Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

Nightchaser (The Endeavour Trilogy)

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Space pirates, romance, found families

I’ve been looking forward to his book a lot. I do love stories about outlaws in space, especially with a dose of quality romance, even if it was a bit too instantaneous for my personal preferences.
I wouldn’t say this book is without issues – I feel like there could be a bit more of environment/world building; it felt like the book was too short and covered too little – like an introduction that opened a lot of questions and not much else; it asks you to swallow a lot of ‘…but what about this/but why?’; it leaves a lot of characters and interactions out for no reason; the oppressive tyrant image is a bit too tired. And so on.

Nevertheless, even though there’s plenty of angst, it’s exiting and well-written, and the characters all promise to be interesting. There are books, cats, and handsome rogues. What else needs to be said?

‘Wanting more’ is a good thing, but the fact that this was considered ‘enough’ for this book worries me a little. I hope we’ll get more sustenance in the next one, even though it will have to wait for a year.



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Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan

Warsworn (Chronicles of the Warlands, #2)

Warsworn by Elizabeth Vaughan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Excessively angsty, and so deeply unsatisfying it hurts

I honestly hoped to be able to give this book a higher review. I even thought I could dedicate a full star just for the letters from Simus… but that’s just it. Those letters are literally the only enjoyable thing about this book, and there are very few of them…
This book deals with sickness and death for its entirety. It heavy, it’s full of angst, and negative emotions I didn’t need to experience. There is too much faceless death, and also death that hit too close to home.
I can’t really say anything negative about the writing or world/character building.
It’s just that the decisions that were made regarding the events and directions of this book are so very deeply unsatisfying, unreasonable, and hateful.
And the negativity goes on and on. Just as you think that it’s about to let up, something bad happens again. And then again, but worse. And it continues in that manner all the way to the end. And even when you think something good is finally about to happen, someone prevents it. The characters that used to bring joy are mostly gone in one way or another. And there were many frustrating moments where much reasonable things could be done and said to stop more bad from happening, but they for some reason’t weren’t.
It feels as if the author was in a very dark place of mind, and then took it all out on this book and us, unsuspecting readers who thought we were reading a fantasy romance. Which is understandable, but not appreciated.
While I had already read the first book twice, and am likely to read it again sometime, I really don’t think I will ever want to put myself through torture of reading this volume ever again. (Maybe only Simus’s letters…)



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Changeless by Gail Carriger

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)

Changeless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I have very mixed emotions on this.
If I could tear away the last few pages of this book and forget they existed, I probably would have given this book 4-4.5 stars.
The angsty hook/cliff hanger in the end deserves big minus points because a) no one likes them tricks that are designed to push you to get the next book; b) it spoils the taste of the whole book; c) it’s just a dirty move and it gave me entirely too many unnecessary negative emotions.
Seriously though, what the point of ending your book on a note that makes the reader feel like shit?
It threw me off so much I’m having hard time remembering anything good about the book itself, which is unfortunate, because I was pretty sure I was enjoying it.
One positive thing I can say is that the writing style seemed to improve, and there was marginally less of ‘head-hopping’ that made me dizzy in the first book.
Another unfortunate point is that I could help but feel like Ivy’s personality underwent a change to worse. Maybe my impression after the first book was erroneous, but in ‘Soulless’, Ivy read as an eccentric but an interesting character, even with some degree of understanding and thought, that would explain them being friends with the MC. In ‘Changless’, however, she was turned into a ‘annoying simpleton with the worst possible timing’.
Also, entirely too many annoying females for one short book, inho.





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Radiance by Grace Draven

Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)

Radiance by Grace Draven

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I thought I’ll love this book when I reached the part where human appearance was described from the ‘outside’ eyes in all its ugliness. I liked the touch.
In the end, I did love some things about this concept, but I can’t say I 100% believe that it was executed to its full potential. I feel like there was a big stress on differences between races regarding concepts of beauty, and such things as food, but then we hardly got to see any substantial cultural differences. I feel like there are human cultures that have more behavioral differences than humans and Kai have, and in that respect I feel like the concept was underdeveloped.
Also, in our day and age(of watching all kinds of aliens and fantasy races on tv), I do find this idea difficult to actually believe… Should we have been imagining Kai to look like Uruk-hai so it would be easier to get behind the idea of humans being repulsed by their appearance? Otherwise, I didn’t really find much reasons in the descriptions to understand why were they considered ugly by humans.

And minus points for the bloody ending. I find it’s very unfortunate where the ending makes you not look forward to the sequels.



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Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene

Amber & Dusk

Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Unlikable heroine, cocktail of predictable YA tropes, and ‘broken glass’ dialogues.

Originally, I thought I would rate this book somewhat higher, because I had this idea that allowances should be made for the fact that this is a debut novel, and because I should be kinder… But then I experienced this profound sense of relief when I finally finished this book and was released from the feeling of nausea that had accompanied me all the time I was reading it, and realized that no… Sorry, but no.

Considering the fact that this book was actually picked for at least two book subscription boxes in December… it was an utter disappointment. The only positive thing I can say about this book is that the writing wasn’t bad.
But the subject…
Just before (previous month) I was watching people rage about the “bury your gays” trope in another recent YA novel, because everyone is so sick of it, … aaaand here we go again. And this is not even the biggest or worst ‘YA cookie-cutter’ trope of this book.
– A pretty heroine with some sort of gift, who is also ignorant about all and everything? Check.
– Lost princess who grew up hidden by others? Check.
– Court intrigues and beautiful nobles who torture the said heroine? Check.
– A cruel beautiful boy with tortured soul, who is mean to the heroine but they’ll kiss anyway? Check.
– A ‘kind of’ love triangle? Check.
– An ‘extra cruel’ monarch who gets off on torture and murder? Check.
We can go on and on.
I don’t know if we were supposed to dislike the heroine by design, but I got sick of her ‘I deserve better! I’m entitled to it! I’m worthy!’ whining after first few chapters. And she never shuts up about it. The first 70% of this book is her screaming at various people about how she ‘deserves’ all the things she imagined to exist in the court, literally everyone telling her that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, that the reality is not like the world of her imagination, and her screaming back that they’re just trying to keep her from things that are hers by some kind of right. She was probably supposed to be fearless ans witty, but she appears to be no more that an arrogant brat who tries to mouth back to everyone in a nasty-ish way and beam with pride about it.
Speaking of which, most of dialogs felt unnatural and incomplete. I can’t even put my finger on it, but the dialogues just didn’t work, the lines didn’t fit seamlessly and didn’t convey enough.

Books like this make me seriously consider if I should just unsubscribe from all my book boxes and free myself from having to engage with this ‘YA fashion’ of same books about palace intrigues, cruel princes, and tortured heroines. At least I can perhaps hope that we’ll leave this fashion in 2018 and never come back to it again.





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Soulless by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)

Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Unusual style, unexpected turns, not everyone’s cup of tea.

First, I would like to say that I did enjoy this book, or at least 80-90% of it. It’s one of those reads that allowed me to get far enough away from my usual outside world. It has its own style, it has humor, it has some interesting characters, and a heroine that at least has some brains.
I wanted to say that I enjoyed this book first, because I tend to focus on the elements that did bother me about it so much it might send the wrong impression.
But there are some things that bothered me that I can’t really let go of:
First and foremost, the ‘everfloating POV’ style. I think it’s also called ‘head-hopping’. When every next paragraph you have to wonder from whose perspective it’s going to be. Or feel like it’s trying to be from everyone’s perspective at the same time. I know that there are many debates on whether this should be considered acceptable or not, and I would not say I had placed myself firmly in either camp before (and had to made myself edit it out of my own writing a couple of times), but I must say that reading a whole book full of did nothing to persuade me in favor of it. It’s a bit too confusing, and feels ‘unprofessional’.
I also found the beginning of this book to be rather misleading. It lulls you in this sense ‘oh, I’m going to read something light and flimsy, with some fun style’, and, while I don’t want to spoil much by saying in which ways this impression was wrong, I can say that I found some unexpected elements dumped on me hard and fast. Let’s just say that there’s enough angst in it to warn people before they mistakenly pick this book seeking to read something light and worry-free. Or ‘adult’ elements free.
I’m not sure how I feel about the personality of the heroine yet. I just don’t really enjoy people who like to yell and act with their temper before thinking, or enjoy power.
There were also a couple of points at the very end that I was not really a fan of. Such as the location and the way the very last ‘event’ took place in the Epilogue, and also the new ‘post’ (the professional one) of our heroine that I assume she will assume in the next book. While I am sure I’m going to read the next book in the series, I’m currently feeling very apprehensive about the possible amount of politics that might be involved. And politics just might be that something that will turn me away from these series.



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Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A promising sequel.

I did enjoy this book more than the first one.
Though the amount of chapters with POV of random characters (villains) did still bother me, it does feel like there were fewer of those than in the first one.
Although, unfortunately, I still can’t shake the feeling that I would prefer these series without the whole ‘blood prophets’ concept a little bit more… which is maybe a strange thing to say, since it’s literally the central idea around the main character. It’s just the whole idea of girls kept as property, bred, raped, used, treated as things… doesn’t sit with me and I wish I didn’t have to read about it.
I do, however, enjoy the world of terra indigene and the way they interact among each other and with humans quiet a lot.
I feel like the next book has a potential to either go somewhere I will like a lot, or go some other completely unexpected place I won’t really want to follow it to… I sincerely hope it’s the former.



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