Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Book Review

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Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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Six of Crows is exactly the kind of book I’ve been wanting to read lately. It’s style reminds me of Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas but told in two books instead of six, which is nice since I have series exhaustion right now. Told from multiple POVs, Six of Crows follows six criminals as they journey across oceans and continents to attempt to break into an impenetrable fortress.

When authors use multiple POVs it can be either hit or miss for me. Sometimes some of the viewpoints in a book can seem irrelevant or the shift between viewpoints isn’t distinct enough. That’s a huge annoyance for me in books with multiple POVs, when it switches from one character’s viewpoint to another and it takes me a few paragraphs before I even realize the transition has happened. Bardugo writes her characters’ multiple viewpoints very well, with each one having a distinct narrative style while still keeping the storytelling consistent.

Even the viewpoints of characters that weren’t necessarily essential to read in order to further the plot were still highly enjoyable. It’s rare that I enjoy the viewpoints of all characters in a book but Bardugo succeeded in this. Even when reading A Song of Ice and Fire there were character chapters that I want to skip through due to boredom or indifference. I mean no offense to Martin, as I do so adore that series, but I was never all that enthralled by Davos or Sansa’s chapters.

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I enjoyed the way that the characters in Six of Crows were developed, revealing small tidbits throughout to form a bigger picture of each of their pasts. I think my favourite character has to be Inej or as they call her, The Wraith. She’s smart, sneaky, badass, and still has some of the normal teenage girl angst that makes her relatable but not enough to be annoying.

The plot is well crafted and had just enough twists to always leave me guessing. I’m also a sucker for anything supernatural so the combination of an Ocean’s Eleven style heist set in a fantastical other world where there are people with special abilities? yessssssssssss!

Plus, there are a few romantic stories going on and I do love me a good side romance in pretty much any book.

Rating: 4.5/5

For Fans Of: Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Shadowhunters: Pilot Review

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Warning: This post may be filled with minor to extreme rage over The Mortal Instruments book to television adaptation.

It has been a while since I have read City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series, but I have read it a few times and do remember a decent amount of details from the book. Let me start off by saying that if you’re a fan of the books then this adaptation might destroy your love for the books or make you feel a blinding rage. I’ve seen The Mortal Instruments movie and although I enjoyed the first half, the second half was incredibly disappointing and the soundtrack for the movie was atrocious. The Shadowhunters TV show is worse than the movie. Yep, I said it, worse.

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I will attempt to avoid any major spoilers here. One of the big things that enraged me about the pilot of Shadowhunters is how much of the story they changed. Going into book to screen adaptations I always expect there to be some changes, but I still want to see most of those scenes that I pictured in my head for so long. A change in Shadowhunters that I found acceptable was Luke’s change in careers. I can see how it will help tell the story better and puts him in a more central role to focus part of the story around him.

The changes that I didn’t enjoy are that they changed how Clary Fray, the main character, finds out about this other world of demons and shadowhunters. They also changed where Clary lives, what her mother does for a living, and Clary and her mother’s relationship. In the book Clary’s mother disappears almost immediately and it leaves Clary’s character feeling confused and betrayed because her mother never tried to explain her past to her. In the TV show they changed this and gave the mother the opportunity to explain some of this. By doing this they kind of ruin the intense need Clary should feel to find out why her mum hid this for so long. It’s still there, it’s just not as intense.

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Yes, this dude is a main character…

There are far more changes, but I won’t detail every single one. I will move on instead to the acting. My god was some of the acting seriously horrible. Kat McNamara, who plays Clary, has absolutely no idea of what Clary’s personality is actually like. She delivers her lines with intense cheese and constantly looks like she’s either pouting our trying to seduce the person she’s talking to (whiny seductress is not at all how Clary is written in the books, btw). Luke is played by the Old Spice guy, Isaiah Mustafa, and he says his lines like he’s still trying to sell you Old Spice. The only characters whose actors did them justice were Magnus (played by Harry Shum jr.), Jace (played by Dominic Sherwood), and Simon (played by Albert Rosende).

Overall this was one of the worst pilots I’ve watched in a very long time, and I’ve watched some craptastic television. If you don’t believe me watch the first seven minutes of Shadowhunters here….

Rating: 1.5/5

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Book Review

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Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

This post is extremely late. I finished this book a couple of months ago, but I think after completing the Mara Dyer trilogy I just needed a little break from it. Because man oh man was it ever intense!

(MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – I don’t say exactly how the book ends, I just talk about my feelings towards the ending and the general vibe of the ending)

I’ve read a decent amount of reviews where people really hated the ending to the series, but I have to say that I enjoyed it. I was most definitely expecting it to go somewhere completely different, maybe something more depressing and on par with the way that the story was heading. I liked that it didn’t go the way that I thought and that it kind of surprised me. I also liked that at the end of a very emotionally draining series there was a happy ending. To me this made all of my reading seem worth it. Nothing frustrates me more than when you read through a whole series, get attached to all the character, and root for their lives only to have that character die or have it end in a depressing and unsatisfying way.

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The third and final book in the Mara Dyer trilogy developed Mara’s character well, exploring her dark side and the psychological toll that the journey has taken on her mental well being. I enjoyed that it brought other characters in that could understand her messed up situation and provide support for her. This allowed both Mara and myself (the reader) to feel less isolated and frustrated by the challenges faced in the book.

Bringing Jamie back in to the book allowed for some brevity and humour in the story, because man is her ever sarcastic and hilarious. I think this was key to my enjoyment of the third book, because by that point Mara’s perspective was very draining and depressing to read. By having Jamie in there it gave me some reprieve from the intensity. This leads me to another thing that I loved about this book… it feature Noah’s point of view! This was extremely well done, and completely necessary for the final scenes of the book.

(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

My one big drawback is that, although I liked the ending, it just seemed too happy for me. They just went through something ridiculously messed up and traumatic, but they’re fine and just going about their daily lives. Also, it never talked about what happened to the girl (who’s name I now can’t remember because it’s been so long since I finished it) who was stuck in the asylum with them and escaped and went through all the same messed up stuff they did as well. She just peaced it in the last half of the book and wasn’t really talked about again. But, mostly it’s all aces with this series.

I would give it 4.25/5

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