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Month: May 2019

The Gods of Men (Gods of Men, #1)

The Gods of Men (Gods of Men, #1)

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been having the most awful reading streak in my favorite genre—adult fantasy—this month, The Gods of Men is a new adult fantasy that might have just saved me from an encroaching fantasy slump.

Thank you, Barbara Kloss, for offering your book to me. If you’ve been following my reading progress for this month of May, you’ll probably notice that I’ve been having one of the worst reading months of my life; only one book I finished—that isn’t a reread—this month was able to earn a 4 stars rating, and this was for a sci-fi novel; all my fantasy read ranged disappointingly between the rating of 1-3 stars. The Gods of Men by Barbara Kloss recently just won the runner-up spot in this year’s SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) competition that’s held annually by Mark Lawrence. That being said, I didn’t actually expect to read The Gods of Men this soon, not when there’s already a stack of ARC/review requests I haven’t finished yet. However, finishing the prologue immediately made me want to continue reading and I ended up finishing the book within two days.

“I take people as they are,” Tolya had always said. “Not who they’ve been or who they want to be. The pat and future are for the Maker. The present is for us.”

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Queen of Fire (Raven’s Shadow, #3)

Queen of Fire (Raven’s Shadow, #3)

Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars

I’m in utter disbelief, I can’t believe this…

Queen of Fire is the third and last book in Anthony Ryan’s Raven Shadow trilogy that began with the incredible Blood Song. By now, if you’ve heard about this trilogy, you’ll most likely have heard from several readers that the series didn’t end as good as the first book. I, unfortunately, have to agree with them completely. Anthony Ryan himself is great as an author and person, it seriously pains me to give this or any of his book a low rating but I really have to be honest that I didn’t enjoy reading Queen of Fire at all. I’m not angry at this book, but I’m genuinely sad and disappointed. How is it even possible that a series that began so brilliantly can derail this much? Even coming into this with the lowest of expectation, I still found myself disappointed at the final product of this tome.

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The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage (The Passage, #1)

The Passage by Justin Cronin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Passage has been on my TBR list for years, but for some reason has always been pushed to the side in favor of something newer and shinier. Which is strange, because it contains a lot of elements that I really enjoy, or at least enjoy reading about, like vampires and the world spiraling into a dystopian apocalypse. Better late than never, I suppose. Once I finally picked this up, I was engrossed.

Before she became the Girl from Nowhere—the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years—she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy. Amy Harper Bellafonte.

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Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)

Children of Ruin (Children of Time, #2)

ARC provided by the publisher—Pan Macmillan—in exchange for an honest review

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Children of Ruin retained everything that’s great about the Children of Time by following its predecessor’s footstep really closely.

Although Children of Time worked absolutely well as a standalone, please do not read Children of Ruin without reading the previous book first because this isn’t a standalone sequel. Tchaikovsky builds upon the foundation and ending from Children of Time to expand the universe within this series further. I really don’t want to spoil anything from the series so I’ll refrain from talking about the main plot and I’ll try to keep this review as concise as possible.

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Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts

Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts

Conversations with Oscar Wilde: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts by Merlin Holland
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I received an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

“Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.”

I’ve adored Oscar Wilde for most of my life. My parents used to buy my six Great Illustrated Classics every Christmas, and my favorite of these when I was about eight was The Picture of Dorian Gray. I can’t even count how many times I read that little abridged classic, but I would say that number is in the literal dozens. In fact, I loved it so much that I was afraid of reading the unabridged classic as an adult, for fear that it wouldn’t measure up to the book I had loved so much as a child. I couldn’t have been more wrong, while the illustrated classic of my childhood gave me the story, it didn’t deliver Wilde’s prose. I had no idea what I was missing. Today, Wilde’s original, unabridged novel is one of my very favorite classics I’ve ever read.

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Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow, #2)

Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

On its own, Tower Lord is not a bad book. But as a sequel, it was disappointing.

The first time I finished reading Blood Song, it was in 2017. Since then, I honestly haven’t mustered the courage to continue past it due to the infamous negativity—I honestly never see the last installment of a series being called disappointing as often and widely as Raven’s Shadow trilogy—surrounding the sequels. I love Blood Song very much, I just finished rereading it a few weeks ago and I still think of it as one of the best fantasy debuts of all time; the idea that the sequels have the potential to ruin it scared me. Now that I have an ARC of The Wolf’s Call in my hand, I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and continue reading the series. If I ended up being disappointed by Queen of Fire, at least I know there’s a continuation after it that could—hopefully—bring the glory of Blood Song back.

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The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy, #3)

The Poison Song by Jen Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

One word. INCREDIBLE.

The Winnowing Flame Trilogy has earned a perfect 5-star rating from me and deserved ALL of it. The Poison Song not only lived up to its astoundingly good prequels, but it also delivered an exquisitely emotional and satisfying conclusion.

I’ve always refrained from mentioning plot points in my reviews for concluding books to avoid inadvertent spoilers.  Instead, I will explain why I believed that Jen Williams’ sophomore trilogy is absolutely worth your time and money.

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The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Her silence was like a mirror—reflecting yourself back at you. And it was often an ugly sight.”

I feel that the domestic noir mystery novel has become almost cliche at this point. After Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl took the world by storm, a multitude of others poured forth that followed the same formula, whether by chance or purposeful emulation. I would consider The Silent Patient part of the same genre, but refreshingly different from many of its compatriots. The setting, the narrator, and the twists all felt unique, and combined in a way that actually surprised me. I especially enjoyed the psychology element, and the way the author ensured that we could see mental health issues and therapy from the points of view of both patients and doctors. Also, I appreciated the inclusion of an Ancient Greek play, and its importance to the plot; this addition felt very cultured, and made me immediately interested in learning more about said play.

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Kingshold (The Wildfire Cycle, #1)

Kingshold (The Wildfire Cycle, #1)

I received a copy of the audiobook from Tantor Media in exchange for an honest review.

Kingshold by D.P. Woolliscroft
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars.

An enjoyable classic fantasy romp with some modern touches, Kingshold is a commendable debut by D.P. Woolliscroft.

This first book of The Wildfire Cycle is heavy on politics as its major plotline is centred around the election of a new Lord Protector to the Kingdom of Edland. With the current King dead and after many generations of useless monarchs, the ancient wizard, Jyuth, who founded the kingdom refused to take any further responsibility in choosing the next one. Instead, an election was proposed and the story ensued with political scheming and assassinations (which are perfectly legal if performed under a contract).

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The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4)

The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I give up. Here’s where I say goodbye to The Wheel of Time.

The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in The Wheel of Time series, it’s been claimed by many fans of the series that installment is one of the better books—some even said it’s THE best–written by Robert Jordan before Brandon Sanderson takes over. I personally found this book to be the worst in the series so far.

Just like the extremely repetitive nature of the series, the only way I can explain why I found myself incredibly disappointed is, again, by repeating the cons that I’ve mentioned in my review of the previous three books. What I mean by this is that the story starts awesome, became extremely boring, and then a great conclusion again. Seriously, I read through the first 25% in a day, then it took me six days—with skimming Perrin’s story—to finish the remaining content. I won’t lie that a ridiculous amount of determination was self-forced on me in order for me to able to finish this.

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