I’ve been pretty ill these last few days so this end-of-month post is a week late. But I’m finally on the road to recovery so here it is, the books I have read this month.
Books Read: 5
The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley *****
Legend states that there exists a mighty sword that makes its possessor invincible to his enemies. But there is a curse on anyone who lifts the sword for conquest. King Kareed of Archeld goes after this sword anyway, winning it from the King of Bellandra. When he returns home from battle, he brings his daughter, Princess Torina, two special gifts. One is a unique crystal, in which she can view visions of the future. The other gift is the defeated king’s son Landen, who is to be her slave. Torina immediately releases Landen, who becomes a member of the King’s army and her close friend.
But trouble is lurking in the kingdom of Archeld and people are accusing Landen of plotting against the King. Torina refuses to believe he would hurt her family. Then Torina begins seeing deadly visions in her crystal. Can she save her father’s life and the future of her kingdom?
This is a pretty typical sword and sorcery fantasy book, except when it isn’t (the ‘sword’ is a peaceful guy who doesn’t like hurting people). The characters are well rounded, the action is believable and the story is exciting. It probably wouldn’t win awards for groundbreaking, original storyline but its well written and very enjoyable to read if, like me, you like this kind of book.
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest *****
At the start of the Civil War, a Russian mining company commissions a great machine to pave the way from Seattle to Alaska and speed up the gold rush that is beating a path to the frozen north. Inventor Leviticus Blue creates the machine, but on its first test run it malfunctions, decimating Seattle and uncovering a vein of Blight Gas that turns everyone who breathes it into the living dead. Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.
I was pretty disappointed with this book but I think maybe it was my own fault. I had assumed from the blurb that the story was going to be more about a clever steampunk inventor than what it was about. So, while the story was decent it just wasn’t what I had been looking forward to reading. Also, I love the name Leviticus Blue.
The Child Thief by Brom *****
Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland.
This is a dark retelling of Peter Pan. Peter steals children who are lost and abused and takes them to ‘neverland’ only neverland isn’t what we think it is. Full of monsters, flesh-eaters and dying slowly, Peter needs new recruits to help him fight a war.
I really wanted to love this book. I really did. But, I just felt like Brom didn’t know what story he wanted to tell. Half the book is made up of flashbacks to when Peter first came to Neverland (Avalon in this book) and the other half is the current child used as soldiers story. I thought the last third of the book was much better and, when I think about it, I realise the last third didn’t have any flashbacks in so maybe that’s why. It’s still a very interesting story, as someone who LOVES the original Peter Pan I totally agree with the idea that Peter isn’t as innocent or good as he is made out to be. I just wish it was done a bit better.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey *****
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
On the face of it, this is a YA fantasy romance book. I tend to stay away from them but that wasn’t actually the reason I didn’t like this that much. The ‘romance’ angle isn’t as convoluted and annoying as it normally is, it was actually done quite well. Unfortunately, there were other things I didn’t like much. The POVs for example. Now, I’m not against multiple POV characters at all, some of my favourite books use this (A Game of Thrones anyone?) but it just isn’t done well here. You spend a lot of the time with Cassie, so much so that I assumed it was only her telling the story (it’s done like she is talking to her journal) and then suddenly halfway through we have someone elses POV without any warning or anything. You have to go back and reread it as you don’t even realise you’ve switched. She also spends A LOT of time talking about her feelings rather than telling us whats going on. I can understand why some people like this book but it just wasn’t for me.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo *****
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
I LOVED this book. The characters are great, the story is exciting, I loved the main characters. There really isn’t that much more I can say about it. I don’t give 5 stars very often but this book definitely deserves it. I wasn’t aware this was set in the same world as the Grisha book trilogy until after I finished, I haven’t read them. They don’t affect the story at all.
I nearly gave this 4.5 out of 5 because I wanted to give the world to my favourite character and it didn’t happen but that would have been a very petty reason to lower the rating!