Allgemein, K - O, M, Reviews

Review: Muse of Nightmares (Laini Taylor)

45158895. sy475

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 6 on My Book List 2019

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

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

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

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

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

2

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

Sarai:

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

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

Lazlo:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Minya:

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

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

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

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

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

Thyon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

3

Sarai & Lazlo:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarai & Minya & Lazlo:

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

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

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

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

Ruza & Thyon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Azareen & Eril-Fane:

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

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

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

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

4

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

Allgemein, P, P - T, Reviews

Review: Prodigy (Marie Lu)

13414446
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, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: Heir of Fire (Sarah J. Maas)

20617636

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”She has no hope, Prince. She has no hope left in her heart. Help her. If not for her sake, then at least for what she represents – what she could offer all of us, you included.”
“And what is that?” he dared ask.
Emrys met his gaze unflinchingly as he whispered, “A better world.”

First of all: YES, the rumour is true!
This series really gets better and better with each and every single book! 😉
Just thought I’d let you know! *lol*

To be honest, after “Crown of Midnight” all I hoped for was that “Heir of Fire” would be able to keep the pace. And tell you what? It actually exceeded my, admittedly, already high expectations! Yes, Sarah! You did an amazing job with this one! I was hooked right from the beginning and I didn’t want to stop to read this damn book!!!

I loved this book, I loved it so freaking much! It was so, so, so, so, SOOO, good!!!
And I was happy with it, I was SO happy with it!
UNTIL… UNTIL the last 20 pages hit me!! ARGH!!! T_T

I thought I’d be able to write about “Heir of Fire” without getting all too emotional but as it seems all my plans and good intentions just went out of the window. I can’t write about this book without getting emotional! I just can’t! It was too much!! That ending was too much!!! WHY?

WHY THE FREAKIDY FREAKING HELL, SARAH!!!!????
How could you do this to me??!!
HOW?!

I LOVE THIS BOOK!
BUT I HATE THIS ENDING SO MUCH!

I hate it,
I love it,
I hate that I love it,
I love that I hate it!

ADSFJKLMNÖ ADKFASLDFJASDKFASDK!
*throws book against the wall*
*a second time*
*for good measure*

Okay, I think I’m ready to continue now. *takes deep breath and collects herself*

All right! Let’s do this!
Just like with “Crown of Midnight” I won’t waste your time by writing about the plot. It’s way too complex to explain it without any spoilers and because of that, I guess it might be best if I just go for another round of “Keyword Boggle”!
It was so much fun the last time around, wasn’t it? ;-P

So here I go: Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, Rowan, Aelin, Manon, Abraxos, Sorscha, The King, magic, faeries, witches, darkness, fire, ice, wind, a kitchen, a healer, an apartment, blood, murder, and let’s not forget about the black stones. XD

I guess by now you could write your own book! *lol*
We’re still speaking about Sarah’s book though, so I’ll head directly into the characters section and won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

2

Do I still have to say it? Yes? Okay! Beware of my characters section because it’s known as the spoilery spoiler section of my reviews! Don’t read on, close your eyes, eat an ice, please think twice, I’m not nice, my reviews have spice. And spoilers, lots of spoilers, but you already know that or you wouldn’t have continued to read that bad rhyme! ;-P

Celaena:

”So you’d save another land, but not yours. Why can’t your friend save her own kingdom?”
“Because she is dead!” She screamed the last word so loudly it burned in her throat. “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”

*sighs deeply* Oh, Celaena! How much pain does this poor girl have to endure? It hurt to read about her feelings after Nehemia’s death, it hurt to read how much she ached and wished she could have been someone else. That she could have saved her friend. That Nehemia would live instead of her. That Chaol would have trusted her. That he would have told her… Oh boy, Celaena’s heart was a black void of desperation and pain that only seemed to get worse before it even got a chance to get better. In the end it did get better though and I’m so happy about that! She finally found her inner strength and she accepted her heritage! Which is awesome, because I really can’t wait for her to kick some ass! *lol* Heaven knows the King’s behind is already a formidable target and please Sarah if there is any justice in your world you’ll let him burn for what he did!!! You’ll let him suffer for all the pain he caused!!! I can’t wait to see Celaena’s power unleashed! Guess the palace is going to be “hot stuff” soon! ;-P

”He had chosen the king. Even though he’d claimed he loved her, he still loyally served that monster. Maybe she had been a fool for letting him in, for dreaming of a world where she could ignore the fact that he was captain to the man who had shattered her life again and again.”

”No, all she could see were the slaves she’d left behind, the ashy mountains and those mass graves they dug every day, the faces of her people, who had worked beside her – her people whom she had left behind. Whom she had let herself forget, had let suffer; who had prayed for salvation, holding out hope that someone, anyone would remember them.
She had abandoned them – and she had been too late.”

”She would not let that light go out. She would fill the world with it, with her light – her gift. She would light up the darkness, so brightly that all who were lost or wounded or broken would find their way to it, a beacon for those who still dwelled in that abyss. It would not take a monster to destroy a monster – but light, light to drive out darkness.
She was not afraid.”

Chaol:

”He was afraid of what they would do to his kingdom. Because this was still his kingdom. He was working for Dorian, not Aelin – not Aedion. And he didn’t know where all of this put him.”

YESH! I know it was a long and hard way for Chaol but as it seems he’s finally on the right track! I loved that he began to question everything. He was so insecure and hurt that he had no other choice than to face his outlook on things and in the end this eventually forced him to see behind the kings carefully kept façade. Which is awesome, because I know deep down within him Chaol is a very good man!!! He was just completely oblivious to the fact that the served a monster! Still, I’m glad he decided for Dorian and I swear if Celaena and Chaol don’t do anything about this damn ending, I’m going to riot!!!! CHAOL you gotta help your Prince and rightful king!!!!

”I will not turn my back on my kingdom or my prince,” Chaol snapped. “I will not fight in your army and slaughter my people. And I will not break my vow to my father.” His honor might very well be all he would have left after the end of this.

Aedion was quiet long enough that Chaol got up to leave. But then the general said, “What would you have given – just to see her again?”
Chaol couldn’t turn around as he said, “It doesn’t matter now.”

Chaol kept his sword drawn. “I will not go to Anielle,” he growled. “And I will not serve you a moment longer. There is one true king in this room – there always has been. And he is not sitting on that throne.”

Dorian:

”Once Dorian might have already said something about it. But having magic, getting drawn into whatever mess Celaena was in, seeing that other world in the secret tunnels … all of that had changed everything. The best he could do these days was maintain a low profile – to keep his father or anyone else from looking too long in his direction.”

WHY SARAH??!! WHYYYYY? *breaks down and sobs* Why do you have to use him as a human punching bag? Dorian is so decent and compassionate; he doesn’t deserve to be broken!!! First you hurt him by finding out about Chaol’s and Celaena’s secret, then you kill off his girlfriend and in the end you even let him be forced into the Kings slavery!!?? LIKE SERIOUSLY!!?? WTFH!!?? WTF!!?? I CAN’T WITH THIS ENDING!!! I JUST CAN’T!!! HE SUFFERED ENOUGH!!! I don’t even want to know what is going to happen now that he’s wearing this freaking collar! He saved Chaol’s life! GODDAMNIT!!! GIVE MY BOY A BREAK!!! Sarah, I swear it here and now if Dorian isn’t saved by the end of book 4 I won’t continue to read this series. I just won’t! I know it’s the author’s right and decision to kill off characters or to make them suffer as they please, but I just can’t take it anymore. Dorian is my cutiepie and cinnamon roll and I think my heart hurts enough! I survived 3 books of ACOTAR watching how my precious Lucien went through hell and I just can’t take this anymore. Lucien never got his happily ever after and it still hurts!!! So no, sorry but no! If Dorian isn’t at least halfway alright after “Queen of Shadows” then I’m quitting this series! Period! I made up my mind! There was so much potential to give Dorian’s character a chance to evolve and to be awesome and interesting! So much raw magic that could have been used, but all that happened was that Sorscha died and Dorian sacrificed himself for Chaol. I’m pissed, I’m majorly pissed! And coming from me that means a lot! So yeah, this wrong is better set right or I’m quitting! I’m serious and I mean it! This said:
#TeamDorian forever and for always!!! <333

”He’d been a fool once, swearing he would tear the world apart for Celaena. A boy in love with a wildfire – or believing he was in love with one.”

”Because you’re not really scared of those things, are you? No – it’s what they represent. The change. But let me tell you,” Dorian breathed, his magic flickering and then subsiding in a flash of pain, “things have already changed. And changed because of you. I have magic – there is no undoing that, not getting rid of it. And as for Celaena …” He clamped down on the power that surged as he imagined – for the first time, he realized – what it was to be her. “As for Celaena,” he said again, “you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”

”We’re all risking something.” There was so little of the friend he’d grown up with. The prince glanced at his pocket watch. “I need to go.” Dorian stalked to the stairs, and there was no fear in his face, no doubt, as he said, “You gave me the truth today, so I’ll share mine: even if it meant us being friends again, I don’t think I would want to go back to how it was before – who I was before. And this …” He jerked his chin towards the scattered crystals and the bowl of water. “I think this is a good change, too. Don’t fear it.”

Aedion Ashryver:

”Handsome was a light way of describing what Aedion was. Overwhelming was more like it. Towering and heavily muscled, Aedion was every inch the warrior rumor claimed him to be.”

I like Aedion! I like him a lot!!! He’s such a tortured soul and he tried everything possible in order to protect his people! He was an intriguing new character and I can’t wait to see more of him. I really liked his interactions with Dorian because they were so much fun! *lol* Those two have a lot of potential to become close friends, but I guess the ending of this book kind of nullified that possibility. Still, I want Aedion’s noble and brave soul to be rescued as well and I don’t even want to know what the king is going to do with him. T_T I hope Aelin returns soon because her boys definitely need her right now! Poor Aedion, he waited for so long!!! And if I’m already at it! He saved Chaol’s ass too, so Chaol better get his groove on! He needs to make plans to save him as well! XD

”Cousin – that had been his most beloved title. Cousin, kin, protector. Those were the secret names he harboured deep within, the names he whispered to himself when the northern wind was shrieking through the Staghorns.”

”Aelin would come back from Wendlyn, no matter what the captain believed. Aelin would come back, and when she did … With every breath, Aedion felt that lingering scent wrapping tighter around his heart and soul. When she came back, he was never letting her go.”

”All you monsters can burn in hell. Because my queen is coming – and she will spike you to the walls of your godsdamned castle. And I can’t wait to help her gut you like the pig you are.” He spat at the king’s feet, right on top of the fake ring that had stopped bouncing.

Rowan:

”She noticed then that his arms were bandaged, and more bandages across his broad chest peeked up from beneath his shirt. She’d burned him again. And yet he had held on to her – had run all the way here and not let go once.”

The fierce, broody and intense warrior! I like him even though I have to admit that his abilities as a teacher kind of lack experience. *lol* Still, he’s a decent fae and despite the way he acted at the beginning of the book his heart actually seems to be in the right place. I loved that he took care of Celaena once he realised why she’s so broken and I suppose their fight at the beginning was kind of necessary. They both needed to let off some steam. XD I genuinely hope we’ll see more of him in the next book, because I feel like there is so much more to tell! 😉

”How – how did you come back from that kind of loss?”
“I didn’t. For a long while I couldn’t. I think I’m still … not back. I might never be.”
She nodded, lips pressed tight, and glanced toward the window.
“But maybe,” he said, quietly enough that she looked at him again. He didn’t smile, but his eyes were inquisitive. “Maybe we could find the way back together.”

Manon:

Silent as death, Manon slid up behind him. The fool didn’t even know she was there until she brought her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “Wrong kind of witch.”

I’M IN LOVE WITH MANON BLACKBEAK!!! This woman is so savage and fierce! I love it! *lol* As it seems for once my prayers were answered! I got more of the iron teeth witches and I loved every single chapter! XD Manon is so damn amazing! I just couldn’t get enough of her and followed her storyline closely. Truth be told, I just want to lean back and watch how her and Abraxos change the world. Haha! I disliked Manon’s grandmother a lot though and even though she became Wing Leader I’m pretty sure there will be some major estrangement in the future. Still, I loved Manon’s connection with Asterin and her Thirteen and I really hope they’ll always be at her side. Maybe Petrah will join them one day? Idk! I truly hope she’ll be fine some day because I really liked her too. >_<

”You’re mine,” Manon said to him.
The wyvern blinked at her, Titus’s blood still dripping from his cracked and broken teeth, and Manon had the feeling that he had come to the same decision. Perhaps he had known long before tonight, and his fight with Titus hadn’t been so much about survival as it had been a challenge to claim her.
As his rider. As his mistress. As his.”

”And Manon, because no one was watching, because she did not care, flung out her arms as well and savoured the freefall, the wind now a song in her ears, in her shriveled heart.”

”You touch him again,” Manon said, “and I’ll drink the marrow from your bones.”

3

Chaol & Dorian:

He met Dorian’s gaze. There was nothing kind in it. But Dorian said, “I’m trying, Chaol.”
Trying, because Chaol’s not consulting him on the plan to get Celaena out of Adarlan had been a breach of trust, and one that shamed him, though Dorian could never know that, either. “I know.”

Oh, those two broke my heart! I really wanted them to solve their problems and then this damn ending came along!!! ARGH! They need a chance to fix all this! Sarah give them a chance, please!? They deserve it! And OMG Chaol told Dorian that he loves him!!! Way too late but he did it!!! <33 I just want my two boys to be happy and friends again. *sobs* They both suffered enough in those last two books, they really deserve some peace!!! And to take away their chance to make amends!! So mean, Sarah! So, so mean!!! >_<

”You think I’d run to my father?” The words were barely more than a strangled whisper as the temperature plummeted.
Chaol stepped forward, putting himself between Aedion and Dorian, his palms exposed. Placating. “I can’t afford to guess – to hope. Even with you.”

”You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.” He pitied Chaol, he realized. His heart hurt for his friend, for all that Chaol had surely been realizing these past few months. “Just as you cannot pick which parts of me you accept.”

”He looked at his friend, perhaps for the last time, and said what he had always known, from the moment they’d met, when he’d understood that the prince was his brother in soul. “I love you.” Dorian merely nodded, eyes still blazing, and lifted his hands again towards his father. Brother. Friend. King.

Sorscha & Dorian:

”She usually talked like this when she was nervous. Which, Dorian had noticed with some satisfaction, was when he came near. And not in a bad way – if he’d sensed that she was truly uncomfortable, he’d have kept his distance. This was more … flustered. He liked flustered.”

I suppose their relationship was doomed right from the beginning but I still would have liked it to work out. They were so sweet together, but I can’t shake the feeling that I missed some major parts of their plot. I really wish Sarah would have given us more of them because to me their entire storyline felt kinda rushed. Still, I was glad Sorscha helped Dorian to hide his magic and her being a spy was such an unexpected plot twist. >_< It really killed me when the King ordered her death and I can’t even describe how much Dorian’s pain hurt me! T_T I’m still not over this… probably I’ll never be!

”Yes,” he breathed, and kissed her. It was fast – but her face was flushed, and her eyes wide as he pulled back. His own eyes were wide, gods be damned, and he was still rubbing his thumb against her soft cheek. Still contemplating going back for more, because that hadn’t been nearly enough.”

Celaena & Rowan:

”Why don’t you just bite me again?”
“Why don’t I give you the lashing you deserve?”
He looked so dead set on it that she blinked. “If you ever take a whip to me, I will skin you alive.”

Oh, ho ho! Those two!! So much passion, so much pain! They were quite a sight to behold! *lol* I loved how their initial animosity turned into a solid friendship and I was so glad Celaena finally told someone about her past! This was so damn necessary and I’m glad Rowan was there to listen to her troubles and fears! ❤ I’m sure they’ll become lovers in the future, but as it seems Sarah just wants to torture us a little bit more. ;-P After all she’s good at that, torture seems to be her middle name! XD Bet the J. is just a fib! Haha!

”It was a selfish wish, and a fool’s hope.” She read the rest of it in his eyes. But it came true. “Dangerous, for a prince of ice and wind to pray to the Fire-Bringer,” she managed to say.
Rowan shrugged, a secret smile on his face as he wiped away the tear that escaped down her cheek. “For some reason, Mala likes me, and agreed that you and I make a formidable pair.”

 
4

Okay, I think I ranted enough now. *lol* So yeah, I hope I’ll get my hands on “Queen of Shadows” soon and that my precious Gem will continue this journey with me! I even wrote nice things about Chaol!! That’s got to count! ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

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

51901147. sy475
 
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, R, Reviews

Review: Radio Silence (Alice Oseman)

41827561. sy475

Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 33 on My Book List 2019

”Hello. I hope somebody is listening.”

I think by now this quote made its way into the most epic quotes of all time and I can totally understand all the hype this book got. When I joined goodreads back in 2017 “Radio Silence” was all over my feed and people were raving about it like crazy. I had no idea what all the fuss was about but three years later and countless books in between I finally get it. XD Alice Oseman’s book is amazing, epic, brilliant and most of all it’s relatable af!

As an author it’s not easy to capture the voice of a generation but I think Oseman did it masterfully. Truth be told, it’s more than the voice of a generation, it’s the voice of many generations that all went through the same thing. Did I lose you already? What I’m trying to say is that this book is timeless because it speaks to every teenager and young adult that ever went through adolescence.

“Radio Silence” tackles the strong bonds of friendships you only seem to have as a teen, it addresses the insecurities of young adults, the urgency and intensity of emotions, it shows that our educational system is far from perfect and that good grades aren’t everything in life, it makes room for individualism and it demonstrates that parents can influence their children in the best but also in the worst way possible. It plays with the idea of the internet as a medium that can connect people all over the world but it also illustrates how easy it is to hurt people and their privacy.

Seriously, this book gives so many thought-provoking impulses it’s hard to write it all into a summary, which only seems to emphasise my earlier statement of Oseman’s skill to capture the voice of a generation. People are complex, relationships are complicated and the way to your true self is paved with plenty of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. So just another ordinary day in the life of a young adult, right? ;-P

trigger warnings: emotional parental abuse, depression (implied),  suicidal thoughts (heavily implied), online bullying, teens drinking alcohol

2

This is my spoilery spoiler section and if you haven’t already read the book: Well, pirates ye be warned! ;-P This said: Welcome to Universe City, I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time with Radio and his sidekicks!

Frances Janvier:

”Being clever was, after all, my primary source of self-esteem. I’m a very sad person, in all senses of the word, but at least I was going to get into university.”

I really liked Frances! I mean I was never as good at school as her but I kind of admire her for getting good grades while following her obsession with “Radio Silence”. It’s no small feat and I really appreciated the idea of a character that’s good at school but also has a very creative streak. =) For some reason this is pretty rare in books and I don’t know why. XD Also the distinction between “School Frances” and “Normal Frances “ was amazing and very relatable. As a teen a lot of us are insecure and act differently when they are around their friends so this was such a great way to represent that sentiment. Also now is the moment I have to mention that I want Aled’s and France’s wardrobe! *lol* Seriously, their clothes are amazing! ❤ I would have loved to get my hands on them. Haha! Anyway, back to Frances as a character! I loved her compassion and that she always tried to do the right thing and was very responsible. Plus she was a really great friend! I hope we’ll see more of her in other books but I’m not sure she’s going to be in one of the others?! Guess I’ll have to find out.

”I couldn’t quite believe how much I seriously loved Aled Last, even if it wasn’t in the ideal way that would make it socially acceptable for us to live together until we die.”

Aled Last:

”it’s honestly fine!!!! what’s up?
if you’re feeling crap it’s always better to talk about it“

I really wish Aled would have taken his own advice! I know he’s the silent, withdrawn and broody kind of type but a lot of his problems could have been tackled if he would have just talked about them. Then again his mother certainly didn’t make it easy to develop some self-esteem, let alone to talk about his problems. (I’m so angry at his mom btw!!!) I felt so, so sorry for him and I was glad Frances and Daniel were able to see the true Aled. My heart really bled for this boy and it made me so sad that his mother couldn’t see how beautiful he was! ❤ I mean he made a podcast thousands of people followed and listened to, they even made fanart of it and yet his mother had nothing better to do than to destroy every little piece of him. >_< It killed me. Really. Aled suffered so much and I wish I could have jumped right into the book and saved him! He didn’t want to go to university and he was drowning in despair, which got more and more apparent with every episode he made. Those last few episodes? It just hurt… because they were a reflection of his true life and helplessness. T_T

”Sometimes I think if nobody spoke to me, I’d never speak again.”

”I can take a little beating now and then. I’m a tough one. I’m a star. I’m steel-chested and diamond-eyed. Cyborgs live and then they break, but I’ll never break. Even when my bone dust drifts over the City walls, I’ll be living and I’ll be flying, and I will wave and laugh.”

Daniel Jun:

”We were so important to each other. We’d tell each other everything and anything. We were each other’s first everything. First and only everything. He’s – he’s an angel.”

Daniel might have appeared to be a study machine but deep down he was a really nice guy and it was pretty obvious that he cared about Aled. With his neat appearance and orderly life he’s the complete opposite of Aled, yet he still enjoyed being with his friend. Daniel was so focused on school that it wasn’t easy to see his true self but the longer I read the more I began to warm to him. XD Guess I made the same experience like Frances. 😉

Carys:

Carol raised an eyebrow. “Well, it is how it is. I’m not here to see you and, frankly, I don’t want to. I want to talk to my real child.”
“I don’t think you deserve to,” said Carys, and I could feel the inaudible gasps of everyone in the room.

Okay, I admit it: There was a moment when I wanted to punch Carys in the face! I mean if it would have been my brother suffering so much I would have run to him in a heartbeat. But then again she thought that she was the problem and that Aled would be fine. Thankfully Frances could persuade her to seek him out and the moment she realized her mother was destroying Aled she became the lioness I wanted her to be! XD I loved how she defended Aled and that she gave her mother a run for her money because quite honestly this was what I wanted her to do the entire book! I’m so glad Aled and her reconciled and I was glad Frances and Carys got a chance to talk about the night she vanished.

3

Frances & Aled:

”So why have you been talking to me then?” he said. At the exact moment he said, “I’m so unimpressive,” I said, “Because you’re cool.”
We looked at each other.
Then he laughed softly and shook his head. “This is so weird.”

Boy their relationship was one hell of a rollercoaster! When they got to know each other and started to work on “Universe City” I was so happy for them but the more Aled’s mother and the fandom of Radio interfered, the more their friendship got under attack. I really would have loved for them just to do their own thing and not to be bothered by anything but of course life had other plans. I mean it’s no wonder Aled kind of broke under the pressure. Between the constant emotional abuse of his mother and the personal attacks of the fandom it would have been hard for anyone to keep on swimming. So bless Frances for always trying to reach out to him! Heaven knows Aled’s condition and his character didn’t make it easy to get through to him, but she never gave up on him and that’s what true friends do! Even though I’ve to admit that he said quite hurtful things to her and it’s no wonder she was insecure about their friendship. Still, at the end they found together again and I was very glad they did! =)

He laughed again and hid his face under the blanket.
“Why are you so nice to me?”
“Because I’m an angel.”
“You are.” He stretched out his arm and patted me on the head. “And I’m platonically in love with you.”
“That was literally the boy-girl version of ‘no homo’, but I appreciate the sentiment.”

He wrenched his hand back. “It’s fine. She’s always like this.”
“Does she hurt you?” I said. “Tell me if she hurts you. Right now. I’m serious.”
“No. I swear she doesn’t. He waved his injured hand. “This was an accident.”
“That’s not right. She can’t just – She just – What the fuck, I mean …”

”I’m just the replacement. You’re obsessed with me. Just the same as Carys, and you’ve managed to fuck up the only thing I had, the only good thing I fucking have, just like you managed to fuck up Carys’s. D’you fancy me as well?”

”Do you want to be famous?”
“I just … want to be special.”
“You are special.”
He laughed and said, “Shut up.”

Frances & her mum:

”Don’t let him escape!” said Mum. “This could be your only chance at securing a spouse!”

I swear Frances’s mum is kick-ass! I strive to be as cool as her once my little one is in her teens! I mean that woman wore a unicorn onesie and was basically an angel! I loved that Frances could talk with her about everything and that she always listened to her daughter’s troubles. She didn’t judge and let Frances figure out things for herself and most importantly: She accepted her the way she was!!! Even when Frances told her that she didn’t want to go to university she was totally okay with it and respected her daughter’s decision! I just loved that she was so supportive! She was the total opposite of Aled’s mum and I really liked that parents weren’t just mentioned as a footnote in “Radio Silence” but actually were a part of their children’s lives! =) This is really rare in YA and I appreciated it immensely!

”I don’t think I want to go to university.”
“Oh, Frances.” She didn’t sound disappointed. “That’s okay.”
“Is it okay?” I asked, because I wasn’t sure.
“Yes,” she said. “It’s okay.”

Aled & his mum:

”She looked terrifying, in that classic white, middle-class mum sort of way. Dyed cropped hair, slightly round physique, a smile that said ‘Can I get you a cup of tea?’ and eyes that said ‘I will burn everything you love.’

I really hated this woman! So, so much! GRRR!!! She stands for everything a parent shouldn’t do and be and URGH! I just couldn’t with her! I mean who ruins their children’s life? Who takes a scissor and cuts their son’s hair even though he said he doesn’t want to cut it?! Like seriously!?? And don’t even get me started on her changing Aled’s room! That was his personal space his safe haven and she destroyed it because she thought it was too messy?! WTF?! YOU. DON’T. INVADE. YOUR. CHILD’S. PRVIVATE. SPACE. EVER.!!! You let them put up posters, you let them scribble poetry on a white board, you idk give them room to breathe and to be who they are!! You don’t destroy their home! And then the thing with Aled’s dog Brian?! WTH?! Which mother does things like that?! I’m outraged and furious about this behaviour from a person that should lover her child unconditionally! The emotional abuse this woman put her children through isn’t normal and it’s extremely appalling! She might have never raised her hand against them but the emotional scars her actions left are at least as severe as if she would have hit them. All throughout the entire book I just wanted to call the youth welfare office! >_< I can’t with this woman. I just can’t! I’m so glad Carys and Aled aren’t with her anymore. They suffered enough! And this from a woman that birthed them and should have loved them… *shakes head*

”Aled was going to cry when he saw this.
She had taken his private space – his home – and destroyed it.
She took everything he loved and ruined it.”

”But we were sitting under the streetlamps and Aled was shaking in my arms and this was real, this was happening. She was taking everything Aled had and burning it. She was burning him, slowly, until he died.”

Daniel & Aled:

”I think we were so caught up in each other that we just… missed all the heteronormative propaganda that’s thrust at you when you’re that age.”

Ahh those two were actually kinda cute! Daniel broke my heart when he spoke about their relationship with Frances though. I think for him it must have been very difficult to deal with Aled. On the one hand he was his best friend and knew him better than anyone else but on the other hand he had no idea how he truly felt about him. I could understand why Aled was insecure about outing himself as demisexual. A lot of people never heard of it and he had only just begun to figure out what this meant for him as a person. I’m sure he didn’t want to hurt Daniel and so he rather pushed him away instead of talking things out. Anyway. It made me happy that they eventually managed to speak about it and I hope that one day they’ll reach the moment when they’ll both feel comfortable enough to show the world. =)

”It was all just for us in private, like we had to protect it, because we didn’t want the rest of the world to ruin it. I don’t really know why… I guess it didn’t feel like we were in a relationship at all. Because we were best friends, first and foremost. So we never knew how we’d explain it to people.”

”I think everyone’s a bit bored with boy-girl romances anyway,” he said. “I think the world’s had enough of those, to be honest.”

The reps and diversity:

This is an Alice Oseman book so the reps and the diversity were amazing! We have Frances who’s bisexual and English/Ethiopian; then there is Aled – the second MC – who is demisexual and his best friend/boyfriend Daniel who is South Korean and gay! Rain a friend of Frances is Indian and last but not least there’s Carys – Aled’s sister – who is a lesbian. So you just gotta love the diversity in this book! Also I think Aled is showing signs of depression but it’s never really verified. (though pretty much implied!)

4

This is probably the best contemporary book I ever read and considering it’s a genre I rarely dive into this should tell you enough! Alice Oseman is a genius and the characters she created, their struggles and friendships, their hopes and dreams, their fears and doubts; they all felt real and more than just a little relatable! “Radio Silence” is the accurate voice of numerous generations, describing the one thing every one of us has to experience in order to become who we truly are: Adolescence! 😉

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crown of Midnight (Sarah J. Maas)

17670709

Rating: 5 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

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

Celaena:

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

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

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

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

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

Chaol:

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

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

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

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

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

Dorian:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nehemia:

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

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

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

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

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

Kaltain and Roland:

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

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

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

3

Celaena & Dorian:

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

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

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

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

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

Dorian & Chaol:

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

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

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

Celaena & Chaol:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Language of Thorns (Leigh Bardugo)

35094043
 
Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
 
Book 20 on My Book List 2020

”Bad fates do not always follow those who deserve them.”

I guess that’s a wisdom that sets the tone for this entire collection of dark fairy tales. If there is a recurrent theme that runs through all of those stories then it’s the fact that the bad guys don’t always get what they deserve. Which, quite honestly, made this even more intriguing for me. So what else did I love about Leigh’s stories? That they were as dark as the midnight hour. *lol* I mean if you’re familiar with fairy tales you know that all of them have a lesson you’re supposed to learn and that they are pretty cruel and wicked as well. So in that regard Leigh certainly delivered. XD Some of those stories gave me goose bumps and caused me to shake my head in disgust. And others made me wonder how different the story could have ended if the characters would have been a little bit more on guard. No matter the outcome of the stories they were all amazing though. As were the drawings around the pages! I loved them so much! There were so many little details and each and every single story turned out to be a flip book when you went through it fast enough. If you ask me a lot of thought went into this book and I really appreciated it.

This said let’s take a short look at the six stories themselves:

Ayama and the Thorn Wood: 4/5

”Then perhaps you might show mercy freely?“
“My father never taught me mercy.”
“And can you not learn?”

I really enjoyed that one even though it kind of reminded me of a combination of “The Beauty and the Beast” and “Arabian Nights”. Well, if the beauty would have been a plain girl instead of a beauty and if the stories wouldn’t have had an ending. *lol*

The Too-Clever Fox: 5/5

”If you like, you may have me as supper. I warn you, though, I am stringy and tough. Only my tongue holds savor. I make a bitter meal, but excellent company.”

Ahh I really loved that one!! Okay, I might be biased because I love foxes and cunning people/creatures but Koja was awesome! How he got out of the most delicate situations was great and that fox had all my respect! ❤ That ending though!!! I mean I kind of saw it coming but boy!!! O_o

The Witch of Duva: 5/5

”What is it you want?”
“I want to go home,” said Nadya.
“Well then,” said Magda. “You’d better start shoveling.”

This was a totally unique story and I never heard anything like it before. It plays with how people perceive others and it shows that you should never give into your prejudices. I really loved that one and the moral of the story was driven home with quite a punch. XD (That one actually cause me to feel a little sick. >_< )

Little Knife: 3/5

”Papa forgive me, but what way is this to find a husband? Soon I will have a fine mirror, but will I have good man?”

For some reason this was the story I enjoyed least. I don’t know why but maybe because it wasn’t all too shocking? I mean there is definitely a lesson to be learned and Semyon’s relationship as a tidemaker with the river was interesting, but the ending… I dunno. *shrugs* Maybe I didn’t like the fact that the beautiful girl always obeyed her father’s wishes. *lol*

The Soldier Prince: 4,5/5

”Are you mine?”

Okay! For me that one was super creepy because I’m kind of afraid of dolls and clowns. You might call it a mild coulrophobia and automatonophobia? >_< They just scare the bejesus out of me. (I know why I never read “It”.) So this story was kinda tough to read and gave me all sorts of anxiety. I somehow managed to get through it though and I’m glad I survived it. I have absolutely no idea how Clara and Frederik could play with the Soldier Prince, let alone love him, but oh well. Still, that ending…. *shudders and hides under a blanket*

When Water sang Fire: 3,5/5

”Magic doesn’t require beauty,” she said. “Easy magic is pretty. Great magic asks that you trouble the waters. It requires a disruption, something new.”

I think we can all agree that this was some sort of “The Little Mermaid” retelling and the longest story out of those six. The relationship between Ulla and Signy was really interesting but if you ask me it was only friendship. I know some people thought they might have a relationship but I doubt it. They both just loved to sing and were connected through their magic and their love for music. The ending didn’t really surprise me and Roffe’s character and his intentions were obvious right from the start. The most interesting piece here was probably the apprentice, which apparently was the Darkling?! I dunno. He was a too little part of this story to actually make assumptions. 

4

This was the perfect Halloween read and if you love creepy and dark fairy tales this is definitely your kind of book! The cover, the illustrations and the flip book element only made this even more enjoyable and every time I picked up “The Language of Thorns” I had a smile on my face. I just loved to hold this in my hands! If you want to read those stories properly, I’d recommend going for a physical copy. You won’t regret it. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Toll (Neal Shusterman)

44771022. sy475

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, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Foxhole Court (Nora Sakavic)

17259690

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 15 on My Book List 2020

„Easy, easy.” Andrew lifted his hands in a careless shrug. “Why bother? It’s a cruel world, right Neil? You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.”
“It’s not the world that’s cruel,” Neil said. “It’s the people in it.“

trigger warnings:drug abuse, a character being drugged against his will, physical child abuse, violence, emotional abuse, bullying, dysfunctional relationships, sexual assault

I don’t know why I waited three freaking years to read this, but I could really kick myself for procrastinating so long! Then again maybe it’s good I waited so long because I’m pretty sure my younger self would have gobbled this book down like nobody’s business and then would have regretted not giving it the attention it deserves! *lol*

So yes, I’m three years wiser now and even though I learned to savour books I still had a really tough time trying not to rush through this, because people! THIS IS SO GOOD!!!!  Yes, I know, I know! It’s no Shakespear or Wilde, but even though there isn’t a lot of plot or background to go with this fictional world there is something it definitely has going for itself! Its amazing characters and Exy!!! And boy did I love both! XD It’s been a long time I got so consumed by a book and I think it’s mostly due to the super intriguing characters.

“The Foxhole Court” is nothing but character driven and ahh do I love books like that! *lol* I mean if you’re looking for logic or sophisticated words this most definitely isn’t the right book for you, but if you decide to leave your logic at the front door and dive into this without overthinking it too much instead: Well, then you’re in for a real treat! I guess to some degree you should actually read this book like it’s a game. Enjoy the rush of the moment, follow your instincts, trust your heart and thoroughly ignore the voice at the back of your mind.  ;-P If you follow those instructions you might be able to enjoy it as much as I did. *lol*

And since I can’t wait to gush about all those lovely characters I’ll call it a day now and just jump into my character’s section instead! XD

2

You are now a student at Palmetto State University, so tread carefully and don’t enter the Foxes dorms. If you don’t head this well-intentioned advice you’ll be confronted with a bunch of spoilers that might ruin the fun for you! Coach Wymack says: Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

Neil Josten:

”This was the only thing he had left that was real. Now that he’d had a taste of it again, he didn’t know how to walk away from it.”

I swear Neil Josten is a precious baby bean and everyone who wants to hurt him will have to go through me first! <333 I mean it! This boy is so sweet and innocent and this even though so many horrible things happened to him. He needs to be protected at all costs and I’m ready to defend him with my life! I love Neil so, so much and I hated that he was so down and broken at the beginning of the book. I mean that boy didn’t even have any hope and then the Foxes found him and BAM his life took a 180 degree spin and never stopped moving ever since. Also his character development was amazing! At first he’s so very careful and guarded, he’s so afraid of taking a wrong step that he doesn’t even allow himself to breath. Well, and then he joins the Foxes and his true character gets a chance to come out. And boy, did I love the boy he hid inside!! Neil can be so sassy and vigorous! I had no idea! ❤ I want more of this Neil and to be entirely honest I can’t wait to pick up the next book! 😉 My kicked puppy is turning into a true lion  fox and I need that new Neil like I need air to breath! XD

”Keys meant Neil had explicit permission to be here and do what he liked. They meant he belonged.”

”Neil stepped over it and went to stand in front of Wymack: within arm’s reach but just barely. He’d perfected that trick as a kid. He could look at anyone’s arms and judge the safe distance from them in a heartbeat. If they had to move to hit him, he had enough time to dodge. Either way he wouldn’t catch the full intended force of their blow.”

Riko’s smile could have frozen hell. „I am not scared of Kevin. I know him.“
„You’re going to eat those words,“ Neil said. „You’re going to choke on them.“

Andrew Minyard:

”Oh,” Andrew said. “Oh, you might actually turn out to be interesting. For a little while, at least. I don’t think the amusement will last. It never does.”

I know about half of the people who will read this will be like WTH?! But I’ll still say it anyway: I LOVE AND ADORE ANDREW MINYARD THAT LITTLE SHIT!!!! *lol* Yes, his character is problematic and shady af but I don’t care! XD That controlling, bitchy and crazy bastard won over my heart the moment he appeared on page and even though I hated that he drugged Neil I still kind of get why he did it?! Most people will say he’s a psycho and even though that might be true, he’s still a psycho with a big heart. Andrew loves his family and he would do anything for them! Yes, he’d even go to the length of drugging a person he sees as a threat just to make sure that she/he isn’t. Andrew is fiercely protective of the people he loves and cares about and I can relate to that. So you might say I understand the person that’s hidden behind all those carefully crafted layers of craziness. His character is very intriguing and I’m sure there is so much more to him than initially meets the eye. Is it totally illogical and unrealistic that a person that’s so small (5ft, we’re talking 5ft here, people) is as intimidating and dangerous as Andrew? Yes, but it’s fun nevertheless and we all know that even the smallest person can pack a punch. ;-P I want more of him. Period!!! ❤

”Let Andrew give you things if he wants to. He’s not normally the gifting type, so it’s kind of fun.”

„Oh, he made it,“ Andrew said. „That’s interesting.“
He pressed two fingers to Neil’s throat,checking his pulse. When Neil tried to bat him away, Andrew caught his wrist with his free hand. His smile was small and fierce as he leaned forward into Neil’s space.
„Remember this feeling. This is the moment you stop being the rabbit.“

Coach Wymack:

”Did you think I made the team the way it is because I thought it would be a good publicity stunt? It’s about second chances, Neil. Second, third, fourth, whatever, as long as you get at least one more than what anyone else wanted to give you.”

I really liked Coach Wymack because even though his players don’t seem to see it, it’s obvious that he has a big heart! This man cares for his team and he’s providing them with a safe environment to spread their wings. Something tells me that someone gave him a second, third or even fourth chance when he was younger and that he’s trying to do the same for the members of his team. I hope we’ll find out more about his past in the other books and I’m definitely ready to dive into his background story. =) Coach Wymack is the best!

Kevin Day:

”Tetsuji took Kevin in and took over his training, but he also gave Kevin to Riko – literally. Kevin isn’t human to them. He’s a project. He’s a pet, and it’s Riko’s name on his leash. The fact he ran away is a miracle. If Tetsuji called tomorrow and told him to come home, Keven would. He knows what Tetsuji would do to him if he refused. He’d be too afraid to say no.”

I’m going to be honest here: Kevin is still an enigma to me and even though he’s an integral part of the story because of his connection to Neil I still didn’t get a feel for his character. If you ask me that’s mostly due to the fact that he rarely talks and that he lives in his own world. Exy is everything for him and everything else that’s around him isn’t important if it doesn’t have to do with the sport. *lol* So yep, all I know is that Exy is Kevin’s life and that he was raised as Riko’s peronal toy. Maybe that’s even the reason why his character is so bland. He never got a chance to do what HE wanted to do and therefore never was able to develop his own character. Guess I’ll have to continue with the series to see some of his true self. 😉

”If you won’t play with me, you’ll play for me,” Kevin said. “You’re never going to get there on your own, so give your game to me.”

Riko Moriyama:

Riko jerked back a bit in surprise, started to school his expression into something more civil, and gave up when he realized who had joined them.
„We were just talking about you,“ Riko said.
„With your fists, it seems,“ Andrew said. „Don’t touch my things, Riko, I don’t share.“

Now here’s a character I instantly disliked! XD Riko is so smug and full of himself that I just wanted to punch him in his face! Thankfully Neil already did that for me. Verbally but still! *lol* I can’t believe Kevin was raised with Riko and I feel very sorry for him. To be in the shadow of such a guy must have hurt and the fact that he broke his hand… *shakes head* Some part of me really hopes that Riko will be put in his place and I’m about a 100% sure we’ll say way more of him in those other books than we actually want to. >_<

3

Neil & Andrew:

„Your loose ends aren’t adding up.“
„I’m not a math problem.“
„But I’ll still solve you.“

THOSE TWO!!!! I SHIP THEM SO HARD AND I SHIP THEM LIKE THERE’LL BE NO TOMORROW!! *lol* I mean honestly!! Their chemistry! The way they interact, all those little subtle nuances in their conversations, those seemingly insignificant and infinitesimal touches. I saw it between Ronan and Adam and I’m seeing it here!!! This ship is going to sail and BURNNN BRIGHT!!! And I’m so here to see it! <333 Also I kind of love how Andrew always seems to be pulled towards Neil when he’s in his orbit!! Did anyone realize how often he’s leaning closer to him because I certainly did!!! I want those two to give into their feelings … badly… very badly! *lol* And I hope that Andrew will let Neil in as much as Neil let him in. I mean at the end of the book he basically entrusted him with his life and I want … no actually I NEED Andrew to open up to Neil! Gosh I just need more of them and I’m beginning to realize that I’m total Neil & Andrew trash! *LOL*

Neil tensed as Andrew’s fingers wrapped around the back of his neck, but Andrew only wanted to pull Neil’s head down. Neil focused on Andrew’s cheekbone so as not to go cross-eyed and let Andrew study his eyes.
“Another bit of unexpected honesty,” Andrew said. “Any particular reason?”
“Nicky asked nicely. You might try it sometime.”
“We already talked about this. I don’t ask.” Andrew gave Neil another slow once-over and let go.

”What would it take to make you stay?”
The question was so unexpected Neil had to turn back. “What?”
Andrew laughed quietly at his shock and leaned forward. “Name it and it’s yours. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as you stand your ground here with us.”
“I can’t.”
“You can. You have everything you need to survive. You’re just too afraid to see it.“

”He knows what it’s like to hate every day of his life, to wake up afraid every day, but he’s got you at his back telling him everything’s going to be okay. He has everything, even when he’s lost everything, and I’m – “ Neil didn’t want to say it, but the word was already there, broken and pathetic between them, “nothing. I’ll always have and be nothing.”
Andrew reached up and forcibly uncurled Neil’s fingers from his mouth. He pushed Neil’s hand out of the way and stared Neil down with nothing between them. Neil didn’t understand the look on his face. There was no censure over Neil’s crooked parents or pity for their deaths, no triumph over having backed Neil into admitting so much, and no obvious skepticism for such an outlandish story. Whatever this look was, it was dark and intense enough to swallow Neil whole.

”A group of people shouldered their way up to the bar counter at Neil’s back, pushing him into Andrew. Andrew didn’t budge beneath his weight. He was something solid to lean against, something violent and fierce and unmoving. Neil couldn’t remember what it felt like to have someone hold him up. It was terrifying and liberating all at once. His life was out of his control now; he was giving it to Andrew and hoping Andrew would keep it safe.”

Kevin & Andrew:

”Help me,” Kevin said, almost a whisper.
Andrew clucked his tongue and cocked his head to one side. “Help you? Help a man who lies to my face for a month? How?”
“I want to stay,” Kevin said. “I’ll ask you again: don’t let him take me away.”
“You’re the one who would tell him yes,” Andrew said. “Maybe you forgot.”

Those two have such an intriguing dynamic! I really don’t know what’s going on between them and why Kevin trusts Andrew so much but I’m more than just ready to solve that mystery! Also I hope one day it will be explained why everyone has so much respect of Andrew. Even Riko has respect and considering he’s the baddie of the story this is interesting! What did Andrew do??!! And what exactly is his deal with Kevin?! Because they definitely made some sort of deal, I just have no idea what it might entail. I need answers. XD

Neil & Riko:

”I will ask you only once to tone down that animosity.”
“I can’t,” Neil said. “I have a bit of an attitude problem.”
Riko’s smile was all ice. “A bit?”

And here comes my favourite part of the entire book! I LOVED how Neil put Riko into his place during the TV interview!!! GOSH! That scene was EVERYTHING and if that’s Neil’s true self I’m really desperate to see more of him! ❤ I swear Neil giving Riko a run for his money is my new aesthetic! *lol* I, for my part, wouldn’t mind to read more about Neil’s “attitude problem”, yet at the same time I’m kind of afraid what Riko will do. He won’t accept this and some part of me is worried that he’ll hurt my precious baby bean. >_< Ahh! I really need to read book two!

4

I never expected to love this so much but right from the very first sentence this world drew me in, locked the door and threw the key away. In short: I’ve been a goner the moment I started to read this and I’m afraid my addiction will only get even worse. XD Yes, this sometimes reads like fan fiction and yes, the mental health rep in this is more than just a little sketchy (if not completely unrealistic, weird and – I’m no expert – wrong) but as I already pointed out earlier in my review: This is not a book to read with your mind, this is a book you’ll have to read following your gut instinct. So all told this book is problematic af, kind of unrealistic and definitely politically incorrect in so many different ways and on so many levels… but I still loved it!? O_o On to the next one! *lol*

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Sadie (Courtney Summers)

34810320. sy475
Rating: 4 Pfoten
 

”For some people, the future ahead is opportunity. For others, it’s only time you haven’t met and where I lived, it was only time. You don’t waste your breath trying to protect it. You just try to survive it until one day, you don’t.”

My first reaction when I finished this book was:

THIS BOOK WILL HAUNT ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

And I still stand by my initial response. Never in my entire life have I read a book that haunts me as much as “Sadie” does and quite honestly: I hope I’ll never ever read another book like it ever again. >_<  This book was so tough to read and whenever I picked it up I found myself taking a deep breath before I could dive back in. I had to prepare for this story because it’s such a heavy one and believe me when I say that I barely made it through the entire book.

Not because it wasn’t good, but because it felt like I’d choke on my own feelings whenever I read it. As a loving parent “Sadie” was exceptionally hard to digest and it’s eerie and haunting atmosphere only made it even harder to continue. I’m going to be honest here: I hated almost all of the adults in this book because they JUST DIDN’T CARE!!! Who lets a young 19 year old girl run around in the world without any guidance? So many people crossed Sadie’s path but almost none of them tried to help her and even less tried to convince her to stay, let alone to get some sort of aid.

”I can’t undo everything that’s already been done. How do you forgive the people who are supposed to protect you? Sometimes I don’t know what I miss more: everything I ‘ve lost or everything I never had.”

I for my part can’t forgive the people who were supposed to protect Mattie and Sadie. They all failed and none of them, none of them was there for those two girls when they needed it the most. Yes, May Beth tried and true, West McCray did his best to find Sadie but the rest of them? Caddy, Silas, Marlee, Ellis, Clair Southern (Sadie’s and Mattie’s mother I may add!!) they were all horrible adults and I really hope that karma will bite them in their asses.  XD Sure, some of them might have been overtaxed with their own lives and troubles, but they all had a chance to do what’s right and none of them went for it. >_< When given the choice they always chose themselves.

”I forget that at times, I was a kid, that I did kid things. That I read about the girls I dreamed of being.”

And because of actions like that, because of their neglect, Mattie died and Sadie went on a journey to revenge her sister’s murder. She left everything she ever knew behind because she was determined to kill the man who murdered the only person that meant the world to her. Sadie isn’t on a quest, she’s on a mission and it’s to find the bastard who killed her sister and to put him six feet under, no matter the consequences, no matter the cost. It’s a road trip of sorts, and Sadie is driven by anger and revenge. By a sheer insatiable hunger to get rid of the one thing that destroyed her entire world; to stop him from doing the same to others. To end him before he ends anyone else.

”In Mattie, Sadie found a sense of purpose, a place to put her love. But love is complicated, it’s messy. It can inspire selflessness, selfishness, our greatest accomplishments and our hardest mistakes. It brings us together and it can just as easily drive us apart.

It can drive us.”

I was with Sadie every step of the way. I suffered with her, I bled with her, I hurt with her, I despaired and cried with her, and I felt her profound and all-consuming grief! I felt what Sadie felt and I admired her resilience. This girl! This girl is one of the bravest I ever read about. The guilt that consumed her, the conviction that she could have done something, anything to save her sister’s life… Gods, at times it was so overwhelming the ink spilled from the pages and punctured my heart. T_T

„Thirteen, Mattie.
I kept you alive for thirteen years.
Waking her up in the morning, making her meals, walking her to the school bus, waiting for her at its stop when the day was over, grinding my bones to dust just to keep us holding on and when I lay it out like that, I don’t know how I did it. I don’t know where, underneath it all, you’d find my body. And I don’t care. I’d do it all again and again for eternity if I had to.
I don’t know why that’s not enough to bring her back.“

Sadie wasn’t just Mattie’s sister, she was her friend, her partner in crime and most of all… she was her mother. The love she felt for her sister, it was the purest thing and it was taken away from her. Violently and brutally. It’s no wonder Sadie harbours vengeful thoughts. Every mile hurt, every second was painful and with every city she leaves the inevitable pinnacle draws closer. And all the time West and May Beth are retracing and following her steps, trying to find a girl that is close to come unglued. At the risk of repeating myself: It’s haunting, it’s eerie, it’s urgent and it’s insistent in its intensity.

„I’m going to kill a man.
I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out. You aren’t supposed to answer violence with more violence but sometimes I think violence is the only answer. It’s no less than he did to Mattie, so it’s no less than he deserves.“

I’m still not over “Sadie” and I get the feeling I’ll never be. This book was unlike anything I ever read and its vehemence will stick with me for years to come. As will one of the first sentences of this book:

”I can’t take another dead girl.”

Neither can I. >_<

trigger warningsmurder, paedophilia, sexual abuse, child abuse, violence, addiction & drug abuse, parental negligence, assault