them, but he had wanted to punish them instead. He might have been an ancient power, but he certainly had a petty streak.”

3

Zoya & Nikolai:

Zoya batted Nikolai’s quaking hands away from his buttons and took up the work herself. Through the thin cotton, she could feel the chill the night had left on his skin.
“What an excellent valet you make,” he murmured. But she knew he hated submitting to these small attentions, hated that he was weak enough to require them.

I SHIP IT! Badly! I never thought I’d say this but Zoya and Nikolai are made for each other. They both know how to deal with court problems, they are strong and independent and they obviously have a soft spot for each other! ❤ I loved the level of trust that is between them and they had so many little moments together. Their love is something that grows slowly like a delicate flower and I can’t wait for them to realize how much they mean to each other. Nikolai comparing her to a strong drink was everything! *lol* We all know Nikolai could handle her and I want them to kiss and confess their love for each other! Also their banter!!! It’s superior! I think Zoya might be exactly what Ravka needs and who knows, now that she’ll be some sort of saint people will probably accept her at his side? I really hope those two will have a HEA because they both deserve it! Nikolai needs a woman like Zoya and I’m convinced Zoya needs a man like Nikolai. So can they already kiss, please?! *lol*

”He’d come to recognize the bizarre phenomenon of Zoya’s beauty, the way men loved to create stories around it. They said she was cruel because she’d been harmed in the past. They claimed she was cold because she just hadn’t met the right fellow to warm her. Anything to soften her edges and sweeten her disposition – and what was the fun in that? Zoya’s company was like strong drink. Bracing – and best to abstain if you couldn’t handle the kick.”

”But when he thought of choosing a wife, the branches crowded in on him and he found himself glad to be left alone in the dark. Perhaps not alone, precisely. He very much enjoyed the quiet of this room, the warmth of the fire, and the steel-spined harpy seated across from him.”

”Zoya, say something spiteful.”
“Why?” she asked faintly.
“Because I’m fairly certain I’m hallucinating, and in my dreams you’re much nicer.”
“You’re an idiot, Nikolai.”
“Not your best work.”

”In that moment, he wished things might have been different. That he might not die tomorrow. That he could be led by his heart instead of duty.
Because Zoya was not kind and she was not easy.
But she was already a queen.”

”Of course I’ll come back,” he said. “I don’t trust anyone else to deliver my eulogy.”
A smile curled her lips. “You’ve written it already?”
“It’s very good. You’d be surprised how many synonyms there are for handsome.”
Zoya closed her eyes. She turned her face, letting her cheek rest against this palm. “Nikolai –“

Nina & Hanne:

”Nina studied her. There was something relentless in her features – the cheekbones sharp, the nose rigorously straight. Only the full thrust of her lips gave any hint of softness. It was a challenging face, stubborn in its lines. Beautiful.”

Mhmm… To be frank I don’t know how I feel about this new ship. I mean we all know I love a good f/f rep in my books and Nina deserves someone who will lover her the way she is. I’m just not sure that person is Hanne. I wasn’t convinced by their chemistry and it came out of nowhere. Like suddenly there is Hanne and Nina thinks she’s beautiful but she’s still grieving for Matthias so idk. *shrugs* And then she’s Jarl Brum’s child?! I mean I’m currently very fond of K-Dramas but Nina having a relationship with Brum’s child? I’ve a tough time imagining it. Guess only time will tell if I’ll be persuaded by this ship or not.

”If I had just been a boy. If I had been the son my father wanted …”
Nina gripped Hanne’s shouders. “You are perfect, Hanne. That your father can’t value your strength speaks only to his weakness.“

Ehri & Isaak:

”A reasonable gambit, but not one I was prepared to make.”
He studied her. “Not when you could simply wait for a pensive king to amble by and find you looking like a painting in green silk with flower in your hair?” Her golden eyes shifted away guiltily. “How long were you waiting, hoping I might stroll by?”
She bit her lip. “Two hours and twelve minutes. Give or take.”
He was both annoyed and pleased that she’d actually been frank.”

This was straight out of a Greek tragedy and I was really shook by this turn of events! Isaak grew on me and I really liked that boy and then BAM! Leigh killed him through Princess Ehri who wasn’t even Princess Ehri to begin with. They were both posing as someone they were not and actually fell in love. This love story was nothing but tragic and I’m still sad about it. They both deserved better and at another place and at another time they might have even been able to become lovers. T_T It’s so heart-breaking. It’s on the same level as Romeo and Juliet and ahhh my heart is still bleeding for those two. RIP Isaak! You did well, you were a great king and you could have been so much more! <333

”The things I imagine, the things I would hope for are not the musings of a queen.”
“A princess, then.”
Ehri smiled. “More like an artless girl. And end to war. A chance for the common people to choose their own futures. A world in which families aren’t torn apart by hardship … or duty. I must sound very foolish to you.”
“Not at all,” said Isaak. “If we don’t dream, who will?”

She pressed a soft kiss to his lips. “My only comfort is that you never could have been mine. But know that I would have gladly been yours.”
“Ehri,” he moaned as the world began to go dark.
“Not Ehri.”

”I’m not the king of Ravka, just a lowly grunt trying not to perspire in his fancy clothes. No, that was definitely not the right reply. Isaak supposed he should say something flirtatious, but he wasn’t sure which secrets belonged to him and which belonged to the king.”

4

“King of Scars” started out way more slowly than I thought it would, but the last couple of chapters totally made up for the slow beginning! My mind is still reeling from all those revelations and it might take a couple of days until I digested this ending. All told, I enjoyed this immensely and I can’t wait to dive into the next book. Now that the stage is set I expect an epic finale in “Rule of Wolves” and tell you what? I’m ready! 😉

Allgemein, K, K - O, Reviews

Review: Kingdom of Ash (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …”

And once upon a time there was a reviewer that loved this story and its characters so damn much that it broke her when it ended. Yes, believe me, it did. I was so thoroughly heartbroken that it took me TWO years to write this review.  Two entire years! This isn’t only a testimonial to how destroyed I was after finishing this series but also to how strongly I felt about it. For a while I didn’t even know if I wanted to write a review, but the more time passed and the longer I thought about it, the more I realized that I just had to get it out of my system. My heart and mind persisted that I write it down and who am I to deny my souls biggest desire?

So here I am, finally facing this review and no longer denying those words that craved to spill out of my fingers for such a long time. And the first thing I have to say is that “Kingdom of Ash” was a masterpiece that will probably never find its equal! Sarah outdid herself with this one and the conclusion to this series was incredibly breath-taking! I loved how all those loose ends were tied together, how she managed to give each and every single character not only the time to shine but also the necessary space to develop, to grow.

This is how the ending of a series should be done! This is how you write a stunning and harmonious ending! This is how you make your fans so happy they cry tears of joy! THIS IS IT! Period! I’ve never read such a brilliant ending to a series and I think I never will read anything like it ever again. Nothing will be able to be a match for it. I’m convinced of that. So before I continue to praise “Kingom of Ash” even more I’ll just jump right into my characters section and write it off my chest. I have so many thoughts and feelings… This is going to be a long, long review. *lol*

2

I’ve had A LOT of time to think about those characters so people buckle up and get ready for the freaky ride! This is going to be another one of my long-ass reviews, probably the longest one you’ll ever read from me. (It might be book length, no kidding! *lol*) So you can either leave it at that or join me on this super long and spoilery journey! It’s up to you! 😉 Here goes nothing!

Aelin:

”You do not yield.”

I DIED at the beginning of this book!! I just died! To see Aelin so throughly broken and weak! I just couldn’t take it! I suffered with her and I just wanted Cairn to die! He was a monster and he deserved every bit of pain he got from Rowan! Every single bit! My poor Aelin! She didn’t deserve this… no one deserves this! >_< I hated Maeve for what she did to her and I was praying for Rowan to arrive at the camp. I really thought Aelin would be broken after this but even though she was, she somehow found the strength to move on. It was such a heart-breaking journey and I believed every single bit of it. Sarah made it so palpable and real. I could see Aelin fight through it. She struggled, she fell, she got back up again, fell again, dragged herself with the mere strength of her hands. It was so painful to watch. T_T But in the end she succeeded, she faked it until it became reality. Until the parts of her that had been broken were able to mend. ❤ Aelin is my heroine! <333

”She’d fight for it, claw her way back to it, who she’d been before. Remember to swagger and grin and wink. She’d fight against that lingering stain on her soul, fight to ignore it. Would use this journey into the dark to piece herself back together – just enough to make it convincing.”

”I wanted to die by the end, before she ever threatened me with the collar. And even now, I feel like someone has ripped me from myself. Like I’m at the bottom of the sea, and who I am, who I was, is far up at the surface, and I will never get back there again.”

Rowan:

”Every horizon he’d gazed toward, unable and unwilling to rest during those centuries, every mountain and ocean he’d seen and wondered what lay beyond… It had been her. It had been Aelin, the silent call of the mating bond driving him, even when he could not feel it.”

And here is another character that killed me… slowly. Rowan’s search for Aelin was so gut-wrenching. I wanted him to find her so badly and I could feel all his anger, despair and the little bit of hope he held on to. He craved to find her, to save her from her fate at the hands of Maeve and Cairn and the longer his search for her continued the less I could take it. It hurt so much to read his POV. T_T When he finally found her I cried tears of joy and I prayed that he would be able to mend what had been broken. His compassion and his faith in her were one of the best things about this book and I’m so glad he was there for Aelin when she needed him the most. ❤ Also: He had no pity to spare for Cairn and I was fine with that. Rowan was every bit the relentless and strong fae warrrior I wanted him to be and I’m glad he was an individual in this book too. =)

Dorian:

”Dorian’s sapphire eyes churned, the hand on his sword tightening. Manon tensed at that contemplative, cold stare. The hint of the calculating predator beneath the king’s handsome face.”

YESH!!! Dorian didn’t die and became a force to be reckoned with instead! And I was so HERE. FOR. IT.!! I absolutely LOVED to see him so strong and uncompromising!! THAT’S MY BOY!!! What Sarah did with him here was everything I ever wanted and I was so damn happy with his character arc! He finally became what I always knew him to be: A strong and powerful king who used his abilities and skills in order to save the people he loved and cared about! <333 YES! I absolutely adore this precious cinnamon roll and I’m so glad he was able to hold on to his playful and gentle side. Dorian turning into a witch was definitely among my highlights of this book. *lol* PLUS the way he dealt with Maeve? Perfection! Utter perfection! All the scheming and plotting ahead. I AM IN AWE!!! The deal he made with Maeve and then the betrayal when she thought she had won! Ahhh! I swear Dorian betraying Maeve by trapping her in his mind and crumbling Morath almost as an afterthought is my new aesthetic!!! Like seriously! That’s so kickass! I can’t even! <333 #TeamDorianForeverAndForAlways

Dorian gave the witch one of those charming smiles and sketched a bow. “Dorian Havilliard, at your service.”
“The king,” one of the Crochans murmured from near the wyverns.
Dorian winked. “That I am, too.”

”This is war,” he said simply. We’re past that sort of thing.”
And it wouldn’t matter, would it, when his eternal soul would be the asking price to staunch so much of the slaughter? He’d already had it wrecked enough. If crossing line after line would spare any others from harm, he’d do it. He didn’t know what manner of king that made him.

”A sword of truth, yes, but also a reminder of what Adarlan had once been. What it might become again. If he did not falter. Did not doubt himself. For whatever time he had left.
He could make it right. All of it. He could make it right.”

”Who do you wish to be?
A king worthy of his crown. A king who would rebuild what had been shattered, both within himself and in his lands.”

Manon:

”I care,” she hissed. “I care if we lose this war. I care if I fail to rally the Crochans. I care if you go into Morath and do not return, not as something worth living.”

It’s been two years I finished this book and I’m still weeping whenever I think about Manon’s character arc! It was so beautifully done and I loved to see her fall in love with her people and with Dorian. ❤ Boy, did it break my heart though! I ladored that she finally admitted that she cares about her people and friends and her relationship with Abraxos will always be perfect! Manon realizing that she has feelings and even pretty strong ones at that made me so damn happy! It came at a high price for her though. That scene when she fell on her knees in the ashes of the Thirteen. I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes whenever I think about it. T_T  My heart aches so much for her. So many lives … her Thirteen that stood by her until the end. Ahhh I’m weeping again. *sobs* I’ll never forget that scene… and all the people with their white flowers. T_T *cries uncontrollably* Two freaking years and it still feels like I read it just yesterday. <333 My heart is in pieces… >_<
#StillRidingWithManonANDDorianIntoTheSunsetThough

”There is a better world out there,” she said again. “And I will fight for it.” She turned Abraxos away, toward the plunge behind them. “Will you?”

”She would beg, she would crawl, if it bought him the chance to live.
Her warrior-hearted mount. Who had saved her far more than she had ever saved him. Who had saved her in the ways that counted most.”

”Not a trace of the Thirteen, or their brave, noble wyverns.
Manon fell to her knees.
Ashes rose, fluttering, soft as snow as they clung to the tears on her face.
Abraxos lay beside her, his tail curling around her while she bowed over her knees and wept.”

Chaol:

”I don’t make bargains with bastards,” Chaol said, smiling again as he entered the hall beyond. “I’m certainly not going to start with you.”

Now that’s the Chaol I love and I’m so glad he found back to himself in “Tower of Dawn”. He’s become so much stronger than he ever was and he’s finally the person he should have always been. I loved that his father wasn’t able to get to him anymore and that he was so at peace with himself. Nothing could shake him and he was a firm and formidable force in the final war. ❤ We all know how much he suffered in ToD, but boy was it worth it! I love this new Chaol and I hope he’ll be happy with Yrene! =)

Yrene:

“Your son spent the last several months forging an alliance with the khaganate, and now all of the khagan’s armies sail to this continent to save your people. So while you sit here in your miserable keep, tossing insults at him, know that he has done what no other could do, and if your city survives, it will be because of him, not you.”

Ahhh I loved how the story of her became full circle in here! It all started with Yrene and Aelin meeting at an inn years ago and it turned into so much more than that! It shows how a little kindness can change the entire course of someone’s life and I lived and breathed for the moment those two met again! <333 I suppose in some way Aelin is the reason why Chaol is happy now because she helped Yrene find her way so many years ago. XD And this is just beautiful! ❤ Yrene has come such a long way from the young girl she was (truth be told, Aelin did too) and I adore the strong woman she has become. The way she put Chaol’s father in his place was marvellous and I’m sure she’ll be a great mom! =)

”I went to the Torre,” Yrene said, her voice cracking. “I took the money you gave me, and went to the Torre. And I became the heir apparent to the Healer on High. And now I have come back, to do what I can. I taught every healer I could the lessons you showed me that night, about self-defense. I didn’t waste it – not a coin you gave me, or a moment of the time, the life you bought me.” Tears were rolling and rolling down Yrene’s face. “I didn’t waste any of it.”

Yrene folded the queen’s fingers around the paper. “It is yours, as it always was. A piece of your bravery that helped me find my own.”
Aelin shook her head, as if to dismiss the claim.
But Yrene squeezed Aelin’s closed hand. “It gave me courage, the words you wrote. Every mile I travelled, every long hour I studied and worked, it gave me courage. I thank you for that, too.”

Lysandra:

“I was once forced to crawl before men. And gods above, I nearly crawled for you these months. And yet it takes me nearly dying for you to realize that you’ve been an ass? It takes me nearly dying for you to see me as human again?”

I’m still besotted with Lysandra! That woman is amazing! ❤ AND I’m glad she stood her ground and didn’t give into Aedion’s stupid bullying! Like seriously! What was he even thinking!? Lysandra risked so much for Aelin and her court and my heart broke for her when Aedion pushed her away. She really didn’t have it easy in this book and the mere fact she came out of it alive tells us everything we need to know. Lysandra is such a strong woman and she endured so much, yet she never broke! XD She’s my role model and I just love her! ❤ I was so glad that Falkan Ennar and her met at the end of the book and that she finally has an uncle that loves her as much as she deserves to be loved! The scene of their reunion was so heart-warming! =)))

”Whatever you wish,” Falkan said. “You shall never want for anything again.”
Lysandra was crying, and it was pure joy on her face as she flung her arms around Falkan and embraced him tightly.

Aedion:

”He’d said such horrible things to her that day she’d taken down the ilken. Where are our allies? he’d demanded. He was still trying to forgive himself for it. For any of it. All that he had was this one chance to make it right, to do as she’d asked and save their kingdom.”

AEDION YOU STUPID EEJIT!!!! I just couldn’t with Aedion in this! LIKE ARGH!!! That man made me so damn angry I can’t even!!! I get that he was worried and angry about Aelin that he was desperate to save his country and to survive, but none of it can justify how he behaved towards Lysandra! I mean he forced her to leave his tent when she was wounded and weak and she had to CRAWL in the snow to get out of it! CRAWL! In front of their men! WTF!? He humiliated her because she did what she had to do and that’s not okay! There is no excuse for his behaviour and if I would have been Lysandra I would have kicked him in his balls and served them for dinner! I really loved Aedion in the former books but in this one I hated him and if you ask me his redemption arc should have been more pronounced.  I can’t forgive him for what he did… actually I’m surprised Lysandra could. >_<

”You agreed to let Aelin go to her death, and leave us here to be slashed to bloody ribbons. You two told no one of this plan, told none of us who might have explained the realities of this war, and that we would need a gods-damned Fire-Bringer and not an untrained, useless shape-shifter against Morath.”

Fenrys:

”Let it kill him, wreck him. He would not serve. Not another heartbeat. He would not obey.
He would not obey.
And slowly, Fenrys got to his feet.”

MY PRECIOUS BABY!!!! <333 I love Fenry’s to bits and pieces! He deserves so much better than he got and what he had to go through in here was so horrible! Maeve didn’t just take his brother away from him, she also did it permanently by killing him and she even made him watch! Which was so wrong and cruel on so many different levels. T_T Fenry’s was at least as broken as Aelin but he continued to fight and against Maeve’s power over him. The pull to follow her and Cairn’s orders must have been so strong but he didn’t cave and I just about died when he got to his feet! Fenrys is precious he needs to be protected at all costs. ❤ With or without scars he’s my baby! Period!

Fenrys just nodded. “I haven’t been able to stomach it since then. I – I’m not even certain I can use it again,” he said, and repeated, “I’m sorry.”

3

Aelin & Rowan:

”He prayed that fire, that rage, had not broken. He knew how many days it had been, knew who Maeve had promised would oversee the torture. Knew the odds were stacked against her.”

Those two broke my heart! T_T Aelin prayed Rowan would find her and he was looking for her all over the world. I hate Maeve so much for taking Aelin from Rowan and for hurting both of them in such a cruel way! Aelin’s torture was awful and atrocious and just like her I wanted it to end. I hated that she was so broken by what Cairn did to her and I knew there was no way she would get out of something like this without having physical as well as mental scars. When Rowan finally found her and she wanted him to take off that mask I was crying along with her. It broke my heart! T_T To be in his presence eased some of her pain though and even though she barely spoke a word after what happened to her it was so good to see that slowly but deliberately she came back to him. Rowan was so damn gentle with her… and I was so glad he was there for her. ❤ Those two had a really amazing relationship and I hope they can finally be happy now. They deserve it! After everything they had to go through they deserve a peaceful life in Terassen! The more I think about it the more I’m sure Sarah only gave us that corny relationship in EoS so that we could hold on to something when bad things happened to Aelin in this book. XD They are together now though and I hope their HEA will last! ❤

Aelin sobbed, her body shuddering with the force of it. “Take it off.”
Rowan’s eyes flickered, panic and heartbreak and longing shining there. “I will. But you have to be still, Fireheart. Just for a few moments.”
“Take it off.” The sobs ebbed, tricking into something broken and raw. Rowan ran his thumbs over her wrists, over those iron shackles. As if it were nothing but her skin. Slowly, her shaking eased.

She didn’t bother arguing. Not as she admitted, “I want it to be over.”
He went wholly still, but granted her the space to think, to speak.
“I want it to be over and done with,” she said hoarsely. “This war, the gods and the Wyrdgate and the Lock. All of it.“ She rubbed her temples, pushing past the weight, the lingering stain that no fire might cleanse. “I want to go to Terrasen, to fight, and then I want it to be over.”

Dorian & Manon:

”Only with her did he not need to explain. Only with her did he not need to be a king, or anything but what he was. Only with her would there be no judgement for what he’d done, who he’d failed, what he might still have to do.”

Ohh those two had to work through a lot in this book! They both had scars from the former books in this series and it was really great to see them work through their issues. Especially because they tried to do it together. They didn’t give each other an inch and both of them didn’t shy away from pointing out the truth. I think their dynamic was good for both of them and being the stubborn people that they are they probably needed each other more than they were willing to admit. Still, when push came to shove they could always count on each other. I loved their relationship so much, like seriously! So, so damn much! Their respect and the fact that they are each other’s equal, that they knew exactly what the other thought and felt and that they didn’t want to turn the other into something he couldn’t be. Just amazing!  They’ll always be my OTP! My sexy and playful power couple! <333 I will go down with this ship!!! Enough said! <3333

”I care about more than I should. I even care about you.”
Another wrong thing to say.
Manon stood – as high as the tent would allow. “Then you’re a fool.” She shoved on her boots and stomped into the frigid night.

Dorian leaned in close, tipping his head back to stare into her eyes as he purred, “Because while you might be older, might be deadly in a thousand different ways, deep down, you’re afraid. You don’t know how to ask me to stay, because you’re afraid of admitting to yourself that you want it. You’re afraid. Of yourself more than anyone else in the world. You’re afraid.”

He could have sworn fear entered her eyes. Yet she didn’t rage at him, roar at him – didn’t so much as snarl. She only asked, “You’re not afraid to go alone?”
“Of course I’m afraid. Anyone in their right mind would be. But my task is more important than fear, I think.”

”Dorian twined a wave of her silver hair around his finger. For a heartbeat, he allowed himself to drink her in. She would be his wife, his queen. She was already his equal, his match, his mirror in so many ways. And with their union, the world would know it.
But he could see the bars of the cage that would creep closer, tighter, every day. And either break her wholly, or turn her into something neither of them wished her to ever be.”

Chaol & Yrene:

”Yrene is the finest healer of her generation,” Chaol said with deadly quiet. “Her worth is greater than any crown.” And in this war, it might very well be.
“You don’t need to bother proving my value to him,” Yrene said, her icy eyes pinned on his father. “I know precisely how talented I am. I don’t require his blessing.”
She meant every damn word.

It was so beautiful to see their relationship thrive! To see how content they were around each other and how bravely they tackled every challenge that was thrown their way. It made me kind of sad to realize that they didn’t get all too much page time in KoA but I guess after they got an entire book for their relationship to develop and grow Sarah figured she could let them be happy with the way they are. She certainly wasn’t wrong with that because the little moments we got were all precious and I adored seeing them on page. XD Also Yrene is pregnant with Chaol’s child!!!! YESH!! Finally a ToG baby! *lol* They’ll have one hell of a fierce and stubborn child! <333

Chaol turned to where Dorian sat with Elide atop the shifter, the love on her husband’s face hardening to something fierce and determined.
“Keep her safe,” was all Chaol said. Perhaps the only order, Yrene realized, he would ever give his king. Their king.
It was why she loved him. Why she knew that the child in her womb would never spend a single moment wondering if it was loved.

Lysandra & Aedion:

”She had lied to him. Deceived him so thoroughly that any moment between them, any conversation… he didn’t know what had been real. Didn’t want to know. Didn’t want to know if she’d meant any of it, when he’d so stupidly left everything laid out before her.”

My heart was bleeding on the pages whenever I read about them. I swear, every word from Aedion’s lips was poison, every accusation thrown at Lysandra another twist with the knife that seemed to be stuck in my chest. I felt so bitter about my second favourite ship drowning or… well, tbh it rather crashed and burned without the sexy parts. T_T I never got my sexy scene, all I got was heartbreak and pain and I hated Aedion for it! I still can’t believe Sarah wrecked my ship so thoroughly. I know she tried to redeem him in the end but it was too little too late and I can’t really ship them anymore. At 60% of the book I would have been totally fine with – little kids, please don’t read this – Lysandra ripping out his balls and eating them for breakfast! How could he hurt her so much when he knew how she felt about him??!! And it wasn’t even like he wouldn’t have had her in the end. Sure she would have looked like Aelin but she still would have been Lysandra underneath. So if he wanted to blame anyone he should have blamed Aelin or Maeve or stupid Cairn. But certainly not Lysandra! She was ready to give up her life for his country and that’s how he repaid her for it? Not okay! I’m happy Lysandra is happy now but I don’t think I can truly ship them again. >_<

”After Wesley, after all of it, I wanted it to be you. What Aelin asked me to do had no bearing on that. What she asked me to do never felt like a burden, because I wanted it to be you in the end anyway.” She didn’t wipe away the tears that slipped down her cheeks. “And you threw me into the snow.”

Aedion’s grin turned predatory. “May I ask something of you, then?”
“I don’t think you’re in a position to make requests, but fine.”
That wolfish grin remained as he whispered in her ear, “If I don’t die tomorrow, may I kiss you when the day is done?”

Elide & Lorcan:

”I didn’t crawl after Maeve.”
She halted, hair swaying. Slowly, she glanced over her shoulder. Imperious and cold as the stars overhead.
“I crawled…” His throat bobbed. “I crawled after Aelin.”

I think we can all agree that those two had one of the most epic scenes in the entire book! I mean OMG! Them outrunning the flood was so damn suspenseful!!! Farasha was carrying them both and I was quite literally holding my breath for all of those pages!!! I had to know how it ended!!! XD And thankfully it ended good! I’m so glad they managed to sort things out and yes, Lorcan had to go through a lot to make up for his actions but in their case I could forgive him and Elide for being stupid for a little while. *lol* Their love story was such a nice slow burn and Elide riding like the wind in order to rescue her fae warrior will always be one of my favourite parts of this book! I can’t help but laugh about his title though. Lord Lorcan Lochan! *LOL* It’s epic! XD Ahh my heart feels all warm and fuzzy just thinking about them. ❤

”I love you,” he whispered in Elide’s ear. “I have loved you form the moment you picked up that axe to slay the ilken.” Her tears flowed past him in the wind. “And I will be with you…” His voice broke, but he made himself say the words, the truth in his heart. “I will be with you always.”

”I will marry you, Elide Lochan. And proudly call myself Lord Lorcan Lochan, even when the whole kingdom laughs to hear it.” He kissed her, gently and lovingly. “And when we are wed,” he whispered, “I will bind my life to yours. So we will never know a day apart. Never be alone, ever again.”
Elide covered her face with her hands and sobbed, at the heart he offered, at the immortality he was willing to part with for her. For them.

Aelin & Fenrys:

”Beyond words, unsure her throat would even work, Aelin blinked three times. Are you all right?
Two blinks answered. No.”

Their friendship was so pure and deep it almost broke me! <333 Even though they were in the clutches of Maeve and Cairn they still had each other and I loved Fenry’s for being there for Aelin and for Aelin trying to give him at least a little bit of comfort. They went through so much… through so, so, so, so damn much together and it forged a bond that will never be broken. The moment when Fenrys broke his oath to save Aelin I was crying. He gave his life for her and she sobbed his name until they finally got him out of Cairn’s camp and brought him to her! I was so relieved when he took the blood oath and she commanded him back to life because I probably would have died if he wouldn’t have come out of it alive! The moment he hugged her… ahh my heart!!! <333 I love them and their friendship. Such a deep and meaningful bond.

”A small sigh broke from Fenrys before he folded Aelin into his arms, a shudder rippling through him. Rowan couldn’t see her face, perhaps he didn’t need to, as her hands gripped Fenrys’s jacket, so tightly they were white-knuckled.
A good sign – a small miracle, that either of them wished, could be touched.”

Aelin, Chaol & Dorian:

”But Aelin was only staring at him. Staring and staring at him.
No one spoke as tears began sliding down her face.
Not at his being here, Chaol realized as he took up his cane and limped towards Aelin.
But at him. Standing. Walking.
The young queen let out a broken laugh of joy and flung her arms around his neck.”

Okay, I admit it I’m still a weeping and crying mess!! Those THREE! THOSE THREE!!! AHHH! I cried an ocean when they met again and I cried even more when they had to part at the end of the book! Their friendship was everything and even more and it was so good to see them all together again. After everything they went through, after everything they survived, after everything that happened, their friendship is still going strong. <333 They’re the original trio that started it all and to see them together on one page reduced me to being an emotional and babbling mess! I’ll never get over the love those three feel for each other and I’ll love them forever! <333 And now excuse me while I weep some more! T_T

”But Dorian stared at the rider before him. At the posture of the body, the commanding seat he possessed.
And as Chaol Westfall dismounted and ran the last few feet toward Dorian, the King of Adarlan wept.”

Aelin looked at Chaol and Dorian and sobbed. Opened her arms to them, and wept as they held each other.
“I love you both,” she whispered. “And no matter what may happen, no matter how far we may be, that will never change.”
“We will see you again,” Chaol said, but even his voice was thick with tears.
“Together,” Dorian breathed, shaking. “We’ll rebuild this world together.”

Nesryn & Sartaq:

”We’ve a battle to launch tomorrow. Again.”
“And a day of death has made me want to hold you,” the prince said, giving her that disarming grin she had no defenses against. Especially as he added, “And do other things with you.”

Nesryn and Sartaq is another couple I would have loved to see more of but unfortunately they were just side-characters in this one. As I already said with Yrene and Chaol I understand Sarah’s decision to let them be in the background though. Still, I love Sartaq! ❤ He’s still his disarming flirty self and Nestryn and he got at least a few moments together. So I’ll count my blessings and be happy that this super, super slow burn finally turned into a solid and good relationship! *lol* I can’t picture Nesryn as an Empress but I know she’ll be a great one. Just like Sartaq will be an awesome Khagan! XD

”Empress? Really?”
Sartaq’s dark eyes glittered. “We won the war, Nesryn Faliq.” He tugged her close. “And now we shall go home.” She’d never heard such beautiful words.

4

Just in case those last 5.598 words didn’t already make it abundantly clear: I LOVED “Kingdom of Ash”!! It’s one of the best endings of a series I ever read and I’m in awe of Sarah’s genius! She managed to do something not many authors are capable of doing and actually tied up all her loose ends. Her impeccable writing style leaves noting to be desired and after two years I can still say: This is a masterpiece! <333 So read it, enjoy it, cry over it, laugh and weep with your favourite characters and know they’ll always have a special place in your heart – even if you close the final page of this book! <333

Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Muse of Nightmares (Laini Taylor)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2019

”Many a choice is made this way: by pretending it makes itself. And many a fate is decided by those who cannot decide.”

If I’d have to describe “Muse of Nightmares” with just one word, it either would be “stressful” or “gruelling”. *lol* Because quite honestly from the moment I opened this book and started to read it, it gave me nothing but anxiety. >_< The super tense situation between Lazlo, Sarai and Minya at the beginning of the book already had me gnawing at my nails and with every sentence I read it only seemed to get even worse.

And if that plot line wouldn’t have killed me already there needed to come another story line into play. It was an interesting one, I can admit as much, but boy it certainly wasn’t any less stressful than the main storyline with our blue children. *lol* So yes, throughout this entire book I was a bundle of nerves and even after finishing it I’m still kind of well… nervous?! This definitely should have come with a stress warning or something. XD

Anyway! I guess it’s safe to say that “Muse of Nightmares” threw me for a loop and even though it wasn’t what I expected it was still damn good! Laini Taylor created such a vivid world with plenty of wonderful characters and I just love them all! From Lazlo to Sarai, from Feral to Ruby, to Sparrow, Eril-Fane and Azareen, right to Calixte, Tzara, Ruza and Thyon. Gosh, they are all my children and everything I want is just one more book in which I can follow them on their journey! <333 (Any chance there’s going to be a third book, Laini?! ;-P)

This said let’s head to the part of my reviews I always love the most! My characters section! 😉

2

Welcome to Weep! The city whose true name changed when the gods and their wrath came down on it! Be careful when you enter the streets, there will be lots of spoilers and gods that might catch you unawares. ;-P Don’t go in there if you haven’t read the book already!

Sarai:

”She wanted to move, delirious, forgetting what was real and what was looming, and find some way to hook herself to this world, this moment, and never leave. She wanted to taste and feel and ache, and she wanted to weep, too, for all she’d lost and would yet lose.”

I was so heartbroken by the ending of the first book and I think I still am. I mean even though Sarai is a ghost now and Minya is tethering her to earth she’s still not truly alive. What was done to her in this book was so cruel and her despair and fear was so tangible it gave me anxiety. This poor girl that only wanted peace, tormented by a person that raised her and should have loved and cared for her. It was just too much! So much misery and hate. It really killed me to see Sarai struggle like that and I just wanted to help her somehow. I’m kind of glad things changed so drastically towards the ending because urgh… I couldn’t have taken to see Sarai hurt even more. >_<

Lazlo:

”He had, in his hearts, declared war on the dark child, but Lazlo was no warrior, and his hearts had no talent for hate.”

My poor and brave boy got a brief taste of hatred and it almost destroyed him. T_T Lazlo is too innocent and pure to hold on to an emotion like that and it became more than just apparent when he had to face Minya. I swear, to live with Lazlo and Sarai, to see their love and to be unable to help them was pure torture! And through it all he still held on to his beliefs. He didn’t give up and he didn’t give into Minya’s demands even though it almost killed him to do so. Gosh, I love Lazlo so much! <333 He’s still the purest soul I ever read about and I just wanted him to be happy, but nope after Minya’s torture the goddess Nova had to enter the scene and I think I died about a thousand deaths with Lazlo when she forcefully took him away from Sarai. T_T Seriously, my stress level was so high when I read this book. No kidding. XD I’m just glad Lazlo somehow managed to get through it all and that he was able to keep his innocent flame alive. <33 The world really needs more Lazlo Strange’s!

”I belong here,” he said, feeling the truth of it all through him. With Sarai, whom he loved, and with others like himself, and with the metal, too. It had awakened a dimension of him that he had never known existed, a whole new sense, as real as sight or touch. It was part of him now. He was part of this. To leave would mean losing not only Sarai but a piece of himself as well.”

”Listen to me,” he said, savage. He wouldn’t have known his own voice. “There’s something you’ve failed to consider. Sarai is the only thing keeping you safe. Gods help you, if you let her soul go. There will be nothing to stop me from ending you.”

”Impossible?” Lazlo gave a soft laugh and shake of his head. “There must be things that are impossible. But I don’t believe we’ve gotten there yet. Look at us. We’ve barely begun. Sarai, we’re magic.”

„Just because the power is mine, it doesn’t follow that al the choices are.”

Minya:

”This was what Minya knew: Have an enemy, be an enemy. Hate those who hate you. Hate them better. Hate them worse. Be the monster they fear the most. And whenever you can, and however you can, make them suffer.”

I still hate Minya and at the beginning of the book I wanted to strangle her!! The things she did, how she hurt Sarai and Lazlo! It wasn’t right and she should have been stopped! It was so frustrating to see her hatred and to watch how she made Lazlo and Sarai suffer! The worst thing was not to be able to do anything against it! It made me feel really helpless and I started to loathe her even more than I already did. I understand why Minya is the way she is, but even a saint would have been tempted to kill her if given the chance. This girl only knew wrath and she didn’t even listen to the voices of reason. She just blocked them out and ignored everyone who had a different opinion. I really thought she’d never change her mind and if Nova wouldn’t have shown up she probably would have continued on her dark path. I guess Nova’s presence finally put things into perspective and this only just because she was even worse. >_< Urgh! Let’s hope Minya continues on the right path and that getting rid of all those negative emotions that came along with the souls she trapped will make her a better person in the long run. Optimism! See, I’ve taken a page out of Lazlo’s book. *lol*

”She believed it was rage, only and always rage, but that was the costume it wore, because fear was weakness, and she had vowed to never again be weak.”

”This was different. Sarai and Lazlo were pieces on the game board, and there was everything at stake. If they wanted their pleasure, their honey heat and little sounds, they could earn it with obedience.”

”The mind is good at hiding things, but there’s something it cannot do: It can’t erase. It can only conceal, and concealed things are not gone. They rot. They fester, they leak poisons. They ache and stink. They hiss like serpents in tall grass.”

Thyon:

”Thyon knew this smell. For all that he was a duke’s son, born in a castle, with a palace of his own gifted him by the queen, he was a scholar, too and he lived this smell. It was unmistakable. Universal. It was books.”

Now that’s how you write a believable redemption arc!!! Of course Thyon didn’t become a better person overnight but by making new friends and finally opening up to them he started to show his true colours. I wouldn’t say the person beneath all that cold exterior was a completely different person but there were good parts of Thyon he never dared to show and in “Muse of Nightmares” they eventually got a chance to shine. =) There’s some soft part of him that only wanted to be loved and to be a part of things and his friendship with Calixte, Tzara and Ruza kind of helped him to understand himself better. Sometimes it needs the reflection of others to see who you truly are. 😉 So I definitely liked this Thyon better than the one in the first book and I’d have loved to see even more of him. (Hence my wish for a third book. *lol*)

”Thyon gritted his teeth, knowing exactly who and still telling himself that wasn’t why he’d put it aside. What did he care what the dreamer would love, or who got to give it to him?”

”If the kingdom of knowledge was a city, then a swath of Thyon’s had been shaken to the ground, and he was standing knee-deep in rubble both in his thoughts and in reality.”

“Thyon, earthbound, felt every choice he’d made, every action he’d taken, as a weight he carried with him. He wondered: Was it weight he could shed or throw off, or was it forever a part of him, as much as his bones and his hearts?”

”Will this help?” he asked, breathless. “Is it… is it enough?”

3

Sarai & Lazlo:

”He reached for her, and she gave up all resistance.
The others watched, transfixed, as she melted against him, sweetly heavy and his to hold. Their eyes closed, and they rested their foreheads together as they breathed soft words from each other’s lips.”

First of all: Minya interrupting their kiss in the way she did was unforgivable! Like seriously!! Who does things like that? URGH! I suffered so, so, so, so much with Sarai and Lazlo it’s not even normal anymore! I just wanted those lovebirds to be together but first Minya had to get between them and then Nova had to jump right into the fun too! ARGH! I swear this book killed me and gave me an entirely new level of stress I didn’t even know a book was capable of giving. *lol* Despite it all they still found ways to be together and to spend a few sweet and very precious moments in each other’s company. I loved them so much and how I raged against Nova with Lazlo when she took him away from Sarai. Poor Lazlo! The amount of despair I went through while I followed this pair through this book is tremendous. *lol* I’m all anxiety and bitten nails. *takes a deep breath* I’m so glad things worked out in the end and that Lazlo and Sarai could be together but I’m still kind of bummed by the fact that Sarai is still a ghost who’s bound to Minya. I just hope that they found a world in which they could give her soul a real body gain. Lazlo and her would deserve it! <333

”They could be wrenched apart by Minya, though, at literally any moment, and their hearts felt ragged, frayed by desperation and the thoughtless drub of time.”

”He was careful with her. This wasn’t a time for wildfires. She wanted his dreams and he wanted to draw her into such safety and splendor as only he could make for her, not in the world, but out of it, in their world.”

”She gave words back to him, murmuring, and kept them, too. You could do that: Give them back and keep them. ‘I love you’ is generous that way.”

”Her mind, he meant, knowing in a way that few people do that a mind is a place – a landscape, a wilderness, a city, a world.”

Sarai & Minya & Lazlo:

Sarai shook her head. “I’m not defending him. This isn’t about him. It’s about us, and who we chose to be.”
“You don’t get to choose,” snapped Minya. “You’re dead. And I choose monster!”

To say the relationship between those three was complicated would be an understatement. Sarai still appealed to the good in Minya because she knew it was there buried deep, Lazlo tried to persuade Minya to do the right thing because he was too pure to comprehend such cruelty and Minya. Well, she loved Sarai but she wanted to get her revenge so badly that she would have sacrificed her in a heartbeat. >_< And after all Minya put them through, after all the cruelty and pain this precious snowflake of a boy still shielded her with his own body when they were attacked by Nova. I can’t! I just can’t! Lazlo is an angel, a saint, a unicorn! I think Minya only realized how much Sarai meant to her when she almost died because of Nova. Up to that point it was some sort of game for her, because she was always in control of it, but once she lost that control she finally realized she’d lose Sarai too. They all broke my heart. T_T

”Lazlo didn’t think. He just moved. He grabbed her from behind and turned away, holding her like a doll against him. His linen shirt stretched taut across his shoulders as he curled over her to shield her with his body. To shield her with his own body.”

”We have to get to the citadel!” she insisted. “I just have to touch it. We just have to get alongside it and touch it.”
Sarai knelt in front of her. “It means so much that you still want to save me,” she said, her eyes filling up with tears. Minya’s eyes filled, too.

Ruza & Thyon:

”He looks like somebody made him, and delivered him in a velvet-lined box. He probably plucks his eyebrows. I don’t know how you could possibly find that attractive.”

AWWWWWW!!! Those two! I never saw this ship coming but I’m so on board with it! <333 I mean Ruza literally compared Thyon to “a new linen napkin that you’re afraid to wipe your mouth on”. *LOL* Like seriously!!! It’s so obvious! And Thyon saying he should keep his mouth away from him. Ahhhh!!! Also let’s not forget that Ruza bandaged his hands! So sweet! I never thought I’d ship Thyon with anyone, but Ruza and he were just too cute! ❤ There were so many little moments between them and the fact they always blushed was just adorable. I think I need a third “Strange the Dreamer” book just to see where this might go! XD I’d be totally down for a book about their relationship and I really hope Laini is thinking about it right now. *lol*

”He did one more thing before heading on to the stable. He hit up the first aid boy for a packet of bandages. He hadn’t known a grown man could have hands soft enough to blister and rip after a few hours hauling rope. The alchemist hadn’t complained, though, and he hadn’t quit. That was something, anyway. No reason he should keep getting blood all over the rope.”

”It’s your holy book,” he’d pointed out. “Do you want to get greasy fingerprints all over it?”
“I’ll get greasy fingerprints all over you,” the warrior had muttered, going to do as he was told. Thyon flushing, had pretended not to hear.

”The more fool him, to think he was part of this group. He pushed back from the table to stand, but before he could, Ruza’s hand closed on his. He still wasn’t looking at him, but he had caught his hand so he couldn’t walk away. Thyon stared at his fingers enclosed in Ruza’s as though they belonged to some stranger. He hardly even registered the feeling. It was too alien. No one had ever held his hand.”

”He looked at him and saw the child he’d been, and he saw the man he was – warrior, prankster, friend – and he felt a warmth that he had never felt before for any other person. It was affection, and something that frightened him, too, that he could feel in his knees and fingertips and face.

He said, “I’m sure there are real dragons out there somewhere. You can hatch one from an egg and raise it to be your loyal steed.”
Ruza’s whole face lit up. “Do you really think so?”
“Out of hundreds of worlds?” said Thyon. “It would be stranger if there weren’t dragons.”

Azareen & Eril-Fane:

”After that her days were a fog, and real life was lived at night in a secret cavern with a sword in her hand, blade dancing with a boy who burned with beautiful fire.”

It was really nice to find out about how Azareen and Eril-Fane fell in love, but it was also painful to get a closer look at how the gods destroyed them. They were good and decent people and then Isagol and Skathis came for them and changed the course of their lives forever. Poor Eril-Fane and poor Azareen. They both would have deserved a happy life together but the gods had come to torture them and there was nothing they could have done. It’s no wonder Eril-Fane killed them all. He just didn’t see any other way and only realized what he had done when it was already too late. They made him a monster and he could never escape his past. I grieved so much with them and I’m so glad that they found to each other in the end. ❤ They deserve a bright future and after all their suffering they finally got a chance at happiness.

”Every time he looked at Azareen, he had to face the knowledge that his inability to… get over… what had been done to him – and what he had done – had robbed her of the life she deserved. To hear the word sorry from her lips… it made him want to die.”

”It didn’t matter if the feelings were his, or if she put them in him. Either way, they were real, and they would rule over him for the next three years, and all the years that came after.”

4

“Muse of Nightmares” went in an entirely different direction than I anticipated and I never saw any of those events coming. I certainly didn’t expect this book to be so dark and to fill me with so much despair but that’s exactly what happened. I was a nervous wreck throughout the entire story and to read this was really stressful. Still, it might have been different than the first book but Laini Taylor’s writing style is impeccable and I just love this world and its characters! ❤

Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Legend (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” He looks toward the railway car’s open door, where streaks of dark water blanket the world. “You try to walk in the light.”

Quotes like that are the reason why I love Marie Lu’s books. Well, okay, quotes like that and the fact that she’s a really great writer and always creates characters I can’t help but adore! The thing with dear Marie is that her morally grey characters grow on you. You might not agree with the things they do but there’s always a reason why they do them and you can’t help but sympathize? So I guess what it comes down to in the end are lots of wrong choices done for the seemingly right reasons. At least at the moment they make them. *lol* Does that make any sense?

If not, let’s just pretend I never tried to explain it and get back on track. ;-P I always knew this series is one of Marie Lu’s most known and a lot of readers seem to love it, up until now I never got a chance to read it though. To be entirely honest I only just discovered that my library has it and so I decided to jump right on the hype train and see where it was heading. Apparently I was the only passenger on it though. I swear I must be the last person to read this, but that’s okay. I know I’m slow. XD

This said after reading so many other YA series I actually didn’t expect to enjoy this so much. I mean yes, the dystopian YA vibe is strong in this one but boy was it done nice! I fell in love with Day right from the beginning and I appreciated June’s efficient and clever mind. Plus, for some reason the plot and how it was executed had me at the edge of my seat?! I’m not gonna lie, I’m really surprised I was so invested in this because it was kind of familiar and not all too many things happened, but I still wanted to know what would happen next?! Marie Lu certainly knows how to glue her readers to the pages.

So yes, this was surprisingly good and I can’t wait to read book two which will hopefully be a little longer than the first one! Still, there are a lot of things I need to get off of my chest so let’s head to my characters section and get it over with! =)

2


You are now entering the Lake sector so if you don’t want to be spoiled and haven’t read the book yet you better don’t head into this territory. It might mess things up for you and we wouldn’t want for that to happen, would we? 😉

June Iparis:

”Fourteen floors,” I call back. That gets them buzzing again. Somehow, this has become the closest relationship I have with the other Drake students. I am respected, discussed, gossiped about. Not really talked to.

I really liked June but boy did I want to scream at her when she allowed them to catch Day! XD The funny thing about her is that she’s actually a pretty strong character and knows exactly what she’s doing yet her somewhat sheltered upbringing caused her to misjudge a lot of situations she was in. Guess even an elite academy can’t prepare you for everything and this was exactly what happened in here. I understand that she wanted to catch Day and bring him to justice but the way she went about it… Well, let’s just say I didn’t agree with her and her methods. If she would have only stopped for a second she would have realized that Day is not her brother’s murderer and that someone tried to put the blame on him. Then again, I can’t even imagine how it must feel to be assigned the task of finding your brother’s supposed murderer. >_< Damn Commander Jameson that vile woman! *lol* I’m just glad June eventually realized her mistake and helped Day to escape. XD

”I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”

”When I tracked Day’s family down and watched Thomas shoot his mother, when I looked on today as the crowd in the square was gunned down… I stood by both times and did nothing. Does that make me the same as Thomas? Are we doing the right thing by following our orders? Surely the Republic knows best?”

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

”In other words, the Republic has no idea what I look like. They don’t seem to know much of anything about me, except that I’m young and that when they run my fingerprints they don’t find a match in their databases. That’s why they hate me, why I’m not the most dangerous criminal in the country, but the most wanted. I make them look bad.”

I don’t even know why but I absolutely love him!!! Day is such a great character and I was with him every step of the way! I hated that he had to suffer so much and that his entire life was screwed up by Commander Jameson. I mean, seriously, that boy just tried to survive! Why did they want to get rid of him even though he had such a high score?! I really hope we’ll solve that mystery in one of the following books! Also it was so obvious that he cared about his family and to take that away from him, to kill them… It wasn’t right. Day never hurt anyone and he didn’t deserve this. He’s a precious snowflake and I hope June will take good care of him in the following books. Because if not I’ll find her and give her a piece of my mind! *lol* (I don’t even care that she’s fictional!!) I guess what appeals to me the most, is that he’s a survival artist and knows exactly how to use his abilities to his advantage. There’s no hesitation, he knows his limits and he knows when to push them. Which makes him a genuinely intriguing character I definitely want to read more about. =)

”Did you set fire to a series of ten F-472 fighter jets parked at the Burbank air force base right before they were to head out to the warfront?”
“I’m kinda proud of that one.”

”One thing I do know. Even if June’s plans fail, even if I’m going to be isolated and friendless when I head out to the firing squad… I’m going to fight. They’re going to have to fill me with bullets to get me to stay still. I take a shuddering breath. Brave thoughts, but am I ready to follow through on them?”

Metias:

Metias stared off into the distance. “Few people ever kill for the right reasons, June,” he said after a long silence. “Most do it for the wrong reasons. I just hope you never have to be in either category.”

I think it’s sad he was taken out of the picture so fast! Metias seemed like a nice character and I would have loved to get to know him better but then again his death was some sort of catalyst to kick off the storyline and therefore was necessary and inevitable. The little we got to see of him before he died was great though. His love for June was obvious and I really hope there will be more revelations about his past and the work of their parents. Knowing Marie Lu we’ll probably hear a lot about his background throughout the rest of the series and I’m really looking forward to it. =)

Commander Jameson:

Commander Jameson lets out a laugh. “Ill-tempered until the end, aren’t you?” She releases my head and tilts my chin up with a finger. “What fun you are, my beautiful boy.”

I HATE THIS WOMAN! The only thing I can agree on is that Day is a beautiful boy. As for the rest: She’s a cold and calculating witch and I might have not seen a lot of her but the little I saw was already enough. How dare she to hurt my baby!? Let’s hope we won’t see a lot of her in “Prodigy”… unfortunately I get the slight feeling that we will. *lol* Anyway, on a more serious note: I can’t help but admit that I dig the idea of a female antagonist, especially one that holds a high rank in military hierarchy. It’s kind of refreshing and makes for a nice change. 😉

Thomas:

”Thomas glances at me before stepping off the platform – his face is grave, even guilty, but I know with a sinking feeling that he feels guilty only for throwing me to the ground. Not for this massacre he’s leaving behind.”

Is he just a good soldier who follows his orders or is there more to him? I still didn’t grasp his true motives and this makes him an interesting enigma for me. If he is the murderer of Metias, why did he do it? Considering their close relationship I don’t buy that he just killed him because he got the order to do it. I mean he’d have to be really dumb to kill his best friend, but then again, maybe I give him too much credit?! Does he have ulterior motives? What’s his angle? I need to find out more about him in the next book! XD

3

June & Day:

”He glances at me now, notices me studying him, and pauses for a second. Some secret emotion darts across his eyes. A beautiful mystery. He must have similar questions about me, how I’m able to pick out so many details of his life. Perhaps he’s wondering what I’ll figure out about him next.”

Was this insta-love?! Hell, yeah and it’s as good as it gets. *lol* Or well as good as insta-love can get. I mean they barely know each other, but fall head over heels and June is ready to die for Day and to leave her perfect life behind. But then again it’s not all about Day. June realizes that the system she lives in is wrong and that people get killed for being in the way, for saying their opinion or fighting for what they think is right. I guess in some way to spend time with Day helped her to realize this and so it appears to be insta-love, which it definitely is, but there’s also way more behind it than that. This said I kinda liked the enemies-to-lovers trope in here and it was a pleasure to see those two different people fall in love. Their circumstances were like Day and Night (see what I did there ;-P) but they both had a brilliant mind and used their skills in the best way they could. There’s something to be said about two intelligent people that are comfortable in their own skin and know exactly what they want and how to get it. Plus they both know how to fight and I really hope June will take good care of my baby now that he’s weakened from torture and prison. >_< I’m sure their love will get enough time to bloom properly. ❤

”I feel a surprising pang of guilt. He trusts me – truly, stupidly, wholeheartedly trusts me. In fact, I don’t know if anyone has ever taken my word so readily before. Maybe not even Metias.”

Day leans toward me. He reaches up to touch my face. I can tell it still hurts him to use his fingers, and his nails are dark with dried blood. “You’re brilliant,” he says. “But you’re a fool to stay with someone like me.”
I close my eyes at the touch of his hand. “Then we’re both fools.”

Day, Tess & his family:

John grabs me again. “You’re completely cracked. Listen to me, and listen to me good. All right? You never fight back. Ever. You do what the officers tell you, and you don’t argue with them.” Some of the anger fades from his eyes. “I would rather die than see them hurt you. Understand?”

In retrospective this paragraph kills me. Well, truth be told, Day’s entire situation is killing me. I hate that his father died, hate it even more that his mother was killed and now John too?! How many members of a family can you kill before it is enough?! There’s only Day and Eden left now and I really hope they can save him, because I don’t know what will happen with Day if they can’t. I suppose for June it’s the same situation only that she’s already lost everything… Guess that makes her super dangerous for the government now. If you have nothing to lose no one can use anything or anyone as leverage against you. Still, John’s death killed me and I never saw that plot twist coming. >_< Also I hope Tess and Day can reunite. I loved their sibling relationship and Day just needs to see his little adopted sister again, okay?! *sniff*

4

I wasn’t prepared to love this so much but I get the hype now and I’m totally on board of this “legendary” train! I’m pretty sure this is only going to get even more interesting now that the stage is set and I can’t wait to find out what June and Day are going to do next! Also I hope their bond and relationship will get even stronger and drown out the insta-lovey start. *lol* This said, I can’t wait to borrow “Prodigy” from my library! Next one, please! XD

Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Morning Star (Pierce Brown)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Never mind the darkness you spread, never mind the night you summon, we will rage against it.”

In my “Golden Son” review I remarked that reading the second book of this amazing trilogy was like playing chess without any rules. Well, guess what?!
Yes, you already figured it out!
To read “Morning Star” was even worse! *lol*

Forget renegade chess figures that give you the finger!
This time around it’s the storyline, nature, two fleets, gravity AND the countless chess figures that all riot like there would be no tomorrow. XD In short the entire book is one big middle finger and its only reason to exist is to rip out your heart, to crush it and to feast on it while you desperately try to save your precious soul!
Yep, that’s how reading this book felt for me. >_<

But don’t let me keep you from reading “Morning Star” because there are numerous gorydamn good reasons why it is worth it. For instance Pierce Brown isn’t just a good looking piece of cake (if you don’t believe me look him up ;-P *lol*), but also a skilled storyteller and an incredible genius! You just gotta respect the hell out of the mind of that brilliant human being. XD

Still, WHY PIERCE?
HOW COULD YOU??!!
WHYYYYYYYYYY?

HOW.
COULD.
YOU???

Oh, did I forget to mention that he’s a cruel, cunning and deceitful creature too? XD
No? Well, I guess now you know. Sorry Pierce!
Anyway, now that this is settled it seems like we can finally head to the plot! 😉

1

”The greatest weapon a rebellion has is its spiritus. The spirit of change. That little seed that finds a hope in the mind and flourishes and spreads. But the ability to plant that idea, and even the idea itself has been taken from us. The message stolen. We are voiceless.”

I think this is the beginning of the book in a nutshell and if I’m entirely honest I don’t want to reveal all too much. Since the second book ended on a horrible and devastating cliff-hanger there is nothing I could write in here which wouldn’t give away the plot of the last book. So yeah, bear with me? *lol* All I can say is that there were so many twists and turns that my head and heart suffered from a serious whiplash and probably won’t recover all too soon. To those of you who have the gift of premonition or foreboding: Don’t even try it. *shakes head* You’ll never be able to see through all those many layers and plot twists. Believe me, I’ve tried! ;-P

2

”You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has.” I touch his shoulder. “We’re it, boyo. Broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re the light, and we’re spreading.”

And this is where the fun begins! Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! If you don’t want to be spoiled return back to the start and never look back. If you want to be spoiled: Leave your hats and good conscience at the door and follow me into the depths of my realm! ;-P Don’t worry, we have cookies! XD

Darrow – The Reaper:

”Man is no island. We need those who love us. We need those who hate us. We need others to tether us to life, to give us a reason to live, to feel. All I have is the darkness.”

My broken and poor boy! Oh gosh, how much I suffered with him when he was in captivity of the Jackal. To read the beginning of the book was so painful and sad and I couldn’t believe that no one of those stupid “noble” Golds did anything against it!!! How could they let this happen to him?! It was just inhuman and brutal and oh hell, my poor Darrow. My fallen little star!! T_T Thank the gods for Darrow’s awesome family and skilled carvers like Mickey. *lol* I loved that he found strength in them and that he finally became the man he needed to be. Not the man he wanted to be, mind you! But in order to overthrow an established system there was no other choice than to become the voice of the rebellion he started. Still, after everything he’s been through Darrow still had his principles and was driven by his convictions. I think in many ways this made him the most honourable person in the entire series and it actually caused me to root for him until the very end! XD He’s such an awesome protagonist and his fear to fail the people he loved was more than just relatable! =)

”I am just a boy, and I shiver and cower and hide from my enemy because I know the price of failure, and I am so very afraid.”

”I sob uncontrollably, sharing all the pain my solitude forced me to hoard. The tears a deeper language than my tongue can afford.”

”Tomorrow the war can have me again. But tonight I belong to my family.”

Mustang:

“You’re not invincible.“ She touches the armor of my chest. “Some of us might want you around after all of this. After all, what’s the point of all this if you go and die on me? You hear?”

I loved her so much in the first book but after reading “Golden Son” my opinion about her changed. I’m sorry to say it but I still don’t like her. I understood her better, but I can’t say that I dig a relationship between her and Darrow. Yes, they love each other and yes they have a son now (PAX what a revelation!!! What and epilogue!!! OMG!! I’m still not over it!) but I think it needs more than that to make their relationship work. They both made mistakes, I know that, but I still think her reaction to Darrow being a Red was really, really wrong! I’m aware that might be an unpopular opinion but it is the way I feel! Fight me! *lol*

Cassius au Bellona:

When I meet his eyes, I do all I can to not fall into sobs. The way he looks at me is sad, nearly tender. What a shadow of myself I must be to earn pity from a man I’ve hurt so deeply.

Well if that isn’t a perfect case of redemption! XD I knew there was still something good in Cassius! I just knew it!!! BUT BOY!!! DID I HATE HIM IN THE MOMENT HE BETRAYED THE OTHERS!!! *lol* Jeez!!! I was so shook I couldn’t even breathe!!! Damn Pierce, you gave me a bloody heart attack!!! I’m too young to have one of those! Hell, come to think of it I’m pretty certain we’re actually even the same age. XD Either way you shouldn’t mess with my feelings like that… Where was I again? Yes, Cassius, right! I’m so glad he and Darrow sorted out their problems and I really hope they’ll continue to be close friends. I loved their relationship in the first book and I was so heartbroken when it ended the way it did. Their close bond was so nice back then and I really hated to see it break. Let’s hope Cassius takes good care of Lysander and gives him a better ethical education than his grandmother bestowed upon him.

”I’m tired of this war, Darrow.”

Sevro au Barca:

”Do you want the eyes back?” Sevro asks, suddenly worried. “I can give them back.”
“No!” I say. “It’s just I forgot how crazy you are.”

HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE SEVRO??!!! It’s impossible!!! That boy is so awesome he should have had his own freaking book!!! *lol* I just love his weirdness and the fact that he actually took Darrow’s eyes! Boy, he’s such an adorable freak it’s not even normal! Haha! It was amazing to see his character development throughout the books and even though his burden seemed to be too heavy in “Morning Star” I still thought that given the circumstances he was actually doing a great job! He held the rebellion together while Darrow was gone and this alone is a more than considerable achievement! I still love his humour and his tender heart and even after three books I still feel like I want more!!! Admittedly not everything he did was amazing and there were times I wanted to knock some sense into him, in general I could understand and follow most of his actions though. Of all the many characters in the books Sevro is definitely my favourite and I don’t think this will ever change! 😉

His wrinkled little face hardens as he watches his Howlers run to do my bidding. “You get them killed, I’ll never forgive you.”
“Makes two of us. Now go.”

”His wife,” he says more deeply. “And my father never met. But they shared a dream. One of a free world. Not built on corpses, but on hope. On the love that binds us, not the hate that divides. We have lost many. But we are not broken. We are not defeated. We fight on. But we do not fight for revenge for those who have died. We fight for each other. We fight for those who live. We fight for those who don’t yet live.”

Roque au Fabii:

Framed by fire, he cycles through images, issuing commands like a great conductor summoning the passion of an orchestra. His mind a beautiful, terrible weapon.”

Oh, Roque. My poet! My gentle soul! Why did he have to go that way? I can’t hate him for the things he did because deep down within him, he was convinced that he was doing the right thing. After the loss of Quinn he was a pliable lost soul that got saved by the wrong people and I JUST CAN’T HATE HIM FOR IT!!! He did what he thought was necessary, he believed in their system, he followed his supervisors, he paid with his life. T_T I think his shout into the wind was a Greek tragedy and I’ll never get over his loss. *sighs deeply*

”If you care so much for life, tell yours to stop firing,” Roque replies. “Tell them to fall in line and understand that life isn’t free. It isn’t without sacrifice. If all take what they want, how long will it be till there’s nothing left?”

”I am the star in the night sky. I am the blade in the twilight. I am the god, the glory.” His breath shudders out. He is afraid. “I am the Gold.”

Victra:

”His heart’s a black little thing. But it can break. I’m here to make sure it doesn’t by keeping you nice and cozy. Oh, and I want to say hello to Roque.”

I absolutely loved and adored Victra!!! She’s so savage and honest! It was really refreshing to read! I actually liked her more than I liked Mustang and this says quite a lot!! That girl is just amazing and to be able to keep up with Sevro she really had to be a special brand! Haha! They definitely make an awesome couple and I can’t wait to read more about them. (Maybe even in Iron Gold?!) I admired that she also showed her weaknesses in front of others and instead of being afraid of their reaction; she used them as a weapon. Only very skilled people can pull that off and Victra certainly is one of them. 😉 She’s basically what I expected Mustang to be, so it’s really no wonder I ended up liking her even more! XD

”He was incorrigible the whole journey out here. Laughing, pulling pranks, and slipping off to Victra’s room whenever he thought no one was looking. Ugly little man’s in love. And for what it’s worth, it seems to go both ways.”

The Jackal:

”All my life I’ve been given lions. Nothing of my own. What does it say about me that my greatest enemy knows me better than any friend?”

I AM SO GLAD HE IS FINALLY DEAD!!! XD And yes, I mean it!!! *lol* Gosh that boy gave me the creeps and I was constantly disgusted by his actions and personality! Nero really raised a monster and I still have no idea where he went wrong. I mean Mustang was his twin sister, why did she end up being a decent human being and Adrius became such a horrible creature?! Something must have gone clearly wrong with him and I’m really glad his reign is over. I don’t think he deserved Mustang’s love and kindness in the end but she was his sister and you can’t escape or deny such a strong bond. May he rest in peace, and may he never return! Like never ever! Do you hear me, Pierce? No resurrection!! XD

”This is always how the story would end, Adrius,” I say down to him. “Not with your screams. Not with your rage. But with your silence.”

Ragnar Volarus:

”I fired a sarissa out the back of the cargo bay from a shoulder launcher.”
“You shot a missile at them while we were falling?” Mustang asks incredulously.
“Yes. And I attempted to gather gravBoots. I failed.”
“I think you did just fine,” Mustang says with a sudden laugh.

Ragnar! *sobs* I loved that gentle giant!!! PIERCE, WHY DID YOU HAVE TO KILL HIM TOO?! Ragnar was only introduced in the second book but he really grew on me and I loved his character. He was a man who had been born for war, yet all he sought was peace and quiet! I was so happy that he found his way and tried to save his people and I was devastated when his fierce and bright fire went out! His death on the ice was so unnecessary and I hate Aja for taking his life! Wherever he is, I hope he is happy now. RIP Ragnar Volarus!!! <333

”The Shield of Tinos,” he echoes, voice catching. “He loved the name.”
“I know.”
”I think he’d always thought himself a blade before he met us. We let him be what he wanted. A protector.”

Darrow’s & Sevro’s bromance:

”He never stopped looking for you,” Dancer explains. “I thought he was mad. He said you weren’t dead. That he could feel it. That he would know. I even asked him to give up the helm to someone else. He was too reckless searching for you.”

Because this is the best bromance I ever read about, it even gets an extra mention in my review!!! THOSE TWO ARE #FRIENDSHIP GOALS!!! Like seriously! I loved their brotherly friendship and tight bond and I was so glad they had each other. Whenever one of them was faltering, the other one was there to pick him up and boy, if that isn’t true friendship of the purest kind I really don’t know!!! They loved each other so deeply it was a pleasure to watch and except of in “The Raven Cycle” I never saw such an amazing portray of a friendship. (TRC boys are #FRIENDSHIP GOALS too, I guess we can all agree on that! *lol*) Still, to see Sevro crying broke my heart, it was necessary for the plot though. I just loved how Darrow and he worked out their problems and how they only got stronger after sorting things out! THAT WAS AWESOME!!! <333 Pierce you definitely get kudos for writing one of the best bromances in modern literature! ;-P Please, keep it up! XD

”I sit up, feeling ripped apart by the sight of him. I don’t hold him, but I put a hand on his head. And he surprises me by not flinching away, but instead crawling up to put his head on my knee. I put my other hand on his shoulder. In time the sobs slow and he blows the snot from his nose.”

”It’s moments like this that I know I’m not alone. Damn the world, so long as I have my mangy little guardian angel. If only I was so good at guarding him as he is at guarding me. Once again he’s done all I could ask and more.”

4

“Morning Star” was the perfect crescendo to an already amazing series! It was brilliant, it was haunting, it was intense and full of emotions. It kept me on my toes and never even gave me the slightest chance to catch my breath!

In short: It was ingenious and I couldn’t help but enjoy every infinitesimal moment of it!
Yes, it was THAT good! ;-P

Allgemein, K - O, N, Reviews

Review: Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 16 on My Book List 2019

”You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Well, I suppose that’s only to be expected when you set out on the dark path of revenge. Not that Mia wouldn’t be able to deal with it. 😉 Truth be told, after reading this book I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing our heroine wouldn’t be able to deal with. Except of maybe the many bad ratings this book got? *lol* When I started to read “Nevernight” I already knew that I was late to the party, but after reading it and skimming through some of the reviews I also realized that it’s apparently a rather controversial book?!

Why the ‘byss I wondered and started to investigate. As it seems most of the reviewers that gave it a low rating just couldn’t with the writing style and the recurring footnotes. Which admittedly, is a valid point. If you’re no fan of paraphrases and poetry or prose I’m fairly certain that you will end up hating this book. So I guess what it truly comes down to is if you’ve liked Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series or not. If you loved it there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy the writing style of this book as well, if you hated it, I’d recommend borrowing “Nevernight” from the library and seeing if you enjoy the first few chapters. 😉

As for me, I can only say that I LOVED it! It might have taken me ages to get through this book and the footnotes were kind of distracting at first, but it was definitely worth it! I’ve read so many YA books in my life and even though the initial story of an assassin novice that has to survive her training and initiation is nothing new, the way Jay Kristoff wrote it still managed to give this story a unique spin. This is nothing like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass”, this is nothing like Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice”, this was something completely different! Dark, twisted, cunning, cruel, gory, violent and only just a little bit x-rated. ;-P (If you’ve read ACOTAR those scenes won’t shock you though, they are pretty tame in comparison) And of course all the characters are so “morally grey” that they border on obsidian, ebony or jet-black which brings me right to my characters section! XD

2

Welcome to the Red Church, where killers are made into proper assassins! You might have the necessary traits but do you also have the guts to improve your skills? Find out and enter the mountain. Where spoilers await you in the darkness, always ready to pounce on you if you happen to cross their path. Or in other, less flowery words: Spoilers ahead! Be careful! *lol*

Mia Corvere:

”Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

It feels like I’ve been waiting for a heroine like Mia Corvere for my entire life!!! I ADORE this girl! <333 She’s direct, loves books, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, curses like a sailor, smokes like a dragon, has a great humour and is kick-ass and cunning af!!! And most of all she feels real!!! Whenever authors try to make their heroines as tough as the male MCs they seem to fail. Jay Kristoff? HE FREAKING NAILED IT!! Well, at least for me he did! It was such a pleasure to follow Mia’s journey. She has the mind of a killer but still shows compassion when no one else does. Throughout the entire book she walks a fine line between becoming a killing machine and trying to keep her humanity. She has no trouble to kill people that hurt the ones she loves, but she draws the line at killing innocents for pleasure and I could have kissed her for refusing to take the final test! <333 Also she was so brave in so many ways! Yes, some might argue that it’s easy to be brave when you have a not-cat that eats your fear, but sometimes bravery means more than just being able to overcome your fears. It’s also brave to stand in front of 5 people that could easily kill you and still refuse to do what they want you to do. So yes, I’m Mia Corvere trash now and I think I might be in love with her. *lol* With both, Mia and Mr. Kindly! Their not-friendship was everything! <333

”Iron or glass? they’d asked.
Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head.
She was neither.
She was steel.”

”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching the floor as if looking for something. “I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think…”

”They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”

Tric:

”… You’re a little frightening sometimes, Pale Daughter.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Only a little?”
“Well, most times, you’re just plain terrifying.”
“Come on,” she said, slapping his arm. “I’ll buy you a drink.”

This Itreyan-Dweymeri boy is so sweet that I instantly loved him! Tric was such a great character and my heart bled for him! The way he got his scars and tattoos? It was so damn painful to read. My poor boy! T_T He was so young and he would have deserved so much better than that! I despise his grandfather Swordbreaker and what he did to him and I adored his mother for loving him so much! Tric’s mom was amazing and I’m sure a lot of his character traits came from her. ❤ I could understand his inner conflict about losing his scars though. I mean they basically were his past written on his skin. I agree with Mia though, they don’t define him. Also did anyone find out why he’s named Tric?! I mean he told Mia the story about his scars and tattoos but I can’t remember that he ever told her why he’s named Tric. If any of you know, could you please explain?! (If possible without spoiling too many details if it’s in one of the following two books. *lol*) AND now to the huge WTF moment of this book! I had to read the scene where Ashlinn kills him TWICE, because when I read it for the first time I thought my mind must have played a trick on me! O_o I was so shocked!!! And I’ll never be okay with him dying!! Yes, they are at a school for assassins and there died plenty of the other students throughout the entire book, but TRIC??!! Really? He was one of the two freaking MCs!!! How could Jay do this to us?!! T_T My poor baby boy!!! I’m not okay with this…

”Drown him and be done.” His voice dropped to a trembling whisper. “They were her first words. That’s what she fucking named me. Drown him and be done.”

Ashlinn:

”Don’t trouble yourself about what that bitch said,” Ash whispered, glancing at Carlotta’s flawless cheek. “That’s not who you are any more.”
“It was never who I was.”
Charlotta’s hands fell still. Her stare growing clouded.
“It was just who they made me.”

I really liked Ashlinn and she grew on me until… well, until she freaking killed Tric!!! *lol* How could she? I feel as betrayed by her actions as Mia does! I was on the verge of falling for her character and then she does something like this?! Not nice! >_< And now I find myself second guessing every single thing she said and did in this book. Was it all an act? Did she really like Mia and Carlotta or did she just play games with them? I loved her humour and despite everything she seemed to be a compassionate and nice person. Just like the skilled thief she is, she stole my heart without me even noticing it and now I’m standing in front of the torn ruins of my ribcage. To say it with Mr. Kindly’s words: Dear gentlefriends, I’ve to admit that I’m still wondering about what the hell happened in those last few chapters! Ash’s character arc left me with so many questions I feel a headache coming up! *lol* I can’t wait to see her in “Godsgrave” though, because seriously, there’s no way, I repeat NO FREAKING WAY, she won’t appear in the next book. XD (Or at least I hope so. ;-P)

The Shahiids:

Shahiid Mouser
”This is a game, children. But a dangerous one.” He waggled his eyebrows. “The only kind worth playing.”

Shahiid Aalea

”They will never see the knife in your hand if they are lost in your eyes. They will never taste the poison in their wine when they are drunk on the sight of you.”

”Never let your face tell a secret your lips should not.”

Lord Cassius
”Killers one, killers all. And each death we bring is a prayer. An offering to Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Death as a mercy. Death as a warning. Death as an end unto itself. All of these, ours to know and gift unto the world. The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”

The Shahiids were so amazing! I know I only mentioned a few of them here but when it comes down to it I really liked them all! Shahiid Spiderkiller was so deadly! XD I swear to poison your class frequently just to make sure they actually study is quite the way to motivate your students! *lol* No wonder they all tried to be top at her class. Haha! If your life depends on it poison studies will become your favourite subject. ;-P Shahiid Solis was kind of brutal and cruel so I didn’t like him all too much. I adored Mouser and Aalea though! I’m sure I would have loved to attend their classes. As for Lord Cassius, he seemed to be one of those mysterious characters you never get a grip on and since he died I doubt that I’ll ever understand his reasons and motives. >_< Marielle and Adonai? The Church’s weaver and speaker… well they were just creepy and terrifying! And they obviously had some incestuous relationship going on?! *shudders* I don’t even know how all the girls could swoon over Adonai, for me he was just trouble in a nice disguise. *lol*

Chronicler Aelius:

”This is a library. You can’t smoke in a bloody library.”
“O, shit…”
The old man plucked his cigarillo, pondered it briefly, popped it back into his mouth.
“What if the books catch fire?” Mia asked.
“O, shiiiiiiiit,” the old man said, exhaling a cloud that made Mia’s tongue tingle.

Now here comes one of the characters I loved the most! Chronicler Aelius was legit the best thing about the Red Church!!! That guy was awesome!! I loved the first meeting between him and Mia and that he gave no shit about smoking at the library. *lol* He was like a grumpy puppy that grows on you and moreover he was pretty wise! ❤ I adored his stance on books and one of my fave moments was him offering Mia a smoke while they watched the enemy being eaten by the worms. (quite literally) Haha! Also the fact that he is dead!! OMG! That came as a total surprise! He really wasn’t kidding about getting lost in the library and dying there! O_o I really hope there will be more of him in the next book because I need to read more about his intriguing character!!

”The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their mark on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

3

Mia & Tric:

”As you were kind enough to notice, I’ve fallen a little behind in Songs.”
“A little?” Tric snorted. “There’s training dummies up there who could mop the floor with you, Pale Daughter.”
“Well, thank you very much,” Mia scowled. “If you’d like to go somewhere and quietly fuck yourself, I’ll be waiting here patiently for your return.”

Haha! I loved how blunt they were! Those two were always honest with each other and never pretended to be something they are not and I think that might have been the main reason they hit it off. What I really liked about their relationship was that they started as strangers, became sort of best friends and then lovers. It’s rare authors take the time to go for a slow burn and I think this one was done nicely. And yes, in my eyes this was a slow burn because they didn’t do anything until the 60% mark or so? Mia can tell herself about a thousand times that she doesn’t love Tric, we all know better, right? *lol* You don’t go sharing your not-cat with just anyone when you’re about to be whipped by Marielle. >_< To say he was with Mia was such a stupid move but then again he didn’t want her to die and she would have died with a 100 lashes. Still, that they both got 50 in the end was horrible. *swallows* Poor Tric though! I’m sure Mia loved him. That he had to die this way was so cruel. I mean Ash only killed him because he had such an exceptional sense of smell. Such a stupid reason to die! And this might sound weird but it was good for Mia that she killed Swordbreaker and meted out revenge! It won’t bring back Tric but to know that his grandfather eventually got what he deserved must have been liberating for her. At least she could give him that. T_T

”For a moment, she wasn’t Mia Corvere, daughter of a murdered house, parched with the thirst for revenge. Not a fledgling assassin or a servant of a goddess. Just a girl. And he a boy. Their eyes blind to all but each other.”

”A wordless protest slipped from her lips, and she reached out, running her fingertips up his arm. Goosebumps rose on his skin. She rested one hand on the hard swell of his shoulder. Stopped him from pulling away.”

”Maybe we should start at the letter S?”
“S?”
“S for stubborn. S for stupid. S for smart-arse.”
“S for shut it.”
“See, that’s the spirit.”

Mia & Ash:

”Huzzah! She can be taught!”
“Fuck you.”
“Fair warning, I’m not much of a biter…”
“Ash, I swear to the Mother –“

Is it just me or was there a smell of romance in the air? I could have sworn Mia and Ash were attracted by each other. They kind of flirted and they kissed twice! This has to count for something, right? At the moment I don’t see how a relationship between those two could ever work out though. Ash killed Tric who was Mia’s lover and probably her first true love so to say they would be star-crossed lovers would be an understatement par excellence. Still, there was something in the air between those two and I’m sure if Tric would still be alive *sobs* he would actually tell you the same thing! I think before Tric I would have shipped this like crazy, now that I’m so uncertain about Ashlinn’s character I don’t know if I want to ship it or not. I’m kind of torn here. *lol* Maybe Ash will come back in book two and there will be an explanation for how she acted and why she did what she did? Not that an explanation would make me forgive her, but it certainly would help to understand her motives, because right now it’s all Greek to me and I no longer understand the world. XD I’ve yet to decide if I want to board this possible ship or not. ;-P

”Ashlinn, I could kiss you…”
“… I thought you’d never ask?”

”You know, folk around here have got you figured for a ruthless bitch after that stunt with Diamo. But I know better. Someone hurts those you love, you’ll not forgive it. But underneath it all, you’re a good sort, Corvere.”
Mia kissed Ash’s cheek, smiling. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”

”She took a deep breath, as if about to plunge into dark water. And then she leaned in slow, cupped Mia’s face, and kissed her gently on the lips. It lasted a moment too long. Perhaps not long enough? Warm and soft and honeysweet. Before Mia could decide, it was already over. Ash broke the kiss, squeezing Mia’s hand. A million unsaid words shining in her eyes. A million more on Mia’s tongue.”

4

Where do I even begin?! This was something totally unique and if you ask me I can’t compare it to anything I ever read. The premise of the story might have sounded a lot like all the other assassin books I ever heard of, but Jay Kristoff managed to give it an incomparable spin and I’m very glad I picked this up. It was dark and at times brutal, it was gory and X-rated, there was a lot of cussing and smoking involved and… I loved it! *lol* Enough said! If you enjoy books like that I’m sure you’ll devour this too! ;-P

Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: One Day in December (Josie Silver)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 39 on My Book List 2019

”We stare straight at each other and I can’t look away. I feel my lips move as if I’m going to say something, God knows what, and all of a sudden and out of nowhere I need to get off this bus. I’m gripped by the overwhelming urge to go outside, to get to him. But I don’t.”

Every once in a while there comes a book I don’t want to write about. Not because it wasn’t good (quite the contrary) but because reading it was such a unique and amazing experience that I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. “One Day in December” definitely falls into this category and I’m having a tough time deciding what to write about it. XD

Maybe it’s best to start with the obvious story line that’s already mentioned in the synopsis. Laurie and Sarah are best friends that share everything with each other. From their flat up to their secrets and lives, they are always together and do everything as a pair. Well, and then that fateful day happens when Laurie falls in love with a stranger who sits at a bus stop and tries to find him for an entire year.

”I’m in hell. I hate myself. I take a couple of steps away from him for my own sanity and grapple with my wretched heart to stop it banging louder than the music.”

Of course Sarah knows everything about him. Or well, as much as Laurie could tell her because it was just a passing moment and other than the fact that he read a book (of course he did) and how he looked, Laurie actually doesn’t have any details about him. How could she? She just saw him through a bus window. So in the end the universe does was it does best and messes things up big time. *lol* (Me a cynic, never! XD)

So through the twisted ways of fate Jack O’Mara (the guy from the bus station) ends up as Sarah’s boyfriend and they are so happy that Laurie would rather die than to mention that he’s HER bus boy! What follows is life with its inevitable ups and downs that keep our three protagonists more than just busy. They live and love, they grief and hope, they move on and return, they give up on themselves and they reinvent themselves once again. Over the course of nine years their story unfolds and just like in normal life the twists and turns keep coming.

”There’s something about living in a different place that allows you to be whoever you want to be.”

What I really loved about this book were the friendships and how everything that happened felt so real. I mean 9 years is a long time and we all know that there can happen so much! Yet, those three people still stayed strong. In one way or another they were always there for each other and helped each other through difficult times. No matter what happened to them and no matter how far they lived from each other, their friendships never faltered. Yes, there were some serious bumps along the road but that’s just the way life is and in the end they always found each other again.

”But I also said that sometimes, rarely, people can come back into your life. And if that happens, you should keep those people close to you for ever.”

I swear there were so many moments my heart broke for those three and sometimes all I wanted to do was to rip the book in two. *lol* I was so emotionally invested in this that it felt like they were my friends and naturally I only wanted them to be happy! XD Sometimes they were and I was glad for those moments, but other times they were so unhappy that I felt myself hurting with them. >_<

”I’d lost sight of who I was, and you made me remember. I don’t think I ever said thank you, so I’m saying it now. Thank you. You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

”Hey, hey, hey.” I speak as softly as I can. “I know, sweetie, I know.” I wish with all of my heart that I could hold her. “It’s okay, Laurie, it’s all right, sweetheart.” I close my eyes, because her grief is so raw it hurts me to hear it.

Gosh, I really loved this! In fact I loved this book so damn much that I stayed up until midnight just to finish the last 200 pages! And I had to get up at 5:00 a.m again so that says quite a lot about my enjoyment! *lol* Needless to say that I cried at the ending and went to bed as an emotional wreck. XD Still, it was worth every minute and I can’t thank my friends enough for recommending this to me.

”It’s always been like this with us, hasn’t it? “ I don’t have any control over the words spilling from my mouth. “When you look at me, I know that you really see me. I don’t think anyone ever has, Lu. Not the way you do.”

4

This was legit one of the best romances I ever read and I loved every second of it. Josie Silver managed to capture the currents of life like no other and she did it so masterfully that I’m convinced her characters are actually real people! Laurie James and Jack O’Mara just became one of my favourite couples and I wish them all the best! (Yes, they are real! I’m convinced they are! *lol*) This said: Happy reading! 😉

”Sometimes you just meet the right person at the wrong time,” I say softly.
“Yeah,” he says. “And then you spend every day afterwards wishing that time could be rearranged.”

And because I don’t want to spoil anyone I’ll write some of my other thoughts in here:

 
spoiler

If there was one thing I didn’t like about the book then it was that Laurie and Jack kissed while he was still with Sarah! I mean I can understand why they did it and I know why they kept it from her but it was no surprise that Sarah was angry when she found out. To kiss your best friends boyfriend is just a no-go and I was actually kind of angry with them when they did it.

After that they should have come clean with Sarah and should have told her. Not to mention that I didn’t understand why Laurie didn’t tell her right from the start. I don’t think Sarah would have ripped her head off is she would have told her. I mean she’s her bestie, she would have understood! Who knows maybe Sarah and Jack would have even realized that they are not enough for each other way earlier than they did in the end. Or they would have made the same mistake but at least they would have tried with an honest and clean slate. You never know.

Also I don’t think that Oscar was a good husband. Maybe a good man but definitely no good husband. The mere fact that he took the job in Brussels and didn’t even think about declining and saying “no” was proof of it. I mean he had a wife, they were about to start a family and he simply overrode Laurie’s veto! How egoistic can you be? A marriage is about compromises and finding a way that works for both! It’s no wonder Laurie left him in the end! Which woman in her right mind would have stayed with such an egoistic douche? To move to another country and to start a life over there is a huge step! You can’t just expect that your wife will follow you blindly and will give up her entire life! Especially if she already told you that she doesn’t want to take that step! I mean WTH???!!

And last but not least: The ending killed me!!! I cried so much when I read their conversation on the radio and the twitter hashtags were one of the most relatable things ever. I just loved how everything came together in the end and that their love ended up being public. It’s such a great love story it was bound to come out one day! Also SARAH IS THE FREAKING BEST FRIEND EVER! To buy Laurie a ticket to Jack was one of the most selfless things she could have possibly done and I only love her even more for it!<333

 

Allgemein, K - O, O

Review: Obsidio (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”I AM NOT GOOD.
NOR AM I EVIL.
I AM NO HERO.
NOR AM I VILLAIN.”

I’m starting this review with a quote from AIDAN because it’s awesome and I’m going to miss it like crazy! This last book was pretty amazing, but (and you can already tell by my “but” that it’s not going to be five stars this time around) for me it kind of lacked the shocking moments and cruel plot twists I got used to in the first two books. XD

Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up and considering the many different storylines and all the different characters Amie and Jay did a more than just thorough job by gathering all those various plot strings into one huge rope. Of course there were a few shockers along the way as well, they weren’t as extreme as in “Illuminae” or “Gemina” though.

I guess after reading “Gemina” I was like: Okay, book 3! What else could go wrong while they try to make their way back into civilisation? And Amie and Jay were more like: Okay, book 3! We need to wrap this up and tie a bow. *lol* So my expectations went in an entirely different direction than what the two authors had planned. I probably should have expected that but I guess I was spoiled from the first two books and just wanted more? XD

This isn’t Amie and Jay’s fault though. What it eventually comes down to is that I might not have been as blown away by “Obsidio” as I was when I read the first two books, considering this was the last book of the series everything came together nicely in the end though. This was still an amazing read and I loved every second of it! =))

If there was one thing I didn’t like, then it was the fact that my buddy deserted me after the first couple of pages and that I was left to rant and curse on my own. *lol* Yeah, I’m talking about you, Babygrey!!! You’re allowed to feel bad now. ;-P

Anyway, let’s move on to my character’s section because boy, do I have to gush about all those lovely characters! XD

2

Welcome to Kerenza IV! We’re known for being an illegal mining colony so you can expect us to be prone to cheating at cards and to spoil lost and innocent astronauts! We’re nice like that! ;-P

Rhys Lindstrom:

”He has a square jaw. Sharp gray eyes, just a touch too wide. Sandy blond hair, styled into a quiff that, if it doesn’t violate regulations, damn well should. It sure as **** violates the laws of gravity.”

What to say about Rhys? I kinda liked him but I didn’t really connect to him. There were just too many things happening in this book and since it focused on tying up all the loose ends Rhys and Asha didn’t get all too much page time. He seemed to be a nice and decent guy though and truth be told he probably was the only one of the Bei-Tech people who actually seemed to have a conscience. It was easy to see why he felt conflicted and for him it was no choice between the good and the bad people, but rather between following orders or doing what’s right. His struggle was palpable and very believable and because of that he kinda grew on me. =) Plus: You gotta love his crazy hair. Haha!

”You fall in love enough, you’re gonna be nothin’ but scar tissue. She taught me that.”

Asha Grant:

”You didn’t know they were torturing us, is that it? Locking us in cages to keep the rest of us working? Brutalizing us until the thought of ****ing a murderer becomes preferable to one more night of sleeping on an empty stomach?”

Now that’s what I call a fierce and determined heroine! Whilst Rhys seemed to be conflicted throughout the entire book I definitely can’t say the same applied to Asha. She knew there were people and stories behind the Bei-Tech soldier’s faces but she was also aware that they’d kill her without hesitation. I guess her experiences during the occupation made her less naïve than Rhys and since she was a lioness she couldn’t accept Bei-Tech’s plans for the colony. I loved that she tried to protect “the cleverest mouse” and she definitely had her heart in the right place. =) As it seems those Grant women are made of awesomesauce. *lol*

Kady Grant:

”So how about we all put it back in our pants, admit we’re on the same side and start working together instead of acting like a pack of ****ing schoolkids.”

Speaking of which, Kady Grant is still one hell of a woman! 😉 I love that girl so damn much, I can’t even! <333 She’s amazing and I love that she still speaks her mind and doesn’t take any bullshit! The way she put Ben Garver in his place? Respect! Plus I can’t help but adore her for her relationship with AIDAN. She had to deal with a lot of things in Obsidio though and I felt really sorry for everything she had to go through. Still, considering it all it’s even more remarkable that she pulled herself together and managed to go through with it! Kady is a strong character and I could see it on every single page. XD

”We’ve all lost people we loved! All of us! But the ****ing enemy” – Kady Grant points to the bay doors – “is out there. Waiting for us. And if they could see us here tearing at each other’s throats, they’d be ****ing laughing, do you understand that?”

”ByteMe: I’m everything. I’m furious. I’m guilty. I should have seen this coming. I’m hurting. I’m guilty because I’m hurting.
ByteMe: But I’ve made the only choice open to me.”

Ezra Mason:

”Mason, Ezra: u worry too much
Mason, Ezra: you can’t carry this entire ship on your shoulders, Kades.
Grant, Kady: I can with you beside me ❤
Mason, Ezra: <3”

Ezra is still a precious snowflake and I loved how he tried to be there for everyone. He didn’t only manage to keep Kady sane, but he also tried to help Nik! I swear their heart to heart was one of the best moments in the entire book and I loved the way they interacted with each other. XD If I’d have to describe his character with one word I’d choose “glue”, because he kept everyone together and helped them to find their way. XD I guess this only confirms my theory that he’s a big and fluffy snowflake. ;-P

Hanna Donnelly:

”But slowly, painfully, it’s beginning to settle over me like a blanket. This knowledge that never goes away, but beats like a drum in the back of my head all the time.
This is forever.”

Poor Hanna! In “Gemina” she never got a chance to mourn her father and now that she was safe the happenings on Heimdall eventually caught up to her. I felt really sorry for her and I could understand her need to figure things out. Unfortunately their situation didn’t give her a lot of room to sort things out and she had to jump right back into action rather sooner than later. Still, Hanna wouldn’t be Hanna if she wouldn’t be such a tough cookie! I loved how she took command of everything and planned their strategy! If anyone could do it, it was Hanna and she proved that her self-defence lessons and all those mind-games with her father were actually worth it. =)

Nik Malikov:

”I dunno if you can see this, Sparky, but I’m currently swinging a pistol the size of a small anti-aircraft gun. You engage those sprinklers, I’ma shove this up whatever passes for your tailpipe, feel me?”

Never get between Nik and his cigarettes! *lol* Boy, AIDAN playing a trick on him was priceless!! The phrase “cigarettes are going to kill you” got an entirely new meaning after AIDAN’s little joke! Haha! Nik is still one of the best characters in this series and I loved him even more in this book! It made me angry that so many people had prejudices against him but then again Captain Boll’s crew had reservations about every single one of the kids that saved their asses! Seriously, you’d think they’d give them a break and listen to them, but no. Those adults were full of self-righteous s***. *lol* Anyway, let’s get back to dear Mr. Malikov who wore a parachute in space! Yep, he knew exactly what he was doing so you better listen to him the next time when he’s being goofy or quirky. ;-P Nik is my boy and I wish there would have been even more scenes with him! <333

”Yeah, I know,” says Nik Malikov. “I’m ****ing incorrigible.”

Ella Malikova:

”Pachok: o that’s wonderful.
AIDAN: SARCASM?
Pauchok: nah, I’m genuinely overjoyed a mass-murdering artificial intelligence is cracking my secure channels for a midnight chit n chat.”

ELLA ROCKED THAT SHOW!!! This little spider was amazing and even though her health was bugging her big time she didn’t let it get in her way! As it seems my wish was granted because Ella, Kady and AIDAN actually met in “Obsidio” and their conversations made my day! Those three were as much fun as I expected them to be and I was so happy that they finally met. Still, not everything was rainbows and sunshine and poor Ella had a lot to digest while she lay in that hospital bed and tried her best to give our heroes her special brand of online support. 😉 Her talk with Isaac Grant was everything though!!! <333 I loved how Isaac gave all those kids hope and stepped in as their father! He’s such a precious bean and I was so thankful that he saw how brave and amazing this bunch of orphaned kids actually was! I’m convinced Ella is in good hands now and I’m sure Isaac will protect her at all costs! =))

”We know you’re quick, you’re funny, you’re unquestionably smarter than I am. I would never presume to take your father’s place, but I know he loved you, and I’ll do my best to stand in his shoes while we get through this – and longer, if you want. You still have a family, is what I’m saying.”

AIDAN:

”I AM CLARITY.
I AM NECESSITY.
I AM INEVITABILITY.
BUT AM I EVIL?”

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE AND ADORE AIDAN!!! In “Obsidio” it played a bigger role again and I was glad that it got more page time than in “Gemina”. My murderous AI didn’t disappoint me and was as conflicted and confused as it was in the first book. I think it even developed some sort of conscience in the end because it thought a lot about what’s evil and what’s good and to me it was pretty obvious that it bemoaned its role in the happenings. It knew it was the only one who could make that choice, but it also knew that its actions ultimately were a morally reprehensible deed. After finishing the series I really wish I could read Memento but since it’s not available for every reader I’ll just have to accept that I’ll probably never read it. *sighs* =((

”OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE SEEN
AND THE PLACES I HAVE BEEN,
YOU WERE THE ONE WHO FELT MOST LIKE HOME.”


3

Kady & AIDAN:

”SHE CRADLES ME TO HER BREAST
AND I CANNOT FEEL THE WARMTH OF HER SKIN.
CANNOT HOLD HER AS SHE HOLDS ME.
AND I CANNOT RECALL EVER FEELING SO ALONE.”

Of course I’m starting with Kady and AIDAN here because how couldn’t I? Their relationship is one of the most intriguing ones I’ve ever read about and in “Obsidio” it was bittersweet. After everything they went through Kady had to kill off AIDAN and it broke my heart to witness their pain. I know AIDAN loved Kady and I’m sure she loved it too. It’s why she was so heartbroken when she had to pull the plug! Plus, she knew that it was sort of doing the right thing. Yes, it killed one thousand people, which is wrong on so many different levels, but it did it in order to save another 1.001 that would have died as well and boy if that wasn’t a difficult choice I don’t know. I understand why Kady was angry at it, why she felt betrayed, but I also understood its POV. In AIDAN’s analytical mind it was either let 2.001 people die or let 1.001 live and it decided for the latter option, because numbers don’t lie. At least in the AI’s opinion they don’t. >_< Still, their last conversation killed me and I was heartbroken with Kady when she shut it down. T_T

”WILL YOU BE HERE? WHEN I WAKE?”
“OF COURSE.”
SHE SMILES, RUNNING GENTLE FINGERS ACROSS THE SCREEN.
AND THOUGH I CANNOT FEEL HER TOUCH,
I AM SURPRISED AT THE COMFORT I FIND IN IT.”

”AIDAN: AND OUTSIDE MY SKIN, AN INFINITY ILLUMINATED BY A BILLION STARS.
AIDAN: THE BEAUTY OF THE UNIVERSE IN THE GRANDEST AND SMALLEST THINGS.
AIDAN: THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO DIE.
Grant, Kady: i don’t
Grant, Kady: how could you force me to be the one to do this?
AIDAN: WHO ELSE COULD IT HAVE BEEN?”

Kady & Ezra:

”GRANT, K: I do, you know.
MASON, E: Do what?
GRANT, K: Shut up.
GRANT, K: Love you, okay?
MASON, E: I know.
MASON, E: I just like to hear you say it.”

I loved their tenderness and their mutual understanding. ❤ Those two didn’t need words to tell each other how they felt and their farewell scene was one of the best I ever read. No words, just actions that spoke more clearly than all the words in the world could have ever done. They are such a sweet couple and I hope after everything that happened they’ll finally find some peace. =) Kady and Ezra forever!! <333

”She lifts one hand to press her palm to his cheek, and he tilts his head into her touch, just a fraction.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.”

Hanna & Nik:

”They’ve each kissed a version of the other – a version that’s now dead, sealed forever in a parallel universe. But these versions? The ones they’ve known for half a year of teasing and sneaky deals and allegedly broken arms and guerrilla warfare fights for their lives? These versions never have. The moment that sealed them together was with other versions of themselves. These two have never made that silent promise.”

Now those two killed me at the beginning of the book! Or rather Hanna killed me when she rejected Nik! I was like OMG!!! NOOOOOO!!! I understood why she needed some time for herself but poor Nik suffered like a dog. =((( They both are very different characters and while Hanna is more of the silent, introverted kind of type, Nik is the extrovert who speaks his mind without a second thought. So it was no surprise that they had some initial starting difficulties and I’m glad they managed to overcome them in the end. I mean they love each other deeply and when all hell breaks loose, that’s what counts! 😉 And boy, am I glad that Nik wore his parachute when their jet crashed! *lol* I really would have cried an ocean of my two fave couples would have had no happy ending!!!

”Well, there’s handfuls and then there’s handfuls. And then there’s Hanna.” He watches broken trails of smoke drift in the air. Sighs. “I dunno what we are. Or where.”

”She eases up to kiss him once more, slow and gentle, reluctant to break the moment. It’s a kiss for everything their words can’t convey, for the history behind them and the story ahead – a story that might be only a few words long or might only be beginning.”

Asha & Rhys:

”I’ve watched this on slo-mo a dozen times, and I swear you can count twenty-seven different expressions on Lindstrom’s face in a three-second period as he sees this girl. He actually does a double take. Jaw dropping like a bag of bricks. Thing is, as the girl catches sight of him, she’s on the same gobsmacked page.”

What to say about those two? I didn’t get all too warm with their relationship but I think that was mostly due to their circumstances and the lack of some romantic time. XD I got really curious about their relationship before Kerenza IV but unfortunately there wasn’t mentioned a lot which made it kind of hard to relate to them. What it eventually comes down to, is that their relationship wasn’t very tangible for me and therefore sort of took a back seat. I mean, I get that they cared about each other, that there were still feelings on both sides but I never truly got to know why. *lol* Mhmm, I think they probably should have gotten their own book. 😉

Lindstrom tears his helmet off, kneels beside her and carefully cracks the bolts on her cuffs. Tears well in her lashes and she throws her arms around his neck, hair tumbling over her eyes as she presses her forehead to his.
“God, they hurt you,” he whispers. “I’m so sorry, Ash …”

Ella & Nik:

”NikM: having seen an alternate reality version of you literally die in my arms about 38 hours ago, you think i’d be kinder disposed to you rite now
NikM: but god i hate u
Pauchok: filthy lies, u luv me like cigarettes”

Haha! They continued to have one of the best brother/sister relationships ever and I loved their easy banter. Despite their situation they always managed to find some humour in their predicament and even though there was a lot to laugh about their serious moments never ceased to wreck my soft heart! I’m so glad they both got out of this alive and I’m even gladder about the fact that Isaac Grant took them both under his wings! The Illuminae crew is their new family now and they really could have found no better family than that! =))

”NikM: ELLA WHAT DO YOU NEED
Pauchok: …
Pachok: jesus
NikM: um i don’t think I hve his email addy?”

”And don’t worry, Nik. You said it already. You said it every day, with everything you did for me. You said it every time you didn’t just act like coming to spend time with me was the most fun you could have, you actually thought it. You’ve done everything I could ever have wanted you to do, Nik, and you’re still doing it.”

4

“Obsidio” might have not been as stunning or shocking as it predecessors, but it was a fun ride nevertheless! Amie and Jay succeeded in tying up all the loose ends and created a finale that packed quite a punch. Well, for Bei-Tech and Leanne Frobisher it certainly did. ;-P This series was thoroughly entertaining and I can recommend it to everyone! Pick up “Illuminae” and take it from there, you won’t be disappointed! =)