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The Monster of Elendhaven

The Monster of Elendhaven

ARC provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This starts out promising but overall it’s really just not for me.

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht is a debut that I’ve heard great things about. It’s been advertised as a compelling dark fantasy about revenge, murder, and magician. For what its worth, it did started out that way; strongly atmospheric and dark. However, once the romance started, I found that the twisted relationship and unrealistic progression in their romance (though, maybe that’s kinda the point of the relationship) that constantly hangs in a weird status throughout the book became more of the main focus than everything else.

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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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Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Thanks, Mr. Levin. I hate it.

I had so many problems with this book. Because I feel the need to vent about said problems, there will be an abundance of spoilers in the review below. I’ll try to keep things as vague as possible, but yeah. Spoilers. If you’re unfamiliar with the story and have any desire to read it without prior knowledge, please skip reading this review.

You have been warned.

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A Hero Born (Legends of the Condors Heroes, #1)

A Hero Born (Legends of the Condors Heroes, #1)

ARC provided by the publisher—St. Martin’s Press—in exchange for an honest review.

A Hero Born by Jin Yong
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A Hero Born is the start to Jin Yong’s highly praised classic series but a lot of the promising quality of the book seems to get lost in translation.

I’m genuinely sad with my ratings for this one, but I have to be honest that I have mixed feelings towards this novel. When I was around 5 years old, I used to watch The Legends of the Condor Heroes a lot with my parents. When I missed an episode, my parents would tell me the story in detail; teaching me the meaning behind the actions of each character. This series, even though I’ve never read it until now, has a spot of nostalgia for me. That being said, it’s been more than 20 years and I honestly remember extremely little about it. What I do remember is that the story eventually grew significantly larger in scope and complexity than the coming-of-age tale we have in A Hero Born. I’ll divide this review strictly into what worked and what didn’t; let’s start with the parts that worked first.

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A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A Dance with Disappointments.

I really thought A Feast for Crows would’ve been the lowest point of the main series. I was wrong because this book didn’t show any sign of improvement. In fact, I thought this was even worse due to the boring setting and unnecessary length of this tome. If it weren’t obvious before, this book displayed Martin’s struggle with writing his main series even more. Realistically speaking, due to the direction of the story in this book, I’m quite confident that A Song of Ice and Fire most likely will never be completed.

“Winter is coming, Jon reflected. And soon, too soon. He wondered if they would ever see a spring.”

Me too, Jon Snow. Me too. I do believe that we’ll get The Winds of Winter eventually, but the planned final book of the series, A Dream of Spring, is indeed a dream.

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Beren and Luthien

Beren and Luthien

Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unlike The Children of Hurin, unless you’re a lover of poetry or you’re a diehard Tolkien fans, I doubt the overall content of this book will be enjoyable to read.

The Children of Hurin has a novel format with a standalone story. The novel begins with a preface from Christopher Tolkien, then the story starts and continues until the end without break in prose form. It’s pretty much a standard standalone fantasy novel format with a self-contained story that can be read and enjoyed by anyone who loves fantasy novel. Beren and Luthien isn’t like The Children of Hurin. Although I’m super happy that I approached The Children of Hurin without knowing anything about it and ended up loving it, I wish I have known about the overall content of Beren and Luthien before I bought it; because I wouldn’t have bought it.

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Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)

Two Serpents Rise (Craft Sequence, #2)

Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two Serpents Rise was a huge downgrade from Three Parts Dead.

Two Serpents Rise is the second book in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence series but chronologically, this takes place before the event of the first book; look at the number in the title of each book, that’s the chronological order of the story line. Because Craft Sequence is a standalone series, almost every book featured different main characters and story in a different locale.

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The Twilight Pariah

The Twilight Pariah

Review copy provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

The Twilight PariahThe Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford has an interesting premise and ideas but unfortunately they were quite poorly executed.

In their last college vacation, Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted to get drunk and play archaeologist in a mansion located in the woods outside of town. During their excavation, the found a disturbing skeleton of a horned child which lead to their lives becoming a living hell wherever they go. Sounds quite good right? But in my opinion, the writing didn’t deliver any of the suspense and creepiness that books in the horror genre delivers.

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Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)

Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)

Dust Of Dreams (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9)Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dust of Dreams lived up to its name, the book sent me to dreamland almost every chapter.

Erikson mentioned at the beginning of the novel that his idea of a finale was so huge that the story had to be done in two books: Dust of Dreams for the first half and The Crippled God for the second half of the story. I haven’t read The Crippled God yet and because of that, I simply have no idea how all the plotlines will converge and concludes in the last entry of the series. However, I’m going to say this, Dust of Dreams to me is easily the weakest book within the entire series, even weaker than House of Chains. If it weren’t due to the fact that marks the ninth and penultimate installment of the series, I would’ve DNFed the book/series; it was that painful and boring to read.

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Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)

Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)

Night of Knives (Malazan Empire, #1)Night of Knives by Ian C. Esslemont
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Just like the main series, I was determined to finish the Malazan Empire this year but I may have to rethink that decision after my experience of reading this book.

Night of Knives is the first book in the Malazan Empire series, a spin-off to the main series that’s written by the other creator of the Malazan universe, Ian Esslemont. A lot of people mentioned that Esslemont is not Erikson (these four words must’ve haunted Esslemont for years by now) and usually, I’ll say that it’s really not really fair for everyone to endlessly compare these two; it’s obvious that every author has a different style. But in this special situation, I must say that the comparison is really well deserved because both of them write canon stories in the same universe which they created together.

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