A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR.jpgPublished: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Magic

Pages: Hardcover, 421

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Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


My review:

I may refer to this book or series by ACOTAR in future reviews.

I put of reading this book for a while, but for multiple reasons. The first was my concern that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations I had because of Throne of Glass. The second was because I didn’t want to read the first two books months before the last (at least for this half of the series) came out so I wasn’t waiting and obsessing.

I’m glad I waited because now I only have to wait about three weeks for the third book to come out after I finish the second one (if I finish it on the schedule I have planned).

I didn’t hate this book, but neither would I say that I loved it. It was good yes, but I think there is something missing and there are a few other problems that I want to talk about as well.

First, I want to talk about Feyre (pronounced Fay-ruh if you were wondering) and the sort of indifference I started feeling towards her just a little past halfway through the book. At first I liked her, doing what she can to survive while also getting very hateful feelings from her family, but determined to keep the promise she made to her unloving mother. She did what she could, but wasn’t as perfect to have all these amazing skills she was somehow able to teach herself. It was realistic in a way. Then, in the middle, I still liked her but didn’t understand some of the actions that she took. It wasn’t explained well enough in the book to be reasonable. And in the end, well, there wasn’t really much too really like or hate. It was as if Feyre started to disappear, and I had no feelings one way or the other.

The passing of time in this book was strange, but it does come right out and say, ‘three months after this event happened’ and it makes it clear. But sometimes it felt like it jumped weeks ahead without much explanation.

I do like some things of course, such as Tamlin and Lucien and many of the other fae. It was fun learning about them, their culture, the things that they went through, and eventually learning what the curse was all about (though it might be easy to guess).

But what exactly did I like about it? I can’t find any particular examples, mostly just the overall feeling of the book, the plot, and the characters, at least for the most part.

I know I’ve probably said more bad than good things but I willing give this book four stars. The reasons I’m not giving more is because the mild indifference I felt towards pieces of the book, and others I won’t mention in fear of spoiling it for everyone.

★★★★

This book and book series does contain explicit scenes that may not be suitable for younger readers.

The Siren by Kiera Cass

The SirenPublished: January 26th 2016 by HarperTeen (first published July 1st 2009)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Mermaids

Pages: Hardcover, 327

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Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.


My review:

I admit, I avoided reading this book for some time, unsure of how much I might like it. Having read The Selection and liking 2/3 of it (not really the last book), but not sure if I was willing to read something like that again and the ratings on Goodreads, I decided not to read it all. However, when I decided to listen to audiobooks while I drove to and from work/school, this popped up, immediately available, so I decided to try. At least that way I was only putting driving time into it.

I was wrong, I admit it. While I’m sure I didn’t get the full effect of everything in the book I was surprised by how much I started liking it. Learning about what Kahlen went through, what she was going through, how it affected her life, and the whole situation just kept me wanting more and more and more.

I wasn’t really into the romance of this book, and I know that was kind of the main plot piece here and the book without the romance wouldn’t have worked, but it was getting almost annoying enough to stop listening. Really, come on. I won’t say anything in interest of not spoiling it, but it didn’t play off right.

The plot (not the romance one, the one where Kahlen and other girls sing to pull people to their deaths for the ocean) is one of two things I do like this book. There is certainly a lot more than romance that goes along here and I think it was written well.

I did like some of the characters, like Kahlen. She was nice enough, wallowed in self-hatred a little, which is one of the best ways to get me to like characters, but also tried to keep her promises at any cost. Some of the other characters such as Elizabeth, Maika and Aisling I also enjoyed reading about. I especially like the ocean and how Kiera Cass chose to personify her and make her not understand humans and her sirens. She isn’t human and this dynamic really is interesting.

However, I find myself not liking Akinli at all. His character was flat, to perfect to be real (I don’t remember him having any flaws, it was almost as if he was made to be exactly what Kahlen expected… wait, isn’t that what this was?) and just lacked any realistic feelings. Yeah, he’s a great guy, but come on, not everyone reacts well to that situation. I won’t say more because spoilers.

So there that is. I’ve decided to give 3.5 stars because I liked it and might read it again if I ever get through my list (yeah, right) but wouldn’t want to buy it and put it on my shelf. I’ll stick to library copies.

★★★.5

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe HavenPublished: September 14th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Romance, Fiction, Adult

Pages: Hardcover, 340

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Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.


My review:

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, romance books are not something I usually like. And by usually I mean about 99% of the time. There are exactly three exceptions where the book was just romance (no adventure, little or no action, just normal) that I have found that I can read. All three of those came into my life by form of movie, then book.

The first was If I Stay written by Gayle Forman, and the sequel Where She Went. The third, I’ve found, is this book, Safe Haven.

Having watched the movie several times, quite literally only one of two Nicholas Sparks movies that I can watch at all, I decided to give the book a chance. It took me a while to get there because, knowing Sparks’ reputation for romance movies, I wasn’t really interested in watching, reading, anything that he was involved in.

But here I am, and I don’t have many good things to say about the only Nicholas Sparks book I have ever read.

I know this man turns out books like only a few people seem to be capable of, and sells a lot more books than I have (that being zero because I can’t even seem to get more than a few chapters into writing one), but I was really bothered by the writing. I thought, ‘here is a very experienced author, I’m expecting something really well written.’ I was very disappointed before I even turned past first the page.

The sentences were choppy, so horrible that I cringed and thought, more than once, that I wasn’t going to be able to handle reading the book. But I pushed through, found that the writing got better, the sentences more than just six words each, only to be disappointed again as the sentences became choppy latter on.

And the content of the book, well, 75% was information that I never needed to know, that was just written to fill space. The characters weren’t deep, they felt unreal and lacked an aspect that made them feel real. I got the scene that Alex was infallible, and we all know, no matter how hard we try, no one can ever be that perfect. Everything felt like nothing more than a story. When I read a book I like to be completely immersed, like I’m there with the characters. I didn’t feel at all like this.

The only good thing I have to say about the book is the plot. I like the overall idea that this book explores, but I probably won’t read it again, or any other books by Sparks.

★★★

The Realms of the Gods (The Immortals #4) by Tamora Pierce

the-realms-of-the-godsPublished: January 20th 1998 by Random House Children’s Books (first published January 1st 1996)

Genre: Young Adult, Children, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: Paperback, 288

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During a dire battle against the fearsome Skinners, Daine and her mage teacher Numair are swept into the Divine Realms. Though happy to be alive, they are not where they want to be. They are desperately needed back home, where their old enemy, Ozorne, and his army of strange creatures are waging war against Tortall.

Trapped in the mystical realms Daine discovers her mysterious parentage. And as these secrets of her past are revealed so is the treacherous way back to Tortall. So they embark on an extraordinary journey home, where the fate of all Tortall rests with Daine and her wild magic.


My review:

This book in the series is probably my favorite in the series. And that is just for a few simple reasons. Because of these reasons this review will be much shorter than some of the others I have done recently.

First, this was just the climax of the entire series. Everything that happened in the other books was leading up to this one and this was just the wrapping things into an action pack thrill seeking cherry on top of the ice cream cookie cake.

Action at every turn? Yes. A realm we have only seen glimpses of? Yes. More dragons? Yes. Creatures we didn’t know existed? Yes. These just make better world building for me.

However, there does still feel like some lose ends, but don’t worry, that’s only because this story does continue, just not in this particular series. In the books that are next in the overall story of Tortall, these characters are at least mentioned if not characters that show up in the books.

Having now completed this series once again, I feel the need to continue reading the works of Tamora Pierce to find out what happens to this world and to the characters I have come to enjoy reading about.

I’ve also started timing myself to see how long it took me to read each book, just because I was curious of how many hours I actually did read, and this one took be about five hours.

★★★★★

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

a-thousand-pieces-of-youPublished: November 4th 2014 by Harper Teen

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 360

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Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.


My review:

Where to start? That is an excellent question for someone who is trying their best to optimistic about the next two books in the series. And that someone happens to be me.

My very first impression was that the author had an inconsistent writing pattern. There were long winded sentences that probably should have been split into two, and the really short sentences that could have been joined with others. It’s like the author had incomplete thoughts while writing this, like she almost couldn’t decide what it was that she wanted to write about. I really struggled when trying to read this book.

I have to point out, as someone who likes to both read and be up to date on all the recent scientific data and whatnot, this book lacked realistic facts. While the narrator was describing the Firebird (the device that allows people to travel dimensions) there was no scientific information. It was, mostly, my parents built this device, I heard them talking about it, I didn’t always pay attention yet I know enough to have a basic understanding of the device without using any actual scientific information.

Maybe I’m just being picky, but the more real information that a book has in it the more likely I am to believe in the world the author creates.

That brings me to my next point because believing in the world I’m reading about helps decide on how much I end up liking the book. So, I ask this question. How am I supposed to believe in this world when even the characters fall flat and boring? The answer is that you can’t. I didn’t come to have any feelings for these character except mild like, dislike, or indifference. Any of these characters could have died and I really wouldn’t have minded.

I felt as if the thought went in circles until the last fourth of the book. The same, very predictable, problems happening and it became really annoying. And the other dimensions that the book features are rather bland. The ideas are good, really I found myself wanting to learn about them, but the delivery, like most things in the book, just wasn’t right. Instead of learning about the other dimensions, I got to learn about all the juicy gossip and irrelevant details that I really didn’t want to read about. This should really be a book with “drama” on the copyright page. I got seriously sick of the main characters constant whining.

There was also a distinct lack of details of events that happen, such as when Marguerite’s father was killed in a car accident. I don’t remember how many chapters I had to get through before I finally figured out what happened. While not all facts need to be presented to me right away, large events that shape the story need to be pointed out fairly early in the book so the reader doesn’t get confused about the events or context the story is taking place in.

Claudia Gray, I have to admit that I was able to predict about 60% of the plot twists that you decided to throw into the book. While you did fool me 40%, it still isn’t a percentage that I would want to be standing in.

Now I know that I’ve said a lot of mean things about this book, but there is one good thing to make me want to give it three stars. The overall plot idea.

Reading the summary of the book, the traveling to different dimensions, mystery, action, adventure, I thought it would be right up my ally. I love the idea, I love the end result and where the story went. Because of this one simple reason I’m willing to give the next two books in the series a chance.

To wrap up, three stars because of all the not good reasons I listed, but also because I think this is a good idea and I’m surprised I haven’t read any other books with a similar idea. It kept my interest enough to make it through the end, but only because I wanted to know what happened.

★★★

Emperor Mage (Immortals #3) by Tamora Pierce

emperor-magePublished: November 17, 1994 by Scholastic Coorproation

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: Paperback, 358

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Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn’t like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it’s not her place to say anything — she’s just there to heal the emperor’s birds. It’s extremely frustrating! What’s more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak’s two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he’s planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne’s power-hungry schemes.


My review:

Some people say that the first book in a series is always the best. About half the time I agree. I guess half really isn’t all that bad, but that is still 50% of the books I read. This series isn’t part of the half where the first is better, it’s part of the half that gets so amazing after each book.

Of course, some of the same reasons that made this book better than the last are the same as what made the last book better than the first! So I’ll go down my list, hit all the points I have stored away in my brain and tell you why I liked it and something I didn’t like.

First, learning about Daine’s powers. Come on, if you thought the powers in the last book were awesome, this one is even better. I really enjoy it too because it really isn’t her power, but one that was given to her. There are some mildly comical parts and amazing scenes that happen because of this power and really, it’s just great.

Reason two: there was some serious plot here. The last had some also, but this was intense world changing plot, everything could have easily gone wrong.

Also here we start to see some feelings coming out from certain characters and towards other characters. Hate, love, dislike, admiration. Even for characters who weren’t introduced until this book, feelings were just poured into it.

But, one thing I’ll complain about, we won’t see some of these characters again. They go away and we won’t see them except for maybe briefly in the last book of the series. I’m happy to read it anyway, it really is just such a great series.

★★★★★

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

ignite-mePublished: February 4th 2014 by HarperCollins

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 409

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The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.


My review:

I’ve been putting off reading this book for a while now, and I had a reason why. I wasn’t sure where this book was heading, and to be honest, I was a little worried about how this book would end. As I’ve most defiantly mentioned before, I’m not a fan of love triangles and I almost decided not to read it for just that reason.

I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like about it because they seem more important than the things I did like for a reason my brain doesn’t care enough to share with me.

First, the ending. Don’t worry, no spoilers here, it’s more of just a general thing that could be said about many books. It was just too abrupt of and ending. The writing just stopped. And while this does sort of fit with the writing style the whole series has followed, there defiantly needs to be something more. And also the climax was kind of a letdown. Sorry, but after three books worth of buildup I was actually expecting a little more. If you’re interested in exactly what I mean, feel free to visit my Goodreads profile and read the hidden spoiler I’ll have there.

My second reason is one of the reasons why I didn’t want to read this book, the love triangle. This particular love triangle, however, just was wrong in every way possible. Ugh, there could be so much I could say here, but once again, spoilers. This is the only reason (or reasons if you want to count every problem I had with the love triangle) that this book series did not get five stars from me.

The reasons I didn’t like it are over, so let’s get to the good stuff.

I feel this book hits me on a level not many others have. It has extreme emotional concepts here, and I felt myself affected by them. When I say affected I mean they hit me so hard I was sitting there fighting back tears, because, really, this book made the situation feel realistic. I related completely, and maybe that’s why I like this whole book series so well. It almost felt as if I was being smacked across the face with a piece of wood that was covered in tiny little thorns. I mean that in the best way possible.

It kept my interest, and I finished reading it one sitting. Quite a long journey to go on in just over four hours, I think. I wouldn’t suggest reading in one sitting like I did, but maybe break it up into two or three parts.

Well, honestly, there isn’t much else I can say about this book without ruining it for you.

Pick this book series up, it really is a great and fast read. Though do be warned, I found this series to be mostly accurate on depression and anxiety in certain scenes.

★★★★

Wolf Speaker (The Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce

wolf-speakerPublished: June 1st 2005 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 1993)

Pages: Paperback, 344

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic

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When humans start cutting down trees and digging holes in peaceful Dunlath Valley, the wolves know that something is wrong. They send a messenger to the only human who will listen — Daine, a fourteen-year-old girl with the unpredictable power of wild magic. Daine and her closest companions heed the wolves’ cry for help. But the challenge they are about to face in the valley is greater than they can possibly imagine…

 

My Review:

I once again find myself happy at the works of Tamora Pierce. I consider this book better than the first one for several different reasons.

The first is possibly the reason some books by the same authors are better than others, and this is the writing. I think she finally settled into her characters and she knew what she wanted. It wasn’t a starter book, and I think there is a difference with how it was written.

The second reason I enjoyed this book was because Daine got to develop her abilities, and I thought it was super interesting. Even though I’ve read it before I still like the fact that I’m rediscovering some of her powers I’ve forgotten about. I also think this helps her develop as a character.

I’m happy to see that not all is fine and dandy with Daine’s powers though. Not happy that there are problems for the characters, but for the fact that these particular instances help immensely in this book, as well as showing Daine how careful she has to be because of the changes that can be made to her animal friends.

Reason number four is that Daine is stuck (I won’t give specifics because plot) with only a few friends and her wits and some immortal creatures. I was happy to see everyone working together (despite being natural enemies, afraid of each other, ect.) towards a goal they all felt worthy of risking their lives for.

This book is great.

I have one little complaint. I had a hard time keeping interest. That could be because I’ve been so crazy busy and was also trying to read the last three chapters during the super bowl.

And that’s it, a shorter review for a shorter book! I know it says 344 pages but the font is big and it really is a fast read.

★★★★★

Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore

firePublished: Published October 5th 2009 by Dial Books

Pages: Hardcover, 480

Genre: Young adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance

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It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there’s more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren’t afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


My review:

I’ve read this book before, I swear I have. It has only been about four years, though, admittedly, it is still one of my favorite reads. Just to be clear though, it would be beneficial for you to read Graceling before this one, just to fully appreciate the differences and certain situations.  They do not, however, take place in the same place. Same basic where, almost same when, not at all the same who, or maybe I should say what. So you can read Graceling and Fire in any order, however you do need to read both before continuing to Bitterblue.

It’s not often that the main character is a monster, and I mean a monster as described as the book. Nor do you often read about monsters who can read and control minds, as well as being physically irresistible but not using it to her advantage. It’s about her struggle of trying to be good, to not use the abilities she has to manipulate people.

Her struggle stems from her father, who was well known throughout the Dells, as a man as cunning and merciless as he is beautiful. Fire spends most of the book coming to terms with what her father did and how much she loved him, and the conflicting feelings help reflect some relationships in real life, not just the book.

Why I really enjoyed this book though, is learning about a new land with different customs, traditions, creatures, people. I fell in love with these characters, but found myself hating some of their actions at the same time. I found the responses to Fire’s unusual beauty very interesting, and as time went on I found that they weren’t always predictable and I was glad that it wasn’t easy to know what was coming.

Another thing that had me so invested in this book was the romance. It might be the main focus of the book, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it at all. It was a perfect balance, perfectly executed, and while I was left wanting more, I wasn’t left feeling as if it was unfinished. Well, completely unfinished at least. There needs to be something else at the end, but that’s just me wanting these two people to be together; they just fit.

As much as I enjoyed it, at times I felt myself losing interest at certain points. It’s not as if it is boring, it just seemed as if there were long stretches where time was summarized too often and nothing happened. But I forged ahead and the ending was better, and I’m very happy about it.

This book will be great for you if you liked Graceling, but, like any book, not everyone will like it. I think that rule goes more for this book as I have read some reviews on Goodreads that gave it only one or two stars. I would still recommend this book though, and strongly suggest to read Graceling first, as it is a much faster paced story.

The only reason I didn’t give it a full five stars was because it was rather slow paced, and I did have a hard time staying interested at points in the book. It will continue to be one of my favorites because of many of the reasons I’ve already named and some I can’t seem to find the words for!

★★★★.5

Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder

touch-of-powerPublished: December 20th 2011 by Mira (first published December 11th 2011)

Pages: Paperback, 390

Genre: High Fantasy, Adventure, Young Adult, Romance

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Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

My Review:

Here I am again, having finished a book in two days’ time, and I find myself in any book reader’s worst nightmares: I don’t have the next book in the series. Ugh. I thought I learned my lesson years ago about starting a series without having the available or complete set. Why must I put myself through this suffering? I guess that answer would be the same as to the question ‘Why do I stay up until 3 a.m. to read a book?’ I have a love hate relationship with myself for reasons including these two.

Enough about me, onto the book! This book has been sitting on my mental to read list for the last few months, but I don’t think I’ve ever added it to my Goodreads list until I asked for it for Christmas. I’m happy I got it though, and I really enjoyed reading it!

I like where this book has taken me, how it brought me into a post disease, plague ridden world, one that wasn’t set on the Earth we know. Learning about worlds that aren’t my own somehow makes me even more interested to read the book. Action, awesome girl power, characters you love, some that you might even hate or strongly dislike, and of course, things turning out not the way you wanted.

My favorite part of the book was learning about Avry’s powers, and how her magic works, as well as the almost total elimination of almost all magic welders in this world. Coming in as my second favorite part, just a hair behind the first, is the lilies. Yes I mean flowers, but these lilies aren’t like your average, every day, run of the mill flowers. They are giant, and it’s said that for every 100 peace lilies, there is a death lily. Basically the death lily is like a Venus fly trap, and will engulf anything that comes near it and digest it.  That being said, there is no distinct way to tell the difference between these two lilies, so stopping to smell the closest flower could be the last thing you ever do. And I honestly don’t know why I like this aspect so much!

Despite really liking this book, I do have a two things to complain about. First, the events in this book are fast paced, so fast that I’m left slightly confused at what was happening. This book takes span over a couple of months, and the book does a good job of reminding the reader how long we have been with the characters, but it’s almost as if one scene runs into another without much transition. I found this was the case mostly at the beginning, or I just got used to it.

Second, I feel like some of the characters got a little pushed off. We get to know most of them pretty well, but still, I feel like the characters are still just there, and not alive. There’s just a little something missing (something I can’t explain, because I’m not sure exactly what it is) that makes the characters feel just a hair short of three dimensional.

So there you have it! I really liked this book except for something to do with the believability of the characters realness, and the way some events just move right on to the next one.

★★★★