Chasm of Books

The blog author of Chasm of Books, I enjoy reading and reviewing novels. I prefer some type of fiction (fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi, etc.) more than anything else. I find non-fiction very boring and dull. I'm willing to read both electronic and physical books, but I tend to read faster and more often if I have the physical item in my hand. Some of my favorite authors include Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Jane Austen, and Bram Stoker.

Review: The Royal Ranger

The Royal Ranger - John Flanagan

I had great expectations for The Royal Ranger and I can't say I was disappointed. When the story begins, we find Princess Cassandra and her husband, Sir Horace, at wits ends with their fifteen-year-old daughter and Will Treaty in a well of despair, intent on revenge.

All righty, this wasn't entirely unexpected, but it was a bit unexpected too. For one, Gilan and Jenny aren't married yet? Not okay. I mean, last we knew, Jenny was infatuated with Gilan. How could she be so stupid! Why? Just why? The rest of it all made sense though. Poor Crowley's left the world. King Duncan is dying. Halt's retired but is still his awesome self. Pauline hasn't changed. Cassandra and Horace are different but age does that.

Will remains both the same and the most different all at the same time. He's so sad and much grimmer than Halt ever was, but we get to see pieces of him between it all. His apprentice, Maddie, was a wonderful addition to the story. Mr. Flanagan had her develop as a character at just the right pace, keeping her fundamental attributes together while having her grow everywhere else.

While I can't say I'm disappointed, there were a few things I missed that just weren't part of this story. I missed young Will and Horace. I missed Halt being the mentor. And I wished Gilan and Jenny had a different ending, but I can't say it was unrealistic either, just not the one I wanted. I truly missed the byplay between Will and everyone else.

But I will say that Will fulfilled every expectation I had for him as a mentor. He was everything I always knew he'd be. And The Royal Ranger had just the right amount of echoes from The Ruins of Gorlan at the moments they counted the most.

The plot and events were reminiscent of The Ruins of Gorlan, but not exhaustively so. The Royal Ranger was a wonderful ending to a beloved series. It brought all of our characters full circle and it was nice to it all done so masterfully. I will truly miss this series.


Review: The Demigod Diaries

The Demigod Diaries - Rick Riordan

The Demigod Diaries was a cute addition to The Heroes of Olympus series and after almost a whole year without him, it reminded me why exactly I like Jason so much. Well, more honestly, it reminded me how I instantly liked him when he was first introduced in The Lost Hero.

The Diary of Luke Castellan

Luke took center stage in the first short story, which I was really looking forward to. I know Luke was a bad guy, but I have to admit that I liked how he was portrayed before his turning evil and all.... Luke and Thalia are traveling together and meet a son of Apollo, Halcyon, who almost gets them killed and foretells Luke's foreboding future and Thalia's well, what do you call a future in which you are turned into a tree? This was actually the highlight of the story for me. Seeing their reactions was great and they were (of course) spot-on. And how can I not mention the Greek fire? Yes, they make Greek fire. All in all, it was enjoyable.

Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes

Next we have Percabeth on one of their typical adventures. One of the Greek gods (this time Hermes) interrupts them and sends them on a quest. My favorite aspect of this one was probably Hermes' and Percy's interactions. Hermes has always been one of the more gracious Greek gods without loosing any of his respectability. Percy's narration was wonderful and sarcastic as always, which makes the story fun. Annabeth was....meh. She was Annabeth and, honestly, who expects a celebration for their one month or two month anniversary? *sigh*

Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford

My favorite story of the four was most definitely the third one which featured Leo, Jason, and Piper. Oh man, I love them so much. Leo brings a serious but sarcastic vibe to the story. Jason is all calm and cool. Piper is the straightforward, no nonsense girl. Together, they set off into the woods of Camp Half-Blood searching for Buford (a walking, temperamental table) and meet some of Dionysus's crazy followers that even the Olympian avoids. In the mean time, they only have a hour before Bunker 9 explodes if they don't find Buford. I really love how the three demigods interact with each other. And, honestly, this one felt the most like the good ol' light-hearted aspects of Riordan's Greek mythology series which was definitely wonderful.

Son of Magic

The fourth and last story by Haley Riordan.... I was most excited for this one. We were finally going to see the goddess Hecate! While the portrayal of Hecate was wonderful and great, the story as a whole was disappointing. The writing was fine but I wish the demigod, Alabaster, had been the narrator. Instead of him narrating, we have a middle-aged man (Dr. Claymore) and I didn't like that. I think it would have been more enjoyable and more informative if Alabaster had narrated and it would have brought the story's focus more on him. As it was, the story was about Dr. Claymore more than Alabaster, which was really disappointing because Alabaster seemed like an interesting and even honorable character. There were a few interesting revelations though (how monsters can smell demigods and who controls the mist) which were probably the highlights of the story.


Review: After Hello

After Hello - Lisa Mangum

I have this thing where I like to guess what rating I'm going to give a book after I finish it. So after reading about fifty pages, I took a guess. I liked it but I wasn't hooked so three stars easy. But then I kept reading....

After Hello is the most beautiful book I have ever read. Watching Sara and Sam come to terms with their pasts and growing closer was a complete pleasure. The two are so alike yet they look at things differently.

The pacing was spot on - never too slow or too fast. In fact, I'd describe it as flowing. Everything, even when they were pressed for time, felt like an easy flow. Even when Sara and Sam didn't have a lot of time, they still took the time to appreciate each other and the life around them. Following their story was as gentle as following the breeze. I didn't exactly know where it would take me, and neither did they, but it was easy and wonderful to watch their story unfold.

Both Sam and Sara have baggage but neither of them wear it on their sleeves. They spend a whole twenty four hours together but they were talking and getting to know each other during that time. They were helping each other work through the difficulties of life and their current situation. They were their for each other no matter what ugly memory decided to rear its head. Like Sam, I too believe that these characters were kindred spirits.

This wasn't a love story. After Hello is about two people overcoming barriers that kept them from truly being happy. Yes, they eventually kiss, and quite honestly, I wanted that to happen long before the end, but Lisa Mangum can write a love story even when a book isn't about the love story. She held and protected that first kiss until the perfect moment. That moment was beautiful and full of possibilities for both characters. And those possibilities were simply beautiful. 


Review: The House of Hades

The House of Hades - Rick Riordan

I had great expectations for The House of Hades. Going into it, I expected it to be fully narrated by the Romans with Percy and Annabeth taking turns, so I was really surprised (and thrilled) to see that Leo and Piper also had the chance to narrate.

Firstly, thank Mr. Riordan for finally turning Frank into someone worth voting for. I've always felt like Frank and Hazel have been really underdeveloped, so I really enjoyed seeing them brought more fully into the series' story. I never thought I'd see the day, but I was actually freaking out at the epicness of Frank Zhang's battle skills at the end there. He definitely doesn't feel wimpy now, which is a relief. As for Hazel.... She had an interesting story and I enjoyed it. I think it's a smart move on Riordan's part to connect her skills to someone other than Pluto/Hades.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I do not hesitate to say that Leo had the most enjoyable storyline. His narrative was my favorite, well, next to Jason's of course. And he finally found a girl! *sigh* I suppose I mostly just like him better as a character than I do most of the others.

My biggest disappointment was definitely the lack of Jason and Piper. Narrative wise, Jason had two turns and Piper only had one, never mind the fact that Annabeth and Percy (two already-developed characters and a fully-developed couple) had like half the book. All I have to say is that they had better have more narrative in the last book than Percy and Annabeth.

Jason was hardly even mentioned until two hundred pages in. We were finally seeing what people like Hazel and Nico thought of Jason and I've been excited for that but he hardly had a part at all. As for Piper, she was treated as a minor character, pretty darn close to how Reyna was handled in this book. Not cool. I'm slightly frustrated with the lack of development and inclusion for Jason and Piper. But if the fifth book is going to have less Percy and Annabeth and more Jason and Piper, then I guess that's okay.

The biggest issue I had with this book was Percy and Annabeth's storyline. I'll be honest, I down right dreaded it sometimes. I know this sounds strange (it does to me) but I found Tartarus to actually be the dullest parts of the book. But instead of blaming this on my dislike for Annabeth, I actually have a real logical reason.

Percy and Annabeth are both already fully-developed characters. It seemed liked I was reading their part of the story only because it was part of the over all plot. Someone had to close the Doors of Death in Tartarus. But there wasn't really any character or story development with them. Everyone else in this book (even Coach Hedge) had more development than Percy and Annabeth, whose developemt I'd wager was pretty close to zero. I know people love them as a couple, and believe me, I want them to stay that way, but they've had a whole series. I just don't really see anything left to discover for either character.

I'm glad that we were able to see bits and pieces of what was going on with the Roman and Greek camps - definitely interesting. I actually, kind of wish the final battle could take place back where both camps could participate. And, oh man, Octavian just... I like Frank's suggestion. Catapult him, Reyna. DO IT! I really don't want to see either camp destroyed by each other or Giants.

There were moments when I felt like the characters were unnecessarily oblivious though. Hint, Nico's statement about the Athena Parthenos at the end there in connection with the fact that Giants can't be destroyed without the combined effort of a demigod and a god. I read said statement and was like, oh duh! So, yes, I did mentally say duh sometimes but not too often.

As for Piper's guesses about the Prophecy, I'm not really buying into the someone's going to die statements. I honestly don't think any of the main characters will die on us. These prophecies never work out the way we expect or are led to believe, so I'm not that concerned with someone we love dying (that includes Jason and Piper, people). But the other statements might have some real substance.

Overall: I really enjoyed The House of Hades but it wasn't has good as I expected it to be.


Review: Sylo

SYLO - D.J. MacHale

Sylo was not the type of book I usually read and, I was excited about that. I was written in a boy's POV, featured the military, and wasn't dystopian or post-apocalyptic. In other words, I'd never really read a book like this before.

Our story begins with a football game and an ordinary boy who wanted to be anything but extraordinary. Tucker Pierce is the worst player on the team and doesn't mind sitting on the bench for most of every game. Tucker has no problem staying on Pemberwick Island for the rest of his life. And that was the plan, before the U.S. Navy invaded. But something isn't quite right, even if they were quarantined, they should still have communication with the main land....

I liked Tucker well enough. He's just your average fourteen year old boy, so the fact that he wanted nothing more than to never leave Pemberwick didn't bother me. However, to be honest, Tori got on my nerves a little bit. Why she wouldn't talk for half the book is beyond me. I felt like there was actually a reason behind her reluctance but, apparently, there isn't. Kent was a jerk.  When push came to shove, and he was required to do something life-threatening, he turned out to be nothing more than a wimp. Tucker, who had never wanted to something big in his life, bucked up and was brave. Kent turned into a wimp who only kept helping because of a girl. Pathetic. I was actually hoping Kent would become a good friend of Tucker's but he remained the same scumbag presented to us in the first chapter. I have no respect for him whatsoever.

Sylo was well-written and the story kept moving at a consistent pace - not slow but not fast. This book did make me angry though. From the moment the military invaded, I was filled with complete outrage and just having to read about the soldiers made my blood boil. But, Sylo wasn't the tense, bomb-dropping book I expected, which was disappointing. And while I can't say the pacing was slow, I wish there hadn't been as much down time. Even in the midst of action it felt like the events were still moving at the same pace Tucker would use to walk down the street.

The ending wasn't all that surprising. I mean, when they finally did get to the main land, we were supposed to somehow be surprised that it was all torn up. Honestly, I expected it to be ruined. Unlike the characters, I didn't expect people to be there so the ending was a little meh, for me.

All in all, Sylo was good but I wouldn't say it was amazing either.


Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

My word, what to say? I loved Throne of Glass but Crown of Midnight was about a million times better. Even as I gave Throne of Glass five stars, I always had the thought that the story could become more epic than it was - that the story needed just a little something more. I'm not sure what that something was but Miss Maas sure did because Crown of Midnight blew my mind.

Celaena did it. She is now the King's Champion and now she has to carry out his dirty work. But when she is sent to kill a former acquaintance, Archer, Celaena starts digging. Soon she is entangled in riddles and mysteries, all pointing in one direction, the King.

How in the world was Maas going to pull off an entire novel with Celaena serving as the King's Champion? That was one of my biggest questions after I finished Throne of Glass. Honestly, I didn't think she would. I figured she'd have to flee half way through the novel or something of that nature. Even as I read, I kept waiting for it to happen until I reached that half way mark and I realized it wasn't. But still, part of me knew, that at some point in this story, Celaena would have to leave the castle in order for everything to be resolved (I was right). But seeing everything unfold - everything Celaena was risking and doing as the King's Champion? That was... it was gruesome but she's an assassin so it was kind of like seeing Celaena the way she must have been before she had been captured.

Miss Maas didn't forget a thing. Right down to dear old Archer, which actually impressed me. She effortlessly wove the Wyrd marks into the story, just as she had in Throne of Glass. Every magical element was perfectly balanced with the non-magical aspects.

I loved how Miss Maas revealed Celaena's past in just the right portions every single time. If you remember my review for Throne of Glass, then you know I was worried that revealing Celaena's past (if done incorrectly) could diminish her character. Up until Crown of Midnight, we had seen the stubborn and less dangerous side of Celaena. But, if anything, knowing more about her past has made me more sympathetic and gives Celaena more depth. Honestly, I was actually surprised Maas revealed as much as she did.

It was already kind of obvious that Celaena had a very brutal past but I didn't realize how grief-stricken it had left Celaena. We see every part of her. We see her happy, sad, and berserk. Don't get the wrong idea. Her moods didn't wildly swing from place to place. There was always a reason behind her reactions and moods and they were all perfectly displayed.

Chaol was even more swoon-worthy than before. I can't even tell you guys. I mean, the build up to his and Celaena's relationship was perfect. It was realistic and heart-wrenching. But I do feel like Chaol's loyalty to the King is out of place and, quite frankly, doesn't make any sense. He's willing to keep Celaena's biggest secret from him, but is worried at the prospect that someone might actually fight his evil king who has awful slave camps. Loving Celaena has he does, and knowing everything the king has done, I don't know how Chaol is still loyal to the King. I need a reason but there's only blind loyalty. Chaol's smarter than that.

I liked Dorian much more in Crown of Midnight than I did in Throne of Glass. It was wonderful that when everything fell apart, he was still there for Celaena as a friend. Maas kept a firm boundary of friendship intact the entire time, so I was really able to enjoy Dorian as a character, and more importantly, I was able to enjoy his story line.

The ending was fantastic. I didn't see it coming at all. With that said, it wasn't like it came out from left field either. When everything was said and done, it all felt like the logical flow the story needed to take. All in all, Crown of Midnight is one of the best YA high fantasy novels I have ever read - I could hardly put the book down. Honestly, if you're looking for serious high fantasy in YA novels, then you need to pick this series up.


Review: Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes, Michelle Rowen

 I made it almost 200 pages into this until I gave up. I actually can't think of anything redeemable enough to make me finish it. My biggest problem would be the characters themselves, so let me go through them one at a time.

Cleo: When it matters the most, she doesn't have a spine. My problem with her is that she's letting one mistake govern her whole life. Sure, coming out with the truth wouldn't be easy, but keeping that mistake a secret isn't worth being married to a total scum bag. Her fiancé is just despicable and the fact that she puts up with his behavior.... Ugh. They just disgust me.

Magnus: This guy is just wrong. Sometimes it seems like he might be a good person but then he goes and thinks or does something and its ruined. Quite frankly, Magnus is another character that really just disgusts me. I mean, I know Lucia isn't actually related to him, but Magnus doesn't know that, and they grew up together as siblings. Magnus just..... ick. Plus, even though he knows what his father is doing is wrong, he's going along with it.

Lucia: She's one of the main characters but in the 180 pages I read, she's barely been in there at all and what I have seen of her hasn't been all that impressive. Lucia hasn't done anything really, so I find it amazing that I dislike her already. But her "father" is awful and is about to start a war with an equally awful (if not more so) ruler and she doesn't even care! She seems like a nice enough person but all she cares about is herself so far.

Jonas: Welcome to the only character in this entire novel who isn't despicable, because, yes, the majority of the supporting characters are also horrible. Jonas has just lost his brother because of Cleo's fiancé and is out for revenge. The revenge part doesn't bother me that much because Jonas at least was trying to live a respectable life, which has been repeatedly frustrated by people like Magnus and Cleo. I'd probably keep reading just for Jonas, but he's hardly been in it at all.

In addition to hating all but one main character, after reading almost half of the book, nothing has happened. I mean, things have happened but it doesn't feel like the story has started yet. Everything up to this point feels like Rhodes is just setting the stage. The inciting incident took place long ago, now I want the story to actually start. It hasn't.


Review: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules  - Julie Kagawa

Ah, a bit of a return to the terrifying vampires we once knew! The Immortal Rules was fantastic! Despite Readiculously Peachy's assurances, I was a little afraid this would turn out to be just another book with too-human vampires. It didn't.

Here we have another dystopian world where the vast majority of the human population is starving. The government(s) control the food. But instead of making this dependence a requirement, Miss Kagawa took a different approach. The world is ruled by vampires but, after the Red Lung virus breakout, they are very careful with their food source. The registered humans let the vampires draw their blood and the vampires give them food. The catch? You don't have to be registered. But there's a high price to pay to be unregistered. The Unregistereds have to scavenge for food; starvation is always a worry and the vampires won't give them a single grain. The price of theft among the Unregistereds is death. There is no mercy for an Unregistered. Allison is an Unregistered. Eventually, Allison finds herself becoming a vampire, fleeing the only home she's ever known, and traveling with a group of humans.

I have to say, I enjoyed the fact that even though The Immortal Rules is dystopian, it doesn't feel like it. The writing was gripping and the world building was very well done and well thought out.

My favorite aspect of this book (by far) is the element the vampires bring to it. I haven't read very many vampire books but Miss Kagawa's balance between the traditional viciousness of these monsters and our desire to see something human is astounding. Let's face it, we don't really want to read about a flat out monster for a main character. We want a character with more conflict and levels than what a blind monster could ever give us. (This also goes for the characters the MC interacts with.) If they're just flat out monsters, then it isn't interesting. At the same time though, no one wants to read about a vampire that seems more human than monster. Whether or not you've read it or not, we all recognize Bram Stoker's Dracula as the universal image of a "real" vampire. Dracula is refined in his interactions with others but he's clearly a monster.

Miss Kagawa clearly states and reminds (through the characters of course) that Allison (after becoming a vampire) is a monster. Her only decision was what type of monster she would become. Her mentor (Kanin) clearly lays the facts out. She would eventually kill someone. It wasn't a question of if so much as when. This distinction is paramount. It draws the line exactly where I as a reader want it. I want to see Allison struggle to keep her humanity, but I don't want a wimpy sparkly vampire either, so to speak. The balance between vampires that didn't give a crap about human life and those that did was perfect.

As far as characters go, I didn't really make very many attachments in this novel. I liked everyone but I can't say I love one specific character more than the other. Its not that I wasn't attached, this was just one of those books where I enjoyed the plot, story, and journey more so than I did maybe the individual characters. I'm not saying that the characters were boring or the dialogue was bad. But there are some books you love because of the characters and some you love just for the story. This one was the latter.

With that said, the love story was really light but a great beginning to a very complicated relationship between a vampire and human. I was expecting it to be more than it was but when I look back at it, the execution makes sense. It wouldn't be real if Allison and the love interest (Zeke) had finally kissed before they did (very close to the end). Even after I finished the book, they still were on uncertain ground. The love story is realistic for the issues that the characters have to face.

All in all, I really loved the whole concept of this world. And I loved the real vampires.


Review: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is an assassin. After spending a year in a prison camp, the crown prince, Dorian, has a deal for her. Compete to be the king's champion; if she wins, she'll be given her freedom and her name cleared after serving the king for four years.

It feels like its been too long since I've read a book I could truly give five stars. Lots of four stars but its been over a month since I've found something worthy of my Marry Poppins Award.

Throne of Glass wasn't what I expected. I didn't expect the novel to remain within a castle. I loved that. There's something I find really appealing about books with this type of setting. Throne of Glass has a collection of every element that maximizes the enjoyment you can find in a castle setting. Miss Maas deliciously includes the politics, distrust, brutality, and drama that you don't typically see together all at once even though they're what make this setting so appealing. Or, at least, I've never seen them mixed all in the same book before, not like this.

I think what impressed me the most was the main character herself though. Probably about a hundred pages into the book I figured that we had seen pretty much every aspect of her personality. But seeing more of Celaena unfold was unexpected and truly wonderfully.

She starts off as this young, hardened assassin who has just spent a year in a very brutal prison camp/mine. Even though I felt like I shouldn't be rooting for her because she's an assassin, I found that I couldn't stop myself. As the story goes on, pieces of her past reveal themselves through various means and we get to see why she became an assassin. We see how she can be both brutal and kind. I'm hesitant to say that I wish more had been revealed about her past for two reasons.

Reason number one: Celaena obviously has a brutal past herself and if the execution (when revealing it all) isn't handled correctly then I'm afraid it'll diminish her character. I don't want the revelation of some wound to make her less of an assassin.

Reason number two: While I definitely want to know more about her past, I think Miss Maas revealed just the right amount in her first novel. Miss Maas, I applaud you. The balance between Celaena's reluctance to speak about her past and the moments when she did was perfect.

Dorian was not my favorite character. He didn't annoy me but I didn't particularly enjoy his relationship with Celaena. Don't get me wrong, it was sweet and I think he has helped her heal a little. But quite honestly, Dorian seems a bit wimpy. It looks like that's changing but he just gets on my nerves a sometimes.

Chaol on the other hand is...I don't even know. He distrusts Celaena for most of the book which is only realistic. They were both so mean to each other sometimes. But there was always a layer of respect underneath it all. Of course, Chaol's reluctance to really acknowledge Celaena has anything but a ruthless assassin, made those moments when he did that much sweeter.

As far as plot goes, I was kind of surprised when magic was brought into the story. It certainly added an interesting layer to the entire world Miss Maas has built and I'm curious to see how the Wyrd marks continue to affect the series. The magic and Wyrd marks didn't dominate the plot though, which was nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the competition between the criminals competing to be the king's champion and seeing Celaena retaliate with some of them... Oh man, I was sitting on my bed just going, "Yes! Get him!" She held back, which was smart but it killed her, so when she finally unleashed herself in those very quick moments, I was totally rooting for her.

Throne of Glass wasn't everything I expected but I enjoyed it just as much as I thought I would.


Review: The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena is my new favorite book by Rick Riordan. I loved it. It ended (as always) on a real cliffhanger. I have to admit, I didn't expect that at all.

I love how we knew who Annabeth was going to face on her journey alone because it allowed us to try and come up with ways she would succeed. And then she didn't do it at all how I thought she might. I was expecting a fight to the death or something to that effect, but (of course) I was wrong.

Riordan brought forth a lot of new myths he hasn't used yet and introduced us to what I think, are people we didn't expect to meet. Plus, we got to see the Roman side of Mr. D. and learn a little bit more about how the whole Roman and Greek thing was affecting the Olympians.

I have to say though, one of the most intriguing things for me was his explanation and revelations about Greece and Rome. It really is an interesting plot and I have no idea how Riordan can get any better than he already is. But, I know he will because that's how he is. Each book gets better and better (I say this with the exception of The Sea of Monsters; I didn't like that one as much).

Now, just to sum it up. Excellent book. Read it and love it!


Review: Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) - John Flanagan

This was probably my sixth time reading The Ruins of Gorlan and I loved it just as much as I did the first time.

Will has lived as one of the castle wards (he's basically an orphan) all his life. No one knows who his parents were, only that they died. Sustaining himself with the belief that his father was a knight, Will's greatest wish is to be selected for Battleschool and follow in his father's footsteps. But, short and small as he is, Will's request is rejected and, instead, he finds himself apprenticed to Halt, the Ranger assigned to the fief.

While I enjoyed watching Will train as a Ranger, I can't really say that there's one specific part of the book that I like more than everything else. The first time I read it, I said the end of the book was my favorite part. Every time after that, it was Will training. Now though, I like both aspects of the book equally. I do think that one of the reasons why I love the first book so much though is because, unlike any of the others, this really does showcase part of Will's training and that gives it a different atmosphere and feel to it that the other books don't have. Don't get me wrong, the other books are great, but the whole training part of these type of stories really appeals to me.

I'll admit I was a little nervous to read this now that I'm a blogger. While I knew I loved it, I worried that maybe because I read more actively that I'd notice flaws I didn't before. To my immense pleasure, I didn't. I actually noticed new things, one of which being Horace and Will's friendship. When we start the book, for all intents and purposes, Horace is the bully and Will the victim. For those of you who don't know, Horace is a tried and true character. He's stuck with Will from book #1 to book #11. And while I like Horace, I was surprised to find myself disliking him at the beginning of this novel. Yes, even reading it for the sixth time, I still didn't like Horace at first. That to me, is a talent that not every author possesses.

The highlight of this novel (and the entire series) for me is definitely the characters. Everyone is just so lovable. Even Gilan, who we don't see much, is instantly likable and flawlessly joins the line of favorite characters. Will's mentor, Halt, is your typical gruff mentor. Not that unusual really, but his sarcasm and a little bit of something else I can't identify prevent his gruff criticism from making us hate him. And, of course, Will himself is easy to love. He's curious, honest, and inexperienced, but he doesn't let his inexperience paralyze him in tough situations, he puts on his cap of courage and acts.

This is probably one of the few books I will read over and over again for as long as I live.


Review: Impostor

Impostor - Jill Hathaway

Impostor was not a book I would have picked out for myself. It's the sequel to Slide, which I did not and still do not plan to read.

It's been a long time since I've read Impostor, but, even now, I remember my frustration. Vee's reaction to some situations or events seemed off or just didn't always make sense to me. 

I also felt like, the plot line with the mysterious woman who was apparently following Vee around for most of the book could have been a more interesting one. Instead though, she was forgotten by Vee most of the time (I wouldn't forget some stranger was following me). Furthermore, it seemed like the author had pretty much forgotten about her until the end of the novel arrived. Then it seemed like the author quickly slapped an explanation together that, under other circumstances might have been interesting, but she didn't do anything with it so it fell flat and cliché. Actually, the whole ending seemed kind of slapped together.

I didn't enjoy the motive behind Vee's actions. It wasn't that I didn't think it was realistic so much as I just wasn't a fan. I didn't particularly enjoy that the author used the type of motive she did to propel the story forward.

I did want to know how it all ended though, even with all of my frustrations, so there's something. But the writing wasn't all that impressive to me and there just wasn't anything I liked about this book. The more I read, the worse it got.

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Reblogged from The Bookaholic Cat:

Review: No Plot? No Problem!

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days - Chris Baty

No Plot? No Problem! is an informative but entertaining book for any writer. It's full of great advice and awesome ways to flesh out characters and various other elements of your novel. The secrets of finding time to write in a hectic schedule are also shared among other things.


No one could ask for a better book on writing. My one biggest fear with books on writing is that they'll turn out to be dull and boring, thus negating any useful information that it may have. No Plot? No Problem! has a fun tone to it. But it is also holds true to the spirit of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).


There were many moments when I laughed or smiled to myself while drinking in the advice. This is the perfect guide not just for writing a novel in a month, but for writing a novel period.

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré
Progress: 180/341 pages
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Kiersten White
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