Tower of Dawn

tower of dawn

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)

Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Overview

Tower of Dawn is happening concurrently with Empire of Storms.  Chaol and Nesryn have gone to Antica which is not on the map in the beginning of the book but the in southern continent. They have gone to heal Chaol’s back as well as ask the king to join forces to defeat Erawan.

Let me begin by saying that is book is 660 fucking pages.

Secondly, Maas spends 400 pages developing a romance and about 200ish pages on the actual story.

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Considering the fact that there is A LOT going on in this story with the wydkeys and the Valg and faeries and the wyverns and now we have ruks and SIX NEW MAIN CHARACTERS and Brannon and Mab & Mora and Maeve and a new continent which means new world building and that owl symbol on the cover and OH MY GOD!!!  I feel like Maas is trying to write a Game of Thrones epic type story but she’s not doing a good job.  The story is too convoluted and the strategy to kill the Valg and Erawan is too complicated and I still don’t know how to do it.  I know one person needs all three key but then what? in GOT you kill the white walkers with fire, dragonstone or Valarian steel-That’s it!

But it’s not just about the keys.  She’s gone back hundreds of years with Brannon and Orcus and Elena and she info dumps all that information which, by the way, it EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT, yet she only gives it two short chapters.  Yrene salivating over Chaol’s body got more pages than the main plot.

And while we are talking about Chaol.  I like Chaol but damn; he got on my last nerve with the brooding.  Hey Chaol, everyone has suffered.  People around you have brutally lost their loved ones, been sexually assaulted or had to sell their bodies for money.  They had to travel on their own to get to safety while you were on a cushy boat and you have the nerve to bitch about your problems for 500 pages? And we still don’t know what happened with his father.

Basically, this book is too big for Maas.  She seems to like romance and if that’s the case then write some erotica and get it out of your system already.  But if you are going to write an epic fantasy, please spend more than 20% of your novel on the fantasy part.  Don’t info dump all the back story into your book.  Take a page from Rowling and RR Martin and write the back stories on your website or write separate history books.  Have an easy to follow plot in your main story, sprinkle in some interesting history, and allow people to read those history books if they want to learn more about your world.

I’m this close to giving up on Throne of Glass but I’ve invested five years into this series and there’s only one book left so I guess.  And if someone knows who the last chapter was about, could you leave it in the comments?

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbomb 3/4 (I’m being generous)

Click here for spoilers.

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Song of the Current

song of the current

Song of the Current #1

By Sarah Tolcser

Genre: Pirates/Fantasy/WNDB

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb

Review:

Caro is the first mate on her father’s ship and when they dock, they see several ships have been burned to the ground.  The head soldier, can’t remember his title, asks Caro’s father to ship some very important secret cargo across the river or he’ll put him in jail for smuggling.  Of course he refuses because he’s a stand up guy and of course Caro offers to go in his stead because we can’t have a YA novel where the teen is with her father-GROSS.

Caro and her frogman Fee, yes I said frogman, set sail in their sailboat type boat (I don’t know anything about boats) with the cargo they have been forbidden to open but she opens it almost immediately.  What? You mean I don’t have to wait until the end of the novel to find out what’s in the box? Way to break tropes, Tolcser.  I won’t say what’s in the box because I don’t want to ruin the fun.

At some point Caro meets a hot guy named Tarquin who’s also a snotty royal and a pretty good character.  Caro and Tarquin have preconceived notions about each other which creates tension that turns to sexual tension thus beginning a literal shipping opportunity.  Caro needs to get Tarquin to his destination and along the way they run into some pirates and Caro’s fabulous and highly influential family.  Did I mention that Caro is bi-racial? Her father is white and her mother is black and a badass.  Authors take note.  If you are writing a character that doesn’t represent your race, they best way to avoid the racism stamp is to not make your world racially charged.  Caro’s race never played a role in Current but her profession did and this tension is relatable.

When Caro and Tarquin finally arrive to their destination, the villains are waiting for them and their escape was really sweet and I almost shed a tear.  Caro meets more interesting characters, falls in love, and accepts her fate.

Song of the Current is a debut that was really entertaining.  The pacing was great, it was never predictable, the fantasy aspect worked well, and it had great balance between an insecure heroine and political intrigue.

Highly recommend! Also, check Sarah’s Pinterest boards for visuals.

Listen to the podcast of Song of the Current to find out how to win the ARC.  So I didn’t realize Current was already published so I’ll give away an ARC of Warcross too but you still have to listen to the podcast to find out how-HAHAHA!

The Thief

thief

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1)

By Megan Whalen Turner

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 1996

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb

Overview

Book 5 is coming out and it’s receiving a lot of hype so I decided to start the series to see if it’s all that.

Disclaimer: I don’t know Greek mythology so this added to my enjoyment.

Gen is a thief but not a good one because he got caught by the King of Sounis in this parallel Grecian world. One day the magnus, the king’s scholar, frees Gen and tells him he needs his expertise and thus begins their long journey.  Accompanying Gen and the mangus is a soldier named Pol, a duke’s wimpy son named Sophos, and the magnus’ asshole of an apprentice named Ambiades.

Gen has been in prison for a while and he’s a bit of a dick.  Some people may find him insufferable but I concluded that Gen knows he’s needed and he’s been in prison so he’s going to milk this for all it’s worth and it works because when he’s hungry (which is a lot) they feed him and when he’s tired they rest.  The bulk of this novel is their journey on horseback and during this time, Turner begins her character development and world building.  I was afraid that this old ass book would not provide anything new by the way of character, plot, or world building but I was pleasantly surprised. When the story opens, you don’t know anything about anyone including Gen but during their long journey, you learn everything about everyone so therefore I didn’t find it boring.  Sure, some of the characters were a bit tropey (Pol and Ambiades) but I found the magnus to be a refreshing character. The revelation of the three countries and how they intersect was well written but I really needed a map.  Hopefully the new covers/new editions include a map.

I think Turner is a good storyteller. She gave you all the information you needed to follow along.  I don’t know if this is a 1996 thing but no one had ages.  If this were published today, there would definitely be ages. Also, did anyone catch the gay undertones? Overall, this was a solid intro into a new series that I’m excited to dive into it.  I just hope that if there’s a book 6, Turner doesn’t take five years to write it.

I highly recommend you begin The Queen’s Thief Series. Don’t read any reviews because they might contain spoilers. I found some fan art that I think was spoilerish and I exited immediately.

Gilded Cage

gilded-cage

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)

By Vic James

Genre: Science Fiction/Alternate Universe/Fantasy

Expected Publication: February 14, 2017

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 3/4

Review

In this contemporary alternate universe London, all citizens who are not an Equal (wealthy, influential, magical) are required by law to participate in slavedays-serving ten years as a slave.

Abi Hadley was able to get her parents, her seventeen year old brother, and her ten year old  sister to complete their slavedays at the house of one of the most wealthiest families in London, the Jardines. Although two of the Jardine boys are powerful and mean, the third brother is kind and has caught the eye of Abi.  While servitude in the Jardine house is peaceful, there’s an uprising in one of the slave towns and the Jardine’s and the other wealthy families who make the laws will do anything to keep slavedays law.

Gilded Cage is an allegory to what our world could have looked like if slavery had not been abolished.  In this book, the lawmakers are Skilled and have immense magical powers and although our lawmakers do not posses magic; they still posses the power to oppress.  The powerful ones on the outside think slavedays are not that bad because the slaves have jobs and are fed so therefore life is good for them until someone sheds light on reality-hunger, police brutality, and sloven conditions.  Similar to the start of the Civil Rights Movement where the North witnessed the fire hoses on TV, people began to take action to end slavery and this where Gilded Cage begins.

In addition to the politics, there are feminist themes and themes of unconditional love. Wonderful character development considering there are a lot of characters and James has created an interesting world.  Gilded Cage was thrilling and exciting and I can’t wait to see what happens in book two.

My only issue was the family tree.  The Parva-Jardine family is quite extensive and confusing so a glossary or a simple family tree would be a helpful addition to the final book.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval

Caraval (#1)

By: Stephanie Garber

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb

Review

Scarlett has dreamed of the Caraval circus since she was a little girl. She mailed the ringleader, Legend, every year hoping to get a ticket only to learn that the Caravel was no longer touring.  Days before her wedding, which she reminds us of 30 times, Scarlett finally receives an invitation for three.  While Scarlett sees this as an adventure before her wedding, her sister Dontella sees this as a way to escape their abusive father.

Because Caraval will coincide with Scarlett’s wedding (are you tired of me mentioning the wedding? Well get over it because you’ll hear about it 50 times if you read this book) she’s reluctant to go but Dontella and her new guy friend (who’s extremely hot) force Scarlett to attend.

Once at Caraval, Scarlett is mesmerized by the tents, the hot brown guy she’s traveling with, winning the game to get the wish, her clothes that change for some reason, trading with things other than currency, her flimsy gown that she always seems to be wearing around all the men, secret passages, and the hot brown guy who’s constantly flirting with her.

Caraval had such potential to be cool and mysterious but it’s weighed down with tropes-the girl who thinks a man will save her, her sexual sister who knows otherwise, her hot guy, and the villainous father.  The uneven writing is also a problem. The dialogue was not particularly dynamic but it was peppered with metaphorical language.  This book also failed the Bechdel test-every conversation between two women were about men. This was a shame because the sisters had a great relationship but it was never explored.  Finally, the info dumping at the end didn’t help.

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