A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

“Only you can decide what breaks you, Cursebreaker. Only you.”

I really enjoyed this third and last instalment of the ACOTAR series BUT (and there always seems to be a “but” when it comes to “A Court of Wings and Ruin”) I still think that it’s the weakest book in the entire series. Even after rereading it and appreciating the little details that were dropped throughout the entire story I couldn’t help but see the weaknesses of it too. Yes, Sarah J. Maas wrote a great book, but it lacked something the first two books had. Something important that every book should have: A good ending. *lol*

It’s as simple as that! As much as I appreciate all the different threads of the story coming together at the end, the way to get there and how the ending was executed just didn’t do it for me. A huge part of the book has its focus on the war and how to either prevent or to win it, people are persuaded to join ranks, a few surprise guests make their appearances, there are some fighting scenes and a meeting with Feyre’s and Rhy’s allies. Well, and then there’s the war and the final battle. See, it only took me a few sentences to convey the main plot of the book. Don’t get me wrong, there actually happens a lot but many of the things that happen ultimately don’t seem to be important for the overall storyline, which is a shame.

There were so many topics I would have liked to explore, yet Sarah never digged any deeper. All this build up, all those revelations and at the end everything is dealt with in a couple of pages. No matter if it’s the Mor/Cassian/Az dynamic, Lucien/Elain, the Queens from the continent, Rhys long lost allies, etc. Or my favourite:

spoiler

Feyre’s father!!! I mean WTH??!!! Let him come to their rescue even though he apparently never gave a shit about his daughters before, let him name his freaking merchant ships after them and join their forces and then for good measure let us kill him and wrap it up with a bow! Yes, that’s exactly how you dispose of a storyline you would have never been able to explain otherwise. Let it be buried and dead. No questions asked, except of that I have a million of questions and will never get any answers!

So yeah, was this book good? Yes, it was! It kept me glued to the pages and I wanted to know what would happen to my beloved characters. I think we can all agree that Sarah J. Maas can write and that her characters are intriguing and complex. Still, despite all that I can’t help but be salty when it comes to the ending. I wanted a little bit more and I didn’t get it. >_< Which is the reason why this only gets 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 from me. Am I being petty? Maybe, but it is the way I feel and I stand by it. *lol*

This said let’s head to my characters section! There are a lot of things I need to talk about and as expected the GR word limit didn’t suffice! So here I am posting my essay on my blog! 😛 Buckle up!

2

Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section! If you haven’t read the book you better turn around and leave this path as soon as possible. To everyone else who already read ACOWAR: Be my guest and enjoy the ride! ;-P

Feyre:

”I suppose that in the past weeks, I had crafted my demeanor as intricately as one of these paintings. I suppose that if I had also chosen to show myself as I truly wished, I would have been adorned with flesh-shredding talons and hands that choked the life out of those now in my company.”

What can I say about the Feyre in ACOWAR? Well, let’s be honest, shall we? I still feel conflicted about her character in this one. I loved how strong she became by the end of book two and I’m all for more independent and badass female characters, yet I’m still not happy about the way her character arc proceeded in this book. It’s like she lost some part of herself along the way. A part I loved and adored: her compassion! I get why she wanted to destroy Tamlin and his court, but she never even thought about the innocent people that still lived at his court. She just didn’t think about the consequences of her actions and this ultimately led to her regretting them in the end. Which is good because I would have been really mad if she would have been called out on it and wouldn’t have given a damn. *lol* Still, to be strong and self-determined doesn’t mean that she had to treat others the way she did. For instance Lucien. I get it, she has a new family and she’s super content with them, but urgh you can still be happy with your new life and appreciate the good parts of your old one. Truth be told, her behaviour towards Lucien and how she spoke about him with Rhys really made me dislike her A LOT. But oh well, I’ll talk about this in my “the relationships & ships” section and you can bet your lovely behind on the fact that it’s going to be a long, long rant! *lol*

”I will use these powers – my powers – to smash Hybern to bits. I will burn them, and drown them, and freeze them. I will use these powers to heal the injured. To shatter through Hybern’s wards. I have done so already, and I will do so again. And if you think that my possession of a kernel of your magic is your biggest problem, then your priorities are severely out of order.”

Rhysand:

”I was willing to lose my mate to another male. I was willing to let them marry, if it brought her joy. But what I was not willing to do was let her suffer. To let he fade away into a shadow. And the moment that piece of shit blew apart his study, the moment he locked her in that house…” His wings ripped from him, and Lucien started.

It’s kind of funny but I think Feyre’s lost compassion was somehow added to Rhys character instead. *lol* Now that we know about his true feelings and have seen the real Rhysand he seems to be more and more human and we get to witness his weaknesses as well. He is still cunning, sassy, caring and all the other adjectives I used to describe him in my review of ACOMAF, but there’s a soft core to his character now and you can see it shine through. His actions and everything he does, it’s way easier to understand the mind behind it all. And we see how truly broken he was while he had to serve Amarantha during his time under the mountain. What it did to him to do her bidding, what he had to sacrifice in order to keep others safe. Quite honestly, I have no idea how he even managed to keep his sanity. 50 freaking years! T_T I’m can only agree with Feyre here: I love every single part of him. Okay, well, except of the part that dislikes Lucien. *LOL* (Also is it just me or did Rhys actually become too good to be true? No wonder everybody wants a bf like him. XD)

”Rhys sacrificed his legion in the process, got all of them captured and tortured afterward. Yet everyone insists Rhysand is soulless, wicked. But the male I knew was the most decent of them all.”

Lucien:

Lucien sat against a nearby tree, folding one booted ankle over another. “Whatever you’re planning, it’ll land us knee-deep in shit.”

I LOVE HIM WITH ALL MY HEART!!! <333 Yes, I’m obsessed with Lucien but really, how is it possible I’m the only person who loves this man?!! Why is everyone so mean to him?! I don’t get it! The inner circle is weary of him and doesn’t really trust him, even worse Feyre and Rhys talk bad about him behind his back and this even though he went through hell and back!!! It’s like Sarah created his character just to torment him. My poor boy is like a kicked puppy and no one is even willing to lend him a hand. WHY??!!! After everything he did for Feyre: he got whipped and tortured because he helped her, he almost died because Amarantha wanted him to pay for it, he tried to talk some sense into Tamlin and got hurt because of it, he got raped and abused by Ianthe because he did what Tam couldn’t in order to keep the spring court alive. His own family hates him and wants to see him dead, his best friend isn’t talking to him anymore, his freaking mate can’t even be bothered to look at him!!! ARHKADFKASJDFAKSDFJASDFK! Sarah I ask you: When will you finally have enough of torturing my boy?! And now to add even more fun to it, it’s revealed that he’s Helion’s son! My heart broke so often for him in this book. Like every single moment when Elain didn’t look at him, when he was surprised about the children in Velaris, when Tam ignored him… I swear if he doesn’t get the spotlight and a HEA after this I’m going to riot and won’t continue to read the other three books of ACOTAR. I mean it!

”Would you want it – your father’s crown?”
“No one’s ever asked me that,” Lucien mused as we moved on, dodging fallen, rotting apples. The air was sticky-sweet. “The bloodshed that would be required to earn that crown wouldn’t be worth it. Neither would its festering court. I’d gain a crown – only to rule over a crafty, two-faced people.”

At last, Lucien looked at me. At us.
He said, “There are children laughing in the streets.”
I blinked. He said it with such… quiet surprise. As if he hadn’t heard the sound in a long, long time.

”And you love him. And he – he truly does love you.” Lucien dragged a hand through his red hair. “And all these people I have spent my centuries hating, even fearing… they are your family.”

My friends glanced to each other. Mor said, “It will be – very dangerous.”
A half smile curved Lucien’s mouth. “Good. It’d be boring otherwise.”

Cassian:

”Good,” Cassian said, glancing at Nesta. “If I end my life defending those who need it most, then I will consider it a death well spent.”

Cassian really grew on me in this one and I’m glad he’s part of Rhys inner circle because he actually seems to be the only one who dares to call Rhys out! *lol* I loved that he confronted him with the fact that he always wants to save everyone and doesn’t even think about the possibility that people feel the same way about him. His character has so much potential and even though we got to see more of him in ACOWAR I still feel like I don’t really know him. I need more of his character and I’m pretty sure that we will get a lot of him in those next three books. Well, at least I hope so! XD

”So you’re allowed to be mad about our choices to protect you – and we’re not allowed to be furious with you for your self-sacrificing bullshit?”

”I’m a warrior. I’ve walked beside Death my entire life. I would be more afraid for her, to have that power. But not afraid of her.” He considered, and added after a heartbeat, “Nothing about Nesta could frighten me.”

Mor:

”I hate war.”
“Likewise.”
“Not just for the death and awfulness,” Mor went on. “But because of what it does to us. These decisions.”

How is it possible that Mor is such a wise and strong woman but completely insecure when it comes to other things? I hated to see her get all weak in front of Eris, Beron and her father. She hides it well, but deep down within her she’s still so very broken. What they did to her… No one should have to experience anything like that. >_< Poor Mor! Still, after everything that was revealed in this book I can’t help but feel very conflicted about her character. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Mor, but urgh seriously Sarah, how could you?!! This is the worst, I repeat: THE WORST bi rep I ever read about in my entire life. In fact I’d even go as far as to say that this is the reason why people think that you can’t have a serious relationship when you’re bi. Urgh! Just urgh! Right now I have no words and that’s really, really rare!!! Let’s hope I’ll be able to write something coherent in the “relationships & ships” section. >_<

”We’re all broken,” Mor said. “In our own ways – in places no one might see.”

”I do find pleasure in them. In both.” Her hands were shaking so fiercely that she gripped herself even tighter. “But I’ve known, since I was little more than a child, that I prefer females. That I’m … attracted to them more over males. That I connect with them, care for them more on that soul-deep level.”

Azriel:

Again that dry, quiet smile. “Why do you think Illyrians are so fit?”
“Why did no one warn me about this cocky side of yours?”

Let’s move on to more pleasant themes, like for instance Az! I really began to appreciate his character in this. In ACOMAF he was always the silent presence in the background and we didn’t get to see an awful lot of his character. This time around however, more facets of him and his life were revealed and I loved every single one of them. ❤ Azriel is such a sweet character and in the right company, when he feels secure enough to open up, he’s even pretty funny. *lol* I really hope to see more of him in the next 3 books and considering his particular situation with Elain, I’m pretty sure my wish will be granted. XD

Azriel, wreathed in shadows by the front door, chuckled quietly. Cassian shot him a glare. “I don’t see you sprouting poetry, brother.”
Azriel crossed his arms, still smiling faintly. “I don’t need to resort to it.”

Amren:

”You should kill Beron and his sons and set up the handsome one as High Lord of Autumn, self-imposed exile or no. It will make life easier.”

I always knew why I love Amren! *lol* For that sentence alone she would have gotten in my good books. XD I think after this book we all know how she feels about Rhys and his inner circle. 😉 I always knew it, but it’s good I was proven right! To hear about how she got out of the prison was heart-breaking though and I can only imagine how she must have felt living in her new body. So much raw power trapped in that small form of hers. I was really shocked when I realized that she betrayed Feyre but she did it for a good reason and after everything that was revealed I can’t hold it against her. Also her and Varian!!! <33 I loved those two and I wanted to see more of them! Varian has guts! Boy, does he have guts to pursue a relationship with her! He’s my hero and once again a character I’d love to see in those other three books! 😉

”You did not fit – the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changed.” A little nod. “I know – what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was.”

”I yielded my grace – my perfect immortality. I knew that once I did… I would feel pain. And regret. I would want, and I would burn with it. I would… fall. But I was – the time locked away down there… I didn’t care. I had not felt the wind on my face, had not smelled the rain… I did not even remember what they felt like. I did not remember sunlight.”

”I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp.”

3

Feyre & Rhys:

”I’m grateful,” he said after a while, as the camp beneath us stirred in the building light. “To have you at my side. I don’t know if I ever told you that – how grateful I am to have you stand with me.”

Their relationship is still solid and wholesome! ❤ I love how they respect each other and talk things out. They don’t have any secrets (well at least none regarding their relationship) and they are the equal of each other, which makes for a really nice relationship dynamic. A lot of YA books have that alpha male vibe going on so it’s refreshing to have a counterweight with Sarah’s books. If there is one thing I feel an urge to point out, then it’s the fact that they are almost too good to be true. *lol* They finally found each other in ACOMAF and they somehow became an inseparable item in ACOWAR. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where Feyre ends and Rhys begins. XD I know that’s some sort of weird criticism but I feel like both of their characters lost their independence and a part of what made them… well them, because of their relationship. It’s something I already noticed in Sarah’s “Throne of Glass” series and it happened in here again. Maybe that’s because Sarah is such a fan of all consuming and encompassing love? Yes, you’re allowed to call me a bean counter. I won’t hold it against you. ;-P This relationships is still one of the best in the entire YA genre so there’s that. XD

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that I do not love with everything I am.”

Feyre & Lucien:

”This situation is terrible,” I said, and it was the truth.
A low snort.
I knocked my knee against his. “Don’t let Jurian bait you. He’s doing it to feel out any weaknesses between us.”

Well, yes Feyre, what was your grand plan for Lucien? He would have been fine? Really? IS THAT REALLY WHAT YOU THINK??!! Fine while Ianthe rapes and abuses him, fine while Tamlin hurts him, fine while his only home is destroyed? Nope, no he wouldn’t have been fine and you know it! I think it’s exactly the other way around; Lucien is a better friend to her than she ever was to him! Also Feyre’s holier-than-thou attitude! She’s disgusted by the idea of Lucien being intimate with Elain, because her sister is such an oh so precious flower and he’s got autumn fire in his veins? Really? Seriously? You and Rhys romp around the entire book and you’re disgusted by the idea Lucien might have sex with Elain?!! WTF?! And all that talk about Lucien’s mind being a miserable place to be? Well, you certainly didn’t give him any reason to feel better! GRRRR!!! I’m just angry, really angry at Feyre and I still think Lucien deserves a better friend than that! #FightMe! #I’llNeverGetTiredOfDefendingAndLovingLucienVanserra

”Well? What was your grand plan for me before Ianthe interfered?”
I pulled at a stray thread in the bedroll. “You would have been fine,” was all I said.

”I wish I had been there to stop it. I should have been there to stop it.” I meant every word.
Lucien squeezed our linked arms as we rounded a hedge, the house rising up before us. “You are a better friend to me, Feyre,” he said quietly, “than I ever was to you.”

Lucien loosed a heavy sigh and slid an arm around my waist, the other threading through my hair to cradle my head. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I’m sorry.”
He held me, stroking soothing lines down my back, and I calmed my weeping, those seawater tears drying up like wet sand in the sun.

Mor, Az & Cassian:

”And … I think it might shatter him if I revealed afterward that… I’m not sure I can give me entire heart to him that way. And… I love him enough to want him to find someone who can truly love him like he deserves. And I love myself… I love myself enough to not want to settle until I find that person, too.”

And since I’m already in such a ranty mood I’ll tackle the next topic that made me angry af! *lol* I do understand why Cassian is Mor’s and Az’s buffer and as it seems he doesn’t really mind to be in this particular position, what I really disliked was the fact that Mor strung Az along for centuries! CENTURIES! Guys, we’re not talking about only a few months or years here, we’re talking about centuries!!! O_o Just because she was scared to tell him how she felt?! That she’s bisexual and likes both female and male? And what the hell is all this bullshit about not being able to give her entire heart to him?! She didn’t even TRY!!! What if they would have worked out?! What if they would have been happy? I love Sarah’s books but this is such a bad bi rep that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Just because you like both that doesn’t mean that you can’t be in a serious relationship with only one!!! Just say that you don’t see him as the person you want to spend your entire life with. There’s no shame in admitting that you love a person but don’t love her/him THAT way. If there ever was an example of “how not to do bi reps” it certainly would be this one. Reps like that are the reason why everyone thinks we only want the good things from both sides and can’t settle down. Why people think we can’t be in a serious relationship. Sure sooner or later you’ll have to decide but if it’s the right person it’s not even a decision it’s just LOVE!!! No matter the gender! *sighs deeply* Okay, I’m done with my rant. If you’re an author and read this: Make sure to reach out to beta readers that represent the characters you want to portray. I think this could have been prevented if anyone would have counter-checked the bi rep. (Also bisexual Helion – as much as I love him – was portrayed as a person who only wants fun and can’t have a serious relationship. Ouch, just ouch.)
I’m not okay with Sarah using Mor’s bisexuality in order to explain why she strung along Az for centuries. I’ll never be okay with this. Period! *shakes head*

Elain, Azriel & Lucien:

”It has never failed me once,” the shadowsinger said, the midday sun devoured by the dark blade. “Some people say it is magic and will always strike true.” He gently took her hand and pressed the hilt of the legendary blade into it. “It will serve you well.”

Haha! Okay, as it seems I’m still not done with my rant because here comes the next topic that left a nasty taste in my mouth. (Can we just agree that the relationships in this were kind of maddening? *lol*) I hate how Elain treated Lucien and I’m not okay with Sarah introducing Az as a possible love interest. Not because I think they’d make no good couple, believe it or not, I think they’d make a way better couple than Elain and Lucien, but because this love triangle is so unnecessary! If Sarah wanted Elain to be with Az, why not go in this direction right from the beginning? Does Lucien really need another reason to feel unwanted and unloved? Was it really necessary to hurt that poor man even more? Elain and Az have a harmony Lucien and her will never have, because they are both quiet and rather introvert characters. I’m all for Azriel and Elain, but not at the cost of Lucien’s feelings! And I swear if Lucien doesn’t find another mate and gets a decent HEA I’ll be soo mad! Gosh, I just want him to be happy, is this too much to ask for?!!! T_T

”Well, I never want to fight in another battle as long as I live, but … yes, I’m in one piece.”
A faint smile bloomed on Elain’s lips.

Nesta & Cassian:

”Cassian’s eyes did not leave Nesta’s; nor did hers leave his. There was no warmth, no tenderness on either of their faces. Only that raging intensity, that blend of contempt and understanding and fire.”

And welcome to ranty round four! *lol* I think we can all agree that Cassian deserves better than her, right?! Why does Nesta of all people have to be his mate?! Yes, I know no one ever confirmed that she is his mate but seriously, after all that icy chemistry I’m about 99,9% sure that she is. Or will become in the following books. I just hope that Sarah will give us an amazing and most of all believable character arc, because otherwise I won’t be able to ship this ship! If Nesta doesn’t change her attitude and stays the way she is right now, I don’t see myself boarding this ship. Ever. I know to redeem her character will take a lot of work and I sincerely hope that Sarah is up for this challenge. I want to ship them… the way things are at the moment I can’t though. But hey, miracles happen! So let’s see if this will be the case here. ;-P

”You went off to battle for a court you barely know – who barely see you as friends. Amren showed me the blood ruby. And when I asked you why… you said because it was the right thing. People needed help.” Her throat bobbed. “No one is going to fight to save the humans beneath the wall. No one cares. But I do.” She toyed with a fold in her dress. “I do.”

Cassian grunted in pain, but lifted his bloodied hands – to cup her face. “I have no regrets in my life, but this.” His voice shook with every word. “That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta.” She didn’t stop him as he leaned up and kissed her – lightly. As much as he could manage.

4

I really hoped that I’d love this more after my reread, but if anything to read ACOWAR a second time around only helped me to be able to point out its flaws. I’m glad I decided to go for a second round though. There were so many details that got lost when I read it for the very first time because back then my focus was rather on paging through the book instead of appreciating its many details. This said ACOWAR was a fun ride with quite a few flaws and even though I love most (if not all) of the characters I still believe that a lot of things should have been handled differently or at least could have been done better. It’s just my opinion though and who knows? Maybe Sarah will work on all those flaws in the next three books? I’m definitely ready to find out! ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Raven King (Maggie Stiefvater)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

 

”The head is too wise. The heart is all fire.”

There’s no better way to start this review than with this quote, because after reading this series my heart is truly all fire. When I began to read “The Raven Boys” in October 2017 I had no idea that I’d love this series so much. I was completely oblivious to the fact that those boys would take over my entire world and I had no clue that I’d become so attached to them. I just didn’t know what I was getting myself into but after finishing the last book I can say that I don’t regret anything!!! XD

Over those last seven months I’ve been on a long journey with my boys. I cheered for them, I suffered with them, I was sad and despaired, I was hopeful and happy. I sighed, I laughed, I cried, I tore at my hair, I screamed, I dreamed, and I died about a thousand deaths!
In short: I lived and breathed those books!!!

They became an integral part of me and my life and I actually feel like I’ve become one of the Raven Boys as well. I guess that means that in some way I kind of made a bargain with Cabeswater too. Uh oh! XD

Well, anyway!
What I want to say is that I love those characters so much, I feel like every attempt to put it into words is automatically bound to fail. There are no words to describe how intensely I feel about those boys and even if I’d become a hundred years, I still wouldn’t be able to express all of my feelings.
It’s an impossible task and maybe this is good the way it is. It’s part of the magic of those books and truth be told, I’m convinced we all need a little magic in our lives every once in a while. 😉

So, speaking of magic:

There was lightning and thunder outside of my window when I finished this book.
It looked like the end of the world.

To read those final pages of “The Raven King”?!
It FELT like the end of the world…

I will miss my boys and Maggie’s unique magic so damn much! T_T *sobs and is unconsolable*

1

”You were the one who told me, Ronan, that something was starting, all those months ago. Now’s not the time to be going rogue. Someone’s going to get killed. No more playing around. There’s no more time for anything but truth. We’re supposed to be in this together, whatever this is.”

I think this quote is kind of giving direction to the entire last book because after the third sleeper was woken up a lot of strange things begin to happen. Our boys have a lot of different troubles to face and to say they are in deep doo-doo would be putting it more than just mildly. *lol* They don’t only have to work on the discrepancies among each other, but also outside of their magical world and inside of Cabeswater. In short: There’s a whole wagon of feels that’s going to hit you, and it’s going to hit you hard! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

2

”Leaves,” Ronan Lynch’s voice said, full of intention.
“Dust,” Adam Parrish said.
“Wind,” Blue Sargent said.
“Shit,” Henry Cheng added.

I’m sure this is the moment the people who know my reviews have been waiting for. Yes, you already know what’s coming. 😉 Let’s make it official then: This is my spoiler section and if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave now! Because this was the last and final book and I’m going to spoil the hell out of you if you didn’t read the other three. XD Fair warning, sound advice! Take it or leave it! It’s up to you! ;-P

Gansey – The King:

”He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

Oh, Gansey. My troubled soul! I once again felt so sorry for him and to top it all off we finally found out that he actually knows he’s going to die. Of course I should have known that he would figure it out, but for some reason I thought he was unaware of his impending death. Well, turns out he knew it all along. *sigh* The way it all happened in the end was so unexpected though. I didn’t see this coming… NOT AT ALL and I think I was at least as devastated as Gansey when he found out that Glendower had been dead for years. My heart bled for him… for him and his wishes and all his unfulfilled dreams. T_T

”It was this: this moment and no other moment, and for the first time that Gansey could remember, he knew what it would feel like to be present in his own life.”

”Gansey’s death had been foretold for this year. It was him. It was always going to be him.
Glendower was dead. He’d always been dead.
And Gansey kind of wanted to live.”

Blue – The Mirror Tree:

”Her hair had got wilder since he first met her, less contained by all of her clips, and her mouth had got messier since he met her, more desirous of forbidden kisses, and her stance had got harder, her spine sharpened by grief and peril.”

It was really nice to find out about Artemus’ origins and it caused me understand Blue a little bit better. It explained why she always felt wrong in her own skin and I guess it also explains why Gansey and she had this special connection. XD Still, in some way the reveal of her background story only confused me even more and I don’t even dare to say it but after four entire books, I still don’t feel like I really know her character. *lol* After BLLB her character became less tangible again and I really don’t know why. Maybe Maggie, that genius master mind, planned it that way? I guess I’ll never know. *shrugs*

”Blue was filled with frustration that her life was so clearly demarcated. Things that were not enough, but that she could have. Things that were something more, that she couldn’t.

Adam – The Magician:

”It seemed like he should become stranger, more other, when he was near Cabeswater, but in reality, the closer he was to Cabeswater, the more firmly present he remained. His mind didn’t have to wander far to communicate with Cabeswater when his body was able to lift a hand to touch it.”

I AM AND ALWAYS WILL BE IN LOVE WITH ADAM PARRISH! There I said it out loud! *lol* Don’t get me wrong, of course I still love Ronan too, but Ronan reminds me too much of myself. XD I love him in sense of Philia and Agape whereas Adam Parrish is my Eros and Agape. Haha! Does that make sense? Guess to all of you who had some serious Greek philosophy lessons it does. ;-P Well anyway, I love Adam and what he has become and I was so damn proud of him throughout the entire book. Despite his father and everything that happened to him he’s become a beautiful human being and I just love him for it! <333 He’s strong now, he found his way and nothing can stop him. Not even a stupid demon that’s trying to possess him! YAY! Gosh I just love my boy!!! My Adam! <333 *heart eyes* Still, Maggie why did you have to hurt him so much?! T_T

”Stop saying privilege. Love isn’t privilege. But Gansey had always had love, had always been capable of love. Now that Adam had discovered his feelings in himself, he was more certain than ever that he was right. Need was Adam’s baseline, his resting pulse. Love was a privilege. Adam was privileged; he didn’t want to give it up. He wanted to remember again and again how it felt.”

”For Adam, it meant linking in to the ley line that pulsed beneath the forest, unwrapping himself and allowing the bigger pattern inside. It was a process that was both eerie and awesome to watch from the outside. Adam; then Adam vacated; then Adam, more.”

”Do you know what hurts the most? What this means you think of me. You didn’t even give me the chance to be OK with it. You were just so sure I’d be eaten by jealousy. That’s how you see me?”

Ronan – The Greywaren:

”It was too cold for fireflies, but a multitude of them glistened in and out of being above the fields nonetheless. Those were his. Fanciful, purposeless, but lovely.
Ronan Lynch loved to dream about light.”

As it seems Ronan is always good for a surprise. *lol* I didn’t expect that Matthew was one of his dreams and I certainly didn’t expect the revelation about Cabeswater! XD I mean OMG!! Ronan dreamed Cabeswater into life!!! To dream a place like that? Gosh, he must be so damn powerful and skilled af!! Sounds like my boy? Yes, it does! 😉 I loved that he finally made peace with Declan and that the three Lynch brothers got along so well in the end. It made me happy to see them like that and I wish it could have stayed that way, but no Maggie had to break my heart into thousand pieces. As Ronan’s twin I felt with him when Aurora died and boy was it painful!!! WHY MAGGIE!!?? WHY??!! GOSH DAMN IT! RONAN LOST HIS FATHER AND NOW YOU HAD TO TAKE HIS MOTHER AS WELL???? You made him and orphan!!! He would have deserved so much better than that!!! T_T To see Ronan suffer and cry? It hurt so damn much… I can’t even…. *sobs*

”In this other place, it was easy to tell that the music was the sound of Ronan’s soul. Hungry and prayerful, it whispered of dark places, old places, fire and sex.”

”Ronan Lynch’s stare was a snake on the pavement where you wanted to walk. It was a match left on your pillow. It was pressing your lips together and tasting your own blood.”

”Ronan skidded to his knees, his arms around her, and it hurt Adam, somehow, to watch how ferociously he hugged his little strange dream creature, and how she buried her face into his shoulder. He stood with her in his arms, holding her tightly, and he heard him saying, No, you did good, it’s going to be OK, we’re waking up.”

”Ronan crouched beside him, black still smeared on his face under his nose and around his ears. His dreamt firefly rested on Gansey’s heart. “Wake up, you bastard,” he said. “You fucker. I can’t believe that you would…”
And he began to cry.

Noah – The Ghost:

”My mom always said he was a firecracker, which just meant he was always getting speeding tickets and jumping on tables at family reunions and stuff. He always had so many ideas. He was so hyper.”

I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to get to know this hyper Noah. His story made me so damn sad and I really wish he would have had a chance to get his happily ever after. Unfortunately he didn’t get what he deserved and I can only hope that he’s happy wherever he is now. The way I see it Noah chose to safe Gansey when he died the first time. He did it in order to guarantee that Cabeswater could save him the second time around and in a strange way this actually makes sense. XD Still, Noah Czerny is adorable and precious and he would have deserved the world!!! T_T RIP Noah! <333

”Blue didn’t care that he – it – Noah – was strange and decaying and frightening. She knew that he – it – Noah was strange and decayed and frightened, and she knew that she loved him anyway.”

”Goodbye,” Noah said. “Don’t throw it away.”

Henry – The Special Extra:

”Once, you got me coffee,” Henry said. “When I was losing my mind. Consider the favour returned.”

Why was Henry introduced so late?! I loved that boy!!! He’s amazing and funny and honest and pure!!! I really wish he would have been a bigger part of this! I would have loved to read more about him and I instantly felt a connection to this awesome boy! I was so sorry when I found out that he had been kidnapped and I truly loved him for acting to safe Blue’s principles in front of the others. *lol* It makes me sad that I probably will never read about him again and I really hope Maggie will include him in one of her future stories. Please, Maggie! *makes huge puppy eyes*

”What do you want me to say?”
“Nothing yet,” Henry said. “I want you to think about it. And then I hope you will choose to trust me. Because I’m overfull on secrets and underfed on friends.”

”But it wasn’t that Henry was less of himself in English. He was less of himself out loud. His native language was thought.”

The Demon & Piper:

I already didn’t like Piper in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” but my initial dislike for her grew into an even bigger monster in this book. I really started to hate her with a fierce passion and in the end all I wanted was for her to drop dead. *lol* I know those are strong and negative feelings coming from me but I really hated her so much! XD Piper and that mean demon almost killed my lovely boys so I think I’m kind of entitled to feel that way. I always knew that the demon would kill her and if you ask me he waited way too long to do it. *lol* Whoopsie, was that mean? *smiles innocently*

3

Henry & Gansey:

”Now get out,” Henry said.
Gansey looked at him. “I beg your pardon?”
“Stop driving,” he said. “I know you need to. You’ve needed to since we left. Get. Out.”

I loved the chemistry between Gansey and Henry! Yep, chemistry! Don’t even try to say there is none because it was all over the place!!! XD It was so amazing to watch and I couldn’t help but marvel at their interactions. It was wonderful how Henry always knew what Gansey needed and it was so funny that Gansey had no other choice than to accept it because he knew Henry was right. =)) I really wish we could have seen more of them and I truly hope there will be some sort of short story in the future. I know Maggie is busy, but I can always hope, right?! ;-P

”It’s like we’ve met each other before. No, not really. We are friends at once, we would instantly do what friends would do for each other. Not just pals. Friends. Blood brothers. You just feel it. We instead of you and me. That’s jeong.”

Ronan & Blue:

”Emptying another student’s backpack over his car. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
“I do,” Ronan said.
“Well, I don’t. I’m not proud of it.”
Ronan patted her leg. “I’ll be proud for you.”

Those two!!! *LOL* I will say it again and again! I love how close they became over those last few books and whenever they spoke with each other it always made me smile. Ronan’s reaction to her scar was priceless and it was so damn adorable that he was proud of her getting suspended! XD Their dynamic is so much fun and I’m so glad they started to get along so well. =)))

”Look, Sargent,” Ronan retorted. “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”
Blue looked appropriately touched. “Ah, thanks, man.”
“No problem, bro.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam:

”Adam felt a surge of both accomplishment and nerves. He skated an edge here. Making Ronan Lynch smile felt as charged as making a bargain with Cabeswater. These weren’t forces to play with.”

I CAN’T EVEN!! MY HEART!!! MY. HEART.!!! I loved every little moment between them, every single gesture, every eye contact, every smile, every playful remark!!! THEY ARE EVERYTHING!!! Their first kiss blew me away and I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling for two days! And OMG!!! Ronan thinking about Adam’s hands? It was my undoing! I love hands, I love Adam, I love Ronan! ARGH! I think I’m going to die! And what a wonderful death it would be!!! Still, nothing, really nothing could prepare me for CHAPTER 39!!! PERFECTION, UTTER AND SHEER PERFECTION!!! I read this chapter about a thousand times. It still moves me, it makes me cry! <333 *shakes head and fights tears* I just love them so much… Thank you Maggie! *sobs*

”He had memorized the shape of Adam’s hands in particular: the way his thumb jutted awkwardly, boyishly; the roads of the prominent veins; the large knuckles that punctuated his long fingers. In dreams Ronan put them to his mouth.
His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

”Asshole,” Ronan said.
Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”

”When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer.”

”They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other.
“Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said.
Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth.
He was never sleeping again.

Blue & Gansey:

”And third, most importantly, Gansey was outrageously and eternally driven to distraction by the image of her behind the wheel of his car. Ronan and Adam weren’t with them, so there was no one to catch them in what felt like an incredibly indecent act.”

Don’t you love it that Gansey thinks Blue driving his Camaro is an “incredibly indecent act”? *LOL* Those two are so innocent it’s not even normal. Haha! Where Adam and Ronan are all fire, tension and heat, Gansey and Blue are almost too shy and sweet. XD I was so happy they finally decided to tell the others and the chapter of Henry Cheng’s toga party gave me life!!! Seriously, I loved this party so damn much! It’s a perfect example of Maggie’s awesome writing skills and I truly wish this chapter would have never ended. =))) I’m so happy they can be together now and forgive me this pun, but I think their first kiss was rather breathtaking, don’t you agree? ;-P *lol*

”It was Blue’s shoulder and her collarbone and her legs and her throat and her laugh her laugh her laugh. He couldn’t stop looking at her, and here, it didn’t matter, because no one here cared that they were together. Here, he could play his fingers over her fingers as they stood close, she could lean her cheek on his bare shoulder, he could hook his ankle playfully in hers, she could catch herself with an arm around his waist. Here he was unbelievably greedy for that laugh.”

”Right after he spoke, Blue threw her arms tightly around his neck. Right after he spoke, she pressed her face into the side of his. Right after he spoke, she held him like a shouted word. Love, love, love.

4

It was such a wonderful journey! I’m so sad it’s over now. T_T I will miss my boys so much! I will miss their comments, their unconditional love, their easy banter. *sniff* This series goes straight to my favourite shelf and it will stay there forever! <333
Thank you, Maggie!

Also, a big thanks to my lovely Adam! Thank you for holding my hand throughout the entire book. I was so lucky to have you at my side. I think I couldn’t have done this without your support and I’m so glad we read this together! <333

”That’s all there is.”

(No, not really! I could have gone on and on but I already reached the gr word limit. So, yeah I’m sorry guys! *lol*)

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, Reviews, U - Z, W

ARC Review: When You Get the Chance (Tom Ryan)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

*A huge thank you to NetGalley and “Perseus Books, Running Press” for providing a free ARC*

This book has been on my radar for quite a while and the moment I saw the cover I really wanted to read this. I just love how queer this is and the skyline of Toronto in the background as well as the blurb only added to my already high expectations. If you ask me the world needs more covers like that and I’d be happy to buy them all. This said, the most important question is: Did “When You Get the Chance” live up to my expectations or not?

Truth be told, this isn’t as easy to answer as some might think. The beginning of this book was pretty slow and about half of the book deals with their stay at the family cottage. It’s only about the 50% mark that things actually start to get interesting when they finally hit the road. From there on out I really enjoyed their journey though and I think Tom Ryan did a great job at capturing the spirit of Pride. The feeling of being a part of all those people, of the respect, acceptance, support and safety they offer. It felt like I was there along with them and made new friends while we walked the streets of Toronto.

Another thing I truly appreciated was the diversity we got to see in this book. Mark is gay, Talia is a lesbian or pan (she’s questioning her sexual orientation because she dated Erin who is non-binary) and of course there are a lot of other queer characters as well. 😉 Speaking of the characters themselves I can’t say that I connected with any of them. Well, none except of Paige! Mark’s ten years old little sister is such a ray of sunshine and I swear she was the best character in the entire book! I loved how she saw the world and tried to understand it and I absolutely adored her stance on being queer. For her it was so normal to have a brother who’s gay and gosh how I want more people like that in the world. Ten year old Paige gave me hope in humanity and I can’t thank Tom Ryan enough for that!! For me she represented a generation that grew up with LGBTQ+ rights and accepts everyone who’s under the rainbow and I really hope that one day we’ll actually get there. =) Still, there was a moment when one of the MCs got outed by Paige and I was very glad this issue was broached and challenged. No one should out you except of yourself!

As for Mark and Talia?! Mark might have been outgoing but he was also self-centred and more than just a little egoistic! I couldn’t with him and even though some of his actions later on in the book obviously tried to redeem him, I really can’t say that I liked his embodiment of the entitled white male. Then again I’ve to admit that it was good to have a character like Mark in this book, because quite honestly not everyone can be a sweet fluffy cinnamon roll and the world is made of more complex characters than that. 😉 Talia on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Mark and more on the calm and distant side of things. Whilst Mark didn’t seem to care about deep feelings and only wanted fun, Talia was a very deep and emotional character who had difficulties to accept that her partner had changed without her at their side.

I could probably go on and on about this book but I think I’ll leave it at that. The only thing that truly bothered me was that the characters apparently had no decency regarding their situation. I mean their grandfather just died and their grandma ended up in hospital; you’d think they would have thought about other things than the fastest way to pride. I suppose some of their behaviour could be explained by them being teens and having no tangible idea of the concept of mortality, but even then I would have felt bad for my actions if I’d have been in their shoes. (I felt really sorry for Talia’s dad and Mark’s mom.)

4

Regardless of everything I just mentioned this was still a fast and enjoyable read. Sure, there were some important topics that were only brought up but never truly addressed, since this book had only 272 pages I had no problem to overlook those little weaknesses though. There’s only so much you can put into a 250+ pages book and considering this Tom Ryan actually did a good job! All told this leaves me with 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 and the hope that my next Tom Ryan book will be another pleasant read.

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (V.E. Schwab)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 10 on My Book List 2019

”Magic was a truly beautiful disease.”

And it was such a pleasure to read about it! XD I can’t say how much I loved and adored this book! Alone the magic in this was everything and it was so dark and twisted that it was a delight to read about it. In “A Darker Shade of Magic” magic is a living and breathing thing and it can help and heal at least as much as it can corrupt and destroy. In my opinion this was a really great concept and I lived and breathed for the execution of it.

”The words themselves were less important than the focus they brought to the speaker’s mind, the connection they helped to form, the power they tapped into. In short, the language did not matter, only the intention did.”

Still, it wasn’t only the magical aspect of this book that kept me glued to the pages. The mere idea of four different parallel Londons that exist next to each other was more than just intriguing as well. Sure, we didn’t get to see an awful lot of them because the characters travel through them and don’t stay all too long, the little I saw was enough to keep me hooked though. 😉 London is my favourite city and the mere idea to explore four different versions of this town already made me feel like I won the jackpot. *lol*

And last but not least “A Darker Shade of Magic” had its fair share of intriguing and complex characters that caused my eyes to sparkle. We all know that I can’t resist the temptation of morally grey and ambivalent characters so it’s no surprise that I savoured this like a delicious gourmet dinner. Alone the villains of this book!!! The Dane Twins were such evil creatures yet I couldn’t help but want to read more about them. Ohh and Holland! Don’t even get me started on Holland! ❤ Or well, maybe I actually should start to talk about him. In the characters section, of course! ;-P

2

Good afternoon, fellow Antari! It’s a good day to travel between the worlds but be careful nevertheless. There is always a shadow lurking at the next corner of the street and if you’re not cautious it will not only attack you but also spoil you big time as well! Tread carefully, my dear friend! You’re being observed by dark forces. 😉

Kell:

”Kell tipped his head so that his copper hair tumbled out of his eyes, revealing not only the crisp blue of the left one but the solid black of the right. A black that ran edge to edge, filling white and iris both. There was nothing human about that eye. It was pure magic. The mark of a blood magician. Of an Antari.”

I’m such a sucker for red-heads and Kell is really yummy. ;-P I can’t help it! Really! They are my kryptonite. Ask Lucien. *lol* Anyway, Kell is a really interesting character and he definitely has more depth than initially meets the eye. On the outside you might think that he’s the typical hero, but the more I discovered about his life, the more I felt sorry for him. He is part of the royal family and might seem to have it all, but when push came to shove his true status among the royals was revealed and my heart ached for him. I know Lila didn’t understand what he meant but by the end of the book it became pretty clear that he wasn’t really a family member but rather a valuable asset. At least when it came to his “parents”. Despite this he still had his own moral code and acted according to it, even if it meant that he was at a disadvantage when he had to face Holland and the Dane twins. Poor Kell! I had the feeling in some way or another he was figuratively and quite literally bleeding throughout the entire book. *lol* Let’s hope things will get better for him in “A Gathering of Shadows”! 😉

”Magic was a living thing – that, everyone knew – but to Kell it felt like more, like a friend, like family. It was, after all, a part of him (much more than it was a part of most) and he couldn’t help feeling like it knew what he was saying, what he was feeling, not only when he summoned it, but always, in every heartbeat and every breath.”

She always went looking for the truth in his right eye, as if it were a scrying board, something to be gazed into, seen past. But what she saw, she never shared. Kell took her hand and kissed it. “I’m fine, Your Majesty.” She gave him a weary look, and he corrected himself. “Mother.”

”I said Rhy forgave them.” Kell pushed to his feet. “I never said I did.”

Lila Bard:

”Death comes for everyone,” she said simply. “I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

I’m not entirely sure if I like Lila or not. XD I mean I admire her resilience and stubbornness but I think sometimes she was way too sure of herself and that got her into a lot of trouble. *lol* But oh well, when it comes down to it there is no denying that I actually like her. Her character seems to be somewhat of an acquired taste and I’m curious if she’ll truly become a pirate in the end. Also I could relate to her when it came to her choice of clothes. I would have gone for the boy’s clothes in a heartbeat as well. ;-P (Could it be that Lila is non-binary or gender fluid?!) Generally speaking I think it wasn’t easy to relate to her because she kept everyone at a distance and didn’t let anything get too close to her. For me this made it kind difficult to gauge her character and I hope we’ll get a better grip on it in the next two books. Now that I think about it, I had the same feeling when it came to Blue Sargent throughout the first two books of “The Raven Cycle”. I only really got to know her in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” so I hope the same will happen with Lila in the next book. XD

”What are you?” he asked, amazed.
Lila only shrugged. “Stubborn.”

”Love doesn’t keep us from freezing to death, Kell,” she continued, “or starving, or being knifed for the coins in our pocket. Love doesn’t buy us anything, so be glad for what you have and who you have because you may want for things but you need for nothing.”

Holland:

”He didn’t know if it was the evenness in the man’s tone or his strangely faded appearance or his haunted eyes – one black, of course, the other a milky green. Or perhaps it was the way he seemed to be made more of water and stone than flesh and blood and soul.”

I love Holland, okay?! I know he’s supposed to be one of the villains but seriously, how could I not adore him?! ❤ His character was so multi-layered, complex, calculating, determined and cruel. It was so nice to watch him in action. *lol* I just can’t resist a decent villain and Holland had all the makings of one. XD Especially an intriguing background story. I really wish we would have gotten more of it though. I mean we only got the necessary details to keep the story moving but there are so many things I would have loved to read about. I guess it was Schwab’s intention to keep us in the dark, because this might sound paranoid but I’m CONVINCED that Holland will reappear in the next book! I don’t buy his death!!! There’s no way he died! He said it’s hard to kill an Antari and he was still breathing and alive when Kell sent him to Black London. THE SOURCE of black magic! Hell, this has trouble written all over it! If you ask me Kell basically handed him the means to come back even stronger! >_< Kell is so going to regret this!

”Looking into Holland’s eye made her skin crawl. Dark things swirled just beneath the smooth black depths. One word whispered through her mind. Run.”

”Hesitation is the death of advantage,” mused Holland and Kell fought in vain against the metal pinnings.

”I hope you made him suffer,” she spat, turning towards the looming castle.
No, thought Kell as they set off. He suffered long enough.

Rhy:

“Yes. Because unless you plan to wed me yourself – and don’t get me wrong, I think we’d make a dashing pair – I must try and find a mate.”
“And you think you’ll find one traipsing around the city?”
“Goodness, no,” said Rhy with a crooked grin. “But who knows what fun I’ll find while failing.”

Rhy is such a precious bean! He gave me Nikolai and Hypnos vibes so it’s no wonder I almost instantly adored him! *lol* He sounds like a lot of fun but unfortunately we didn’t get to see all too much of him in this book. I hope that will change in the next one though. (Also he seems to be unapologetically bi and I live and breathe for characters like that!!!) Still, judging by the little we saw and heard of him I can already tell that he loves Kell like a brother and would never do anything to harm him. I can’t help but wonder what he thinks about his parent’s reaction though. If Kell wouldn’t have been bound to him they would have either killed him or sent him to prison so it’s pretty obvious that Kell was right about their intentions all along. I can’t wait to see more of funny, caring and kind Rhy so there better be more scenes with him in “A Gathering of Shadows”. Also was it just me or did Holland and Rhy actually flirt with each other? It’s such a shame he was merely a means to an end for him. I bet from now on Rhy won’t trust people as easily as before.

Rhy’s hands curled into fists. “How could you?” he said, and Kell worried that the prince was bitter about being tethered to him. Instead, Rhy said, “How could you carry that weight?”

Rhy laughed silently. “I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg,” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
Rhy broke into his perfect smile.
“I like this one,” he said to Kell.

The Dane Twins:

”Jealous?” he asked. Holland’s two-toned eyes held Athos’s, the green and the black both steady, unblinking. “He suffered,” added Athos softly. “But not like you.” He brought his mouth closer. “No one suffers as beautifully as you.”

Okay! Can anyone please tell me how exactly Holland suffered?!!! I mean it’s indicated that there was something sexual and cruel going on between Athos and him but WHAT EXACTLY??!!! Apparently the Dane Twins had a reputation of torturing and forcing people to do their will. And Holland was under their spell as well so I can only assume that he suffered kind of “Rhysand/Amarantha style”? Also there was only a brief mention that Holland didn’t win the throne because he wasn’t cruel enough to take it before the Danes did. What exactly happened before they ascended the White throne?! I really wish we would have gotten more details here, because this really sounded like an interesting story! Either way the Dane twins gave me the creeps. Astrid even more than her brother Athos. Magic and malice indeed. *shudders* They made for pretty intriguing villains for sure. XD I’m just glad Kell never became Astrid’s toy. He certainly wouldn’t have survived it.

”Astrid Dane is made of magic and malice.”

3

Lila & Kell:

”You don’t know anything about these worlds,” he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice.
“Sure I do,” countered Lila cheerfully. “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”

Is it just me or was Kell ending up on Lila’s bed TWICE in one night some sort of a broad hint? The first time it was even BDSM style! *lol* I guess we all know in which direction their future relationship is going to head. Haha! ;-P Also they kissed at least twice for good luck as well and they both had more luck than brain. Right after the motto “Fortune favours fools!” So they didn’t need the luck but obviously were looking for an opportunity to kiss. XD They were very different but for some reason they still worked. Maybe it’s because they balance each other and magic is all about balance as we already learned. Plus they are both Antari. I wonder how their relationship is going to continue. There is a lot of potential that only needs to be explored. ;-P

”I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
Kell smiled back. And then Lila brought her free hand to his jaw and tugged his mouth towards hers. The kiss was there and then gone, like one of her smiles.

A wry smile cut across Lila’s mouth. “You’re a smuggler.”
“Says the pickpocket,” snapped Kell defensively.

Rhy & Kell:

”What sons our parents have,” said Kell gently. “Between the two of us, we’ll tear the whole world down.”

They might not be brothers by blood but they are brothers by heart! ❤ I loved their relationship so much and I was so glad that Rhy truly cared about Kell! Which is more than can be said about his parents, but Kell already knew that. >_< I felt so sorry for him but at least he has Rhy and he wouldn’t allow anything to happen to him. Those two seem to balance each other as well and I’m kind of beginning to see a pattern here. *lol* In their relationship dynamic it seems like Rhy is the daredevil who gets into trouble though and Kell is more the mature and responsible one. I can only imagine in which kind of mess they’ll get in the next book. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to read more about this brotherly duo! ;-P

”He looked up and saw me crouching over him, bleeding, and the first thing he said wasn’t ‘What happened?’ or ‘Where are we?’ He touched the blood on his chest and said, ‘Is it yours? Is it all yours?’ and when I nodded, he burst into tears, and I took him home.”

4

I absolutely LOVED this! “A Darker Shade of Magic” had everything I’m looking for in a book. There was (dark) magic, there were four parallel Londons and there were lots of complex characters I couldn’t help but want to read more about. Yes, the world building and some of the characters themselves might have been rather sketchy, but knowing Schwab I’m certain that we’ll get more details in the following books. This was only just the beginning and what a marvellous one it was! XD

 

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (Kerri Maniscalco)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 10 on My Book List 2020

”Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”

Okay, let’s start this review with a little bit of background knowledge I gathered before I read the actual book and take it from there. 😉 As always I got aware of “Stalking Jack the Ripper” because so many of my friends on here read it and thus it was all over my feed. It doesn’t take much to figure that I wasn’t only intrigued by the promise but also by the idea behind the book. I mean who isn’t curious about Jack the Ripper? It’s THE unsolved mystery everyone knows about and people’s theories about his true identity are still running wild.

So of course I wanted to jump that hype train and see where this was heading. Truth be told, the reviews about this book are rather mixed and by discovering the controversial opinions of other bloggers I couldn’t help but find out what this means for me. Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did. Was it what I expected? Well, yeah pretty much! Did I find out who the culprit was? Yep, I think it wasn’t that hard to deduce, but I still enjoyed reading about Audrey Rose’s and Thomas’s musings.

I guess what it ultimately boils down to is the expectations you have when you start reading this book. If you want to be entertained and like slow paced stories that animate you to think, if you enjoy fictional books that are built on real evidence, if you dig two characters that are like cat and mouse “Stalking Jack the Ripper” will most certainly be the right book for you.

If you dislike male leads that are self-assured and always voice their “dirty thoughts”, if you don’t like the idea of modern day feminism in a historical fiction book, if you’re no huge fan of knowing the OTP right from the start and if you’ve read or seen too many whodunnits and are an observant person you might not enjoy this though.

Okay, admittedly I knew who the killer was pretty early on in the book, but since I mostly fall into the first category I found myself enjoying the book. ;-P Also Thomas Cresswell! Honestly, I can’t resist a sexy Sherlock Holmes ever since I saw the movies with Robert Downey Jr. and discovered the series with Benedict Cumberbatch. *drools* And before I continue to rave about dear Mr. Cresswell (heaven knows he’s already way too cocksure of himself) I’ll head right into my characters section! ;-P

2

Welcome to Whitechapel, where robbers, pickpockets and one particular murderer roam the streets at night! If you don’t want to end up against a wall either robbed or spoiled out of your mind you better don’t continue this venture into the unknown. This is a fair warning, you better heed it! ;-P

Audrey Rose:

”My hands fisted at my sides. I refused, absolutely refused to let this cruel treatment of a woman stand. I’d do everything in my power to solve this case for Miss Nichols. And for any other voiceless girl or woman society ignored.”

I’m going to be honest here: Audrey Rose wasn’t as brilliant as I expected her to be but she was likeable enough. *lol* Okay, that doesn’t sound like I was all too persuaded by her, but I guess I just read way too many YA books and most of the heroines follow the same pattern. I liked that she had a rather unconventional “hobby” and was so fascinated by the human body and I’ve to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed how she handled Thomas and her father. XD Still, she was rather stereotypical and I hope that her character will get more unique as the series proceeds. There’s still room for improvement and I genuinely hope that Kerri Maniscalco will use the rest of the series in order to develop Audrey Rose’s character. As far as I know this was her debut though so I’m quite confident that she’ll make it work! ;-P

”One needn’t be strong in only physical matters – a strong mind and will were fierce to behold as well.”

”While it wasn’t something I relished, it was the hard truth. I was a young girl growing up in a world run by old men. I’d pick and choose my battles wisely.”

Thomas Cresswell:

”Golden-brown eyes were perfectly set into an angular face, as if Leonardo da Vinci had painted him himself. If only my lashes were as luxuriant. His chin was squared, giving him a look of steadfast determination. Even his nose was thin and regal, giving an air of alertness to his every expression. If he weren’t so infuriatingly aware of his own intelligence, he’d be quite attractive, I supposed.”

Entrance: The irresistible love interest! ;-P Honestly, it’s almost impossible not to like Thomas! At least not if you’ve a weakness for obnoxious, presumptuous, complacent, cocksure, smug and irritating men like him! Which I obviously do. *lol* I loved the arrogant “Sherlock Holmes” vibe I got from him and I really enjoyed the way he thought. Not saying I’m a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot myself, but I tend to be very observant as well and I like to think outside of the box so we definitely seem to have that in common. Plus that sass and his audacity! I loved it! It kind of reminded me of myself (after all my blog is named “The Sassy Library Fox” for a reason ;-P) and so I could relate to him. Cheeky, brilliant bastard! <333 I want more of him and can’t wait to read the next book, especially because I’m sure that there’s a very intriguing backstory to discover. =)

”Why don’t you talk to me about what’s really troubling you? What emotional dilemma needs sorting out?” He patted his legs. “Sit here and I’ll rock you gently until you or I or both fall asleep.”

”Ah. There’s something about you saying my name that sounds like a blessed curse,” he said. “If you can work up a good hand gesture to go along with it, that’d be exceptional.”

Uncle Jonathan:

”I stole a glance at him, but his gaze was fixed hungrily on the corpse. At times the darkness in his eyes terrified me more than the dead we butchered.”

Uncle Johnathan definitely had a creepy vibe about him but I don’t blame him for being so curious and totally absorbed by his passion. It was obvious that he lived and breathed his profession or should I rather say his calling? Despite everything I never suspected him to be Jack the Ripper though. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for the police and I was really sorry for him when he ended up in that asylum. I’m sure there’s more to Uncle Jonathan’s story as well and once again I hope that Kerri Maniscalco will explore it in one of the next books.

Cousin Liza:

”Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that. There’s no reason you can’t wear a simple frock to work, then don the finest gown and dance the night away. But only if it pleases you.”

I really liked her cousin Liza and I wish we would have gotten more of her. I kind of admired how she found a balance between what society expected of her and what she truly believed and thought. With a mother like hers this couldn’t have been easy but she was clever enough to play along with her mother’s views and not to defy her outright. Something that can’t be said for Audrey Rose and the way she dealt with her father. *lol* This said Liza’s approach was way more diplomatic and skilful, which automatically caused her to be in my good books. XD Can we please get more Liza in “Hunting Prince Dracula”?

Superintendent Blackburn:

Blackburn walked around his desk, dropping into the chair behind it and rubbing his eyes. ”Perhaps running the estate as my father had wanted isn’t such a bad idea. I can handle a vast amount, but this is a bit much. How horrid can a life of leisure and politics be?”

I know he was supposed to be some sort of antagonist but I somehow started to like him? Haha! I mean alone that quote above! *lol* He respects Audrey Rose and her work and even though his way to court her was totally wrong he still made an effort which is more than can be said for other men during that time. =) I think he might be more Liza’s calibre though so I’d totally ship those two if they’d meet one day. ❤ As for now he was a nice addition to the cast and I’m sure he has his own interesting story to tell.

3

Audrey Rose & Thomas:

Without lifting his head from his own journal, he said, “Not having any luck figuring me out, then? Don’t worry, you’ll get better with practice. And, yes” – he grinned wickedly, eyes fixed on his paper – “you’ll still fancy me tomorrow no matter how much you wish otherwise. I’m unpredictable, and you adore it. Just as I cannot wrap my massive brain around the equation of you and yet adore it.”

I just loved Thomas unapologetic and unashamed flirting with Audrey Rose! *lol* There’s a man that knows what he wants and I’m sure she captured his interest way earlier than we see in the book. In fact I’m pretty certain that she’s been on his radar for months already and the fact that he instantly knew who she was and worked with her uncle for quite a while indicates that this was no instalove! At least not for him, which was truly refreshing. Also did anyone else die when his composure finally crumpled and we got to see the real Thomas that’s hiding behind his calculating mind?! Thomas totally losing his mind because he was afraid someone would harm Audrey Rose was one of the best things about this book. <333 Yes, it’s tropey, yes it’s stereotypical but I still loved it! *lol* Can’t help it but I’m weak for such boys. XD Plus their easy banter was so amusing to read. I might have known that those two would end up together from the very moment they met but it was still fun to watch it unfold and I’m looking forward to more of those moments and scenes.

”Hurry along, then,” I said, grabbing my orchid and securing it safely in my journal. “I want to sit by the window.”
“Hmm.”
“What now?” I asked, losing patience.
“I usually sit by the window. You may have to sit in my lap.”

”If you’d like to see me out of my breeches, simply ask, Wadsworth. I’m more than happy to accommodate you on that front.”
“Scoundrel.”

I took a steadying breath. Thomas was a complete wreck. I gently touched his face, drawing his attention to me. “Thomas. What –“
“I thought I was going to lose you.” He ran both hands through his hair, pacing away and coming back. “I saw blood – I thought He’d slit your throat. I thought – “ He covered his face with his hands, collecting himself for a few breaths, then fixed his attention on me, swallowing hard. “You must know what you mean to me? Surely you must know how I feel about you, Audrey Rose. The thought of losing you…”

Audrey Rose & her father:

”I was unaware keeping abreast of the daily news was inappropriate. Perhaps I shall spend my time, and your money, on new corsets to bind my will from my lips,” I said sweetly. “Wearing something so constricting ought to tether my vocal cords nicely. Wouldn’t you agree?”

Talk about a complicated and strenuous father-daughter relationship. Those two didn’t give each other an inch and I could understand why. >_< Audrey Rose’s father was still grieving for his wife and he obviously loved his daughter and wanted to keep her from harm. Yet at the same time he being so strict pushed her away from him. The more he tried to keep her close the more she rebelled. The things she said to him though! *lol* I was like WOAH, GIRL! O_o Still, I’m glad they managed to sort things out in the end and that they got closer once again. ❤ I just hope their relationship will continue to be on a good terms in those next few books. Also: No surprise Thomas won her father over! XD He watched out for his girl and saved her so which kind of father wouldn’t approve of a boy like that? 😉

”Those who deserve respect are given it freely. If one must demand such a thing, he’ll never truly command it. I am your daughter, not your horse, sir.”

”Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows. My misguided intentions were good, but I’m afraid they didn’t turn out as I’d planned.” He tapped his heart. “I thought by keeping you close, keeping you safe in our home, I could protect you from such monsters.”

Audrey Rose & her brother Nathaniel:

”Father will go berserk if he discovers what you’re really doing. I fear his grasp on reality is most delicate these days. His delusions are becoming … worrisome.”

I saw this coming from miles away and truth be told I already got suspicious about Nathaniel when he told Audrey Rose that he and his friends were trying to protect the citizens of London. There’s no better way to disguise your dark deeds than to claim that you’re out at night in order to keep others safe. Who would suspect a righteous person like that? (Except of me, of course. *lol*) When it comes down to the 3 most important questions it wasn’t hard to deduce who was the murderer though. You might call them the three “w”. Who has a motive? Who had a good alibi? And who had the perfect opportunity? It was way too easy to suspect Audrey Rose’s uncle, Thomas or her father. They were the obvious choices and so I didn’t even suspect them. Pity Audrey Rose didn’t do the same. She was so hung up on the idea of her father being Jack the Ripper that she didn’t even see all those obvious signs. Bless Thomas for keeping a cool head in her stead. XD Also she loved her brother dearly and made the mistake of trusting him blindly. Beginner’s mistake. ;-P Still, I understand why she couldn’t wrap her head around the idea of him being the murderer and it’s always tough when it’s your own family….

4

“Stalking Jack the Ripper” was a very entertaining and easy read. Admittedly some of the more gory details might not be for the faint-hearted, being a scaredy fox myself I didn’t think that it was all too bad though. ;-P If you like a little mystery, easy banter and a slow-moving plot this might be the right book for you. =)

A - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Maggie Stiefvater)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

“Humans were so circular; they lived the same slow cycles of joy and misery over and over, never learning. Every lesson in the universe had to be taught billions of times, and it never stuck.”

Oh my!!! She did it once again!
Whenever I’m convinced that Maggie’s last book was already the peak of perfection she always manages to persuade me otherwise! I don’t really know how she does it, but she’s soo damn good at what she does that it’s almost impossible not to love her books!!! ❤
Needless to say that it was exactly the same with “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”!! XD

This book was so marvellous!!
I loved “The Raven Boys”,
I adored “The Dream Thieves”
BUT I was a complete sucker for “Blue Lily, Lily Blue”!!!
If it wasn’t already official, it definitely is now! I’m Maggie Stiefvater trash through and through and I just can’t imagine a world without her books anymore!!! *lol*

They give me LIFE!!! They make me feel! And over those last three months they’ve actually become the air that I breathe!!
I’m IN LOVE with Maggie’s writing AND each and every single one of her Raven Boys! <333
Their struggles, their anger, their pain, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their vulnerability!!! It all feels so damn real!!! GOSH!!! I can’t even!!! XD
With every single book they’ve become even more palpable and real! I feel so strongly for those four boys it’s like they are actual people, like they are some of my closest friends! =))
And for that I’ll always be grateful!!! Maggie you’re an amazing writer!!! I hope you know that!! ;-P
(Just in case no one ever bothered to tell you… Which I truly doubt, but still!! *lol*)

1

”The most infuriating part about Maura’s disappearance was that Blue didn’t know if she was supposed to be consumed by worry or anger. She vacillated wildly between the two, occasionally burning herself out and feeling nothing at all.”

As the title of the book already indicates Blue is the focus of the third book! This time around we’re dealing with the troubles of 300 Fox Way and the huge void that was left after Maura’s sudden and completely unexpected disappearance at the end of book two. Of course this wouldn’t be a Maggie Stiefvater book if we wouldn’t get plenty of additional information about the lives of the Raven Boys as well. So don’t worry and be assured that there will be many moments with our lovely and awesome boys. I guess I don’t even need to mention it, but I’m certain you’ll appreciate each and every single one of them! 😉

2

”Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn’t all-encompassing, that wasn’t blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she’d had this kind, she didn’t want the other.”

This is the moment I make sure to warn you about upcoming spoilers and quotes! 😉 If you haven’t read the book already you better click that tiny “x” button! It’s sound advice, I swear! ;-P

Gansey – The Knight:

”The Camaro was like Gansey tonight: terrifying and thrilling, willing to do whatever she asked.”

I swear, this time around I almost couldn’t bear it to read Gansey’s POV!!! My heart is bleeding for this poor boy and the more I get to know him the more it hurts!!! He’s such a gentle, honourable and delicate soul! If I had to draw a comparison I’d say the Gansey in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” was like a Chinese Ming Vase: So damn beautiful to look at but so fragile and ancient that you could literally see the fissures spreading in his armour! He is so broken on the inside and I think Blue’s conversation with Malory made that more than just clear. When he told her that Gansey didn’t just claw his face but also was completely traumatized after his incident with the hornets I actually felt a lump in my throat!! This chapter was so intense I almost forgot to breathe and even though it hurts me so much to watch Gansey, I still want to know how it all ends!!! Please Maggie, don’t let him die!!! >_<

”There was another pause, and Gansey realized she’d hung up. He leaned back against the fridge, eyes closed, guilty, comforted, wild, contained. In twenty-four hours, he’d be waiting for this again.

”Gansey didn’t so much visit as get absorbed.
He loved it. He wanted to be a part of this world, even though he understood there were endless reasons why he could never be. Blue was the natural result of a home like this: confident, strange, credulous, curious. And here he was: neurotic, rarified, the product of something else entirely.”

”It’s very decent of you,” he continued, “to not say anything about it to me. It’s more than I deserved. But know that I’ve regretted it, a lot.”

Blue – The Mirror:

”Maura was always telling her, Look at the potential you hold inside yourself!
Potential for other people, though. Not for Blue.

Since this book was rather Blue centred I finally had the feeling that I actually got to know her a little bit better! No matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to be able to grasp her character in the first two books. But now that I read “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” it was so much easier to understand her motives and the reasons why she’s acting the way she does. I felt so sorry for her because she actually suffered a lot! >_< The situation with her missing mother, her relationship to the boys and her intense feelings for Gansey, the troubles of finding a good college and last but not least Persephone’s unexpected death!!! T_T It’s quite a lot to have on your plate when you’re as young as her and I think she was very brave and strong for keeping it together for so long! ❤

”She was tired of Persephone and Calla and her mother withholding information because Blue wasn’t psychic. Of not being able to daydream of fancy colleges because she wasn’t rich. Of not being able to hold Gansey’s hand because they couldn’t hurt Adam’s feelings and not being able to kiss Gansey’s mouth because she didn’t want to kill him. She was tired of knowing that he was going to die and being afraid that her mother would, too.

Adam – The Magician:

”He knew he was different since aligning himself more tightly with the ley line this summer. He was himself, but more powerful. Himself, but less human.”

I think I am in love with Adam Parrish! Like seriously, completely and utterly in love!!! <333 This boy is soo damn freaking A.M.A.Z.I.N.G and the Ronan in me just can’t stop to love him!!! XD Adam has become everything I wished him to be!!! He’s so strong now and his powers are growing with each and every single day!!! And it’s not just his powers, it’s the person he’s becoming!! Yes, some of his actions might be considered to be on the dark side, but oh damn this only makes him even more intriguing!!! <333 His sharp mind constantly caused me to swoon and his thoughts… OH GOD, his philosophical thoughts were just epic!!! XD I loved that he was the only one who was smart enough to realise that Gansey is on the list and I was so happy that he finally managed to jump over his own shadow and accepted help!!! And the conversation with his father!??!! ARGH!!! It made me so damn angry!!! I hate and despise this man with a fierce passion and I really hope I will never read anything about him again!!! *growls*

”The students kept coming in. Adam kept watching. He was good at this part, the observing of others. It was himself that he couldn’t seem to study or understand. How he despised them, how he wanted to be them. How pointless to summer in Maine, how much he wanted to do it. How affected he found their speech, how he coveted their lazy monotones. He couldn’t tell how all of these things could be equally true.”

”What an impossible and miraculous and hideous thing this was. An ugly plan hatched by an ugly boy now dreamt into ugly life. From dream to reality. How appropriate it was that Ronan, left to his own devices, manifested beautiful cars and beautiful birds and tenderhearted brothers, while Adam, when given the power, manifested a filthy string of perverse murders.

”Adam was quiet as he weighted the options. His face was strange and delicate in the sharp light of Gansey’s head beam. Swiftly, and without explanation, he reached out to touch the cavern wall. Although he was not a dream thing, he was now one of Cabeswater’s things, and it was hard not to see it in the way his fingers spidered across the wall and in the blackness of his eyes as they gazed at nothing.

Ronan – The Greywaren:

”Ronan was always saying that he never lied, but he wore a liar’s face.”

Another thing that’s become official with this book is the simple fact that Ronan and I must be twins!!! I swear, Ronan is so damn relatable and I just love him for it! XD Deep down within him he has such a tender and lovely heart and I know if he’d read this, he’d probably kill me for saying it out loud! *LOL* It’s still true, Ronan!!! DUH!! ;-P Well, anyway! I really enjoyed seeing that he finally opened up to his friends and there were so many beautiful and affectionate moments that my heart literally combusted whenever I read about him. I know some of my friends got slightly annoyed by the many Ronan updates *cough* Maks *cough* but I just couldn’t help it!!! XD I was really surprised when he took Adam to the Barns and actually admitted that Matthew is one of his dreams and it broke my heart to find out how lonely he truly is. “Lonesome.” it was the word that dominated Adam’s thoughts and I really hope that he won’t be alone anymore!!! <333
To sum it all up: RONAN IS PRECIOUS AF!! *lol* ;-P

The smile widened and sharpened yet more. “It’s not your problem, Gansey.”
He was so much more dangerous when he wasn’t angry. And he was right: Gansey didn’t want to know.

”As always, Adam was reminded of how Ronan belonged in this place. Something about the familiar way he stood as he searched for ripe fruit implied that he had done it many times before. It made it easy to understand that Ronan had grown up here and would grow old here. Easy to see how to exile him was to excise his soul.

Ronan scoffed. Him, fear for his own life. But there was something in his eyes, still. He studied his hands and admitted, “I’ve dreamt him a box of EpiPens. I dream cures for stings all the time. I carry one. I put them in the Pig. I have them all over Monmouth.”

Noah – The Ghost:

”Noah sat in the middle of the floor, papers all around him, a mint plant spilling dirt by his hand. He was all hunched over and shadowless, his form slight and streaky, barely visible at all. He was crying again.
In a very small voice, he told Blue, “You said I could use your energy.”

Noah Czerny is so adorable! That boy has such a wonderful character and it makes me so damn sad that he’s a ghost and dead! I love his cheerful and bouncy nature and I adore how tender and caring he is with the others! Unfortunately there is also a lot of anger and sadness in him and I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually sobbed when he had his breakdown at Monmouth. T_T I just want my baby to be happy, but I can’t see a future for him and it breaks my freaking heart to know that his story most certainly won’t have a happy ending! *weeps*

”Noah reappeared. He plucked four and a half oak leaves out of Blue’s spiky hair and blew some leaf crumbs from the bridge of Adam’s nose.”

Mr. Gray:

” ’A cowards’s heart is no prize, but the man of valor deserves a shining helmet.’ “

I love Mr. Gray!!! His conversations with Blue were so sweet and honest and I really liked how their relationship developed throughout the entire book! ❤ Mr. Gray was the perfect father figure and I wonder what will happen in the last book! I mean Artemus finally returned so I guess this will cause quite some trouble between him and Maura. Uh oh! >_<

”In my experience,” the Gray Man said, “the badasses are the most scared. I just avoid being inappropriately frightened.”

The Greenmantle’s:

Afterward, Piper said, “If we had a puppy, it could pick up those beans for us.”
Greenmantle had replied, “And then we could sacrifice it and use its blood to activate the doll.”
“Will you marry me?” she asked.

Whilst I can’t deny that the Greenmantle’s were pretty entertaining I still want to use this space to point out that they were completely crazy!! *lol* I mean Mr. Gray threatened Piper and they were as cool as if they’d only talk about the weather! They were always so composed and nonchalant and this kind of made them creepy! XD I guess the word I’m searching for is “psychopath”! Yep, that’s it! They were both psychopaths! And truth be told, Piper might have even been the bigger one! *lol*

3

Ronan & Blue:

”Ronan looked at Blue, eyes narrowed. She didn’t look away.
This was a game she sometimes played with Ronan Lynch: Who would look away first?
It was always a draw.”

Aww! Those two! THOSE TWO! I loved how Ronan consoled Blue when she saw her mother in the lake and the fact he handed her the ghost light even though he knew that he would be alone and in the dark!!! OMG! I think this was one of the most precious moments of the entire book and my heart filled with so much warmth when I read it! ❤ I really like that they are finally beginning to trust each other and I can’t wait to see more of their friendship!

”It was amazing that she and Ronan didn’t get along better, because they were different brands of the same impossible stuff.”

”For a moment they remained that way, Ronan holding her as tightly as he would hold his brother Matthew, his cheek on her shoulder.”

Gansey & Adam:

”His noble and oblivious and optimistic friend was slowly opening his eyes and seeing the world for what it was, and it was filthy, and violent, and profane, and unfair. Adam had always thought that was what he wanted – for Gansey to know. But now he wasn’t sure. Gansey wasn’t like anyone else, and suddenly Adam wasn’t sure that he really wanted him to be.”

I was so damn happy that Gansey and Adam actually managed to overcome their troubles! It was awesome to see that their friendship didn’t only survive their problems but also got even stronger than before! The moment when Gansey and Ronan showed up at court immediately caused me to grin like crazy and their gesture made me so happy I almost burst with joy! I loved that they supported him so much and I really don’t want those boys to ever argue again! I’m so glad that Adam finally realised that Gansey is only trying to be his friend!!! <333

”Adam couldn’t remember how they had managed to fight so continuously over the summer. Gansey, his best friend, his stupid and kind and marvelous best friend.”

”Now he could see that it wasn’t charity Gansey was offering. It was just truth. And something else: friendship of the unshakable kind. Friendship you could swear on. That could be busted nearly to breaking and come back stronger than before.”

Gansey & Noah:

”Don’t be afraid,” Noah said unexpectedly. Reaching out, he pulled Gansey’s hand away from his ear. Gansey hadn’t even realized that he was still touching it softly. Leaning forward, Noah blew his cool, corpse breath over Gansey’s ear. “Nothing there. You’re just tired.”
Gansey shivered a little.”

I absolutely adore the relationship of those two boys! They are both gentle souls that try their best to deal with their pain and they seem to understand each other in a way no one else does. Noah knows all of Gansey’s secrets, but he’d never judge him or tell the others. They trust each other completely and even though Noah is a ghost, Gansey always treats him like a normal person! ❤ It’s obvious that Noah cares about Gansey and his tender gestures only seem to emphasise his feelings! XD

There was nothing inherently guilty about the moment except that Gansey burned with guilt and thrill and desire and the nebulous feeling of being truly known. It was on the inside of him, and the inside was all Noah ever really paid attention to.
The other boy wore a knowing expression.
”Don’t tell the others,” Gansey said.
“I’m dead,” Noah replied. “Not stupid.”

Gansey & Blue:

”Casually, out of view of Ronan, making sure Adam was still sleeping, Gansey dangled his hand between the driver’s seat and the door. Palm up, fingers stretched back to Blue.”

Their desperate attempts to keep away from each other literally killed me and their nightly phone calls tugged at my heartstrings! There were so many sweet moments between those two but they both know that it can’t end well and it’s hurting them so much that they can’t even seem to be able to breathe whenever they are in each other’s company! JEEZ LOUISE!!! Their love is so bittersweet it’s tearing me apart!!! ❤

It was so strange to see him without his Richard Campbell Gansey III guise on in public that Blue couldn’t stop staring at his face. No – it wasn’t his face. It was the way he stood, his shoulders shrugged, chin ducked, gaze from below uncertain eyebrows.
“SHE WAS ALL RIGHT,” Jesse assured him.
“My head knew that,” Gansey said. “But the rest of me didn’t.”

”And then we never speak of it again,” Gansey said, mocking himself softly, and Blue was so glad of it, because she had played the words from that night over and over in her mind and wanted to know he had, too.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam:

”Maybe I dreamt you,” he said.
“Thanks for the straight teeth, then,” Adam replied.

RONAN FREAKIN LYNCH COURTED ADAM PARRISH!!! <333 OMG!!! I will never get over this!! I mean Ronan dreamed him a lotion for his hands!! He placed a cassette in his car and named it: “PARRISH’S HONDAYOTA ALONE TIME“ AND it seems like he actually paid him nightly visits in his apartment!!! IN ADAM’S FREAKIN APARTMENT!!! ADFSJKLMNÖ!!! Oh my!!! I’m combusting! <333 There were so many awesome Ronam moments in this book and I can’t even explain how happy they made me! *lol* I loved how smug Ronan was about Adam being the magician and my heart melted when he tried to console him when Persephone died!!! Oh and when they blackmailed Greenmantle!? So, so perfect, so epic!!! They are such an awesome TEAM!!! ❤ I CAN’T EVEN!!! *dies of excitement*

”As they moved through the old barn, Adam felt Ronan’s eyes glance off him and away, his disinterest practiced but incomplete. Adam wondered if anyone else noticed.”

He admitted, “Some.”
“A lot,” Ronan translated, and he was right, because, strangely enough, Ronan knew a great deal about how Adam worked.

”Adam and Ronan regarded each other, and then the pit. They looked winsome and brave, trusting of Cabeswater or of each other. They did not look afraid, so Blue was afraid for them.”

4

Maggie Stiefvater is a poet and a genius!!! I can’t wait to read “The Raven King” and I don’t even dare to say it, but I think I loved this book even more than I loved “The Dream Thieves”! *lol* When it comes to Maggie’s “The Raven Cycle” books there actually seems to be no limit, they only get better and better! ❤

“Once I send the professor off, one of you guys can get into the front. Adam? Unless he’s sleeping.”
“No,” Adam said. „I’m awake.“

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

If you ask me there is no quote that would describe the essence of “The Hate U Give” better than this one. Heaven knows, to speak up for yourself and your beliefs is never easy, but if you don’t do it your voice won’t be heard and things will continue to go on the way they were before.

It’s a lesson our heroine Starr learns the hard way and it’s a more than just important lesson as well.

”I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

I could understand Starr’s internal battle and I could relate to her so much. To admit that she’s the witness, to speak up for Khalil and to say what truly happened… well, it takes guts to take that step. Especially because she was smack in the middle of it all. On the one hand there were the King Lords and the gang members at Garden Heights and on the other hand there was the police. Neither of both sides was all too keen on hearing the truth about what went down that night (and this is putting it mildly), but the truth needed to be heard and I think it was very brave of Starr to find her voice. Truth be told, I actually enjoyed watching her journey.

”Oh, we know the truth, that’s not what we want,” says Daddy. “We want justice.”

Of course her family tried to protect her from harm and wanted to keep her identity anonymous but the more things happened, the harder it got to stay out of it. You might say that Starr eventually ended up in all that mess her family tried to protect her from, but then again it wasn’t really like she had a choice. If your best friend would have been murdered in front of your eyes, if he would have been unarmed, his back to the police officer that shot him, the only thing he did a concerned glance into his car because you were the co-driver and he didn’t want you to get hurt. What would you have done after you held him dying in your arms?

”The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen – people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”

Yes, you would have wanted to get justice too! At least I would have wanted it because there’s nothing in this world that makes me feel more helpless and angry than injustice and the injustice that happened in this book was outrageous!!!

”But Khalil didn’t stay put, did he?” she says.
“He didn’t pull the trigger on himself either.”

I loved Starr so much for that statement alone! There were two police officers interrogating her and all they tried to do was to put the blame on Khalil. Because of course it was his fault that he got shot! He was a drug dealer after all, right? NO!! HELL, NO!!!! Even if he would have been a drug dealer this wouldn’t have made things right! He was unarmed, he didn’t do anything wrong, he only checked on his friend and he had to die for it. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!! THIS IS WRONG!!! And no matter how much people tried to discredit him, nothing of what they said about him was the truth!!!

”Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The truth is that he was just a normal kid, driving home his best friend after they left from a party. End of the story. Or it should have been… What I really liked about this book was that it made you think. I mean Starr’s own uncle is a policeman and a good and righteous one at that. Yet there were also those officers that treated her father so badly and tried to intimidate her. Just because you’re a cop you’re not automatically a good person, just because you’re black you’re not automatically a drug dealer. Just because you go to a private school you’re not automatically rich.

Angie Thomas plays with ingrained prejudices and subjective perceptions. In “The Hate U Give” she shows us that supposedly good people can be bad and that people who seem to have a bad reputation can have a kind heart too. There occur at least as many prejudices against white people as there appear against black ones. For instance Starr’s father Maverick doesn’t like her boyfriend and is distrustful of him because he’s white. And Starr is the cool kid at her school because she’s one of the few students that attend the school and are black. Quite honestly, if I go by Starr’s and her friend’s definition of being black I’d be black through and through. *lol* I don’t like green bean casserole and for me Macaroni and cheese is a snack that comes out of the oven (thus a side dish) So I guess according to their reasoning that makes me as black as them! XD

”At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

Despite all the humour that can be found in here, the message of this book is quite clear though: We’re all human, we all make mistakes, family is important and got your back, justice must be practiced and lived, we shouldn’t be judged for our skin colour and we should always stand up for our beliefs, no matter how hard it is.

I think that’s a great message and one that should be heard! So thank you Angie Thomas for writing this book, for giving Starr a strong voice, for allowing us to get a glimpse of other people’s lives and for showing me that Starr’s family is as funny, caring and crazy as mine.

A great book with an important message! Read it and let it be heard! =)

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 3 on My Book List 2019

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

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

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

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

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

2

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

Tessa:

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

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

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

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

Will:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessamine:

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

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

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

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

3

Tessa & Will:

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

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

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

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

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

Tessa & Jem:

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

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

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

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

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

Will & Jem:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tessa & Nate:

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

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

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

Charlotte & Henry:

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

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

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

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

4

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

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Ruby Red (Kerstin Gier)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 36 on My Book List 2020

Part of my „German speaking Authors Year“ challenge.

”Ready for the next adventure, Princess?”
“Ready when you are,” she said softly.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Kerstin Gier fan and to be honest my main motivation to reread this book was to make sure that more people become aware of it. At the beginning of the year I made 2020 my „German speaking Authors Year“ and decided to give a special shout-out to rather unknown (German/Austrian) authors that write great books! Well, Kerstin Gier certainly is one of them! 😉

I’ve read many of her books already but I’ve to admit that this series has a special place in my heart. I just love everything about it. I mean we have a strong heroine, an arrogant love interest, a super interesting time travel element (An inherited time travel gene?! Give it to me! *lol*), mystery, suspense, action, LONDON and a misogynistic, horrible antagonist I really want to kick in his – let’s keep this child-friendly – private parts! ;-P

Plus the friendship between Gwen and Leslie is so relatable that you can easily find yourself and your bestie in them! Admittedly the pacing in this first book is pretty slow, but if you ask me that’s mostly due to the fact that Gier tried to build up her world, characters and ideas first before she decided to dive into the main story line. Which truth be told, isn’t a bad thing. Quite the contrary, if anything it makes everything even better. =)

Still, there was one thing that irked me big time and I just couldn’t ignore it. I don’t know why they did it but they changed the MCs first name from Gwendolyn to Gwyneth and that’s not only ridiculous but also makes absolutely no sense! Especially because they left all the other names exactly like they were in the German version. We still have her mom Grace and her grandma Lady Arista, and all the other original names but they changed Gwendolyn to Gwyneth yet they also insist on using her nickname Gwen? O_o Don’t get me wrong Gwyneth is a beautiful name, but when you’re used to Gwendolyn it’s kinda weird that they felt a need to change it.

Anyway, enough of my pet peeve and back to my review! =)

2

This is the moment when we’ll use your blood in order to read it into the chronograph! From now on you might have safe passage through the centuries, but you’ll also be spoiled like crazy! So think twice before you take that step. You’ve been warned! 😉

Gwendolyn AND NOT GWYNETH:

”Why couldn’t I remember when Jack the Ripper had prowled the streets of London? And where? Surely not the elegant surroundings of Mayfair, I hoped.”

Haha! Gwen is such an amazing character and definitely one of the pioneers when it comes to strong heroines. I remember reading this book 11 years ago and how much I loved her for being so strong-willed and unimpressed by all those misogynistic men of the lodge! She was completely taken by surprise when her time travel gene kicked in but that certainly didn’t stop her from being true to herself. Unlike Charlotte she never allowed them to use her as a tool and I lived and breathed for her defiance. Yes, she’s scared and has no idea what is happening to her, this however still didn’t stop her from going her own way. Plus she gave Gideon hell for being such an arrogant, prejudiced snob and this alone was worth reading! XD

”Oh, so it’ll pass?” I made myself speak very slowly and distinctly, although I really felt like screeching. “And so if I’ve just killed a man, will that pass, too? My entire life has been turned upside down today – will that pass? Will the fact that an arrogant, long-haired, violin-playing creep in silk stockings can’t think of anything better to do than order me about, even though I’ve just saved his stupid life, will that disappear as well? If you ask me, it’s not surprising that I feel like puking. And just in case you’re wondering, you make me want to throw up too!”

Gideon:

”The young guy had dark, curly hair that fell almost to his shoulders, and such bright green eyes that I thought he must be wearing colored lenses.”

Haha! Okay, I admit it, Gideon might be nice to look at and a welcome sight for sore eyes, but in this first book he’s really obnoxious! The funny thing is that he’s completely different when he’s around Charlotte and their interactions help to see the true person behind all his insufferable behaviour. His heart is in the right place, but all the men in his family and at the lodge had a huge impact on the way he was raised and as it seems he needed a girl like Gwen to reprimand him for his demeanour. Thankfully she’s more than just ready to take up this particular kind of challenge. *lol* I feel that despite him being the future love interest I actually can’t say a lot about him. His role was more that of a side-character but I’m really looking forward to the second book when we get to know him a little bit better. =)

”Anyway, there’s no need,” said Gideon. “I can do it all far better on my own.”

Charlotte:

Charolotte’s eyes had sparkled with fury as she looked at me. “It’s not a stupid gene, it’s a gift. Something very special. And it’s simply wasted on someone like you. But you’re too childish to even understand that.”

I don’t like Charlotte and I think that will never change. Yes, she gets nicer as the series proceeds; this still doesn’t mean that she’s a great character though. I never warmed up to her and I think that’s mostly due to her being insufferable. *lol* I can understand why she’s so pissed that Gwen is the carrier of the time travel gene but it’s not like she took it away from her. Quite the contrary, I’m pretty sure if given the chance Gwen would hand it to her in a heartbeat. So instead of snapping at her cousin she should try to understand how horrible it must be for Gwen to be involved in all this mess. Especially without being prepared the way she was for years. >_< Nope, I’m definitely no Charlotte fan.

Charlotte sighed. “We had fun, didn’t we?”
“Yes, but think of all the new opportunities open to you, Charlotte! I envy you that! You’re free now. You can do anything you like.”
“I never wanted anything but this!”

Count Saint-Germain:

”I’d say the female blood is considerably more sluggish than ours. Just as the female mind is inferior to the masculine intellect. Would you not agree with me, girl?”
Male chauvinist pig, I was thinking as I kept my eyes cast down, stupid, pompous, boring old chatterbox.

YES, GWEN! Give him a piece of your mind! *lol* Gosh, how I hate that man! Seriously, Count Saint-Germain is such a horrible person I can’t even! He’s not only a totally misogynistic a** but also never misses a chance to point out how weak the fair sex is. In his opinion women are just decoration and nice to look at but serve no other purpose than to bear children and to obey their men. Which makes me so damn furious! ARGH!!! I just can’t with this douchebag! Let’s get rid of him and move on! XD

3

Gwen & Gideon:

”I’d call that an entirely superfluous warning, Uncle Falk,” said Gideon, crossing his arms. “She’s definitely not my type.”

Teasing is a sign of affection! And those two are teasing each other like crazy! *lol* Come to think of it they might even be the reason why I’ve become such a huge fan of the “enemies to lovers” trope. It’s pretty obvious that they don’t like each other at the beginning of the book and except of being attractive there’s nothing else Gideon seems to have going for him. Still, despite their initial animosity there’s a lot of chemistry between those two and it’s a pleasure to witness it whenever it occurs. ;-P I loved how Gideon remarked on Gwen’s classmate being able to touch her while she was busy watching him with Charlotte! I mean the fact alone that Gideon knew he had touched her even though he was talking to Charlotte at that time should have told her everything, but *lol* of course Gwen didn’t notice the implication of that statement. *shakes head* I can’t wait to read “Sapphire Blue”, because I know this is going to get better and better! <333

”Didn’t I tell you to wait in the coach?” I didn’t react, so Gideon took my arm and pulled me to my feet. His face was completely drained of color. “That was incredibly reckless and … dreadfully dangerous and …” He swallowed hard and stared at me. “And, dammit all, rather brave of you.”

”So if he’s not your boyfriend, how come he can touch you?”
“He can’t. To be honest, I hadn’t noticed he was doing it.” I hadn’t noticed because I was fully occupied watching Gideon exchanging sweet nothings with Charlotte.

Gwen & Leslie:

”Where are you now?”
“Oh, Lesley, still in Duke Street. I’m walking as fast as I can.”
“Okay, we’ll stay on the phone until you get to your front door, and the moment you’re home, you have to talk to your mum.”

This conversation sounded so much like something my bestie and I would say! *lol* I’m sure she would have been worried sick as well and would have told me exactly the same thing! It’s adorable how much Leslie cares about Gwen and their friendship warms my heart! Leslie is the best friend ever! I mean she investigates everything and tries to help Gwen as best as she can. She might not be able to time travel herself but I’m pretty sure that Gwen would have been lost without her infos! XD What can go wrong if you have a bestie who’s got your back like that? <333 Exactly! Nothing! 😉

4

This might have been the second time I read this book but I still loved it as much as the first time around! ❤ Great characters, an amazing time travel element, historical London and an awesome “enemies to lovers trope” made “Ruby Red” an irresistible temptation for me! I hope after reading this you’ll be tempted to give it a try too! 😉 Happy reading!