Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 15 on My Book List 2021

”Your mom never made you eat your vegetables, did she?”
Their gazes clashed and the awkwardness was immediate.

Well, nope?! He’s the big bad wolf after all and I found it kind of hilarious that he loved tomatoes. *lol* This said, “Scarlet” was another great addition to “The Lunar Chronicles” and even though the Star Wars vibes weren’t as strong in this one as in the first book I still enjoyed it a lot and was very intrigued by Scarlet’s and Wolf’s story.

Interestingly this book picked up where the first one left off. So we didn’t only get Scarlet’s story that played in France, but also continued our journey with Cinder that still (mostly) took place in New Beijing. For me both plot lines were very interesting and the fast pacing of Scarlet’s chapters was a nice counterweight to the rather slow chapters of Cinder and Emperor Kai. Still, the fact they had a slow pace definitely didn’t mean that they weren’t super intriguing and suspenseful as well, because they definitely were. 😉

I guess we can all agree that Queen Levana is quite a formidable antagonist so the Kai chapters had me clasping my fingers and hoping that she wouldn’t do something unforgivable to him. He’s too precious and I don’t want to see him hurt. And speaking of precious characters: The new addition of Thorne and the return of Iko made this even more fun. *lol* We finally got some answers in “Scarlet” and I can’t wait to read the next book! I’m sure there’s even more to come and I’m looking forward to see where Marissa Meyer will take this series. =) For now we’ll talk about “Scarlet” though and as always I have thoughts. (I always do, don’t I? ;-P)

2

Bonjour, my fellow readers! You are now entering the spoilery territory of my review and if you haven’t read “Scarlet” already I’d recommend leaving this review. If you’re too curious… Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. We all know: Curiosity kills the cat! ;-P

Scarlet:

”I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. Crazy notion, I know.”

Ahh Scarlet and her shotgun! I really liked that girl! *lol* She’s super independent, can stand her ground and is very down-to-earth, which are all good traits. And she’s very compassionate and always thinks of others first. I loved how much she cared about her grandmother and how determined she was to find her and to get her back to safety. When Scarlet finally reached her grandma it broke my heart though. They only had a couple of pages together and when she died I was so sad. You could feel their strong bond and their love for each other and if Scarlet now feels like eliminating Queen Levana’s soldiers with her shotgun for what they did to her grandma… well go ahead girl! XD The poor old lady deserved so much better than to be tortured by those Lunars. T_T I really hope Scarlet will get over the loss of her grandmother and that she’ll come out of it even stronger than before. Give my girl a shotgun in “Cress” and let’s see what will happen next! ;-P

”I suspect you would shoot me all over again if you thought it would help your grandmother.”
She blinked up at him, almost surprised to discover how close they were standing. “I would,” she said, “But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be sorry about it afterward.”

”Mademoiselle Benoit retrieved,” she said, planting her heel on the back of the dazed, blank-faced soldier and shoving him off the ramp. “And don’t worry, we’ll take Alpha Kesley off your hands.”

Wolf:

”The only way to prevent becoming an omega is to fight. And to win. That’s why I do it. That’s why I’m good at it.”

Wolf was such an enigma! From the very first moment he appeared on page I wondered about his motives and why he helped Scarlet. His heightened senses, the predatory actions and his appearance, it all had me wondering if he would turn on Scarlet and in the end he actually did. Despite all that I’m pretty certain that we got to see the real Wolf. Beneath the animal there’s still a person and it’s struggling for control. I always wondered why he was so scared around Scarlet and I finally realized that he was afraid of her because she made him feel like a human being, like a person and not an animal. So that kind of made me wonder about how he was raised and how he became one of Levana’s soldiers. He’s certainly no normal Lunar and it was hinted that Levana sort of “breeds” them, whatever that means. The last scene showed her soldiers in some sort of boot camp so I guess she trains them? I really hope we’ll find out more about this in the next books or that “The Queen’s Army” will be able to answer some of my questions. XD For now I’ll give Wolf the benefit of the doubt.

His hands hastily brushed the curls from her face, gripped her shoulders, rubbed her bruised wrist, every ounce of his frenetic energy devoted to checking that she was there. That she was all right. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I lost focus, I slipped – I’m sorry. Scarlet. Are you all right?”

”His jaw worked as if to take in a bigger gulp of hair.
She could see his fight. His struggle. As clearly as she could see the animal – the wolf – in him. As clearly as she could still see the man.

”I appreciated everything you gave me.” He picked up the can of olives and sniffed at them, wary of being tricked again. “Although I didn’t deserve any of it.”

Cinder:

”What are they doing?”
“Obeying,” she said heavily, hating herself for making the command. Hating the hums that filled her ears. Hating this gift that was too unnatural, too powerful, too unfair.

Cinder had quite a lot to digest in this book and it’s no wonder she’s kind of insecure about what to do and how to proceed. I guess to find out that you’re a long lost princess that was almost killed by your own evil aunt would be tough for everyone. XD She’s still trying to make sense of everything that happened and with Levana’s henchmen and every citizen of earth looking for her she didn’t even get a break to come to terms with her new status as a princess and fugitive. Not to mention that she still has feelings for Kai and must feel pretty betrayed by his actions. Considering what Levana did to her I’m kind of glad she has no conscious memory of what happened when she was a little kid though. >_< I wonder if Cinder will accept her powers in “Cress” or if she’ll still feel conflicted about them. Let’s hope she’ll make peace with them. I mean it’s not like the entire world depends on that, right? *lol*

”Levana had tried to kill her when she was only three years old.
Her operation had been completed when she was eleven.
Eight years. In a tank, sleeping and dreaming and growing.
Not dead, but not alive either.”

Kai:

”What he didn’t know was how many times she’d glamoured him before that. How many times she’d tricked him. How many times she’d made him out to be a complete fool.”

POOR KAI!!! To read his POV was pure torture! I felt so sorry for him because he doesn’t know about Cinder’s connection to Levana and has no idea what’s actually at stake. Not that he would need any more pressure. He’s basically holding his country together by sheer force of will. To say he’s between a rock and a hard place would be putting it more than just mildly. If you ask me it’s admirable that he even tries to defy Queen Levana! A lot of people would have cowered before her if she’d taken away their voice, but Kai? He still uses every single one of his breaths to annoy the hell out of her. It’s the only way he can defy her and boy does he give her a run for her money. *lol* Still, the pressure was too much and I hated to see him crumble. ARGH! I hated every single moment he had to wait for Levana to stop her attack. The price was too high and Kai basically gave his life for his people by agreeing to marry her. T_T Kai deserves so much better than that… so, so much better.

”Sensation returned to his tongue and Kai threw a thankless smile at Aimery. He then proceeded to do the most disrespectful thing he could think of – he pulled his chair back from his desk and sat down. Tripping back, he folded his hands over his stomach.”

”With the click of the latch, Kai let himself crumble into his chair. His entire body was shaking. It was suddenly so clear that he wasn’t ready for this. He wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to fill his father’s shoes. He couldn’t even keep Levana out of his own office – how was he going to protect an entire country from her – an entire planet?”

Thorne:

Then, “You’re … rather handsome, Captain Thorne.”
Cinder groaned.
“And you, my fine lady, are the most gorgeous ship in these skies, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.”

Don’t you love a guy that calls himself Captain and is afraid of cockroaches? *lol* I’m not gonna lie, my first impression of Thorne wasn’t really a favourable one. XD To be honest my exact words were: He’s not the brightest candle on the cake. *lol* Which still holds true but the more I got to know him the more I realized that he’s like an adorable puppy. He has no idea what he’s doing but his heart is in the right place and sometimes he’s even downright reasonable. Haha! I think that makes him a great addition to the cast and I’m definitely looking forward to more of his dumb genius moments. In short: He’s super goofy and his rakish attitude makes him very entertaining. XD Considering the next book is “Cress” I’m pretty sure we didn’t see the last of him and that my wish to see more of him will come true soon. ;-P

”I get that you feel like it was your fault, but let’s try to put some of the blame where it belongs here.”

Queen Levana:

”Your Majesty,” Kai said, addressing the queen with, he thought, an admirable lack of contempt. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“One more patronizing comment and I will have you slice off and nail your own tongue to the palace gate.”

Isn’t Levana a sunshine? *lol* No, honestly, I hate that witch! With a fierce passion and the power of a thousand suns. This woman is horrible and I refuse to call her Queen. From now on I’ll only call her Levana because she certainly doesn’t deserve the title. Every once in a while you stumble upon a villain you can’t like because it’s such a horrible person and well, that would be Levana in my case. Guess there’s nothing that could redeem her in my eyes. I hate what she did to Wolf and all her other subjects and I hate her even more for using her power in order to bully Kai into a marriage with her. That cold and calculating, conniving, cruel WITCH! ARGH! I swear if she really marries Kai I’m going to throw that book against a wall. >_<

3

Scarlet & Wolf:

Scarlet’s brow was ceased as she inched toward him. “Do that again.”
He took half a step back, eyes glinting with sudden nerves. “Do what?”
“Smile.”

This was insta-love par excellence, but I still kind of shipped them? I guess we can cut them some slack because they got to know under really dire circumstances and if you take Wolf’s nature into consideration it’s kind of logical that he’d fall for someone hard and fast. Love seems to be connected to his instincts and since he’s such an instinct driven boy it’s no wonder he loves Scarlet. As for Scarlet… I have no explanation for her insta-love other than that she obviously digs broody handsome boys… don’t we all somehow? *lol* I don’t know how I feel about his betrayal though. From a logical perspective he’s as free as Kai is, so not free at all because his free will has been manipulated for years, but still. If I’d be Scarlet I would feel bitter about my grandmother’s death. I guess it works in his favour that he wasn’t around when they captured and tortured her. =( Ahh what a complicated mess… let’s hope that now he’s out of their reach he’ll be his own master and make his own decisions.

”Don’t come near me. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to listen to you. I would rather die than ever be touched by you again.”
She saw a gulp straining against his throat. Hurt flashed across his face but it only served to make her angrier.

”I know you don’t want to hurt me, Wolf.”
His nose bumped against her jaw. His breath caressed her collarbone.
“You helped me. You rescued me.”

”I know we met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance … all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I’m able.”

Cinder & Kai:

”But Kai wasn’t his father. He wasn’t that selfless.
Knowing it was wrong, he couldn’t help but wish that wherever Cinder had gone, they would never find her.”

So we basically didn’t get any “Cinder & Kai” moments in “Scarlet” but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t think about each other because they did. Kai still cares about her and this even though he doesn’t even know the entire truth. And Cinder basically went ballistic when she heard of his engagement with Levana, which most definitely had nothing to do with him being foolish but everything with him agreeing to marry that despicable person. *lol* Ahh I really want those two to meet and to talk things out. Can’t Cinder idk… kidnap Kai before he marries Levana? XD Throw me a bone here Marissa! ;-P

Cinder & Thorne:

”You opened my control panel?” she said, her words a little clearer with anger behind them.
He scowled. “I didn’t want to.”

Hahaha!!! What an accusation! It almost sounded like they were intimate which I suppose they actually were? Control panels are tricky things like that. *lol* Anyway, I really appreciated the blooming friendship between Thorne and Cinder and I was so there for their moments. I think without Thorne Cinder wouldn’t even have come as far as she did because in his own way he supported her and helped her to continue. I was really glad she had him at her side and wasn’t all alone with her problems. Even though Thorne only found out about her real identity at the ending of the book. *lol* Their friendship is still precious and I hope we’ll have more Cinder/Thorne moments in “Cress”.

”Yeah, because we’re famous.” He sang the word with a certain measure of pride. When Cinder rolled her eyes, he nudged her in the arm. “Oh, come on, it could be worse.”
She quirked an eyebrow at him and his grin broadened.
“At least we have each other.” He held out his arms, like he would have given her a huge hug if they hadn’t been strapped into their seats.

4

I think in a lot of ways “Scarlet” is such a typical second book. The world expands; new characters are introduced and old ones continue on their journey. Some questions are answered, new ones appear and the stage is set. 😉 All things considered this was a worthy sequel and I’m excited to read book 3. Apparently it’s even better than the first two and I’m ready to be blown away! XD

Allgemein, P, P - T, Reviews

Review: Prodigy (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten


“All it takes is one generation to brainwash a population and convince them that reality doesn’t exist.”

First of all I have to say: This was amazing!!!
I mean boy! I really thought I knew in which kind of direction this was heading but then Marie Lu apparently decided to throw me for a loop and after finishing “Prodigy” I don’t even know how to feel about … well, anything and everything! Seriously, I’m totally blown away by this ending because I DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING!!!! O_o

But then again there were a lot of things in this book I didn’t see coming and there were some chapters that had me put down the book in order to process what just happened. I mean I kind of felt like a hound: Certain I’d catch my prey but then thrown off the trail because aforementioned prey was clever and decided to walk into the river to cover its tracks. *lol*

So yes, there were a lot of things I never saw coming and there were some things I saw from miles away. XD It was the mixture of both that kept me engaged throughout the entire book and I really can’t wait to read the third and last book. Because I don’t know if I mentioned it already but I’M NOT OKAY WITH THAT FREAKING ENDING!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!! I need Marie Lu to rewrite that ending in the next book or to idk work miracles?! *lol* Just, do something Marie!!! Please!! Don’t let that ending stand! And no, you’re not witnessing a mental breakdown, just a person who’s having words with its sanity. ;-P

Anyway… I have thoughts! PLENTY of them so let’s get them all out of my system!

2

Welcome to the Colonies where we treat strangers with kindness until we stab them with spoilers in their backs! ;-P So if you want to enjoy our marvellous land you better prepare yourself for the painful pleasure of being spoiled. XD

June Iparis:

”They act like I’m some sort of untamed weapon – and in a way, I guess that’s true. The irony of it all makes me want to laugh. Day is a Republic soldier on board the RS Dynasty, and I am the Republic’s most valuable captive. We’ve switched places.”

I think the most interesting thing about “Prodigy” was that June is totally out of her depth. XD  There’s only so much you can learn at a military academy and even though they taught her everything about weapons and war strategy they certainly missed out on teaching her about love and human interactions. *lol* This said, I had a lot of fun watching her squirm while she tried to navigate those dangerous waters she suddenly found herself in. ;-P Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a June fan: I mean she’s one of those cool tough people that know exactly with which kind of weapon they are threatened and she’s definitely one of those really rare kick-ass heroines! It was nice to see more of her human side though and I really enjoyed those moments. I think she grew a lot during this book and the hard decisions she had to make only shaped her even more as a person. So yeah, I’m really curious about the June in “Champion”.  =)

”The soldiers point their guns at me (Model XM-2500, 700m range, smart rounds, can shoot through two layers of cement), then haul me to my feet. During the train ride, I’d watched these two soldiers with such intensity that their nerves must be completely shot by now.”

”Love is illogical, love has consequences – I did this to myself, and I should be able to take it. So take it, June.”

”How could I possibly think that we’d never suffer the consequences of what I’d done to him? How could I be so arrogant to assume it would all work out for us in the end, that my doing a couple of good deeds could make up for all the pain I caused him?”

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

”He holds me with his gaze. It’s hard to describe Day to those who have never seen him before – exotic, unique, overwhelming.“

And this is the moment when I go all NOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO, NO, NO, NOOO!!! Like just NOOOO!!! How could you do this to my precious baby Marie??!!! I won’t accept that ending, I won’t, I won’t, I won’t!!! ADKFASDFJASKDFAJS! *takes a deep breath* Okay, I’m fine now. *lol* So now that I got that out of my system I can finally concentrate on the important things like for instance why Marie Lu thought it a good idea to give MY Day a terminal disease!!! *holds in another scream* I’m so not okay with that ending and I really hope Marie will undo that in the next book, because I really can’t with this. I just can’t. Day already suffered enough! He lost his mother, his brother, his father, he can’t lose Tess, June and his life now too. >_< This broke my heart so much because he just deserves better. He’s the light and hope of so many people, yet he never gets some of that light and hope for himself. The irony is just too much. Also his self-doubts and fear of not being enough for June just about killed me. He’s the most precious, pure and beautiful soul and no one can compete with him! All I want is to see my precious snowflake happy. *sniff* T_T

”I suddenly feel so stupid for telling her that I love her, as if I’d be able to make her love me in return like some common girl from the streets. She didn’t say it back, anyway.
Why do I even care? It shouldn’t hurt this much. Should it? Don’t I have more important stuff to worry about?”

”I want to run. To do what I always do, have always done, for the last five years of my life. Escape, flee into the shadows. But this time, I stand my ground. I’m tired of running.”

”I’ve been starved, beaten, and humiliated. I’ve been tortured, insulted, and suppressed. I’ve lived in the slums with you. I’ve risked my life for you. And you’ve risked your lives for me. We have risked our lives for our country – not the country we live in now, but the country we hope to have. You are all, every single one of you, a hero.“

”I can’t describe the emotions on his face – something lost, something ripped from his gaze and strewn across the floor. A deep, quiet sadness that tears me apart. What’s going through Day’s mind?”

Anden – The Elector:

”You and Day are the most celebrated people in the Republic. If I can form an alliance with you both, I can win the people. Then instead of quelling rebellions and trying to keep things from falling apart, I can concentrate on implementing the changes this country needs.”

Mhmm I still don’t know how to feel about Anden. He’s obviously either a really good guy or a remarkable actor. *lol* I have no doubt that his moves were all calculated, the question is if they were truly based on his beliefs or if he only did what he had to because he knew he couldn’t hold the country all by himself. For me his character is still a question mark and I hope to find out more about his real motivations in “Champion”. Considering that June will work so closely with him I’m pretty sure we’ll get to see a lot of Anden in the next book though. Let’s just hope it will be something good. XD

”Well, do you think your father’s policies worked?” I ask quietly.
Anden lowers his head. He searches for the right words. “How can I answer that? His policies did work. The Trials did make our armies stronger. Does that make what he did right, though? I think about it all the time.“

3

June & Day:

”We’re in this together, right?” he whispers. “You and me? You want to be here, yeah?”
There’s guilt in his questions. “Yes,” I reply. “I chose this.”
Day pulls me close enough for our noses to touch. “I love you.”

I can’t believe June never said it to him too!!! WHY JUNE!!?? I guess I should be happy for her being responsible and not acting on a whim but urgh, if a boy like Day confesses his love to you and you feel the same way then you should tell him! >_<  No wonder he thought she fancied Anden, especially after the thoughtless remark she made about Day’s ring. How is that poor boy to know how she feels if she doesn’t open her mouth and tells him? I could understand Day’s fears and frustrations… And I really didn’t like the kind of direction this book took, because Anden as a possible love interest for June made everything so much worse. Poor Day! My first thought when they parted ways was: No, don’t separate! It won’t be good for your love and I guess I was right. T_T Well, and there was still that huge “Sword of Damocles” – aka June being responsible for Day’s mum and brother dying – hanging over their heads. I’m glad they talked it out though and that it was addressed as an issue! It would have been unrealistic if it would have never become a problem between them so I have to give Marie kudos for that. There were so many things that killed me but one of the most memorable moments was June being so tender to sleeping and injured Day at the beginning of the book. I remember writing an update and thinking that it’s so sad he doesn’t know she’s so tender with him and then near the ending when June was ill he did the same for her because he actually noticed. I’m still not over it and my heart aches!!!! <333 Plus THAT ENDING!!! T_T *goes into a corner and cries*

Engagements? My heart flutters in my chest. I can’t help smiling. “With paper clip rings?”
Oh no. I’d meant it as an honest question of curiosity, but don’t realize I sound sarcastic until the words are already out of my mouth.
Day blushes a little; I’m immediately angry at myself for slipping up again. “With something handmade,” he corrects me after a beat.

”I’d almost forgotten how his touch makes me feel. I want to fall into the purity that is Day, soaking in his simple honesty, his heart that sits open and beating on his sleeve.”

”That’s not fair, Day. I didn’t choose to be born into this. I never wanted to hurt your family –“
“Well, you did.” I feel myself tremble and fall apart under his glare. “You led the soldiers right to my family’s door. You’re the reason they’re dead.“

”Don’t go, I plead wordlessly. But I can taste the good-bye on his lips and now I can no longer hold back my tears. He’s trembling. His face is wet. I hang on to him like he’ll disappear if I let go, like I’ll be left alone in this dark room, standing in the empty air. Day, the boy form the streets with nothing except of the clothes on his back and the earnestness in his eyes, owns my heart.”

June & Anden:

”My initial distaste wavers – this new thought intrigues me. Anden must be very aware of his poor public reputation. Perhaps he’s hoping for the people’s support. If that’s the case, then he’s taking pains to do something that our last Elector cared little about.”

I don’t ship it. Not at all. Just look how June described kissing Day vs. Anden. I’d take Day over Anden any day! (pun totally not intended *lol*) Their relationship has something so sterile about it and I don’t want June to be with Anden. He’s too polished, too posh, too artificial and too composed. There’s no passion! So a definite nope from me! If they end up together it’s only because they both will gain political influence through their relationship and that’s the wrong reason to be with someone. >_< Enough said!

”With Day, there’s a fire and a hunger between us, even anger, some deep desperation and need. With Anden, though, the kiss is all delicacy and refined grace, aristocratic manners, power, and elegance. Pleasure and shame wash through me.”

Tess & Day:

”Trust me, Day. I’m saying this for your sake. June will break your heart. I can see it already. She’ll shatter you into a million pieces.”

And here’s another relationship development I hated. Not that I didn’t see that one coming, I actually did, I still wasn’t happy with it though. I suppose it’s just natural Tess fell in love with Day or developed some crush on him. He saved her life and helped her to survive so he’s automatically a hero in her eyes. Also let’s not forget that she’s 13 and he’s 15. The age difference isn’t as prominent as some people might think it to be. Still, Tess is like Day’s little sister and he can’t see her as anything else. I really hated Tess’s jealousy and I was so sad when they argued and parted ways. I just hope Tess will come around and realise her mistakes. >_< Day needs his little sister now! Badly!! T_T

”June can do anything she wants to the Republic, and they’ll take her back too.” Tess raises her voice. “Whenever June needs something, she gets results, but my needs aren’t worth a bucket of pig’s blood. Maybe if I were the Republic’s darling, you’d care about me too.”

Metias & Thomas:

”I’m a soldier of the Republic. When I joined the military I took an oath to obey my superiors’ orders at all costs. Metias took the same oath, and he broke it.”

Remember when I wondered about Thomas’s true motives in my review of “Legend”? Oh well, I can say that I’m shocked now. O_O He actually killed Metias because he was being a good soldier. I can’t believe he murdered him. Especially after the revelation that Metias was in love with him. I have no idea if Thomas reciprocated his feelings but OMG!!! I never saw that one coming and believe me when I say that Metias deserved so much better than THAT! To be killed by the person you love. IT. BREAKS. MY. HEART! T_T I think that makes Thomas the worst friend ever and I hope his vacation to hell is already booked! Poor precious Metias. *sniff*

”I did care for him, you know,” he says through my silence. He pretends bravado, some false professionalism. Still, I hear a tinge of sadness. “But I am also a soldier of the Republic. I did what I had to do.”

”I remember how patient and gentle Metias was when explaining things to Thomas. The way his hand would touch Thomas’s shoulder. The night when I’d eaten edame at that cafe with Thomas and Metias, when Metias first stopped shadowing Chian. The way Metias’s hand would sometimes rest on Thomas’s arm for a beat longer than it had to.”

4

“Prodigy” went in an entirely different direction than I expected, but it was still awesome! I guess I probably should have expected Marie Lu to pull such a stunt because she always manages to surprise me and loves to shake things up. XD Still, I’m not okay with that ending and I sincerely hope that it will be altered in the next book. Marie, please! Work your magic and throw me for another loop!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Suzanne Collins)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 33 on My Book List 2020
 

”Being a hero at home had its limitations; he needed a larger audience.”

So, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” made it into the “Goodreads Choice Awards 2020” and is probably one out of 3 books I actually managed to read this year. *lol* Taking a closer look at all the reviews that have been written about it, I have no idea how it ended up as a nominee in the awards but I suppose the main reason why it made its way in there is because it’s popular and provoked very conflicting emotions. I mean, all publicity is good publicity, right? 😉

I can see why so many people didn’t like it. The expectations for this were probably sky high and if you expected something similar like “The Hunger Games” it’s no wonder people ended up hating the book. As for me? Well, I went into this completely blind and all I knew was that it was going to be about President Snow. And tell you what?! I enjoyed it immensely! XD This book was right up my alley and the carefully hidden Slytherin/Dark Court faerie in me was a happy camper! ;-P (As was the part of me that loves to collect hints that are linked to the main trilogy.)

Yes, Coriolanus Snow is neither a hero nor an especially likable person but he’s cunning and knows how to use his strengths. I loved all the machinations and lies, the countless manipulations and the back-stabbing attitude of the tributes as well as their mentors. It kept the story going, it forced me to take a closer look at some of Coryo’s classmates and it helped me to understand Snow a little bit better. Mind you, I still hate him! *lol* But you can enjoy a book and still dislike its protagonist. 😉 So if you’re looking for a slow book whose focus is on the art of schemes, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this. If you’re looking for action and a good redemption arc, well, I’m sorry to say it, but you won’t get it in here. This is no story in which the heroes win; it’s a murky, morally grey and ambitious tale. And it ends with: “SNOW LANDS ON TOP. ;-P

2

You’re entering the Capitol! Make sure to leave all your good intentions at the front door because you certainly won’t need them in here. Be prepared to read some spoilers and to discuss them with our host Lucky Flickerman! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Once you enter this spoilery arena all bets are off!

Coriolanus Snow:

”A tendency toward obsession was hardwired into his brain and would likely be his undoing if he couldn’t learn to outsmart it.”

I have so many mixed feelings about this boy! On the one hand there were moments I could relate to him and on the other hand he did a lot of things I didn’t agree with. To say he’s a fascinating character would be the understatement of the century. Is he good? No! Is he bad? No. If anything Coryo is one hell of a multifaceted character and I’ve to give Suzanne kudos for managing to make him this way. So who is Coriolanus Snow while he’s the mentor of Lucy Gray Baird in the 10th Hunger Games? He’s a boy driven by the will to survive! The lengths he’s going to just to ensure that his family “stays on top” are kind of remarkable. I mean there’s a boy who knows hunger, who has nothing but his family, a fancy apartment and his good name. War hardened him, showed him his limits and taught him that sentimentality has no bearing once you’re faced with the decision to either burn your beloved books or to freeze to death. Still, while his cousin Tigris is working hard to keep food on their table, Coryo’s job is to attend the academy’s classes. All in the hope that he’ll become big and earn them enough money to keep them afloat. That’s the boy at the beginning of the book, but the longer I followed his journey, the more it became apparent that he’s also an exceptional egoist and opportunist. Everything he did was calculated, every move he made was deliberate. All of his actions had an ulterior motive, even if it was as simple as not to anger Dr. Gaul. This boy is trying to survive and as long as the end justifies the means everything is allowed! The most fascinating thing for me was the fact that Coriolanus knew Dr. Gaul was trying to manipulate him into a certain direction, but that he still decided to let himself be formed by her. It was way easier than to swim against the tide and to lose everything. There were so many road junctions, so many different routes he could have taken, yet he always, ALWAYS chose the one that made life easier for him. Even if it meant to betray his friends. In the end this led to him being the perfect pawn in Dr. Gaul’s game and it eventually culminated in the poisoning of Dean Highbottom. His first real and intentional murder; the very first cobblestone that paved the way for his cruel future. Well, I don’t know about you, but I think Dr. Gaul won in the end!

”He buried his head in his hands, confused, angry, and most of all afraid. Afraid of Dr. Gaul. Afraid of the Capitol. Afraid of everything. If the people who were supposed to protect you played so fast and loose with your life… then how did you survive? Not by trusting them, that was for sure. And if you couldn’t trust them, who could you trust? All bets were off.”

”I keep asking myself why you did it.”
Not much choice, really, thought Coriolanus. “He’s my friend,” he said.

”What awaited him farther down that slope if he was unable to stop his descent? What else might he be capable of? Well, that was it. It stopped now. If he didn’t have honor, he had nothing. No more deception. No more shady strategies. No more rationalization. From now on he’d live honestly, and if he ended up as a beggar, at least he would be a decent one.”

”He’d continue the Games, of course, when he ruled Panem. People would call him a tyrant, ironfisted and cruel. But at least he would ensure survival for survival’s sake, giving them a chance to evolve. What else could humanity hope for? Really, it should thank him.”

Lucy Gray Baird:

”You can’t take my sass.
You can’t take my talking.
You can kiss my ass
And then keep on walking.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.”

I absolutely loved Lucy Gray Baird! She was one hell of a girl and I couldn’t help but admire her for her strength. She was scared and alone, but she still refused to back down. Some might say she’s a survivalist and that would be true. In contrast to Coryo she still has compassion and a good heart though. I think those two were pretty similar but what distinguished them were their different moral concepts and convictions. Coriolanus was like a wind chime always going in the direction of the least resistance without regretting (most of) his decisions while Lucy Gray had to do horrible things in order to survive and despised herself for them. She had to do those things to stay alive, but she neither enjoyed doing them nor did she accept her situation as an excuse. Quite the contrary, she didn’t excuse her actions; she lived with the harsh reality of them! Maybe it was her being a part of the Covey that helped her to get through the Hunger Games. I mean she was exceptionally resourceful and she knew how to work a crowd. Both qualities that worked in her favour. And let’s be honest here, the fact Coryo fell for her gave her an undeniable edge over the other tributes as well. He cared for her wellbeing, gave her food and helped her to avoid the deadly poison of the snakes. Guess Lucy Gray Baird might not only have been sassy and charming but also a little bit manipulative as well. ;-P

”Why? Are you asking?” said Lucy Gray seriously. He looked up in surprise. “Because I think this could work.”
Coriolanus felt himself blush a little at her teasing. “I’m pretty sure you could do better.”

Dr. Gaul:

”If you’re familiar, if they have pleasant associations with your scent – a warm tank, for instance – they’ll ignore you. A new scent, something foreign, that would be a threat,” said Dr. Gaul. “You’d be on your own, little girl.”

Dr. Gaul is one of those characters you can’t help but despise. She has no regard for life, or at least not as long as it isn’t useful for her purposes. This woman was ruthless and cruel, using her position in order to threaten, bully and hurt the people that got in her way. The handful of mentors she took an interest in all either ended up dead or were sent on their way to madness. For her the tributes were as much a part of the game as their mentors and she saw them all as tools. I don’t know why but for some reason the picture of Tilda Swinton in “Snowpiercer” always came to my mind when I thought of Dr. Gaul. *lol*It just seemed to fit her personality and the weirdness of her character. The thing that happened with Clemensia?! Oh boy! Dr. Gaul was one hell of a manipulative witch and it’s no surprise Snow turned out the way he is now after ending up under her tutelage. >_<

”How quickly civilization disappears. All your fine manners, education, family background, everything you pride yourself on, stripped away in the blink of an eye, revealing everything you actually are. A boy with a club who beats another boy to death. That’s mankind in its natural state.”

Sejanus Plinth:

”They’re not animals, though,” said Sejanus. “They’re kids, like you and me.”
“They’re not like me!” the little girl protested. “They’re district. That’s why they belong in a cage!”

Sejanus Plinth was too precious for this world and that’s exactly what cost him his life in the end. He was too trusting, too compassionate; he saw the tributes as people and not as animals like everyone else. Sejanus was brave but also so very innocent and naive. I think he underestimated the power, wiliness and cruelty of the people he was dealing with. On the one hand that made him braver than any of his classmates but on the other hand it also painted a target on his head. Someone like Sejanus had no place in a world like the Capitol and I think the only three people to ever realize this were his mother, Coryo and yes, unfortunately also Dr. Gaul. I think Sejanus was an idealistic dreamer and I really liked him for it. But dreaming will only get you as far and he didn’t have the necessary slyness to go about things the right way. It pained me to see where his way was heading but as a reader there was nothing I could have done to stop it. Which is another reason why this book was so intriguing. It made me pull for him, but at the same time I knew he wouldn’t make it.

”The only thing I loved about the war was the fact that I still lived at home. If you’re asking me if it had any value beyond that, I would say that it was an opportunity to right some wrongs.”

”You never miss a beat, do you? I remember that from school. Watching you watch other people. Pretending you weren’t. And choosing the moments you weighed in so carefully.”

3

Coriolanus & Lucy:

”So you didn’t have a second thought about diving into a cage of tributes?” prompted the reporter.
“A second, a third, and I imagine the fourth and fifth will be hitting me sometime soon,” admitted Coriolanus. “But if she’s brave enough to be here, shouldn’t I be?”

I really think those two loved each other. The way they fell in love might have been pretty fast but considering their circumstances I think it was realistic. I mean Lucy could have died any second and Coryo’s life was dangerous as well.  Not to mention that they were both very young and at least for Coriolanus it was his first love. If he wouldn’t have harboured real feelings for her he would have never even considered giving her his mother’s compact. It was, after all, his most precious possession. This said they barely knew each other and never had the time to spend all too much time in each other’s company. It’s no surprise they didn’t work out in the end; I’ve to admit that I was sort of thrown by the events at the ending of the book though! I mean OMG!!! After everything they went through together he actually wanted to kill her… just like that?! O_o But that’s Snow for you. He was always way too practical for his own good and he saw an opportunity to get the life he dreamed of. Lucy was the only obstacle left in his way so his logical conclusion was that she had to go. I’m glad Lucy was so smart and figured it out before he got a chance to kill her, but I’ll always wonder what happened to her. Maybe Katniss is her descendant? Who knows?

”You matter to me, Lucy Gray,” he repeated. His words drew her eyes back to him, but she still seemed distant.

”You’re not alone.” He took her hand. “And you won’t be alone in the arena; we’ll be together. I’ll be there every moment. I won’t take my eyes off of you. We’ll win this thing together, Lucy Gray. I promise.”

”It really would be like having you with me, wouldn’t it?”
“Go on,” he urged her. “Take me with you. Take it.”

Coriolanus & Sejanus:

”That’s not your fault,” said Coriolanus.
“I know. I know. I’m so blameless I’m choking on it,” said Sejanus.

Was it friendship or not? I think everyone who read this book might have asked themselves this question at some point. I think it was and then it wasn’t. The only reason Coryo saved Sejanus so often was because he would have probably died if he didn’t. I mean it’s not like Dr. Gaul gave him any choice in that matter. For Sejanus it was definitely friendship, he trusted Snow and considered him to be his best friend. For Coryo? I think some part of him actually cared about Sejanus, but it just wasn’t enough to put his friend before himself. When faced with the choice between his or Sejanus’s life Snow would have always chosen himself. And he did it in the end. He knew exactly what he did when he sent Dr. Gaul that voice record and even though he tried to reason with himself he ultimately knew that he had made the wrong choice. He knew about the consequences, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself into believing that he didn’t and yet he still did it. What really struck me as tragic was that nothing would have happened if he would have let Sejanus disappear with the rebels. I mean all they planned was to run away and to seek refuge in another district. So why did he do it? An ingrained sense of duty? To curry favour with Dr. Gaul? Aside from that he had absolutely no reason to turn on his friend. So if you ask me it was some combination of stepping over his friend to get where he always wanted to be and some twisted kind of payback for all the times he got into trouble because of Sejanus. That’s just my opinion though. If you have another theory: Hit me! I’d love to discuss this! XD

”Thanks. You’re quite the rebel,” said Sejanus as they carried their trays to the conveyor belt that ran to the kitchen.
“I’m bad news , all right,” said Coriolanus.

”The one thing Coriolanus had never questioned was Sejanus’s honesty. If anything, he’d have welcomed a little less of it. But this was a bald-faced lie, delivered as naturally as the truth. Which meant that now anything he said was suspect.”

”Coriolanus buried his face in his hands. He had killed Sejanus as surely as if he’d bludgeoned him to death like Bobbin or gunned him down like Mayfair. He’d killed the person who considered him his brother. But even as the vileness of the act threatened to drown him, a tiny voice kept asking, What choice did you have? What choice? No choice.”

Dr. Gaul and Sejanus:

”Possibly on his way to freedom,” said Sejanus in a strained voice. “Possibly captured and under wraps. Possibly injured and hiding. Possibly dead. I’ve no idea. Do you?”

Honestly, I was kind of impressed that Sejanus was able to defy Dr. Gaul for so long. That boy had guts to stand up to her like that and to question her in front of his entire class. Truth be told I was surprised she didn’t shut him up immediately, but then again he probably was another one of her experiments. She enjoyed to be challenged by him and for a while it seemed to amuse her. Also she would have had plenty of opportunities to harm him but she chose a public execution AFTER the Hunger Games in a district that was so far off that no one even noticed. Talk about revenge. Dr. Gaul got her payback alight. >_<

”That’s our right,” Dr. Gaul countered.
“No, it isn’t! I don’t care what you say. You’ve no right to starve people, to punish them for no reason. No right to take away their life and freedom. Those are things everyone is born with, and they’re not yours for the taking.”

4

Since this was Snow’s story I didn’t expect to be all too invested in it, but the more I read the more I was intrigued by the book. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was definitely a surprise in this regard and I don’t regret picking it up. Backstabbing, cruelty, machinations and complex characters, this book has it all. I can recommend it to everyone who can’t help but appreciate a well-crafted and thought-provoking intrigue. ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Toll (Neal Shusterman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”A successful lie is not fueled by the liar; it is fueled by the willingness of the listener to believe. You can’t expose a lie without first shattering the will to believe it.

I can’t believe it’s over but I can definitely say that I enjoyed every single moment of this journey! Three books and I read and reviewed them all in 9 months. Considering the fact that I’m a person who usually takes ages to finish a series this says A LOT about how deeply and thoroughly I got lost in this one! I loved all those books so much and every single one of them went in an entirely different direction and was something I didn’t expect.

Usually when you read a series you have some sort of golden thread that runs through it, but in this case every book was different, every plot was unexpected and something new and even up until the last book we get introduced to new and amazing characters. It never got boring and I never knew what to expect next! To say “Arc of a Scythe” was enthralling and surprising wouldn’t even come close to the truth. And if you ask me, Neal Shusterman did a more than just amazing job at tying up all the loose ends.

“The Toll” is the last and final book of this series and even though I never thought that I could be content with its ending I had to realize that I actually am?! I mean when it comes to the last book in a trilogy I always kind of tend to find a fly in the ointment and it’s pretty rare I like and accept an ending as it is. Well, not this time around. Neal Shusterman did a great job and the ending to this series was consistent and fitting. Was I happy with everything that happened? No. But it was realistic and it stood true to the critical essence of the series. So there’s that! But enough of my general opinion about “The Toll”, let’s get down to business and head directly to my characters section! XD

2

Welcome back to my characters section, because if you read this you must have come back to read my review about the last book in this series. ;-P So I guess you know the drill! Lots of spoilers, lots of feels, lots of crying and ranting, and last but not least: lots of enthusiasm. Guess that about sums it up. ;-P

Scythe Anastasia – Citra:

”You are an excellent ass, Your Excellency.”

It was so good to see that even after three years – EXCUSE ME THREE FREAKING YEARS!?? – in the deep blue sea Scythe Anastasia still didn’t change her attitude. There was so much to take in and she had to get used to so many changes that happened while she was deadish, but she still managed to process them and decided to do something about it. Her situation was very difficult because she was supposed to be dead and then woke up in a world that had nothing to do with the one she had left before she died. If I’d have woken up in a world in which Goddard is the leader I probably would have had a mental breakdown but Citra didn’t and that made all the difference. XD I guess to have friends like Scythe Possuelo, Jeri and Scythe Tenka at her side might have helped too, but I think it was mostly due to her own strength that she came out of this okay. Scythe Curie and Scythe Faraday were good teachers and it showed in every action Citra took. =) She’s a really great character and if anyone ever deserved a new start then it’s her and Rowan. ❤

”Meu anjo?” she said. “Sydney, I’m nobody’s angel.“
“Ah, but you are,” Possuelo said.  “Because an angel is what the world needs if we are to ever bring Goddard down.”

Rowan Damisch:

”He had died so many times, and in so many ways, he was used to it. It held no more terror for him than falling asleep – which was often worse, because when he slept, he had nightmares.”

*sighs deeply* Rowan, my precious and dear Rowan. I can’t even put into words how much it hurt to read what happened to him. I mean three years dead in the ocean, and then he wakes up in some sort of prison because everyone thinks he sunk Endura, then he ends up in Goddard’s clutches again only to get saved right before his execution just in order to be used as a pawn by the Scythes of Texas!! *takes a deep breath* AJLAASDFKAJSDKFSA! And I didn’t even mention the part at the end of the book when he had to endure – wait for it – 117 FREAKING YEARS before he could be with Citra again!!! JESUS!!! Neal you did a number on my poor boy and I hated it!!! By the end of this series Rowan was so broken it killed me. T_T The only thing that makes me happy is the knowledge that he and Citra will be together for hopefully a thousand years now!!! *dies*

Greyson Tolliver:

”It should have felt good to put the curate in his place, but it didn’t. Perhaps that was why the Thunderhead had chosen him over all others; while others were corrupted by power, Greyson didn’t even like the taste of it.”

When Greyson was introduced in the second book I never thought that I’d love him so much but I do. I really do! This boy is so pure and precious! He’s probably one of the most selfless characters I ever encountered and the way he managed to maintain his innocence is nothing but astounding. After everything he went through he’s still not corrupted by power, he still knows right from wrong, he still stands up for his ideals and does what is right for humanity. Yes, he was guided by the Thunderhead but he was still his own person and this boy was beautiful from the inside and outside. ❤ I just love him! Period! XD

Then he took a deep breath and said one more time with a voice that could make mountains bow, “WHO DO YOU SERVE?”

He looked at her wistfully. “Funny, but it was never easy for me to talk to you before. Now it’s easier than talking with anyone else. I think we’ve become alike in a lot of ways.”

”The problem with painting a mural of my accomplishments,” the Toll said, “is that I haven’t actually accomplished anything.”

Jerico Soberanis:

Jeri laughed. “Yes, it can be inconvenient, but I’ve gotten used to it – embraced it, even. That unpredictability has become part of who I am.”

JERICO SOBERANIS IS THE BEST!!! Gods!!! How I wish Jeri would have been introduced way earlier in this series!!! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Jeri so damn much!! <333 How do I even talk about Jeri without mentioning that she/he is gender fluid?! The answer is easy: I don’t!  Because it’s such an integral part of Jeri that I just have to speak about it! XD I think I was a goner the moment Jeri appeared on page and the more I read about her/him the more I adored her/him. It’s so rare, so damn rare to find an honourable, wise, beautiful, gentle and kind gender fluid MC in a book but Neal Shusterman gave Jeri room to be who she/he truly is and I’ll always be thankful for that! In a lot of ways Jeri reminded me of myself – scratch the beautiful and wise part *lol* – so I was more than just happy to have Jeri in this book! XD I just …  I loved the way Jeri thought because it’s so similar to how I think and feel and I loved her/him even more for being so content with herself/himself. It’s like Neal Shusterman got to know me and created a better version of myself on page. If that makes any sense? *lol* So yeah, Jeri’s presence alone would have made this an awesome book for me. ;-P

”People are vessels,” Jeri had said to her. “They hold whatever’s poured into them.”

”All children in Madagascar were raised genderless and forbidden to choose a gender until reaching adulthood. Even then, many didn’t choose a single state of being. Some, like Jerico, found fluidity to be their nature.”

Possuelo cursed himself for having said anything at all. “You’re too clever for your own good.”
“That,” Jeri said, “has always been my problem.”

”One of the benefits of being Madagascan is that we see people as people. When it comes to attraction, gender is never part of the equation.”

Scythe Goddard:

”Come now, I’m sure you’ve all thought about it,” he prompted. “You can’t tell me that you haven’t fantasized about doing away with one pesky group or another. And don’t say Tonists, because that’s already my choice.”

I HATE HIM WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS! *grrr* Like seriously, I couldn’t believe all those Scythes let him do what he did! He’s vain, he’s pretentious, blood-thirsty, cruel, and overall just a horrible, HORRIBLE person!!! Serves him right that he got totally paranoid and expected everyone to kill him in his sleep. The sheer nonchalance he showed when they discussed to eradicate entire ethnicities just because he didn’t like them?!! His arrogance and insolence! It’s outrageous!! I really thought I’d die when he launched those missiles at the spaceships and I was so damn glad Ayn stopped him. Boy, I don’t know what I would have done if he would have gotten away with this too. But Goddard is finally dead now and all I can say to that is: Good riddance! May he be tortured for eternity in hell.

”I want him gleaned just as much as you do. But gleaning should not be entertainment.”
To which Goddard said with an infuriating grin, “It’s entertaining to me.”

The Thunderhead:

”Painful for them, or for you?”
“Both,” the Thunderhead replied. “But my pain must not prevent me from doing the right thing.”

I’m the first one to admit that I was wrong when it came to the Thunderhead. Yes, the Thunderhead had feelings for Greyson and loved him but despite everything it never lost its way. I was so scared that it would turn against humanity but it never happened and this was something I didn’t expect?! *lol* I was so ready for everything to go to hell and for the second voice to triumph over the Thunderhead but in fact the Thunderhead only made a better version of itself. It’s as pure as Greyson and I’m glad everyone who went into space has “Cirrus” now. Still, my heart broke so much for the Thunderhead at the ending. It would have deserved better than that, yet I still understand Greyson’s decision. T_T

”The Thunderhead had no arms to embrace. Even so, it could feel the beat of Greyson’s heart and the precise temperature of his body as if it were right beside him. To lose that would be a cause of immeasurable sorrow. And so night after night, the Thunderhead silently monitored Greyson in every way it could. Because monitoring was the closest it could come to embracing.”

3

Citra & Rowan:

”No,” she said. “That’s what he does, Rowan; he draws us in, over and over – but now we have a chance to show the world not just that we don’t need the scythedom, but that we never did. This could have been our destiny, if the scythedom hadn’t prevented it – and it still can be. That’s the fight I want. Not sparring endlessly with Goddard.”

I really hoped that Neal Shusterman would be done with his star-crossed lovers trope but nopedy nope! He wasn’t! Citra and Rowan might not have had a lot of page time together in “The Toll” but the little they had made me so damn happy! I really wish they would have gotten even more time and I just wanted them to be happy, but alas Goddard had to find them and threw a monkey wrench in their plans. A HUGE one I may add. Gods, I think I died a thousand deaths with Rowan when Citra died in his arms and Cirrus told him that she would only be revived when they reached their final destination.  117 years without the person he loved and waited for his entire life. 117 freaking years… T_T That ending… Rowan’s words. I’m still a sobbing mess whenever I think about it. But they will be happy together now and to be honest that’s the only thing that makes me feel a little bit better about their cruel destiny. >_<

His smile broadens. Tears fill his eyes. They drop slowly, as if gravity itself has become less adamant, less demanding.
“When was that?” Citra asks.
“Only a moment ago,” Rowan tells her. “Only a moment ago.”

Scythe Anastasia & Jeri:

”You won’t tell me because there’s nothing I can do,” she said, anticipating the reasons Jeri would give, “and it would distract me from what I need to do.”
“Do you hate me for it?” Jeri asked.

I really adored their strong friendship!! There was so much mutual respect and understanding. Jeri guided Anastasia and helped her whenever she got lost on her way and there could have been no better friend at her side. I loved that Jeri chose to stay with Citra because she/he enjoyed her company and appreciated her as a person. She/he didn’t have to stay with her but she/he decided to do it nevertheless because Jeri could feel that Citra needed her/him. Citra needed a friend and Jeri was that friend! And that moment when Jeri died so Citra could live?!! That scene was everything! ❤ Such a precious and noble soul! To see this duo on page made me happy and even though both of them went in different directions I’m pretty sure they left a mark on each other’s souls.

”For you, Honorable Scythe Anastasia, I would die a thousand deaths at my own hand. But one will be sufficient.”

”Did you fall in love with her?” he asked.
“No,” Jeri told him. “I fell in love with the idea of falling in love with her.”

”There is opportunity in every disaster,” Jeri told her. “A ship goes down, that’s when I get excited. Because I know there are always treasures in the wreckage. Look what I found at the bottom of the sea. I found you.”

Greyson & Jerico:

”Take me, for instance; I don’t even know your name.”
“It’s … Greyson.”
Jeri smiled with the warmth of the Madagascan sun.
“Hello, Greyson.”

Okay, I know, the romance between those two was just implied but I LOVE THE IDEA OF THEM BECOMING A COUPLE!!! <333 Those two would be so perfect for each other. Like seriously! There was a moment when I was about at the middle of the book and I thought: “Hey, I really wish those two would meet! I’m sure they would hit it off.” And hit it off they did. *lol* The conversations they had!! I was such a sucker for them. So playful and funny, but also serious and gentle. XD But hey, they held hands at the end of the book so I like to believe that they became a couple in the end. Ahh! I swear I’d read an entire book just about them and their relationship! XD

”I will never understand how you binaries are so attached to your birth plumbing. Why should it matter whether a person has ovaries, or testicles, or both?”
“It doesn’t,” Greyson said, feeling a little flustered. “I mean … it does matter for some things … doesn’t it?”
“You tell me.”

”I’m sorry,” Jeri said, trying to regain some semblance of composure. “Did I hurt you?”
Greyson offered his usual guileless grin. “Not nearly enough,” he said, which made Jeri laugh.
“My, but you do have a wicked side!”

Greyson & The Thunderhead:

”I wasn’t lying; I was giving him advice.”
“Yet you didn’t wait for my input. Why?”
Greyson leaned back in his chair. “You know me better than anyone. In fact, you know everyone better than anyone, and you can’t figure out why I did it?“

Boy, to say the relationship between Greyson and the Thunderhead was complicated would be putting it mildly and I’m still not sure whether the Thunderhead loved Greyson like a mother/father or like a lover. I think the only one who could give us an answer to that would be Greyson and judging by how he reacted after the Thunderhead touched him as Jeri I think it’s safe to assume that its feelings were of a romantic nature. I mean it collapsed into his arms because it touched his cheek. Such a simple and pure gesture but all the feelings that came along with it… I could understand Jeri’s anger at being used by the Thunderhead and I could relate to Greyson’s feelings afterwards, but I still can’t help but feel devastated for the Thunderhead. And for Greyson… because no matter how right it was to cut that line, to stop being that one exception for the Thunderhead it still hurt so much! T_T Their connection was something special and because it was special they had to sever it. =(( It still breaks my heart and fills me with grief. >_<

”You are a terrible person,” the Thunderhead said. “You are a wonderful person.”
“Well, which is it?” Greyson demanded.
And the response, as faint as faint could be, came back to him – not as an answer, but as another question.
“Why can’t you see that the answer is both?”

“I broke none of my laws…”
“No … but you broke mine.”
A sudden surge of emotion welled up in Greyson. Tears began to could his eyes, reminding him how much the Thunderhead had meant, and still did mean, to him. But he could not let that stop him.
If there was anything he’d learned from the Thunderhead, it was that consequences could not be ignored.
“Therefore,” he said through his tears, “I can no longer speak to you. You are … unsavory to me.”

Rowan & Scythe Goddard:

”I have so missed these conversations with you!”
“You mean the ones where you gloat, and I’m tied up?”
“You see? The way you get to the heart of the matter is always so refreshing. So entertaining. I’d keep you as a house pet, if I didn’t fear you’d somehow escape and burn me to a crisp in my sleep.”

I think after three books in which Goddard did nothing but torture Rowan we can all agree that they are archenemies, yet I still think that Goddard appreciates Rowan somehow. Whilst Rowan would most certainly love nothing more than to finally end Goddard’s life, the same can’t be said about Goddard. He loves to gloat, he needs a purpose and for so many years to catch Rowan and to make his life miserable was his sole purpose. He antagonized Goddard more than anyone ever did and I think in a weird kind of way Goddard loved him for it. He almost seemed to be relieved when he captured him again and even though he wanted him to die, some part of him still enjoyed to toy with him and would have loved to torment him even more. They have a weird dynamic and a super dysfunctional relationship and it could only end with one of them dying. So I’m glad it was Goddard and not Rowan, because Rowan deserved so much better than he ever got!

”If only I had ignored my conscience.”
Goddard shook his head in pity. “Conscience is a tool, just like any other. If you don’t wield it, it wields you – and from what I can see, it has bludgeoned you senseless.”

Scythe Rand, Scythe Goddard & Tyger:

”Tyger,” she said, “I think I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
“Wow,” said the Tyger construct. “That sucks.”
“Yes,” said Scythe Rand. “It does.”

I would have been so ready to pay Goddard’s and Rand’s tickets to hell but apparently Neal Shusterman had other plans. I was right with my assumption that Scythe Rand would be the death of Goddard but I really didn’t expect the kind of direction it all took in the end. I mean I’m glad that Tyger is back now and even though he has Goddard’s face he still has his old body so there’s that. I really don’t know how I feel about the possibility of Ayn starting to date him and to be his future love interest though. I mean I really don’t like that woman and I loved Tyger and he deserved so much better than her!!! She killed him for crying out loud!! Yes, she’s aware that it was a mistake but she still did it and for a long time she hoped that Goddard would reciprocate her feelings which he never did. So umm… not happy with how things turned out for those two but I guess I’ll have to live with it. As long as Tyger is happy I shall be fine. >_<

”Why must I always be the victim? Why must people make it their mission to tear me down? Have I not honored the commandments and done all a scythe is sworn to do? Have I not been a unifier in troubled times?”
“Yes, Robert,” she agreed. “But we’re the ones who made the times troubled.”

”Is that how you solve every problem now?” Ayn asked. “Glean it away?”

”But she absolutely refuses to hate herself, because that would crush her, and she will never allow herself to be crushed.”

Scythe Faraday & Munira:

There were few things that truly frightened Scythe Michael Faraday. But the prospect of an incalculable unknown was high on his list of personal fears. Especially when it was presented in a particular tone of voice. The kind that usually preceded the phrase “You’d better sit down.”

Was it just me who hoped that those two would become a thing? I could have sworn that there was something between them but whatever it was; it died the moment Scythe Faraday found out about Scythe Curie and Anastasia. =( I really didn’t like the development of their relationship in here and it made me so sad to see Faraday so broken, but then again I suppose it was just too much to take. It’s kind of ironic that his two apprentices where the ones that were able to break him in the end. Still, I’m glad that he met Rowan and Citra for one last time and even more glad that he found back to his old ways. The world changed drastically after he pushed the button and it needed compassionate and kind Scythes that would help to end the suffering of people. So by the end of the book Scythe Faraday is exactly where he was always supposed to be and it helped me to make peace with him and Munira. =)

”Pouting is a passing thing,” he told her dismissively. “What I have is a mind-set. I will not suffer this world again. It has done me no good.”
“But you’ve done much good for it,” she reminded him.

His pain was like a hot poker in a block of ice, but rather than comforting him, Munira found herself hardening. And when she spoke, it was like leveling an accusation. “I expected more from you, Your Honor.”
Faraday looked away, unable to meet her gaze. “That was your mistake.”

”We are imperfect beings,” Munira said. “How could we ever fit in a perfect world?”

4

I might not have been happy with all the developments in this book but they were realistic and Neal Shusterman managed to write a great ending for an even greater series! I loved the diversity in this, all the different and new characters and everything they stood for and believed in. It was an amazing ride and I’m really sad this series is over! Let’s hope Neal will write another great series soon! XD

Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Legend (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

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

2


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

June Iparis:

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

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

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

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

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

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

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

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

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

Metias:

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

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

Commander Jameson:

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

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

Thomas:

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

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

3

June & Day:

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

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

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

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

Day, Tess & his family:

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

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

4

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: Thunderhead (Neal Shusterman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”The Thunderhead had managed to achieve something unique in the history of humanity: a bureaucracy that actually worked.”

Well, ain’t that the bitter truth? *lol* What a swipe at politics and society! Neal Shusterman sure knows how to criticize humankind and I’ve yet to read a book in which he makes no use of his –admittedly very accurate – verbal barbs. XD I love all the thoughts that go into his books and it’s really more than just a little amazing to see them on page. Still, no matter how nice all the theories, teachings and doctrine that went into “Thunderhead” this book was one hell of a ride!

And this even though it started pretty slow and felt like not an awful lot of things were happening. I mean yes, there happened A LOT but at first glance it was a really slow start. If you ask me I think this was mostly due to the introduction of the Thunderhead and how it operates and thinks. In “Thunderhead” we finally got to see the Thunderhead’s personal journal entries and for an entity that’s supposed to be omniscient and impartial it sure as hell seems to have its favourites and preferences, which was great! *lol* It kind of reminded me of AIDAN in Illuminae and as you all know I loved that AI to bits and pieces! ❤

Another thing that was intriguing to follow were not only the internal conflicts in the scythedom, but also the different ways to live under the watchful eye of the Thunderhead. This time around we got a better glimpse at the Tonist cult and an insider view of the people that don’t fit into the norm of the Thunderhead’s perfect world: The “Unsavories”! I guess their name already says it all and the irony of the Thunderhead giving people a chance to be criminals and outcasts of society wasn’t lost on me. I mean it even has a plan for people that don’t want to play by its rules. You either gotta love it for its thoroughness or hate it for always being in control. ;-P

Taking all this into consideration we had all the necessary ingredients for a powder-keg that only waited for someone to strike a match. And boy, did this tinderbox catch fire!! Anyway, enough of me trying to tempt you to read this book! Let’s head to my spoilery spoiler section before we reach the point of no return. *lol*

2

Welcome to my characters section, which in all honesty should probably be renamed into rant section because I love to rant about books and therefore spoil like crazy! XD So if you haven’t read the book yet, you better don’t linger and run out of this madhouse as fast as you can! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

Scythe Anastasia aka Citra:

”In all instances, though, their method of death had been their own choice. For Citra that was crucial, for the thing she despised most about the scythedom’s policies was the indignity of having your death chosen for you.”

First of all I’ve to say that I loved Citra’s gleaning method! I think if I’d have to be a Scythe I would have chosen a method like that too. It’s compassionate and fair and it gives people who think they are invincible and immortal a chance to get used to the idea of actually dying. I loved that she gave them one month to get their affairs in order and even went as far as to let them choose her method of gleaning. That way their fear of dying wasn’t as overwhelming as it could have been and they even got a chance say goodbye! So yes, Citra is one hell of a Scythe and I’m still rooting for her! I had such high hopes for Scythe Anastasia to defy the new order and to become a leader of the old guard and then… well then the ending happened and I was left speechless and reeling! Like WTH!!!?? ARGH!!! I’m still not over that ending!!! Guess I’ll need to go back to the woods and scream a little before I can continue to write this review. *lol*

”This is what the scythedom was incapable of understanding. They were so focused on the act of killing, they couldn’t comprehend what went into the act of dying.”

Scythe Lucifer aka Rowan:

”If there was one thing that Scythe Faraday had taught him, it was to live by the convictions of his heart, no matter what the consequences. And if there was one thing Scythe Goddard had taught him, it was to have no heart, taking life without regrets. The two philosophies forever warred in Rowan’s mind, rending him in two. But silently.”

Oh gods! How I suffered with Rowan! I loved that he became Scythe Lucifer and went after corrupted scythes and even though I’m aware that it was a bad thing to do I can’t help but feel the same way Rowan does. By killing those scythes he did something good and managed to prevent a lot of damage yet it still wasn’t good enough. In the end his emotions got the better of him and he was caught by Scythe Rand and Goddard, which killed me! Seriously! To know he was in their hands gave me all sorts of anxiety and I dreaded to read those chapters! You’d think Goddard hurt and messed up Rowan enough, but no! He had to hurt him even more! AKDFASDFJASDKFJ! My poor boy! He deserves so much better than he ever got and I swear if things don’t end well for him in the last book I’m going to be devastated! It’s enough! Neal Shusterman, you hear me?! It’s enough! Stop breaking my boy! *sobs* T_T

”His eyes had a careworn coolness to them as if he had seen more than he should, and had stopped caring in order to save what was left of his soul.”

”As they die, I think of their victims. The men, women, and children that they have gleaned – because the scythes that I end don’t glean with remorse, or the sense of responsibility that a scythe is supposed to have. Instead, I’m the one who feels compassion for their victims. And that frees me from feeling any remorse for the twisted scythes that I end.”

”Over the past two years, Rowan had been physically beaten, psychologically flayed, and emotionally battered. But he had survived it. What hadn’t killed him had made him stronger – more resolved to do what was necessary to fix what was broken. But now it was he who was broken. And there weren’t enough nanites in the world to repair the damage.”

”Rowan could not hide his anguish. His tears flowed with fury and unimaginable sorrow. They could have chosen anyone for this, but they hadn’t. They chose Tyger. For the sole reason that he was Rowan’s friend.”

Scythe Curie:

”Guard your conscience, Anastasia, and never let it wilt. It is a scythe’s most valuable possession.”

The Grande Dame of Death was once again amazing in this one and I really, really, really wanted her to become High Blade! She would have deserved it; she should have had that job! Scythe Curie should have been the one who went out of this alive but URGH!!! Scythe Goddard did and this in such a conniving and horrible way I still can’t wrap my mind around it! WTH??!!! I can’t believe Curie is dead and that he got away with it. I just can’t. *shakes head* And I think what gets me the most about this all, is that Scythe Curie and Anastasia tried to play it fair. They stuck to the rules and wanted to weather it out, and then… GAH! You’d think two weeks would be enough to get over this book, but nope. I’m still not over it! XD RIP Scythe Curie you were one of the best and you will be remembered, no matter what Scythe Goddard does! >_<

„Scythe Curie put down her fork, and took a moment to consider Anastasia’s discomfort. “The end doesn’t always justify the means, dear,” she said. “But sometimes it does. Wisdom is knowing the difference.”

”As she laid the woman’s head gently down, the other scythes followed her example, and began gleaning with such heart, compassion, and love that it did bring enormous comfort, and at the end, people were crowding around them, asking to be gleaned next.”

Scythe Goddard:

Then he rolled closer, and whispered, “I am your eagle, Rowan. And I will feed on your misery day after day for eternity. Or until your suffering bores me.”

In German we’d use the word “Weltenbrand” to describe what went down on those last 100 pages but since this word doesn’t exist in English I’ll have to translate it freely and hope that it will suffice: a world on fire or the world going up in flames. So yeah, that’s basically what happened at the end of “Thunderhead”! And Scythe Goddard was responsible for all of it which is the reason I’ll go all “Queen of Hearts” now and demand: OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!! Ironically this already happened at the ending of the first book and despite everything this bastard of a man found a way back to life! I hate him; I hate him so much my heart is burning with the fierce desire to kick his ass into another universe! HOW COULD HE GET AWAY WITH ALL THIS!!??? Why is he freaking High Blade now!? Why could no one stop this from happening?! How is it possible no one saw what he did?!!! HOW DARE HE TO DESTROY ENDURA??!! AHHHHHH!!! I think I’ll go cry with the Thunderhead now… my emotions are still all over the place! I’ll never forgive Scythe Rand for bringing Goddard back. NEVER! T_T

Goddard paused to look at him in abject disgust that for a moment decayed into regret. “You could have been among the greatest of scythes,” Goddard told him. “You could have been by my side, redefining our presence in this world.” He shook his head. “Few things are sadder than squandered potential.”

Greyson Tolliver:

”His hair, his clothes, and those baby horns at his temples might have fooled someone else, but his slim build and body language gave him away. And his eyes. An odd cross between deer in headlights and a wolverine about to attack. The kid lived in a constant state of fight or flight.”

Greyson was such a sweet character! I really liked him and I loved the way he was introduced. The Thunderhead seems to care about him deeply and my heart broke for him when it used him to save Scythe Anastasia and Scythe Curie. It was obvious the way the Thunderhead chose for him was more than just a little difficult, but he still decided to go down that path because he trusted it to do the right thing! Greyson was such a loyal soul, it hurt so much to see his struggle! I really felt for him when he was lost and stranded at the Tonist cult. His entire life, his career, just everything! He gave it up in order to help the Thunderhead and all he got back was pain. T_T I wonder what he’s up to now. I mean after everything that happened he’s probably the only person the Thunderhead is speaking to, so I’m really curious what will happen next! XD

The Thunderhead:

”I see their fine deeds, as well as their foul deeds, which seem to be on the rise. And each time I witness a cruel act by a corrupt scythe, I seed the clouds somewhere in the world, and bring a lamentation of rain. Because rain is the closest thing I have to tears.”

You can say what you want but I think the Thunderhead has feelings and isn’t as indifferent as it claims to be. I mean hell! It switched off the lights for 1.3 seconds just to let Greyson know that it actually cares about him!!! And he didn’t even see it!! ARGH!!! Despite its principle not to get involved it actually got involved fairly good! *lol* It’s a pity it didn’t have cameras on Endura or it would have been able to thwart Scythe Goddards attempts at a new world order right from the start. *sighs* And believe me when I say that I screamed alongside the Thunderhead when Endura sunk and Rowan and Anastasia died in the sea. I still can’t believe that ending!!! What is the Thunderhead going to do now? Can it work against Goddard without going against its own principles?! I really dunno. >_<

”Please…,” he begs. And so I oblige. I reach out into the electrical grid, and douse the lights. Not just in the chapel, but throughout all of Wichita. The lights of the city blink for 1.3 seconds. All for the benefit of Greyson Tolliver. To prove beyond a shadow of doubt how much I care, and how heartbroken I would be for all he has suffered, if I had a heart capable of such malfunction.”

3

Citra and Rowan:

”Justice? The scythedom doesn’t know what justice is anymore.”
“Some of us do, Rowan. I have to believe that eventually wisdom and reason will prevail.”
Rowan reached out and touched her cheek. She allowed it. “I want to believe that, too, Citra. I want to believe that the scythedom can return to what it was meant to be… But sometimes it takes a necessary darkness to get there.”

I still love those two and I wish they wouldn’t have had to deal with so many things! They should have been a happy couple but I guess Neal Shusterman wanted them to be star-crossed lovers and boy, star-crossed lovers they were! XD Their struggle with their roles and the expectations that came along with them felt real and always broke my heart but I think that ending broke it even more! I can’t believe this book ended like that! I just can’t!!! How could it end like that?!!! I mean ADKFASKDFJASKDFASJDFKA! The only consolation is that they died in each other’s arms and were together when everything went to hell! Well, and the fact that they’ve a chance to be found and to be revived. The only question is WHEN??!!! ARGH! I can’t stand the thought of Goddard doing as he pleases and getting things in a complete mess. This ending and the injustice of it all…  it’s killing me, I swear! T_T

”When he took her in his arms, it suddenly didn’t seem to matter what was going on outside of their tiny, sealed universe. In these terminal minutes of their current lives, it was just the two of them finally, finally giving in to their ultimate act of completion. The binary at last becoming the one.”

Scythe Rand & Scythe Goddard:

”Ayn fought back every last emotion threatening to overtake her. She just shut them down cold. It was either that, or fall apart in front of him. She would rather self-glean than do that.”

Stupid Scythe Rand! Why the freaking hell did she ever think it would be a good idea to bring Scythe Goddard back!?! She should have let his head rot in hell! I hate that cold and calculating bwitch and I hope she goes down like a stone in the sea! No one needed Goddard back and I have no idea why she did it? Is she really in love with him?! They never gave me that kind of vibe and I just don’t understand it. Yes, she obviously loved Tyger, yet she still killed him in cold blood! I’m sure Tyger would have taken her gladly… how could she be so stupid!?? I don’t get this woman AT ALL! But I get the distinct feeling that in one way or another she might not only be Goddard’s rise but also his fall. Hopefully he takes her with him. I’d even pay their tickets to hell. Don’t worry, it’s my treat! ;-P

”And yet she did regret it – and that dizzying gap between what she should feel and what she did feel was tearing her apart.”

4

“Thunderhead” might have had a rather slow start but it certainly went out with a bang! XD Just like its predecessor it had a lot of twists and turns. Some of them I saw coming from miles away and others were so sudden they felt like a punch to the face! Neal Shusterman knows his stuff and he’s not afraid to use his skills to his advantage! 😉 Did I enjoy this: Hell yeah! Am I going to read the next book soon: Definitely! I guess I just gotta lick my wounds for a little while longer, though. *lol*

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: War Storm (Victoria Aveyard)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Maven, Maven, Maven
more Maven that’s all I need!!!

I don’t care
about Mare.

Don’t give a damn
about Cal
that caveman!

I couldn’t care less
about Kilorn
that little a…

Maven, Maven, Maven
more Maven
that’s all I’m living for!!!

Maven, my precious Maven,
I hope you liked my lore!

*bows*
And I’m out! <333

___________________________________

”Love can be exploited, I guess, used to manipulate. It’s leverage. But I would never call loving someone else a weakness. I think living without love at all, any kind of love, is weakness. And the worst kind of darkness.”

And boy was this book dark because all the main characters tried to ignore their feelings and actually hoped they could live without the love of their life. *lol* This book was so heavy in so many different ways (yes even in the sense of actual weight ;-P) that it took me about 2 ½ months to read it and if I’m entirely honest I still don’t know how I feel about it. I mean I finished „War Storm“ about two weeks ago, but did I love it? Did I hate it? ARGH! I just don’t know! >_<

It was realistic. I mean, for a fantasy and YA book this series was damn realistic. Not when it came to the special abilities or the world they lived in, but when it came to human relationships, feelings, the dark abyss of people’s minds, driven characters and the things that move and motivate humankind. Well, if you take that into consideration then this book was brilliant and the ending was more than just fitting. Still, as much as I admired Victoria’s decision to give us a realistic ending, I still can’t bring myself to like it. *lol* Is that weird? XD I guess it is, because for once I actually didn’t want realistic. Haha! I wanted it all to work out nicely, but Victoria didn’t grant me that wish so yeah…

I hurt and I probably will do so until I get over that ending, which in all honesty might never happen. Guess I’ll have to learn to live with the ache and the countless “what ifs”.
Damn this book left me with so many questions, I can’t even! T_T

Anyway, let’s get back to the actual review! =)

1

”This world is a storm I helped create. We all did, in ways big and small. With steps we could not fathom, paths we never thought to walk.”

2

Welcome to my spoiler section! 😉 If you don’t want to be spoiled I suggest you skip the rest of my review and don’t even bother to take a peek! You most certainly will regret it if you still want to read the book! I’m a relentless “Spoiler Queen” and this section is going to be full of them! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! XD

Mare – The Lightning Girl:

”Break his crown, break his throne, rip his monarchy apart.” I stare up at her with as much strength as I can muster. The lightning in my blood responds with fervor, begging to crack loose. “But Tiberias lives.”

I really liked Mare’s character development and I think she eventually managed to come to terms with herself. In this book she knew exactly what she wanted, what she aimed to achieve and how far she would go to reach her goals. She didn’t make any compromises, it was all or nothing and I loved her for it!!! Finally!!! I’ve waited for her to be strong for so long, to cut her own path and to do what she needed to do! Yes, she was still broken by what Maven did to her, but she refused to give into it, to give him power over her! She fought back and stood her ground and I think this was one of the best things about this book! Mare you’ve come a long way and I’m proud of you! =))

”Even after Maven, my long months of imprisonment, all the death and destruction I’ve seen or caused. My broken heart, still bleeding inside me. The unending fear for the people I love, and the people I want to save. It all remains, a constant weight. But I won’t let it drown me.
I can still hope too.”

”Lightning has no mercy. Neither do I.”

Cal – Tiberias Calore:

”Tiberias still wears no crown, but I see it on him just the same. In his shoulders, in his eyes, in his slow, firm manner. He is a king as much as anyone can be. To the blood. To the bone.”

Haha! I was right! Cal didn’t change in this book! He was still not ready to give up his crown, he still wanted to be the king of Norta and he was clinging to his crown so stubbornly it was horrible to watch! URGH! What’s even worse is that he could have changed everything but just flat out refused to do so. I mean alone his situation with Evangeline! Why marry a woman that wants nothing more than to kill me in my sleep? A woman that loves someone else and doesn’t want me? For an empty throne? For a destroyed kingdom? I swear if I would have gotten a Euro for every time I wanted to yell “CAL YOU NUMPTY WAKE UP!” I’d be more than rich by now. *lol* So sorry, but I still don’t like him and I don’t get how anyone could love that egoistic and narrow-minded princeling. *grrr* #SorryNotSorry

”But every passing second makes my decision more difficult as I’m reminded of what I’m going to lose when the time comes. What I lost for so many weeks. Not just her love, but her voice. Her sharpness. The push and pull of a person who has no regard for my blood or my crown. Someone who sees me, and no one else in my place.”

Maven:

”He lays the flower on the railing, petals up, and fusses with his fingernails. They’re short, worn by teeth and anxiety. I would expect a king to keep his nails finely manicured, suited to the arms of a throne. Or maybe roughed by Training or combat, as I’m sure his brother’s are. Not ruined by nervous habits better suited to a child.”

Oh Maven… *shakes head sadly* I’m sorry to say it but I have to agree with all the people who told me that Victoria ruined his character. Yes, she did. Gosh, he had so much potential, but it was all wasted when he died. T_T I loved the Maven POVs but I really wished there would have been more to them. Don’t get me wrong, we actually got a good glimpse at his mind but it definitely lacked the cunning and cruel side of him. All I saw was a broken and tortured soul but I’d have loved to see more. I can’t describe it but Maven was always such a complex character and even though he was the villain he wasn’t entirely bad. There was a part of him that was still good and Victoria destroyed it. I mean I get that Maven eventually had to die. I actually expected it, but the way it happened? No, I didn’t like it. *sighs* He was nothing but a typical villain in the end and all the fine nuances I loved about him were suddenly gone. I don’t know what I expected but he should have gotten at least a small chance to redeem himself. Like for instance what if he would have hesitated to kill Mare, if he would have realized what he’s doing and Mare would have seized the chance and would have killed him? For me this would have been a better ending. But there was no hesitation, no remorse and that felt so… dissonant with his character. Urgh! I dunno! *cries a river for Maven’s tortured soul* T_T

”Mother’s voice has grown fainter as time passes, but she never truly recedes. Sometimes I wonder if she planted a seed in me, leaving it to bloom only after her death. I don’t know if whispers can even do that. But it’s an easy explanation for the murmurs and the mutters that rattle around in my skull.”

”At least her voice is gentle today. When I falter, when I slow down, it turns sharp, a fraying, splintering shriek, steel on steel. Glass popping in the heat of flame. Sometimes it’s so awful I check to make sure my eyes and ears aren’t bleeding. They never do. Her words never exist beyond the cage of my head.”

”The electric energy is a tease at best. Beyond my reach, beyond the sphere of Silent Stone. I ache for my ability the way I ache for Mare, for Thomas, for who I was supposed to be.”

Iris :

”Maven, his kingdom, they’re a shield, but a sword too. We have to use him, even though he’s a danger to us all.”

I know some people will say “WHAT?!” now, but I really started to like that manipulative and cunning sea lake witch. *lol* Iris and Maven certainly were equal when it came to their machinations and intrigues and their conversations always dripped with venom. I kind of liked that they were at each other’s throat and haha by betraying dear Maven to the enemy Iris definitely showed some serious backbone! *lol* I didn’t think she had it in her but to manipulate the “King of manipulation” definitely is an achievement! 😉 Still, I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen to the Lakelands now. The ending of the book left me with a lot of questions and I’m afraid I’ll never get any answers to them. =S

”In spite of my better instincts, I feel the smallest pang of pity for Maven Calore. He is not of his own making. Not entirely. Someone else perfectly cut him apart and poorly put him back together.”

Evangeline:

”In a flash, I envision the life he wants for us all. The life he would subject all of us to. The crown on my head, his heart in her hand. My children threatened every second by any child she might have. My days spent bending to his will, no matter how gentle it might be. No matter how many days he might let me spend with my Elane, as long as he can spend his with Mare.”

I don’t even dare to say it but I think I love her?! *lol* I mean I always kind of liked her even though she was so bitchy and mean to Mare but during the last three books she really started to grow on me. XD Her character development was awesome and even though some part of her still thinks that Silvers are superior to the Reds she started to learn that not everything is black and white and that change is possible. I guess a lot of her dislike for Reds was due to her upbringing and I’m sure given half a chance she’ll question everything she believed for so long. Well, in fact she already started to question everything in this book and boy was I proud of her when she decided for love in the end!!! She did something Cal never managed to do and I adore her for it!!! <333

”I think the war has done something to me. Put a fear in me I never had before. Not for myself, but for Ptolemus and Elane. The ones I love most, and would kill to protect. Sacrifice everything to keep safe and close. I’ve tasted a crown now, and I know it doesn’t compare.”

”I try to read her thoughts on her face, her carefully worn expression of thoughtfulness. Is she remembering our lives a year ago? When we thought we would be happy beneath the Nortan throne together, living in a future built on our secrets? As if we were ever truly a secret to anyone with eyes.”

3

Mare & Cal:

”I love you is a promise we both made, and we both broke. It should mean I choose you above all else. I want you more. I need you always. I cannot live without you. I will do anything to keep our lives from parting.
But he wouldn’t. And I won’t.
I am less than his crown, and he is less than my cause.”

Mare and Cal! ARGH! I swear no couple ever made me feel so frustrated! Their constant back and forth was horrible and if you ask me Cal is still a coward!! And a numpty!!! I mean let’s face it, they both made their POV very clear, they drew the lines in the sand and both of them didn’t want to budge. They were determined to do what they thought they had to do and not even their love for each other was strong enough to change that. And then Cal finally loses his kingdom and everything he fought for and chooses Mare?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! Was it even a choice if he had nothing to lose anymore?!! It was like: Oh, worst case scenario happened and I lost everything, but wait now I can be with Mare! YOU NUMPTY COULD HAVE HAD HER ALL ALONG!!! Seriously, this was sooo stupid and what is Mare doing? She ACTUALLY TAKES HIM BACK!!! ARGH!!! After everything that happened, after everything Cal did!! SHE. TAKES. HIM. BACK!!! I can’t even… no I just can’t!!! They’ll never be my OTP!!! Sorry! But no way! All Cal would have gotten from me would be a certain finger right into his face! Guess it’s good Mare is more forgiving than I. *lol*

”Try as I might, I can’t stamp out the hope still burning in my heart. I still want him to choose me. And I would still forgive him if he admitted his mistake. That hope refuses to die, stupid as it might be.”

”But I also can’t –“
Stay away. Keep doing this. Denying ourselves in the face of always-looming death.
Tiberias hisses out a breath. “Neither can I.”

”I’m done with crowns,” he murmurs to the top of my head.
“Finally,” I whisper.

Mare & Maven:

The full force of his gaze almost knocks me out of my seat. “And I want to die the way my mother did,” he says plainly, as if asking for an extra blanket. Again I feel too stunned to think. All I can do is keep my jaw locked in place so my mouth won’t gape open in shock.
“Ripped apart by your fury,” he pushes on, his eyes horrible, unforgettable, searing into me. The brand on my collarbone seems to burn. “And your hatred.”

Their relationship was always cruel, dangerous and crazy but I still loved their dynamic. XD Those two never gave each other an inch as well and even though Maven was the villain I still think that he loved Mare even more than Cal. I mean for Cal his kingdom always came first, for Mare the Red Guard always came first and for Maven? He had the throne, he lost the throne but he always wanted Mare. She was his main motivation and even though his love for her was twisted, obsessive and wrong, it was still love. His mother made him into the person he became and changed him so much that he lost himself in the process. It was not voluntarily, she just did it without his permission. I’m with Farley on that one, he might have been a decent human being if not for his mother’s poison. I really wish it wouldn’t have ended that way and I can only hope that Maven met Thomas again. After all he was the first domino that fell and Maven’s love for him was genuine. *sighs deeply*

He smiles. “That’s enough for me. A better good-by than I deserve.”
“And what do I deserve, Maven?”
“Better than we ever gave you.”

”We’re alike in some ways, too many ways. I’ve tasted darkness, and he lives in it. He represents what I could become, without my family, without an anchor, if I’m pushed into the abyss.”

Maven & Cal:

”The impossible. Part of me still refuses to believe that. My brother is not a lost cause. He can’t be. I won’t allow it.”

Well, and that’s about the only thing I liked about Cal! *lol* His love for his brother! His hope that Maven might still be saved! Cal knew what Maven’s mother did to him and he always tried to find a solution that would not end with Maven being killed. Unfortunately there was no way to undo what Elara had already done and we all know how it ended. T_T Still, I have to give Cal kudos for never giving up on his brother. Even when the end was near, he still hoped that he would change and that they’d find a cure. He loved him until the bitter end and I couldn’t help but love him for it. Even though I actually don’t like him. *lol* Talk about confusing feelings. XD

”We grew up knowing I would be king and he would stand at my side. My strongest ally, my most fervent supporter. My best adviser, a shield and a crutch. A second opinion. A sanctuary. Not once did I question the arrangement, and I never thought he did either. How wrong I was.”

”Maven,” I sigh, shaking my head at his blindness. “The last person who loves you isn’t standing in this room. He’s out there. And you burned that bridge to ashes.”

4

Despite being able to clobber someone with this huge book I still liked it and enjoyed to read the many different POVs. Sometimes it felt like there were just too many political discussions going on and like the plot didn’t move an inch and then something unexpected would happen and everything would go way too fast again. I have very mixed feelings about this book because I think a few pages less and a little more characterization would have been desirable, it’s just my personal opinion though. All in all it was a good ending to a great series and even though I might feel conflicted about some of the characters choices and their development it ultimately was Victoria’s decision to make.
So all told this leaves me with 3,5 paws rounded up to 4. 😉

Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Morning Star (Pierce Brown)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

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

HOW.
COULD.
YOU???

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

1

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

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

2

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

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

Darrow – The Reaper:

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

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

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

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

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

Mustang:

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

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

Cassius au Bellona:

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

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

”I’m tired of this war, Darrow.”

Sevro au Barca:

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

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

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

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

Roque au Fabii:

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

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

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

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

Victra:

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

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

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

The Jackal:

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

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

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

Ragnar Volarus:

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

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

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

Darrow’s & Sevro’s bromance:

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

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

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

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

4

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

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

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, V

Review: VOX (Christina Dalcher)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 28 on My Book List 2019

”Patrick never seemed to mind my weekly escapes, although he’d joke about us sometimes, before there wasn’t anything left to joke about. We were, in his words, the voices that couldn’t be hushed.
Well. So much for the infallibility of Patrick.”
I went into this knowing full well that the injustice that happens in this book would make me more than just a little angry, but in fact Christina Dalcher’s book made me so furious that I decided to steer clear of the dystopian science fiction genre for a while. As it seems I just can’t stomach fictional worlds like the one in this book and I don’t know if that makes me a sissy or just a very compassionate human being. *lol* I’d like to believe I’m the latter one but I’m the first one to admit that I’ve an extremely thin skin when it comes to wrongfulness.Well, I guess there are worse things than a wish for justice and an allergy to its counterpart, right? Still, the injustice wasn’t the only topic that rubbed me the wrong way and it’s due to those many other issues that I couldn’t give the book more than 3 paws. Maybe I’m just not made for the dystopian genre but the way those stories are told always feels slightly detached. At least to me it does. I should have screamed and felt with the MC and part of me did when I read what happened to Jean and how her boys (especially Steven) treated her, but despite the injustice that got me boiling I still didn’t feel all too connected to the MC.

”You think I should garden and cook more? You think the work I do is less important than – I don’t know – crafts?”
“Not you, Mom. Other women. The ones who just wanna get out of the house and have some kind of identity.”

So you might say that I got angry because of the books circumstances but not because of Jean? Does that make sense? *lol* Anyway if we’re already talking about things I had issues with, I might as well mention that I was unhappy about the use of religion to justify what happened. Sure, you might say that people did (and still do) a lot of wrong things in the name of religion and to use it as a tool in order to create a dystopian world is nothing new. Agreed: In fact it’s been done so often that I can’t read it anymore. I heard voices that said Dalcher is dragging Christianity in the mud and I heard voices that said it was a well-developed plot device… As for me? Honest answer?

I’m just tired of authors using religion as a tool in order to paint a picture of their dystopian world. I read 3 dystopian books this year and all of them had a religious motive. No matter if it was “Station Eleven”, “The Power” or “Vox” they all used it and I’m probably the only person who’s not happy with that. *lol* I guess I just want diversity and unique ideas in my dystopians as well? *shrugs*

”Of course, there aren’t any two-mommy or two-daddy families anymore; the children of same-sex partnerships have all been moved to live with their closest male relative – an uncle, a grandfather, an older brother – until the biological parent remarries in the proper way.”

Sooo, did I already mention how angry and furious this book made me? Yes? Then let’s move on. I think the worst thing about Jean’s situation was the fact that she had only hundred words to raise her children and that her boys as well as her husband seemed to be okay with that. Of course they were, imagine how lovely your life could be if your mother had no way to reprimand you. Gosh, I don’t even want to think about it! *lol*

As the mom of a little rascal I know exactly what I’m talking about and believe me, if I had only a 100 words my kid would do what it wants and cause havoc all day! XD You need to talk with your kids, it’s very important and with restricting women to only 100 words it’s a wonder their world still worked. >_<

”It’s a life choice, Mom,” Steven said. “If you can choose one sexuality, you can just as easily choose another. That’s all they’re trying to do.”

Urgh, do I even have to mention how wrong this sentence is? I really didn’t like Steven and even though he was just a kid I still think that he did a lot of horrible and bad things. Poor Jean. =( As for the plot, I believe the idea was a good one but for me it lacked finesse in the execution. There were so many things that made no sense and left me with even more questions and the way the ending was resolved was so convenient that I couldn’t help myself and actually said: “What?! That’s it?” when I finished the final page.

To me it feels like there went a lot of energy into explaining the circumstances and the way life felt like for the MC and the other women in the book, but there was hardly any effort put into explaining how the men lived. What they did, if they were okay with their women being silenced. If they struggled with this change too.

Throughout the entire book we just get one side of the coin and I still ask myself the question: Why did they even decide that the words of women should be counted? To make them docile and obedient? Is that really the only motive? I have no clue where Dalcher wanted to go with this book, what the government actually planned to do or where the plot was supposed to head and this left me even more confused.

I’m sure some of you who read the book will say: „Why? It’s so logical!“ And if you are one of those people please feel free to enlighten me in the comments! I’d really appreciate some input there because for me it made no sense how it all ended. Especially the “cure and elicitor” aspect at the end of the book! What for?! Only women or men as well? Why take such drastic measures? I’ve the same feeling I had after finishing the TV series “Lost”: I don’t understand the ending. *lol*

4

“Vox” had some good ideas and they certainly brought a breath of fresh air to the dystopian genre, the longer I read the more I got confused though. The plot was thin and had quite some weaknesses I couldn’t overlook and the ending… well let’s just say it was way too convenient to be true.

spoiler

How practical that Jeans husband Patrick died and she could ride into the sunset with her kids and her lover Lorenzo!! *shakes head*

 

Don’t let my review keep you from reading it though! Maybe you’re one of the people who get it and if you do, I genuinely hope you’ll explain it to me! *lol* ;-P

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Gemina (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

Or you might just call her Hanna Donnelly! Just saying. *lol*

Pff! Where do I even begin to write this review? XD I’m aware I already said this about Illuminae but damn me and my exclamation marks, I’ll just have to say it again: THIS BOOK WAS EVEN BETTER THAN ILLUMINAE AND I STILL WASN’T PREPARED FOR ANY OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED!!! *LOL*

I mean, I read a lot. Every one of you who bothers to read my super long reviews knows this and you all know that I love books with twists and turns. So you could basically say I have a solid foundation and “resistance” when it comes to plot twists. After reading the “Red Rising” trilogy I thought it got even better, because damn Pierce Brown threw me for a loop quite often while I read it. XD So you’d think I would have been ready to take every blow “Gemina” threw at me, but hell, nope. Nope, nope, and once again NOPE! *lol* This was freaking BRUTAL!!!

You think you know all the plot twists and nothing is going to surprise you anymore? Well, I dare you to read this book and to try to survive the last 200 pages! ;-P I really think it’s safe to say I met my match in Amie and Jay. XD And heaven help me when I read their last book!  *laughs haltingly* >_<

I swear I never cursed and cussed as much while reading a book as I did with “Gemina” and there were times I wanted to throw that book away and stomp on it because I was so appalled and upset by the happenings. My dear and very poor reading buddy had to take the brunt of it in form of WhatsApp messages and I think I rarely saw him that amused. *lol* Well, guess “Gemina” brought out the best in me. Haha! ;-P

Anyway, I don’t want to say all too much about the plot, because it’s an experience you have to make yourself, but I’ll be nice and give you three hints:

  • Hostile crew
  • Lanima
  • Jump Station Heimdall

Once you reached the end of the book those three keywords will make a lot of sense to you! Promise, cross my heart and hope to die! 😉 Uh, I better be careful with sayings like that in a Gemina review. *lol*

2

Watch out! You are now entering the infinite realms of my spoiler wormhole and once you get out of it you might not only have lost or gained a few centuries but you’ll also end up being spoiled for eternity! You never know what’s going to happen when you enter a wormhole, so you better think twice! ;-P

Hanna Donnelly:

”Hurting she might be, but Hanna Donnelly was raised by a man who thought talking military tactics was a fun way to spend daddy-daughter time. And judging by the set of her jaw, she’s ready to change the rules of the game.”

Hanna is definitely the kinda girl you want to have near you when the apocalypse hits! *lol* Despite Nik calling her “Highness” this girl has absolutely nothing in common with a princess! Well, except of her good looks and fashion sense, I’ll give her that! ;-P Anyway, Hanna is kick-ass and I immediately liked her for being so focused and tough! Boy, did she give the crew of Cerberus a run for their money! XD What I really liked was that she was so very human though. I mean her father was murdered and she was grieving, yet she still didn’t give up! She fought until the bitter end and tried everything possible in order to save the ones that relied on her. In that regard she reminded me a lot of Kady and whenever Kady’s father said that he hopes they’ll never meet I was like: DAMN, OLD MAN! HELL, I SOO WANT THEM TO MEET!!! *lol* I really hope they’ll meet in “Obsidio” because they got some serious ass kicking to do! Those Bei-Tech buttocks have a mark on them and it would be a shame if Hanna and Kady wouldn’t join forces to give them what they deserve. 😉

”You might get only one shot. So shoot. You know who said that?”
The rifle clatters to the bloody floor.
“Hanna ****ing Donnelly. That’s who.”

Nik Malikov:

”His nephew Nik is leaner, good-looking. Dark hair and darker eyes. Dimples. The kind of abs you get from around five hundred sit-ups a day. There’s not much else to do in prison, after all.”

Ohhh, Nik! *wipes away drool from keyboard* Don’t worry I’m not drooling because one of those Lanima got me, it’s only the mention of Nik’s name! ;-P Seriously, though, that guy is just perfect and amazing! I loved him right from the start! ❤ Of course that’s mostly due to the fact that he has that “bad boy with a soft heart” vibe going on and I’m such a sucker for that trope that I couldn’t help but fall for him the moment he first appeared in the book! XD I really liked his character because he’s actually a pretty decent person. You might say he was only born into the wrong family and raised in the wrong environment. He never even got a chance to become the person he truly is and I think the events that take place on Heimdall finally forced him to show his true self. =) He’s a clever, sweet and caring guy and damn he brought Hanna flowers! *melts again* Enough said, Nik Malikov is love! ❤

”Nik M: there’s this moment
Nik M: this tiny moment
Nik M: in between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time the death arrives
Nik M: there’s just you and it and everything you’re about to take away”

”Nik M: I was his big brother, hanna. It was on me to protect him. And instead, I’m supposed to watch him rot in jail? For my **** of an old man? **** that. No way.”

”His smile softens, and just as if she had spoken, the two of them walk slowly toward each other, paces matched, gazes locked. He’s the one to break the silence, voice a little hoarse from disuse, but gentle. “Hey, Highness.”

Ella Malikova:

”Pauchok: so if u fancy evening up the scorecard, I’m figuring those four goons I flushed out the airlock ain’t even the start
Hanna D: That was you?
Pauchok: my finger slipped
Pauchok: honest”

Ella was so awesome I can’t even! She was basically the Kady of Gemina and I loved that AIDAN admired her skills too. I really would love those three to meet. I mean Kady, AIDAN and Ella? There’s nothing that would be able to stop them! *lol* I was sorry to hear what happened with Ella that caused her to be in a wheelchair and that she lost her father was really sad. She still didn’t give up though and just like Hanna she fought as long as she could. Still, those alternate universes messed with my head! Damn! Every time she died in one of them I was like: NUUUUUUU!!!! Not my precious Ella!!! I swear! This book gutted me more than once with all those deaths and by the end I was a shaking mess! *lol* But Ella is alive… for now and that’s good the way it is because I don’t even want to know what Amie and Jay come up with next… well I do want to know… but not right now. XD

”BUT IN THE CODE,
THE ENDLESS SKEIN OF ONES AND ZEROS,
SHE LEAVES THE PALE ATROPHY OF FLESH FAR BEHIND.
STRIDES LIKE A GODDESS ACROSS A BINARY TOPOGRAPHY,
THE HEART OF A LION IN HER CHEST.”

Jackson Merrick:

”Pauchok: Nik, Jackson Merrick is SO FINE he’s illegal in seventeen systems. Zoe got me to dub a mix of his daily personnel announcements so she could listen to them as she goes to sleep.”

Haha! Jackson! That was a classic case of “I knew it!!!” and “I told you so!”.  Honestly, from the first moment he was mentioned in the book I told my buddy that there was something foul with him! He was just too perfect to be true! And I was RIGHT!!! DAMN!! You should have seen my gleeful reaction when I read that he’s a part of the Cerberus team! I felt really sorry for Hanna though because she was in love with him and then her father died, her bf turns out to be a fake and she’s left alone with the memory of Mr. Perfect! T_T Well, I suppose at the end Jackson , or should I rather say Samuel, wasn’t all that bad though. I mean he saved them and it seems like he had genuine feelings for Hanna too, so I can’t be all too angry at him. XD

AIDAN:

”AIDAN: IT MAY COMFORT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOUR DEATH, WHILE ASTONISHINGLY VIOLENT, WILL LIKELY BE MERCIFULLY SWIFT.
Hanna D: … You’re kind of an ***hole, you know that, right?
AIDAN: NONSENSICAL.”

If there was one thing I didn’t like about “Gemina”, then it was the fact that AIDAN wasn’t such a huge part of it! *lol* Considering that the plot was mostly parallel to “Illuminae” it seemed to be a pretty logical conclusion though. XD Also: Do I even have to mention that I still adore AIDAN? I still want to marry this AI and I’ll always love it!!! <3333 The conversations between AIDAN and Hanna gave me life and I loved the way AIDAN described the happenings. Always so very poetic and thoughtful. =)))

The surveillance footage analyst guy:

”Okay, I’m going on record here – you guys aren’t paying me enough to watch this stuff.”

Yes, you read right! The Video analyst guy!!! I love him! Haha! I have no idea who this guy is but damn he’s so hilarious I can’t even! If my heart wouldn’t already belong to AIDAN and Nik I’d definitely take this guy out for a date! XD I absolutely adore his commentary and even though he isn’t one of the main characters his words on the surveillance footage made me laugh out loud more than once! I really want to know who he is and I hope that I’ll find out in Obsidio! Knowing Amie and Jay’s style I’m pretty certain they’ll eventually reveal it! 😉 For now all I’m saying is: I love you video surveillance guy and I really appreciate your commentary! You deserve more attention and all the love! <333 Oh, and I agree! They definitely should pay you more! *lol* ;-P

”Christ, I feel sick …
I need a drink.
AND A VACATION, DAMMIT.

– transcript pauses –

Okay, a little rocket fuel makes it all better. Chrrrrist, let’s get this over with.”

3

Hanna & Nik:

”Guest423: So you can have me all to yourself.
Guest423: He said, winking suggestively.
Donelly, H: If it was the last Saturday night before the destruction of the universe, I’d still have plans to wash my hair.
Guest423: Shower Time, huh? I’d be up for that.”

GAH! I loved those two! ❤ They were so amazing together and even though they came from two totally different worlds they were still perfect for each other. =) I loved how Nik always tried to cheer Hanna up and it made me very happy to see how she fell in love with him. Plus he was so tender with her! He really treated her like a princess and that was so sweet and awesome! They might only have found to each other because they were dealing with a difficult situation but they make a great couple nevertheless. A way better couple than Hanna and Jackson for sure! *lol* Amie and Jay kind of gave me a heart attack when they killed Nik in one of the universes though! Honestly, I was chucking that book away from me and cursing like a sailor!! Especially at that moment when Jackson killed them all! I was like: THAT ****ER!!!  aDFALKSDFLKSDFJSALKFDJSADFJLS!!! Which says A LOT about how upset I really was! XD Once I have to resort to curse words, you know that the shit truly hit the fan. *lol*

”He bridges the gap between them with two quick steps, wraps his arms around her, tucks her in against his chest. They stand there, and he makes understanding noises while she occasionally sobs a word that’s impossible to understand, and after a while, tears roll down his cheeks too.”

”BOTH CLINGING TO THE BRINK OF EXHAUSTION.
SLEEP JUST AN UNHAPPY MEMORY.
THEY HAVE BLED AND LOST AND CRIED AND SCREAMED.
SO MUCH OF WHAT THEY WERE STRIPPED
BACK TO GLEAMING BONE.”

”Bet you … I’d … get shot, ‘member? Owe me … a kiss.”
A wet, bloody grin.
“Maybe a … feel, too.”
One last breath. Spent to make her smile.”

Ella & Nik:

”Hanna D: Nik, I’ll see you soon 🙂
Nik M: i’ll dress sexy
Pauchok: seriously, someone ****ing kill me”

They had the best big brother/little sister relationship ever! *lol* And they weren’t even siblings but cousins instead. XD I think you could feel their bond through their messages and even though they loved to tease and annoy each other you could always feel the genuine love behind their words. =) They spoke to each other the way only close siblings do and it was really nice to see such a wholesome representation of love among siblings! <333 Plus, they were very entertaining together and caused me to laugh. 😉

”Nik M: u ever get the feeling u forgot something real important?
Pauchok: nope. I hear that happens to other ppl though.
Pauchok: Less brilliant ppl
Nik M: so u didn’t forget wut we were doingin auxiliary venting and storage room 3 then
Pauchok: … oh ****”

4

I can’t wait to see/read about the moment the MCs of “Illuminae” finally meet the MCs of “Gemina”!!! This is going to be awesome and I’ll most certainly be in heaven reading “Obsidio”! So yes, “Gemina” was even better than “Illuminae” and despite an occasional urge to throw that book against a wall, I actually loved every single moment of reading this rather mind-blowing, suspenseful and crazy story! I’d like to say that I’m ready and prepared for book three, but that would be the biggest lie I ever told so all I’m going to say is: I hope “Obsidio” won’t destroy the little that “Gemina” left of me! *lol* Realistic approach, right?!

And last but not least I want to thank my Skulkboy for reading this book with me. ;-P Our 100th buddy read (at least it feels like it *lol*) was amazing once again and I’m so glad we’re such a good team and can read all those books together. =) Let’s hope you’ll get a copy of “Obsidio” soon because mine is already waiting for us! XD Which in other words basically means: Get your butt in gear, Mr. Smartypants! *lol* ;-P