Posts Tagged ‘Young Adult’

The Assassin and the… – Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass short stories)

Because I’m lazy, I’m going to do all four prequel short stories in one quick post!

So these short stories are in the world of Throne of Glass, which is the first book in a series, and I personally really enjoyed reading that book!

Summary (I’m just going to do it book by book, and because they’re short stories I’m not going to actively try to avoid spoilers- just warning!)

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1)The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Celeana and her rival Sam went to negotiate a deal with the Pirate Lord as compensation for him killing some of their assassins (I think). But then she realizes that the compensation is actually in slaves, everything changes (without trying to sound cliché). She then does everything to try to free them with the help of Sam. (note. If you have read Throne of Glass before at this point she isn’t in love with Sam. In fact she hates him. Him on the other hand…). And so it ends with them freeing the slaves and killing the pirate lord and then going back to Arobynn, who is going to be very very angry at having lost so much money.

The Assassin and the DesertThe Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2)
After going back to Arobynn having freed the slaves with Sam she is sent to the Desert to train as a punishment for a month. At the desert she is trying to get a letter of approval from the head guy to prove that she didn’t just run off. While there she makes friends with this girl called Ansel who then in turn betrays her and the locals- she comes with them with an army because the guy with the army promised her an army to regain her homeland. But while this was all happening Celeana was also having flashbacks of what happened when she got back. Once she got back from the Pirate Lord Arobynn was very angry and therefore beat her up in front of Sam, and throughout the whole short story she was trying to remember what she heard him saying while Arobynn was beating her up. In the end it was “I will kill you”, showing that he suddenly is on her side rather than the guy who basically acted  as a very bad father towards them.

The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3)The Assassin and the Underworld
To try to make up beating her up Arobynn lets her have a mission to kill someone who is supposedly with the slave trade. But Shock. Horror. He isn’t. He was actually against the slave trade and was trying to work a path of safe houses and a route for escaped slaves. So in this book Celeana actually becomes the villain. This book also progresses her relationship with Sam as they were on the mission together.

The Assassin and the EmpireThe Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4)
This was probably my favourite out of the short stories. Celeana and Sam have broken away from Arobynn because he is just evil, but he doesn’t want them to leave. So they struck a deal with him saying that if he allowed them to leave they would pay him a great sum of money. But the slight problem is, they are unable to get that sort of money, until this assassination comes up which involves killing their old clan’s rival; a seemly impossible task which many have attempted and failed. Sam eventually after much persuasion goes alone to deliver the final blow, but he then goes missing for a night and doesn’t return on time. The morning after Arobynn turns up uninvited at their apartment and delivers the note that Sam is dead. Celeana obviously angry goes to seek revenge and tries to kill all of the people who lead to the death of Sam. But it turns out to be a trap and she then gets captured. The book then ends with Arobynn standing and looking over her prison cart as it drove away, and being questioned by someone why he did it. His reply was “Because I don’t like sharing my belongings”

Cons

The length of the titles
It just take me so much effort to type out but at the same time I’m too lazy to copy and paste letters and words.

Celaena
For some reason, I’m not sure what, she just seems different in these short stories than in the actual book. I can’t quite place my finger on what it is. Maybe I just imagined it.

Pros

Backstory vs Present
I liked how in these books it kinda explained the personality of Celaena and why she is like that. For example when she goes “I will not be afraid”  because it was what Sam used to do and why she won’t trust any girls because of Ansel (sexist. I know.)

Backstory
I always feel that once you know someone’s backstory you end up knowing them better and I did feel this was true for Celeana. It made us understand her more and why she is so icy and steely.

Arobynn
He was a good hero/ villain. Even at the end he was still a “hero”ish in Celeana’s eyes. Even in Throne of Glass she was refusing to admit to herself that Arobynn was the one who sold her out even though there was no other good suspect. I just kinda liked/ hated their relationship.

Favourite Quotes

  • “She lifted her chin. “I’ve been shouting for you.”
    Sam shrugged, sauntering over to her. “I figured you could wait a few minutes, given that I saved the day and all.” His brows rose high on his ash-covered face.
    “Some hero.” She gestured to the ruin of the tower around them. “I’ve never seen such sloppy work”
  • “Well she’d kill him if he was dead”
  • “Words could be just as deadly as steel.”
  • “If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it—to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger. But Ansel let her pain become hate, and let it consume her until she became something else entirely—a person I don’t think she ever wished to be”
  • “When we die,” she said, “I don’t think the gods will even know what to do with us.”
  • “Now that Sam was dead, there wasn’t anything left outside of the dungeons worth fighting for, anyway. Not when Adarlan’s Assassin was crumbling apart, and her world with her”

Overall
So yeah. These stories were good. I personally read these after Throne of Glass but I don’t think it really matters. It might be better to read before just so you know all the characters and stuff, but then reading it after would intensify the mystery of who sold her out and who is Sam, but I’ve basically just gone and told you the plot anyway so too late now 😉
I would probably still give these 5 shuriken stars overall as a short story series, but I felt that some of them were clearly much better than others.

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Throne of Glass- Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

You know the saying “Never judge a book by its cover?” I think it should be used more, When I was getting round to reading this book, I kept trying to put it off because I didn’t like the cover. It seemed like a book which would have a good concept and potential but would just fall flat because the main character was needy and annoying. While some people may agree with the latter, this character was in no way needy.

I’m rambling.

But what I’m trying to get across is that if you read the first few chapters, pages, 100 minus your age, 50 pages, or whatever rule you use; and still end up hating it, then just give up. But this book is a lot better than it looks 🙂

Summary (sorry in advance for the excessive use of brackets. Ironic how this is in brackets… :P)

There’s this girl called Celaena who, at the beginning, is in the salt mines prison because she was this awesome master assassin. Although she has been in prison for around a year (I think) she has no idea who betrayed her and got her captured.

Just to let you know – by the end of this book we still don’t know “how” she was captured, so being me and hating mysteries (which is why I can never read murder mystery stories!) I read all of the short stories straight after (review to come) and they revealed who betrayed her. (dun dun dun!)

She then strikes a deal with the Crown Prince Dorian: she must take part in a competition which, if she wins – after a few years secretly serving as the kings assassin – she will be free. This book focuses on the competition, however, then, some fellow competitors turn up dead.

Cons

Suspected love triangle
I just hope in the next book this doesn’t become a big thing because loads of books with loads of potential just get ruined by a love triangle.

Celaena
I personally loved her, but that doesn’t mean that there were faults with her that I can see other people having an issue with. She was quite – or very, in fact – arrogant. I personally found it amusing. However, she just seemed too perfect. She was a master assassin having trained for years, she loved to read, to go to the library, as well as look pretty and play games. We also know that she only started her training at around 10? (not entirely sure, but I think its around that age) and I just don’t understand how someone can have so many hobbies and be so skilled at killing.

Cover
I’ll call them cover 1 and cover 2 🙂 Cover 1 is the one nearer the top of the page and cover 2 is the one which is lower down the page.
Lets start in order with cover 1: it looks too artificial and like a chickflick and well, to be blunt – crap. “Oh look, I’m a pretty girl who has just been starving in the salt mines for months as I survive off non-nutritious food, but who cares if it’s not accurate as long as I look nice. I’ll just pretend to be strong by standing in a “strong” pose and flexing my arm which has basically nothing but skin on it and clenching my fist. I’m so strong!”
Now onto cover 2: “Move the hell outta the way or I will slash you down where you stand.”

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Pros

Plot
Fast paced. Interesting. Complex. Fit well together. What more could you want?

Characters
It was just so strange how at one point I would be raving for the awesomeness of the character and then a few pages after I was hating that person. I kinda both loved and hated how the writer had the capacity to change our feelings so quickly and dramatically.
Celaena: Although I had a small paragraph about her in the “Cons”, there are still are few awesome parts of her that I think it would be a shame not to mention. She is one of those “strong female lead characters” but there is something different about her, as she wasn’t just a strong role, but she had a feminine side which just makes her a more well-rounded character.

The Concept
Come on! Thieves, Assassins, Murderers… etc. competing against each other for the ultimate prize, and then we weave in some magic and people start dying unexpectedly and then some awesome characters 🙂

Love Triangle
Don’t get me wrong I am not approving of the love triangle or love triangles in general, I would just like to say that, although a love triangle was present from almost the first few pages, it didn’t take over and dominate the book like a lot of other books tend to do. Instead it was done quite subtly and well… it wasn’t really a triangle at all as it wasn’t made that clear who liked who.

Excitement for the next book
So many unanswered questions, which I’m just going to blare out now, so, sorry if you haven’t read the book! (NB: some of these questions get answered in the short stories).

  • Where did the king go on the odd journey?
  • Why were all the guards dead after the odd journey?
  • Who exactly is Perrington?
  • How did she get caught?
  • Who betrayed her?
  • Who was Sam?
  • Is Arobynn still alive?
  • What is she going to be made to do?

The good thing is though, even though there are so many unanswered questions the book is coming out soon!

Favourite Quotes

  • “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons”
  • “We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most”
  • “My name is Celaena Sardothien. But it makes no difference if my name’s Celaena or Lillian or Bitch, because I’d still beat you, no matter what you call me”
  • “Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us–to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them”
  • “Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters”

Overall
I loved this book. Although there were some flaws overall I still thought this book was great, as long as you are willing to put up with the “perfectness” and “arrogance” of Celaena even if the two characteristics contradict each other to a certain extent :P. When I read this book I was in a good mood, so I decided to give it 5 shuriken stars :).

The Kill Order – James Dashner

The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #0.5)To be honest I was a little disappointed by the ending of the Death Cure partly due to the fact that Thomas’ best friend/ worst enemy, died and the evil annoying Brenda survived. So naturally, I was hoping that this book would explain the relationship between the two. It didn’t happen. But nonetheless it was a good book!

Summary
Spoilers to follow- but obvious spoilers.

Unlike what I thought it didn’t follow the story of Thomas and Teresa in their early years (ish.- it involves one of them for half the book). It  is set 13 years before the day that Thomas goes into the Glade and follows the story of Mark and Trina.

Wow. A lot of the main characters have T names!

So back to the story.

Trina and Mark are experiencing the world during/ after the sun flares. At first they are surviving just great! Then comes the evil people who shoot darts at people turning them dead or into what we call cranks now. So then Mark and Trina’s little gang run and get into all sorts of mess, and along the way pick up a kid who is immune (not telling who! :P) and then as you can expect they all die since we haven’t heard about them at all from the other books…

Cons
The Deaths
They were a little hurried. If I had just read them I may not have understood, but because my brother had read it before me, I knew what happened so yeah. I just thought it was a little hurried.

Pros
The last page
It included an awesome part at the back by James Dashner saying what his “Top ten things he’d want during the apocalypse”. It has The Kill Order. James Dashnerinspired me to make my own- to come probably!

Background of the background
In the book there is the background story of Mark and Trina and how they survived the apocalypse while it happened, and in the present they were coping with death and destruction. I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence. Death and Destruction.

Action packed
As my brother put it. It was full of action as the title suggests and fast paced.

Madness
Losing your mind is scary, terrifying maybe and definitely hard to write, since people who go crazy, tend not to get better. But James Dashner did it perfectly. Each time something snapped within Mark’s head it was described so well and awesome and amazing and sad and depressing.

Character relationships
Dee Dee and Trina especially. It was adorable. Another character relationship which was adorable; Trina and Mark. They were so cute together! But I did want to know properly how they got together, because to me (I may have misread part or skipped out some by accident) at one point it was like they were just friends and then they were making out. But they were so cute!! And it tore me apart half way when Trina didn’t remember him ;(

Favorite Quotes

  • “Let’s get this started, people. It won’t be long before we all lose our minds”
  • “What would I do without you? I’d die of stress and depression before nature killed me”
  • “Mark thought that was all barking up the wrong tree. “Or they ran away from the fire. Not every person on earth is as wacky-brained as you, good sir. Most people see a huge roaring inferno coming at them? They decide to cut and run. Just saying”
  • “Though he’d never know for sure what had happened to them, his mind was super talented at imagining the absolute worst.”

Overall
Although this book wasn’t what I was really hoping for in terms of the plot, it still was amazing but depressing at the same time. 5 shuriken stars just like the other books in the series.

Unfed- Kirsty McKay

Unfed (Undead, #2)

Zombies!!!

Summary
Goodreads:
The good news: Bobby survived her Undead school trip. Bad news: her best mate, Smitty, is missing. Bobby knows she’s got to find him even if it means risking it all and going out into the starving-zombie-infested wastelands again. Even if it means taking fellow survivors including a couple of old frenemies along for the ride. And even if the zombies are not the only ones who are chasing them this time.

It also involves a car crash, and evil people who shoot bullets at them, oh and a 22 year old who hits on 15 year olds.

Sidenote: WTH frenemies is underlined in red! Apparently it isn’t a word! Ridiculous.

Cons
The Loss of Smitty
Smitty was missing for about half the book. It depressed me a little.

There isn’t a third book on Goodreads yet…
That means it could take years to come out?! Or maybe it still hasn’t been issued or whatever it is. But but. It means it might not even be out this year, because Unfed was on Goodreads soon after Undead. It’s a disaster.

Pros
Zombies
I love zombies books. I love zombies. But what I love even more is a zombie plague that is caused by carrot juice.

The TitleUndead (Undead, #1)
Undead. Unfed. They’re not only alike, the also rhyme! How awesome is that?! But it does make me wonder a little what the next book is going to be called. Unbed? Unred? Unbread? Unled? Unmed(icine)? Unsaid? Unsled? (and I didn’t totally look up that on a rhyming dictionary…)

Fast Pace
It was like a car. Vroom Vroom. If you have read the book you would get the crap reference.

Hilarious
Funny isn’t usually associated with zombies, but it was hilarious. Bobby was an amazing narrator and she made me crack up each page.

Favourite Quotes

  • “I’m a zom? You’re going to harvest me? You want to make me do stuff  with Smitty?”
  • “I am, essentially, a plant.”
    “Eh, Alice says, Like a tree?”
  • “‘I’m guessing they died. But who knows.’ He shivers. ‘I just hope I don’t bump into any of them out there.’
    ‘Yeah. That does suck’ says Alice. ‘Especially when they try to bite you and you have to cut their head off. Or run over them. Or burn them to crisp.'”
  • “You. Are. Sh*tting. Me.”

Overall
Well.. It’s a zombie book, so if you know me at all, 5 shuriken stars. But if you hate zombies then you are probably heartless yourself and thus probably a zombie. 😛 Oh, the irony.

Champion- Marie Lu (Cover)

Champion (Legend, #3)

It’s so beautiful.

From Goodreads:

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

The only thing that I have against it is that Marie Lu said that “there are a couple of deaths” and “she cried while writing it” and “I enjoy forcing pain and suffering on my characters” :S

Legend (Legend, #1)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Champion (Legend, #3)

And guess what guys?

It comes out on fireworks day (kinda fitting right?), and that’s not even the best part of it.

Drumroll please

It comes out of fireworks day, this year.

2013.

November 5th 2013.

172 Hours on the Moon- Johan Harstad

172 Hours on the MoonI don’t remember the last time I read a book that scared me so much that I had dreams/ nightmares (sorry, can’t really tell them apart; some of the dreams that I dream involve dying, and getting eaten by evil monsters, etc… but I enjoy them!) about them.
For example I read this book about almost a week ago, and it’s only now that I decided that I am forcing myself to type up the review.
It literally scared the heebie-jeebies out of me. (I love that word)
For days as soon as it became dark I drew my curtains to block out the moon.
It didn’t help that once I finished the book and walked out of my room it was just pitch black, and I kept hearing noises- like you do when you’re at home alone.

But hey ho, I can’t deal with horror and suspense movies.
Yeah, it was probably the suspense that scared me more than the actual plot, because I’ve read loads of books with plots similar-ish to this.

I need to stop blabbering

Summary
3 “Lucky” teenagers go to the moon because of some secret NASA plot to “get funding” and “a top secret plot”.
Mia: goes unwillingly (her parents signed her up) to try to give her band fame and glory
Midori: wants to escape from Japan, her home country (I don’t really think the moon was her idea though…)
Antoine: wants to get as far away from his girlfriend as possible- partly to make her want him more, you know, reverse psychology etc.
Then they all end up on the moon. Except it is not what they expected. They can’t trust anyone. And it is so fricking terrifying.

Spoiler to follow
There are aliens on the moon, as you’ve probably guessed. But these aren’t real aliens in the way that we imagine them. They’re just pure evil and take the shape of the humans who arrived then take their place… So you never really know who’s an alien…

Cons
Suspense
It’s also a good thing. But to me, seriously .. bad nights sleeping with exams right around the corner… Not really my cup of tea. Not that I drink tea. Anyway back to the point… the suspense kept me up both reading and hiding under my bedcovers, but I guess that’s my own fault for being scared of ink and paper.

The corridor outside my room
After I finished reading this book, I went out of my room and it was pitch black. I was terrified. There could be anything hiding round the corner, my doppelganger.

It’s one of those books that you need to read more than once to properly understand what happens
But I was too freaked out to reread it.

Pros
The Cover172 Hours on the Moon
It’s just really pretty… I love the eye and the moon on the eye and stuff… But this wasn’t the copy that I had- I had the one here rather than the one at the top. I guess I also like this one, but it just kinda scares me 😛 I do wonder who the girl is though- probably Mia, but its a probably.

Not the typical moon story
But a typical outer-space story, apart from the ending.

SPACE!!!
I love space stories- space as in the universe, not as in like there is no space on the floor of my room because it is covered in junk.

Unexpected ending (spoilers to follow)
So yeah I actually read this spoiler on one of the reviews on Goodreads, but I basically just dismissed it, thinking that they author would never do that because I’ve never seen it done before…
*Spoiler*
Everyone. Dies.
Everyone.
Not just the people who go to the moon.
Everyone.
I’m not going to say any more to keep some of the mystery of what happens

Favourite Quotes

  • “Her reflection did not disappear.”
  • “It’s the trip of a lifetime. If they made it back alive”

Overall
It was wonderfully written because I think it is written to scare, and well, if it isn’t… then it shouldn’t be a cup of tea. I personally would give it 2.5 stars, but that’s definitely biased, because 1. it’s my opinion. and 2. IT SCARED ME SO MUCH. So if it didn’t freak me out loads it would probably be 4.

More Than This- Patrick Ness

THERE’S A NEW PATRICK NESS YA NOVEL COMING OUT!!!

YAYAYAYAYAY!!

Okay now that that is done, here’s the post

It’s called “More Than This” and is going to be released in September 2013, and I’m so excited!!!! His writing style is just so so awesome and flawless and I would say that I hope this book won’t disappoint, but I am sure it won’t…

At first after hearing the title I didn’t really know what to think because it could be anything: from zombies (e.g. there could never be more zombies than this) to a lovey-dovey book (e.g. ahem. I don’t think I really need an example in words- *insert whatever your imagination thinks of*).

But no! It’s something even more awesome! (Well… maybe bordering on zombie awesomeness, because well… zombies are just awesome!): Apocalypse. Alone. Memory loss. Confusion. etc.

From Goodreads (and the cover!- at least I think it is the cover):

More Than ThisFrom two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life — or perhaps afterlife — of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world.

A boy named Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust, and completely abandoned. What’s going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this. . . .

The only thing that annoys me about the goodreads page is that some annoying idiot went and gave the book one star. WHY? (And yes. I did my research and that person did not read the book) Don’t you just hate it when you look at books that haven’t come out and people have already rated it. I guess it’s better if it’s a good rating because then it at least expresses their excitement… but a bad rating from someone who hasn’t even read the book is just sad… sad that they would go looking for books and giving it one star just to spite whoever..
But anyway… that’s a different matter 😛

Anyway…

So I’m kinda curious what’s going to happen now:

  • Who is this Seth?
  • Why doesn’t he die?
  • What part of the story is real?
  • What was the “unthinkable tragedy”?
  • Why is the planet ruined?
  • How is Patrick Ness going to make it all fit together? The only plausible ending that I can think of at the moment is “and it was all a dream” but those endings are… ahem, what’s a nice way to put it?
  • Is this going to be a series?
  • Please please let there be a book tour of this with opportunities for book signings and meetings.

All I can say now is that I can’t wait for this book to finally come out! September really needs to come faster…