Review: The Glass Magician

The Glass Magician
The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As the second book of the series, there were many ups and down with this book and I don’t quite find it to be as good as the first one. The pacing, for one, is quite awful. The beginning of the book starts out way too slow and doesn’t start to pick up until the last 50 some pages. A lot of beginning could have been passed off as padding.

Holmberg does, however, have a knack for writing actions scenes and they’re all very well done.

I am looking forward to the 3rd book. Hopefully the finale will be exciting.

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Review: The Curse Breakers

The Curse Breakers
The Curse Breakers by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh boy oh boy. This book was wild ride of padding, shite romance and awful sex scenes. There’s no plot development whatsoever. It takes fucking 400 pages for Ellie to find the symbol of Ahone and kill two goddamn giant badgers.

The pacing of this book was about as urgent as Ellie acted.

Who fucking has straight up romantic dinners when the top issue at the moment is to find very important possibly life-saving notes? If I were in this situation, I’d scarf down a sandwich and keep looking. There is ZERO sense of urgency in this book.

Ellie’s Logical process: Oh, I have to find notes! Let’s eat dinner with the very hot sexy English professor who might really like me first!

A fucking love triangle? Are you serious?

Yeah, right after you fuck it all up with Collin, you go ahead and just happen to meet a hot English professor. Right. And he’s completely smitten by you for really no reason at all. Asides from being the biggest idiot and the worst person to carry the fate of the rest of the world, I personally see no defining characteristics about you, Ellie Dare. Please, would you care to explain what the fuck is up with that?

I just… can’t…

After spending the entire afternoon reading the rest of this shit book, I just feel drained. So drained that I don’t even have enough energy to write a full on rage review. Honestly? I’m dreading the third book.

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Review: The Curse Keepers

The Curse Keepers
The Curse Keepers by Denise Grover Swank
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m sorry Curse Keepers. You had so much potential but… really? Really? I’m wordless.

Our main characters are two shallow idiots.

Well, at least one of them is. The relationship between our two MCs can be shortened down into this:

[Ellie] OMG I CAN’T BREATH! THERE’S A HOT SEXY GUY TOO!
Ellie approaches hot sexy guy anyways.
Hot Sexy Guy smirks and grabs her hand.
[Ellie]FUCK. The curse is broken! The whole fate of humanity is resting on my shoulders! I’m not going to believe it! I’m going home and telling Hot Sexy Guy, aka Collin, to fuck off cause he’s acting like an asshole.
Shit happens. Collin acts like an asshole, but suddenly he’s mister hot sexy save the damsel in distress guy.
[Both] OMG WE’RE MADE FOR EACH OTHER! I CAN’T HOLD OFF SCREWING YOU FOR ANOTHER FUCKING MINUTE!
//Long exposition about screwing and how wonderful it feels.
Repeat x4
[Collin] Don’t hate me forever.
[Ellie] Ok.
Collin proceeds to betray Ellie.
[Ellie] I HATE YOU FOREVER.

If anything, the prose is just plain bad.

This book doesn’t flow. I’ve been switching between this book, The Golem and the Jinni, and The Glass Magician and every time I get back to reading this book, I cringe at how dry and unreadable the writing is.

Asides from the fact that Ellie is really annoying and shallow, we don’t get very much description asides from the fact that Collin is SO SEXY. Everything is just so… uninteresting. Not the mention, the pacing was super slow and the book had WAY too much padding. This should have been max 200 pages. Not 312.

The idea could have been so good.

Unfortunately, it seems that poor execution ruined it. The idea was simply thrown at the reader. I found most of creepy and there was barely, if any, worldbuilding. I still am basically clueless about this world even after 312 pages of shit. I still don’t know the limitations and abilities of the Curse Keepers. I don’t understand why more spirits aren’t chasing after Ellie more.

It seemed like the whole ordeal was just another Sunday drive around town with an occasional thug to “change it up”.

Oh. And sex scenes that go into lovely gory TMI detail.

Conclusion

If it weren’t for the fact that I won the third book off Goodreads and the fact that I have all three books on my shelf on Net Galley, I would have long abandoned this series at page 8.

DO NOT READ, unless you’re looking for an awful romance.

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Teardrop – Chapter 3 & 4

Apologies for the long hiatus. I was slacking a little.

The last time Eureka cried was when she was nine and immediately afterwards, a hurricane happened. Subtle. Her parents are arguing while it’s hurricaning and Eureka cries. One. Single. Fucking. Tear.

It’s like the world exploded or something, but water starts gushing out everywhere.

And then,

Diana gazed at her daughter as if she didn’t know who she was. Then her palm flicked backward and she slapped Eureka, hard.

Eureka froze mid-moan, too stunned to move or breathe. The whole house seemed to reverberate, echoing the slap. Diana leaned close. Her eyes bored into her daughter’s. She said in the gravest tone Eureka had ever heard: “Never, ever cry again.

Okay….? First off, would that make the poor girl cry even more? Second off, SO SUBTLE.

So for years, she’s never shed a tear. Until now. Over a fucking car accident that was more or less partially her fault. Wow. Epic fail. Clouds roll over ominously, but since the tear never actually fell, hell doesn’t break loose. She has no clue even though it’s so blatantly obvious what her tears probably do.

“My name’s Ander.” He stuck out his hand politely, as though a moment ago he hadn’t intimately wiped her eye, as though he hadn’t just done the strangest, sexiest thing anyone had ever done.

Ok. So your just totally cool with him rear ending your car and then you being a bitch about it now? You’re just going to be friends with him now because he did the “sexiest” thing anyone did to you ever? (Which for a record, was taking a tear from your eye and moving it to his. If that’s your definition of super sexy, I don’t know what to say anymore.) Can you be any more shallow?

Ander comments on how Eureka isn’t a common name and Eureka mopes once again for a page.

“Ander’s not a name you hear every day.”

His eyes dropped and they listened to a train heading west. “Family name.”

“Who are your people?” 

Uh huh. Because when you meet a hot guy who rear ends up and ends up being really sexy, you ask who the fuck his family is because his name is weird. Not like yours isn’t either.

A tow truck arrives and of course, the guy who drives it is a pervert, but he’s the only tow guy in town, so what can you do? Eureka wonders who sent out the message to get a tow and the driver-perv, Cory, tells her Big Jean called him. And we learn about Big fucking Jean, who no one actually cares about.

Also, if you’re not from around town, it seems like everyone hates you. Wow.

Ander is too proper to seem to be from Cajun and so Cory is really mean to him. Eureka finally gets a tow and then, we’re reminded a lot of words later that, oh shit, she still needs to get back to school for that cross country meet. Ander drives her and does a very unsuccessful job of hiding that fact that he knows everything about her life. His hands are shaky from “trauma” even though I’m very sure that he rear-ended her on purpose.

They nearly kill some squirrel animal and then all of a sudden Eureka goes all nice on him. Girl, you were a bitch a couple minutes ago. Where did this switch come from? How has Ander not all of a sudden regret saving the girl?

He acts all creepy, first saying he’s sorry for everything and then says that Eureka has a cross country meet, which she never told him about. But, conveniently, he just happens to be on the other team they’re running against. Wow. Just… wow.

Review: Hungry

Hungry
Hungry by H.A. Swain
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What is this book?

Asides from the fact that H. A. Swain has properly proven to the reader that she can write readable prose, I don’t think there’s anything else in this book that’s good.

The biggest issue? The entire goddamn concept.

We live in a world without food.

Food is supposedly illegal. After some massive great war that killed all food and shit, the government’s made it illegal to consume food and instead everyone drinks nutridrinks instead. Which means – 1. you never get hungry and 2. no one goes to the bathroom, because no waste products are produced at all.

But, hello? Without your goddamn plants, where’s the oxygen coming from? Where’s the nutrients for these nutridrinks (which are called Sythamil) coming from? Also, where the hell did weather go? What would you do if say, there was a hurricane or an earthquake?

Not to mention, why would you allow for people to keep their food related last name if you’re actively trying to forget food? (*cough*Apple *cough*)

The boundaries are not patrolled.

We have a super controlled environment, where everyone is fed nutrients so they don’t have to eat. But the people on the Outer Loop of the city can’t afford the nutridrinks and thus… starve? Why haven’t they rebelled yet? Why are they just sitting there like idiots?

Right outside the Outer Loop are the Hinterlands, which should be patrolled since they’re technically the boundary of One World (the corporate company that basically controls the government), but Thalia and Basil simply leave and there’s nothing to stop them. They don’t even go all that far to start finding plants. What’s preventing these people in the Outer Loops from just leaving?

Not to mention, even if you’re not trying to keep things in, border patrol is also good for keeping things out. Especially since it seems like One World isn’t the only populated city area.

One World controls it all.

And leading to my next argument – One World is described like a world dominating system, as if the entire world were controlled by them. But it seems that One World only actually controls the city area that Thalia lives in. There are apparently other population areas. Too bad it’s all too vague for us to know if it’s also One World controlled or independent.

Not to mention, One World seems to fail greatly at being a very uptight system. They can’t even get guards competent enough to chase down a few fucking clueless teenagers. Call up a squadron of people! Surround them! They’re unarmed inexperienced teenagers! Do you have to chase after them like an idiot and lose them because you didn’t use the technology that was available to you the fucking whole time.

They also failed to used the “Thalia is simply an incompetent teenager looking for attention.” argument when they tried to denounce her. Don’t you realize the more you put her face in the news saying that she’d being a rebel against the government, the more power you give her? The most simple and effective way to stop the whole ordeal is to claim her a delusional teen simply being stupid and that people should just calm down.

Games are the major source of entertainment.

Where are you getting the electricity to power all these entertainment arenas? Wouldn’t you think that the last thing the government wants to do after fighting an awful war is to make all of its citizens complete gluts by letting them sit around spending most of their time playing mindless stupid games?

Not to mention, not everyone likes games. What about the people who don’t like spending their time staring at moving pictures on a screen? Are they all going to become the next Thalia Apple? Not everyone is just going to dying their skin pink and play games all day no matter how suppressed their hormones are.

Asides from that, many other issues remain…

This book was not a bad read. It simply was stupid and the characters immature. If you don’t mind repeated headdesking, I say give this book a go. Because it certainly has some up points.

The worldbuilding however, makes it suck more than it should.

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Review: Chimera Book Three

Chimera Book Three
Chimera Book Three by Phil Gomm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Real Rating: 2.5 star

To be continued…

*stares at end of the book*
*cries*

WHY…. JUST WHY….. The end was perfect, why did you have to keep going………..

The third book of Chimera seems to start losing steam. The endless betrayal, plot twists, and constant use of deus ex machina to get out of crazy situations is starting to wear me out. By now, I’m just done with the endless circles that Gomm puts the user in. I have no clue who to trust, who’s speaking the truth and it leaves the reader feeling more annoyed than compelled to figure out more.

After 3 books of the series, I’ve come to the conclusion that power of plot is really what drives these books. Without the constant plot twists and bizarre encounters, this trilogy would be lackluster. With them, the books are a lot more readable, until the gaping issues become obvious.

The book continued to be a nice quick read and it felt just right to be a trilogy.

Another book? Seriously? I can’t do it anymore…

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Review: Chimera Book Two

Chimera Book Two
Chimera Book Two by Phil Gomm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I recieved an ARC of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

As the second installment of this series, book two did not let me down. the story remains whimsical, strange and well written and paced. The only problem that I’ve felt has become more and more glaringly obvious as I read through this book was that Gomm’s writing is really slightly on the dry side. There’s just a little too much betrayal that I’m still heavily confused as to who’s alliance is with who.

The biggest issue I have with this book is that it’s feels way too similar to Phantom Tollbooth.

In any case, a great second book and I’m looking forward to the end!

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Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I recieved an ARC via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

Why oh why did I not read this book earlier?

This story is so sweet and I haven’t read something quite so whimsical since The Night Circus. The writing was beautiful, the characters realistic and the pacing perfect. The only thing I found a little not quite happy with was the teacher apprentice romance developed in the end.

1. The Writing

For once, finally, I’m reading a book written by someone who can actually write good prose. The story is very readable and the pacing very well done. While I thought the whole journey through Mg Thane’s heart to be a little too long, it was nonetheless continuously interesting. The dialogue was good. The descriptions didn’t lack in anything. Everything. Was. Good.

Also, MG THANE IS AN AMAZINGLY 3-D CHARACTER! OMFG *SPAZZES*

2. The World

There could have a been a little more worldbuilding than there was in the book, but there’s nothing that’s glaringly awful that would make me cringe or anything. We’re not told the limitations of magic asides from the binding to a couple selected materials.

I feel rather uninformed about the excisioner and it would have been nice to have gotten a little more backstory on them and how they came to be. On the other hand, since this is a series, possibly it could have been saved for the next book, so I’m not going to complain too much about that.

I think a time period would have been nice too.

3. The Romance

Ok. Am I the only one seriously kind of creeped out by this eventually apprentice and teacher romance? Especially since this teacher has been married once and the apprentice is barely out of school? I don’t understand why this had to be a romance and why not a really deep friendship.

Friends are a thing you know.

Conclusion

From the complaints of other reviewers, it seems that the biggest problem is historical inaccuracy. I have no clue about any historical facts at the time. In any case, if you’re easily bothered by that, maybe be wary about reading this book. Otherwise, it’s a wonderful book.

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Review: A Grimm Legacy

A Grimm Legacy
A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I recieved an ARC of this book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 175

I’m sorry, this book isn’t even the worst book I’ve ever read, but I’m just so fed up with wasting my time reading books that I know won’t get any better when I’ve got books ten times better sitting across from me on a shelf waiting for me to read.

This would have been a good book had the author not completely undermine the intelligence of the reader and also learned few techniques about writing a story (such as prose, pacing and character creation).

1. Prose and Pacing
The prose in this book is dry. The descriptions are lackadaisical and oftentimes suppose to be “fancy” and “well thought out” but only leaves the reader confused.

Slipping through the door with a quick knock, Dylan found himself in a small sitting room. The view was breathtaking. An entire wall of windows looked out onto the beach and he felt a pang of homesickness. Focusing on the closed bedroom doors on the opposite ends of the room, he
chose one at random and tiptoed in.

Wow. The small sitting room’s view was breathtaking. A SMALL room has a BREATHTAKING view. How? Just how?

Also besides the breathtaking view, we get nothing else of the room. What the hell are the color of the carpets? Are there even carpets? Well, the world will never know.

Andi settled behind him on the wide seat looking at her clothes in dismay. Green sheep slobber slimed her cloak, dress, hands and boots. Or was it sheep snot?

First off, TMI. Second off, you could have just said “sheep slobber covered her body”. No one gives a shit if it covered her hands and not her arms. Third off, just ew.

The pacing of the book was also absolutely horrendous. Things just happen. It’s like the author envisioned a couple of scenes to happen and then stitched them together with the in between scenes to make it a novel. You know why I stopped at 175? Because the pacing screwed me over.

I might have finished if the pacing hadn’t been so bad.

2. Inconsistent Characters
Who the fuck is Dylan? From the first impression that I got, with him fighting with another guy over a girl and majorly losing, was that he was probably some weak sailing nerd who wanted to prove himself but actually had no experience sailing.

Apparently he’s hot, sexy and quite the teenage womanizer.

I have no a clue what kind of person Andi is and last time I checked, Cinderella did not wear a cape that has abilities very coincidentally similar to the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter. In fact, the author does a very poor job masking the source of inspiration by mentioning Harry Potter and how Andi felt like she was in Harry Potter.

Uh. No. Just, no.

We, as of 175, get no view of Quinn asides from the not-too-subtle hinting at the fact that he might have something to do with Rapunzel and her being the damsel in distress multiple times. She’s a crazy legit rock climber, but gets so scared getting kidnapped that she can’t even find the strength to fight back? Really? Muscles! Use them!

Fredrick has been, so far, the most consistent character, but also the nondescript. He’s shy shy and shy. And occasionally angry. What else? I have no clue.

Almost all of the other characters have their fairy tale counterparts to base their actions on, which makes characterization a lot easier, but not much better.

3. Plot
A pretty decent upside to the story is it’s somewhat intricate storyline and incorporating different fairy tales into the world. Unfortunately, it’s not very well played out and in the end, I just lost interest in the whole ordeal. The plot gets too masked by the awful prose and characters.

4. INTELLIGENCE. PLEASE.
I’m sorry Ms Author, but would you please not make your characters so ignorant of the Grimms fairy tales and also not undermine the reader’s intelligence so much? The fact that Quinn’s hair grew a mile a minute was enough for me to make a guess as to who she probably was. I don’t know yet and I don’t plan to find out. The fact that Andi get the part in Cinderella was enough for me the guess, within the first couple chapters, that she was Cinderella.

These characters are so stupid, sometimes I want to just facedesk. It’s awful. These are normal teenagers right? Normal teenagers aren’t this stupid I hope.

Conclusion
Nope. Do not read.

BONUS: The chapter titles are awful.
Chapter 7: “We don’t exactly have phones to call for help” (You have vocals chords too, you tards)
Chapter 8: “Where we’re from, you don’t see pointed elf ears outside of sci-fi conventions.” (for the record, sci-fi is the wrong genre)
Chapter 10: “You can drive if you know how to hotwire a car.” (Tell that to all the little kids in the world)
Chapter 22: “You never know what might happen at these… fundraisers, after all.” (Oh baby?)

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