Unraveling Words

Unraveling Words one book at a time

"Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness."

Early Unraveling of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

3.75? 4? I don't know. I saw that coming, I did, but I just REALLY didn't want it to happen because I LIKE Maven and then all that shit happened and now...Now I'm just really bummed...

 

While I really enjoyed this book, there still some things that I would have wanted more from. For being a fantasy it's quite lacking in world building. I don't know if this is world is in the same style as Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns, where after modern humanity killed it self off they had to start from 0 again and it's been 1000s of years later.

 

This is kind of what I gathered what with the bit of electronics and techies in use and the mention of radiation and stuff, but I honestly have NO CLUE what the hell happened. Also there is a war going on right now with the Lakelanders that's been going on for 100s of years and I don't even know what's the deal behind that. Not really. Some vague explanation was given but not good enough.

 

Then there is the idea of the Silvers and Reds. It's a cool idea, reminiscent of X-Men but what happened to bring about the Silvers? Are we supposed to believe it was just evolution doing it's thing? I just don't know enough, and I'd very much like to.

 

I liked the characters, I didn't LOVE any of them, but I liked them. I loved Mara's relationship with her family. Adored her brothers, but they didn't get enough page time.

 

I can't really talk too much about the romance. It was good? But not really? But actually yes? You just really have to read it and find out.

 

All in all, hats off to Victoria Aveyard for a great debut novel. Looking forward to the next one!

Reading progress update: I've read 82%.

Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

I swear, if Mare ends up with Cal, not only will she lose all my respect but I'll be taking of at the very least 1 whole star from the rating. Seriously, wth.

Puddle Jumping - Amber L.  Johnson

The dependency on Lilly's part was not healthy but it was real, you know? She didn't know any better, that's just how things developed. That's what I appreciated about this book. It didn't pull any punches. We may not want to see things as they truly are, because logically we know it should be a certain 'healthy' way, but this is life and feelings and emotions, and things tend to not work logically at all most of the time.

Her mention of 'stalker tendencies' because she had a crush and needed more info to strike up a convo and get to know him better. Her friendship went through stages, and again it didn't pull any punches, because as much as you want to believe that you would never think something offensive about your bff, you damn well know it's gonna happen at one point or another, but this however doesn't change that they are your bff. It's just how it is. It was all just very relatable.

Some people might be offended by the things she thinks and such, but let's be honest. That's pretty much how we all acted at that age, plus and minus a few things.

Unraveling: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Talon - Julie Kagawa

To say I was disappointed with this book would be a huge understatement. I confess I haven't read anything by Kagawa, but all my friends absolutely love her. She is an amazing writer, auto-buy list, etc. I did not see it here at all.

 

Talon was like every other average YA book out there, and I'm sick and tired of those. We have:

 

- Evil dragon organization (caricature evil, because I really don't see why they should have taken it to that extreme. It basically amounted to 'because they can')

 

- Human dragon slayer organization (because someone has to kill those evil, unfeeling murderous, monsters. Because there is no way they could ACTUALLY be like people, nuh-uh, no way.)

 

- Mc is a twin. Twins are basically impossible in dragons. So of course she is special.

 

- Love triangle. (because it wouldn't be YA if it didn't have a love triangle.)

      - Between the leader of the dragon rebellion and the 'Perfect Soldier' from St.         George (the dragonslayers). It couldn't be between simple unimportant people. That would be scandalous.

 

The love triangle takes precedence over a good chunk of the book with enough little tidbits of the plot to keep things somewhat moving. The bare minimum of what could still be called moving.

 

There was basically no world building here. We are only told dragons exist, they are evil, and St. George has been killing them since forever and the feud has been going on ever since. That's it.

 

My main issue with this book is that I just don't get it. I don't get the conflict. It all seems nonsensical to me. It's an over simplified, you killed me, I killed you and just an endless cycle from there.

 

No one has called out either organization on their bullshit. NO ONE. With the way Talon operates I just find that incredibly hard to believe. Yes there were some people who felt discontent but no one did anything till this Riley guy finally did something, and it's not like he is actively fighting against Talon either. He is just taking people out of Talon and hoping to stay alive while having Talon AND St. George after him.

 

St. George doesn't give a shit if there is a silly excuse of a rebellion going on. They are dragons. Dragons are bad. Kill Dragons. Again, nobody questions ANYTHING.

 

Every single person in this book was a complete mindless sheep. It was disgusting. Only Garret (the St. George dude) and Ember (our special MC) questioned things and that was in the last like 10% of the book.

 

Speaking of Ember's special status I didn't get it either. Yes they are twins which doesn't happen often, and yes she is a female so she is valued, but she is average at best (which I have nothing against, it's actually kinda nice), but my problem is that everyone acted like she was the last pepsi in the desert. I just don't get it. And for Talon to give her the assignation that they did? Makes even LESS sense. That was a huge oversight for them when they are supposed to be this incredibly tightly controlled organization.

 

Also, everyone and their mother knew that Ember was being placed in Crescent Beach. EVERYONE. And yet, no one knew about her twin Dante? Wtf? Why the emphasis only on Ember?

 

There might be this huge incredible reveal in the next books that could possibly make sense of everything here, but in my opinion it was just handled badly. If that's the case, good for the people that will be keeping up with this series, because I sure as hell won't.

 

SPOILER ALERT!

My Speculations on The Stormlight Archive

The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to try and keep this in some kind of chronological order. Let's see how I do lol.

First off we have the Prologue, yeah lots of interesting tidbits in the prologue already xD

- The Heralds here talk of the Oathpact, which is then referenced in a dream Kaladin has. We don't really know what this Oathpact entails. Power that was granted to a few so they could successfully fight in the Desolations in exchange for the Heralds to suffer in between?
- One of these powers is to ride the storm winds like Kaladin was doing in his dream.

CHILD OF TANAVAST. CHILD OF HONOR. CHILD OF ONE LONG SINCE DEPARTED. The sudden voice shook Kaladin; he floundered in the air. THE OATHPACT WAS SHATTERED.


-There is quite a bit of information here. I've read in some forums that Tanavast is another name for the Almighty, and as that quote points out, because this oathpact was shattered, Windrunners are no longer allowed to well, run in the wind lol, but how much more is there to it?
- Before I keep going with that, let's go back to the Prologue. Kalak and Jezrien's conversation mentions that they were hoping their plan would keep the enemy bound, but that obviously doesn't work. We now know the enemy is one of the gods, called Odium, from Dalinar's conversation with the Almighty at the end. We also find out that Odium actually killed the Almighty, how he killed another god who knows? But apparently there are rules involved, I'd very much like to know what they are. I'll come back to this particular chapter later.
- Maybe the point of the oathpact was actually to keep Odium bound by sending the Heralds to his world as some kind of slaves or something, since they mention that they suffer "The flesh burning. The fires. The pain over and over and over..." I'm sure there is still more to it.
- Let's go back to Kaladin's dream. The voice, which I have no clue who it is, tells Kaladin:

ODIUM COMES. MOST DANGEROUS OF ALL SIXTEEN. YOU WILL NOW GO.


- So does that mean Odium is literally going to show his face? Or he means he is coming into reign therefore bringing in the last Desolation, the Everstorm, or both?
- There is the mention of 'Most dangerous of all sixteen". So there are sixteen gods in total. We know of Odium, The Almighty/Tanavast, and we have Cultivation, who is mentioned by the Almighty in that conversation with Dalinar at the end. So we know at the very least 3 out of the 16 gods. I wonder who each one is and what they are in charge of. It turns out the sixteen are ALL the gods from the cosmere from Sanderson's books. So Ruin and Preservation and then Harmony, from Mistborn, are included in these 16. (Thanks BB!)

I cannot see the future completely. Cultivation, she is better at it than I.


- Let's talk about Szeth for a minute. You guys might be surprised but I kind of like him more than Kaladin :o It's just, he is so bad ass, and strong, yet weak. After having had to follow such atrocious assassinations against his will, he is still somewhat still going. That might just be cause he is forbidden from killing himself but still. He carries out his orders and yet still has more humanity left that the Masters he is forced to follow. And for that I admire him.
- What I'd like to know is what he is. I don't think he is an actual Windrunner like Kaladin. I believe he is something else, similar, but something else altogether.
- What exactly does being Truthless entail? Why did he get that title? Was it something he did or was it just from birth? Or is it simply because he can manipulate stormlight and they don't accept that in the Shin religion?
- Then we have Szeth's Shardblade, which isn't actually like a normal Shardblade. Sure it comes out in 10 heartbeats but it's shorter than an actual Shardblade. A friend pointed out that it might be a Herald blade instead. From the 10 blades the Heralds left in a circle back in the Prologue. This makes more sense to me actually, although Szeth still doesn't really like to use it.
- Which brings me to my next point! What is wrong with the Shards? Both the blades and plates. Both Kaladin and Syl don't like them, they are disgusted by them, so is Szeth although he still uses his. Shallan as well seems very reluctant to use hers.
- Yes, Shallan has one! They mention it in passing a few times when she almost summoned it back when Jasnah decided to make philosophy hands on. I'm guessing she used it to kill her dad, then took it for herself.
- Anyway back to the messed up Shards. The Almighty mentions to Dalinar that he must "return the Shards they once bore." and then he goes on to say "A champion could work well for you, but it is not certain. And... without the Dawnshards... "
- So here is what I think. In one of Dalinar's visions where he say some Radiants in their Shardplates, he mentioned that they were different than the ones they had now, with glyphs and such on them. I think when the Radiants discarded them and bailed, Odium took it upon himself to corrupt the Dawnshards and hence turned them into the Shards they have now.
- I think this would explain the battle Thrill Adolin, Dalinar and Sadeas are always talking about. We see how the Thrill affects Dalinar. It's like the turn into killing machines and actually LIKE it, which is disgusting, but I think that's the point.
- Now that Dalinar is steadfast in his morals and codes, the Thrill isn't quite working as well on him as it used to, and he is finally seeing it for what it is. I'm guessing they are going to have to figure out a way to make them Dawnshards again. Once they do I think Kaladin and Syl, and Szeth and Shallan for that matter, won't have a problem with them.

Now for some questions I have absolutely not even an inkling of an answer for lol.

- The sphere! I hope you didn't forget about THE sphere. The one Galvinar gave to Szeth before he killed him. What the hell is it? and what is it for? My guess: it has something to do with parshendi.
- Galvinar's last words. What do they mean? Did he actually even finish what he wanted to say? When he was telling Szeth it sounded more like he didn't actually finish the thoughts, but the way Szeth wrote it, he made it sound like a complete idea. So which one is it? And what does it mean either way?
- The three people that were looking for Hoid. Who are they? Ghostbloods maybe? But why are they looking for Hoid anyway?
- The spren. What is their true purpose? Besides the honor spren how do they tie in with the Knight Radiants and the Desolations?
- The big question. The Voidbringers. Are they really the Parshendi? With how Sanderson is, I'm guessing it's probably not that simple. If they are, then what sets them off? What caused the transformation? Maybe it's not even an actual transformation and the Parshendi just are. Who the hell knows at this point. (hide spoiler)]

"Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. Speak again the ancient oaths and return to men the Shards they once bore." He turned to Dalinar, meeting his eyes. "The Knights Radiant must stand again."

Unraveling: Locked by Eva Morgan

Locked - Eva Morgan

Sherrrrrrrlooooooooockkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

 

Need I say more? If that's not enough to convince you, I don't what is! description

 

Ok, ok, fine, let me try and convince you then...Have you watched BBC Sherlock? No? Then what the hell are you doing reading this?! Go watch it right now! Come back already? Excellent, let's proceed then.

 

Ms. Morgan does such an awesome job at catching the essence of Sherlock and then putting him in a high school setting. It was brilliant.

 

This is the story of a modern day Sherlock and Irene. Irene is a very troubled girl. She was in the car when her sister died and she didn't come out of it whole. So what happens when her mom makes her welcome the new neighbors by bringing over a casserole? Sherlock does what he does best and throws in her face the death of her sister not 2mins after opening the door.

 

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Irene's reaction? Throw the casserole at Sherlock's face :D And this was most of their interactions throughout the book. Irene was a strange but great mix between Molly and Watson. Watching Sherlock trying to make sense of this strange girl, and Irene trying to cope with such an intense young man. It was perfect.

 

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The whole book had me laughing out loud, sighing in contentment, and breaking my heat at others. Especially the ending! But it was all so worth it!

 

I would have liked a bit more mystery to the murder plot, but I was just having so much fun with Sherlock and Irene I couldn't be bothered with it for too long.

 

Mycroft was a tad creepier here than he is in the show. We don't even know what his job is, only that he is basically never at home, and every time he talked with Irene he gave me the creeps, but you could still that he did actually care for Sherlock. We also get a very tiny glimpse of Moriarty and I can't wait for the next book!!

 

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Unraveling: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson

I've been slowly but surely making my way through all of Sanderson's books (that's the plan anyway) ever since I picked up one of his short stories, Legion. Sanderson packed so much into those 88 pages, more than some full length fantasy books out there, and it never once felt weighed down. So reading The Way of Kingswas a no brainer, my only problem was that it's 1008 pages long. I've read books longer than that before but you still need to catch your breath before finally tackling such a big book, but it more than made up for it. Actually, when I finally got to the end I was cursing cause it was too short xD

As always Sanderson's world building was impeccable. There is SO much going on in Roshar, so many little details that have to be kept in mind while reading to really understand the genius that is this book. The way the Earth adapted to survive the High Storms making the grass pull back into the earth to not be uprooted, the animals, the plant life and specially the spren. These little elementals obviously play a huge role in Roshar, but no one actually knows what their true purpose is. We get some insight with Syl, a tantalizing clue with Geranid's testing, and a tiny insight with Axis, but it's no where near enough to even grasp half of the picture let alone the whole picture and I can't wait to find out, the spren are just a fascinating concept in an already intriguing world.

The plot is simple in it's goal, but intricate in it's execution. I don't want to accidently spoil anything for anyone so all I'll say is, they are all simply trying to stop the Desolations, but there are so many things to take into account that it's mind boggling. And as for the characters, well I loved them all. Each and everyone one of them is different and unique and complicated in their own right.

In short, don't let the length of the book, nor the series, intimidate you, because this book will make up for it a hundred fold.

Unraveling: The Emperor's Edge Series by Lindsay Buroker

Forged in Blood II - Lindsay Buroker
"You're the only person who's ever wanted to give me happiness," Sicarius said.
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"You were thinking of all that when you wrote that letter? I had... no idea you cared as to who ended up on the throne."

"I did not foresee Sespian winning the position when word of his heritage got out. I thought he would approve of this alternative."

"All along, I thought I was running things," Amaranthe said, "and here it turns out you're the mastermind." Sicarius touched his chin. "Here."

"Pardon?"

"Your gaze of adoration. It's focused on the window currently." She grinned and gazed at him. "I apologize."

 

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Oh, this series...The feels...I can't express how much I loved Sicarius and the last two books, which were half in his PoV, just cemented that feeling that much more. I think from now on I'll be comparing every assassin character I come across with Sicarius and I'm sure that most are going to fall painfully short.

 

He was exactly how an assassin should be. Killing with no regret, a badass with knives, sneaky, smart, silent, and deadly. It took so long and so much work on Amaranthe's part to get him to even joke around as he did in that quote and that was half the fun of these books. And that second to last chapter! Totally worth the slow, but sure progression of their relationship.

Sicarius strode out, utterly naked except for a technical manual in his hands. He didn’t bother to wield it strategically to hide...anything. Amaranthe gaped at him. After a startled moment of surprise, she forced herself to keep her eyes focused on his face. Mostly. “Sicarius. I, ah...” Have always wanted to see you like this, she thought. No, she couldn’t say that. Was wondering if you were blond all over. No, definitely not that.

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As I've said before I'm a girl that needs awesome characters, or at least believable ones, and Buroker was a genius at creating all the characters in The Emperor's Edge. Their interactions and just livliness of them was amazing. I felt like they were there with me and I was a part of their group. It was painful to say goodbye to such great characters. I'll miss them.

"He eyed Amaranthe - and her revealing attire. "If she's here, can we say you're my..."

He groped for a relation that would suggest absolutely no sexual connotations. "Daughter?" Amaranthe suggested.

"Dear ancestors, no. She'll think I'm ancient. Er, my age, anyway. And what would she think of my parenting influence if she saw you in that outfit?"

"Did you just, in the same breath, call me old and promiscuous?"

"Uhm."

 

"Should this turn...confrontational, we don't have our two most proficient fighters here." Maldynado propped his hand on his hips. "You have me."

Books looked him up and down, then focused on Amaranthe again. "We don't have our two most proficient fighters here."

Amaranthe, could be said, was the glue of the group. She brought them together and kept them together. Through all their bickering, ribbing, and teasing.

"Akstyr, is there a way to keep them uncounscious?"

"Shoot them?", Akstyr said.

"You're supposed to be a Science advisor," Books told him, "not a Sicarius acolyte."

Maldynado cleared his throat. "For the record, that would have been my response, too."

"You've tested the mask?" Yara finally asked.

"Ah, sort of. We tested its ability to block out noxious fumes."

A few feet away, Maldynado snickered.

"Let me guess who supplied them," Yara grumbled.

 

None of them really knew how to deal with Sicarius half the time. The only one that really treated him as a fellow companion and human being was Amaranthe. The rest just kept a healthy dose of wariness when dealing with him. But Sespian came a long way though, and if you have read the first one you would know why that's important ;)

"Everyone without diving suits drowns down here?" He seemed to realize he was talking to someone without a suit, for he added, "And, er, just so you know, this wouldn't fit you, Sicarius, so there's no need to stab me in the back for it."

"I wouldn't do that," Sicarius said as they turned into another corridor.

"That's a relief," Maldynado said.

"It would compromise the suit"

 

“Do many people try? To hug you?”

“Few. Usually women.”

“Ah. Amaranthe.” Sespian’s face grew wistful, though it seemed accepting as well.

“Infrequently.” Sicarius headed for the ladder leading to the top of the tower.

“Really? If a girl was inclined to hug me, I’d encourage her to do it frequently.”

“I am not good at… encouragement.” Sicarius climbed the ladder and found the harpoon launcher where he’d left it.

“I’ve noticed,” Sespian said, reaching the top behind him. “It’s easy though. You spread your arms like this and give a girl your most inviting smile. Do you… have an inviting smile?”

“No.”

“Any sort of smile at all?”

“No.”

“I can see where you’d have a problem then,” Sespian said.

While the books weren't perfect in any stretch of the imagination, they were incredibly addicting, entertaining and just plain fun to read. The world building wasn't fantastic but it was more than good enough. The readers get the information they need as the books progress. We learn tid bits of the political problems each regions went through in each book and we get one step closer to dealing with the main for, Forge, as well, till the final show down in the last book. It was one hell of a mess. What I liked the most where always Amaranthe's crazy plans and her knack in talking people into the craziest things. She paid a price in the end for it, but the whole journey was great to watch. In case you didn't get the message. I loved this series! xD

Unraveling: The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge #1) - Lindsay Buroker

This was such a great quick fantasy read. As far as plots go it wasn't mindblowing, but if you put the characters, the pacing, the dialogue and the plot all together you get one very enjoyable fantasy read.

Like any other fantasy book out there The Emperor's Edge revolves around a plot to take control of the empire from the current emperor. In this case our MCs are trying to keep the current emperor in power instead of overthrowing the whole empire. As far as plans go to keep the emperor in power it was neither terribly silly nor a mastermind like plan. It was a plan thought of in the spur of the moment and brought to fruition thanks to Amaranthe's brilliant 'suggestions' and that's the real selling point of this book. Amaranthe and all it's characters.

Amaranthe starts out as an enforcer and because the circumstances thrown at her she is forced to change career paths. I loved seeing Amaranthe at work. This girl can talk Satan into buying fire in hell. She is so good at pinpointing people's weaknesses and then exploiting them and they don't even notice that she is manipulating them, and even when they do half the time they end up doing what she wants anyway, because she is just that good at 'persuading' them. But Amaranthe isn't a special snowflake, she is just a smart, clever girl doing what she thinks is right and obsessively cleaning while she is doing it. She gets caught multiple times, she trips, and she tends to trust too easily. She felt real to me. Her whole team of misfits does.

"Guess I'm like a persistent toenail fungus, huh?"
"Hm." Sicarius sat up on the cot and dropped his feet to the floor. His face betrayed no pain, but stiffness marked his movements. "A stray cat perhaps."
"Adorable, loyal, and lovable?"
"Nosey, curious, and independent." His eyes crinkled. "Not something you plan to bring home."

This team is made up of a recovering alcoholic, and a former gigolo, a surly, young, untrained wizard ex-gang member and an assassin. They were great together. They each have a specific set of skills that are put to good use and their interactions between each other drew a few chuckles out of me.

Maldynado started to reach up to remove it but paused. He wriggled his eyebrows at Amaranthe, "Does it look good on me?"

"You look like an illiterate buffoon," Books said.

"But does it look good?"

I would have liked if this world had been explained some more, but I think it did a good enough job to set it up as the first book in a series. Even though we get told all the main pieces like the three main players (country wise), some of their distinguishing political systems, some background on wars and how things have changed over the years because of these wars. I would have appreciated more details, specially about the mental sciences and how things were before Sespian became emperor, but I guess we'll get told more as the series progresses, or at least I hope so.

So while the plot isn't amazing, the overall book is great combination of realistic characters, fast pacing, underhanded plotting, humor, action, intrigue and betrayal.

Early Unraveling of Charming by Elliott James

Charming - Elliott James

Title: Charming

Series: Pax Arcana Book One
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
 
John Charming isn't your average Prince... 

He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?
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My Thoughts

 
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
 

When I first heard of this book I was really excited. We are talking Knight Templars and fairy tales here, how could you not get excited? But then I started seeing an influx of low ratings and it put a damper on my feelings. I wanted this book to be great! And it seemed like it was going to disappoint. I requested it anyway cause I just had to find out for myself.  So what did I find out? I found out this book wasn't mind-blowing or amazing, but it was far from bad either. It was good enough.


I think the biggest problem people will have is the info-dumping, because there is a lot of it, and not just in the start it's throughout the whole book. The thing is though, that while I knew it was coming across as info-dumping and not just seamless world-building it was detracting from the story that much either. Yes there was a staggering amount of it, but mostly I just found the whole thing interesting, like how it turns out the reason we wave our hand in greeting was to show the person that our knife-wielding hand was empty. Maybe some people will find it annoying or useless, but I liked it. There was also a purpose for it, but I won't go into that.


Speaking of world-building, it was awesome. There are so many myths and legends woven together to make up this new world that I found it fascinating. It wasn't just western world myths either, it was eastern as well, with mentions of the Nagas, Buddhism and Hinduism. Everything played a role here. From the most obscure detail that most people wouldn't have through twice about, here it was giving some kind of meaning and reason for it, and yes explained. But again, I didn't mind, I liked knowing how everything tied together and where everything came from.


Next up we have the characters. I liked them all! It was a rag tag group of misfits both supernatural and human alike. Each with their own back stories, motivations and skills that added to their impromptu monster hunting group. I specially liked Molly and her odd ways of coping of things. As for our main character, I liked how smart and accepting he was of people. That may be a bit contradictory but he made it work. He would keep his suspicion of people always in the back of his mind, but he was also willing to work with and accept these misfits. In short, he was a pretty great character, they were all nicely fleshed out.


As for the plot, it all started as some random vampire hunting that just escalated very quickly and then took some very interesting twists and turns that kept entertained the whole way through. And to add some more spice to it, there was some romance that I must say was handled quite well. There was no insta-love/lust. Just some good old-fashioned attraction with flirty banter every now and then getting a bit more serious towards the end. But it all felt real and it evolved and what felt like a reasonable pace.


After all that, what I'm simply trying to say is, if you like urban fantasy, give this book a try, don't let the info-dumping turn you off or intimidate you, you'll at the very least enjoy this unique world.


So...

 

Would I Recommend it?

 
 
 
Source: http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/2013/09/early-unraveling-of-charming-by-elliott.html

Unraveling: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy) - Sherry Thomas

Title: The Burning Sky

Series: Elemental Trilogy Book One
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
 
It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
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My Thoughts

 
I adored this book! It was everything I was looking for in a YA fantasy and I'm a sucker for books that are centered around boarding schools, even if in this case instead of the school being magical it was a normal human school.
 
Plotwise this wasn't exactly mind-blowing. There was nothing truly unpredictable about it and it was just nice and steady. One of the many aspects that made this book so good for me was the slightly different dynamics to the whole thing. Iolanthe may have the war power but she kinda sucks at wand magic, so she really isn't much a mage as is right now, but she is supposed to be killing a guy that is a unkillable, yet the guy who is sworn to protect her and actually wants to kill Bane is kickass at magic, but he won't be doing the actual killing. So even though this could have been a book centered on how much of a special snowflake Iolanthe is, it was instead about both of them, Iolanthe and Titus. Sure we get to see how awesome Iolanthe is, but not because she is such a special snowflake with her powers, but because she is resourceful and quick.
 
At first I was iffy with their budding relationship and I thought Iolanthe was going to end up being another silly YA heroine with her going gaga all over Titus and not realizing that he was just manipulating her. But she does realize this soon after and their 'romance' cools off quite a bit, to the point were it really takes a back seat and resurfaces every now and then. Oh, but when it does it was lovely!
 
"He kissed the shell of he ear. "Then let me tell you this: I live for you, and you alone"
 
I loved the characters. All of them. From the teachers, to the crazy lady, to the inquisitor type person, and obviously Titus and Iolanthe. They were all beautifully written, solid, and real. Another thing going for this book was the humor that was peppered around. 
 
"Baslan held up the Citadel's copy of the Crucible. "What do you know about this book?" "Oh, that. I play Big Bad Wolf to Little Red Riding Hood. She likes it rough, did you know? I did not." "I beg your pardon?" "What else are you going to do with such a contraption? Of course Sleeping Beauty is probably prettier, but I am not going to fight dragons for any girl. And the chit who lives in the woods is agreeable enough, but those dwarfs in her cottage are perverts. They always want to watch."
 
And of course the selling point of The Burning Sky for me was the world building. It was phenomenal. Yes it borrows some concepts from HP but honestly at this point is pretty impossible to write something completely original, so I forgive it. There was all kinds of magic, elemental, wand magic, potions, magicla objects, like the Crucible, which btw I want one! The world it self and how it came about and why it is the way it is now. I loved all of it!
 
Everyone should give this book a try. Some people had an issue with the writing style. I didn't even notice it to be honest, but even with that problem you will still like this, that's just how good it is ;)
 
 
So...
 
 

Would I Recommend it?

 
 
***
Other books in the Elemental Trilogy:
Source: http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/2013/09/unraveling-burning-sky-by-sherry-thomas.html

Unraveling: BZRK by Michael Grant

BZRK - Michael Grant

Title: BZRK

Series: BZRK Book One
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
 
SSet in the near future, BZRK is the story of a war for control of the human mind. Charles and Benjamin Armstrong, conjoined twins and owners of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, have a goal: to turn the world into their vision of utopia. No wars, no conflict, no hunger. And no free will. Opposing them is a guerrilla group of teens, code name BZRK, who are fighting to protect the right to be messed up, to be human. This is no ordinary war, though. Weapons are deployed on the nano-level. The battleground is the human brain. And there are no stalemates here: It’s victory . . . or madness.

BZRK unfolds with hurricane force around core themes of conspiracy and mystery, insanity and changing realities, engagement and empowerment, and the larger impact of personal choice. Which side would you choose? How far would you go to win?
  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg 
 
***
 

My Thoughts

 

I am a total sucker for books about hacking/hackers, specially with sci-fi elements. I was all good and ready to suspend by sense of belief for the nanobots, since it's not that huge of a stretch now a days. My problem came in (and this was like 20% in) when they started talking about the biots. My suspension of belief did not reach that far.


I'm supposed to buy that these biots which are the size of nanobots are made entirely with pieces of other animal DNAs, but not only are we talking animal splicing, we are talking human splicing, because to create a biot that you can control it requires that human's DNA that is going to be controlling it and that right there is where it went all out the window for me.


I tried ignoring it, not thinking about it too much, just go with the flow and try to not think too much about the specifics of biots, but it was impossible. Every time their connection to the human was mentioned or how they looked I was immediately thrown. It just wasn't happening.


I'd like to say that was my only issue, but I'd be lying. My other issue was the writing style. It made it really hard to get into the story as well. So not only was I fighting the idea of biots the whole time, but also the writing style. It made for a very hard read.


You maybe wondering why I'm still going to give it the recom that I am and it's because even with all my issues the book is well written and very thorough. The plot and characters are quite engaging, they were what kept me reading the whole way through even with my issues with the writing style.


If you don't have a problem suspending your disbelief about the biots then you should give this one a try. If anything it was an entertaining read.



So...

 

Would I Recommend it?

 
 
 
***
 
Other books in the BZRK Series:
Source: http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/2013/09/unraveling-bzrk-by-michael-grant.html

Unraveling: Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff

Kinslayer - Jay Kristoff

Title: Kinslayer

Series: The Lotus War Book Two
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: Sept. 17, 2013
 
A SHATTERED EMPIRE
The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.
 
  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg 
 
***
 

My Thoughts

 

I think Kristoff is trying to kill us through his books. I had so many conflicting emotions while reading Kinslayer I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack.


We start right of with a bang or more precisely, three bangs. Yukiko is now official a badass, and Kin is on the run. The first half of Kinslayer pissed me off. A lot. The way the book is written, every chapter is someone else's point of view, to get a feel for all the plot threads going on. This was both good and bad. While I'm usually all for this kind of presentation, for the first half of Kinslayer it made me want to throw the kindle at the wall in frustration. You are given enough for you to know that something else is going on but not enough for any actual answers, and at that point you don't know how all these plot threads are going to be tying in. This, plus what was actually happening made for an incredibly frustrating first half of the book.


We had the Kage off in the Iishi mountains 'trying' to plot some kind of movement against Kigen. We have some random girl who works at the palace who can use the Kenning as well. Then we have the Guildsmen plotting against the Kage to keep Kigen and Shima the way it is. We have Yukiko who is drowning in grief for her father and suffering from something that we don't know yet till about 70% of the book. We have Kin and a runaway guildswoman who are in the Kage HQ while Yukiko is off trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with her and while she is off a whole other issue comes up. Now Buruu has his own problems and there were zombie-like priests and it was all just SO MUCH STUFF! My brain couldn't take it!


What pissed me off the most was actually the Kage's attitude towards Kin and the guildswoman. I understand they would have trust issues obviously but dude! Kin is helping them! He saved their asses! He saved Yukiko and Buruu's asses in Stormdancer and the Kage are flat out assholes towards Kin. It made me want to kill someone or for an unexpected Guild attack to happen and for them to burn! I was just that pissed off. 


Then after like 60% mark, the bombs start dropping. I don't mean that literally mind you. I mean the twists start coming one right after the other and the next thing you know it's the end of the book and your just left holding your Kindle staring off into space and wondering what the fuck just happened. IT WAS AWESOME. 


I can't go into much of any kind of specifics because I don't want to ruin any of the surprises for you. I hope my review was coherent enough for you to get the gist of what I was trying to convey xD If you liked Stormdancer then don't worry this won't be a disappointment at all. Because even after that incredibly frustrating first half there is no way I can give this book any less of a wonderful recom :)

 

So...

 

 

Would I Recommend it?

 
 
***
 
Other books in the The Lotus War Trilogy:
Source: http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/2013/09/unraveling-kinslayer-by-jay-kristoff.html

Early Unraveling of Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

Title: Not A Drop To Drink

Series: N/A
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
 
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg 
 
***
 

My Thoughts

 
 
 

A copy was provided through Edelweiss and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review


I hadn't read any real dystopians in a while, guess I was burned out, so I was kinda excited to get around to this one. Unfortunately the only word I can think of to describe Not A Drop To Drink is dull.


I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe some epic out of control fight for water, but that's the last thing I got out of this. Yes there were some parts that were eyebrow-raising and exciting but they were so short lived! There are about 3 distinct scenes that I would say were exciting and that out of a 320 page book is just sad.


The writing was good enough and there were enough distracting bits to keep me engaged enough to finish, but by the end I was left feeling glad that it was over so I could pick something else up to read. I'm writing this review just a few hours after I finished reading and do you think I even remember the reason why there is a shortage of water? Cause I don't. I don't know if they actually did come out and say it or if it was just implied and that's why I don't remember. And at this point I simply don't care.


Not A Drop To Drink is as exiting as the blurb makes it sound. Nothing more nothing less. It follows the life of Lynn who lives next to a pond, and the whole book revolves around just that. Her life next to a pond that she has to defend, and how she lives in such a world. That's it. The big conflict? A big group of men who were trying to set up close to her place and wanted her house because of the pond. Again, that's it. That's what it all comes down to.


Sure it was mildly interesting learning about some survival techniques and seeing Lynn learning some actual humanity once she starts having contact with people other than her Mother. The romance was just weird in my opinion. From all the contact she had with the guy things developed WAY too quickly. I mean they were cuddling and sleeping in each other's arms after like the second meeting. This from a girl who didn't have any kind of human contact before besides her mom, and didn't know anything about romance per se. It was just bizarre.


The ending definitely picked up with various 'plot' threads coming together all at once and it made for a very fast paced last 1/3rd of the book and the epilogue was sweet, but this all came way too late. I felt numb through most of the book, just going through the paces.In the end Not A Drop To Drink left me feeling meh.


So...

 

Would I Recommend it?

 
 
 
 
 
Source: http://unraveling-words.blogspot.com/2013/09/early-unraveling-not-drop-to-drink-by.html
St. Clair - Rose Christo
""You know what I like about The Little Mermaid?"

A smile spread slowly across my lips. I forgot to shake my head.

"She's mute. She traded her tongue for legs. She can't talk to anyone, even when her sisters come and visit her at the surface of the sea. She can't talk to the guy she loves. But she doesn't need to talk for people to see how good she is. She dances for the prince, even when he marries someone else. She can't bring herself to kill him, even though it's the only way she can go home to her family. She's got the best heart. It doesn't matter that she can't speak. Everybody knows it."

He touched his fingertips to my cheek. To the birthmark on the side of my fave.

"Everybody knows it.""
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz
"So I renamed myself Ari. If I switched the letter, my name was Air. I thought it might be a great thing to be the air.

I could be something and nothing at the same time.

I could be necessary and also invisible.

Everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me."