ARC Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #3) Spoiler free!

Hier of Fire | Sarah J. Maas | Bloomsbury Publishing | Throne of Glass #3 |  Source: Netgalley (Review) | 556 pages | Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: September 11th, 2014
ISBN13: 978-1408839126
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis (This review is spoiler free but this synopsis won’t be! You have been warned!):

“Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?”

This review is spoiler free for all of the series.

Review:

I started this series a few months ago and I have been eagerly anticipating the next instalment even since I put down Crown of Midnight. When I was approved on Netgalley for Heir of Fire, I could not have been happier!

Heir of Fire jumps straight in and starts just as Crown of Midnight finishes and quite seamlessly so. This instalment is a little bit different compared to the rest. We have a bucket of new characters. We have some of Celeana’s relations which proves to be quite interesting. We also have some new POV’s that have come to light. From the start of the series we know that a conflict is brewing. Seeing these from the POV of new kingdoms make the read all the more exciting!

A lot of revelations have come to light in the previous books both in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. Although all of them are not answered, they are explored making even more of them come to life. It is so cleverly done.

Heir of Fire is book 3 out of 6 in the Throne of Glass Series. I truly think that this series is still running strong and the series definitely comes in to its own in this instalment. It is by far my favourite. At times it is so much darker, stakes are higher and Celeana is getting stronger. To say she is my favourite YA heroine is an understatement. You can’t help but root for her through out!

I hate to tell people that they are missing out since we all have something to read. But if you have not started this series, it is definitely a must if you have a soft spot for YA fantasy!

Goodreads Average: 4.6/5 (out of 1,577)

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Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Cursed | Jennifer L. Armentrout | Hodder and Stoughton | Stand Alone | 5 Stars| Source: Review (Bookbridgr) | 305 pages | Young Adult | Fantasy 
Release Date: September 18th, 2012 
ISBN13: 978-1937053123
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Dying sucks–and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows. Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time”

Review:

A standalone young adult fantasy tickles my fancy and leaves me sceptical in equal measure. I think striking the balance between having the right amount of character development, world building and plot in a standalone can be difficult. With young adult being saturated with series and trilogies, I was happy to find something different in Cursed.

Cursed follows the story of Ember. Her baby sister, Olivia, brought her back with her touch after a car accident and now she has a death touch. Anything she so much as grazes with her thumbs will die within seconds. This makes daily life difficult and with her flesh toned gloves in tow, makes her high school life a living hell.

This is probably one of my favourite standalone novels of all time. It provides all of the above with the perfect balance and I finished it in one sitting!

We don’t learn too much about how people with certain gifts came to be or how they are policed. All we know is there is “The Facility” and a gentleman named Cromwell makes it his duty to look after other children like this. This was enough for me considering it was more about the characters and their development rather than the fantasy.

I definitely have a soft spot for our main character. Ember is easy to empathize with, strong willed and level headed. At points in the novel she is taken out of her comfort zone and introduced to new things. Her reactions to these are so plausible! Recently I have found main characters to be quite limp and Ember definitely breaks that streak for me.

The mystery aspect of this novel is so gripping! Following Ember on her journey to finding how and why the car crash with her family happened kept me guessing and the twist at the end was so well done!

This was my first taste of JLA and it definitely won’t be my last! Half-Blood here I come!

Goodreads Average: 3.87/5 (out of 6.199 ratings)

Review: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready | Adam Sternbergh | Headline Publishing Shovel Ready #1 | Source: Review (Bookbridgr) | 256 pages | Adult | Fantasy | Dystopia 
Release Date: January 24th, 2014
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

I don’t want to know your reasons. I don’t care. Think of me as a bullet. Just point.’

Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, before New York became a burnt-out shell. Now the wealthy escape grim reality by spending their days tapped into a virtual world; the rest of the population has to fend for itself on the streets. Now there’s nothing but garbage.

So Spademan became a hit man. He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s very handy with a box-cutter.

When he’s hired to kill the daughter of a high-profile evangelist, Spademan’s life is upended. To survive, he will have to navigate two worlds – the slick fantasy world of the elite and the wasteland reality of the rest of the city’s inhabitants – to finish the job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground.”

Review:

I had never seen this novel around until I picked it up on the Bookbridgr site. Set in a dystopian New York City where bombings have destroyed the city and a new society has formed, this definitely seemed the book for me. In short although I was not a huge fan of some elements, overall I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

Negatives out of the way first, the writing style was a huge case of hit and miss for me. Although it was more hit than miss in the end, I sometimes felt so lost when it came to the dialogue. There is little to no punctuation and while reading it is incredibly choppy (choppy in the best way possible). It is very snappy and to the point. This meant that world building was so on point, however, me attempting to follow some of the dialogue, not so much.

One of my favourite parts of the novel was the “Limnosphere”. A form of virtual reality, if you will. Before the bombs struck it was just a small part of some peoples everyday lives, now, the majority of who is left have retired to it full time. I found the whole logistics behind it so interesting!

Just a quick shout out to Spademan, our main character. I think he is one of the few characters who have been so well introduced that have made me empathize with an assassin. The novel is from his point of view and as I said before, the world building from him was spot on. I also loved how he had a certain levels of ethics when it came to executing his assassinations. Small bits of info that in the grand scheme of things may not have been needed but I still was more than happy to have!

Overall, this a solid start to a series and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I am truly looking forward to see where this series goes!

Goodreads Average: 3.48/5 (out of 1,683 ratings)