Rule of Wolves

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo is the sequel to the King of Scars duology.

As war looms and Fjerda prepares to march, Ravka and it’s allies must find a way to endure. Nikolai Lantsov must make peace with his inner demon and use all the tools at his disposal to ensure the survival of Ravka, but a darker threat inches closer every day and even he may finally be out of ideas.

Meanwhile, Zoya Nazyalensky no longer knows what she is. Instead of embracing her new powers, Zoya fights against it, refusing to lose any more of herself and those she loves.

Deep undercover in the very heart of Fjerda, Nina Zenik stamps down her grief and will risk it all for her country. But her thirst for revenge may threaten her mission.

Three souls at war with themselves, with the future in the balance. Can they overcome and save Ravka before there is no Ravka to save.

All of the Grisha books are good reads. But I read Six of Crows before any of the other ones and I can’t help but compare them all to it. That being said, this one gets bumped up an entire half-star for me because Kaz, Jasper and Wyland make a mini appearance and, without giving anything away, the very last sentence of the book hints at a third Six of Crows books–squeal!

I feel like I felt this way with King of Scars but there were a few too many narrators for me in this book. I liked each of the stories but I just thought the same goals could have been achieved with fewer. And I didn’t really think we needed the Darkling’s narration at all. It didn’t really further the story for me much.

Zoya and Nikolai’s flirtatious banter was probably my favorite aspects of the story. Nina’s storyline didn’t quite grab me the way it did in Six of Crows.

Overall, this was a good read to pick up if you enjoy the Grisha universe, which I do. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Ravage the Dark

Ravage the Dark by Tara Sims is the second book in the Scavenge the Stars duology.

For so long,  Amaya Chandra’s only goal was to be free of the debtor ship and it’s cruelties. But freedom is no longer enough for Amaya. She wants revenge and to reveal the truth behind the sickness sweeping across Moray.

For Cayo Mercado, revenge would be sweet, but more important is the health of his sister, which is slowly deteriorating, no thanks to his scoundrel of a father. Penniless and without hope, Cayo is lost and can see no way forward.

Though their relationship began with betrayal, can Amaya and Cayo work together for the greater good? Or will they be too caught up in their emotions and each other to help anyone at all?

This book was OK. It didn’t hold my interest even nearly as much as the first book. I missed the intrigue of book one. This one felt more like a tie up of loose ends and not a conclusion to the story.

What really soured this one for me, was the ending. All these things are happening and Amaya and Cayo just stay behind? They are hellbent on revealing the truth throughout the first and most of the second book and then it’s like they just didn’t care any more, which made me not care.

For me, this book ended up turning into background filler. It didn’t keep my attention and I found I didn’t miss, missing something when I was listening to it. For that reason, this one gets 2.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Piranesi

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is a beautifully written fiction novel for adults.

The House reaches from the sea to the clouds. It has an infinite number of rooms, more hallways than can be counted and statues line the walls, each unique and telling in their own way. In this House, lives a young man the Other has named Piranesi.

Piranesi understands the tides an patterns of the house, the labyrinth he calls home and he believes his purpose is to explore the house. Alone in the house, except for the dead and the Other, Piranesi helps to assist the Other with his research for A Great and Secret Knowledge. But when evidence of another becomes apparent, Piranesi will question the only home he has ever known–the only life he knows of.

God this book was wonderful. It was magical and lyrical and just so different. Yes, I read the first few pages really not knowing what I was getting myself into and then I realized, it didn’t matter. I didn’t need the how and why, I was going to go along for the ride and see where it all ended up. And I am glad I did.

This world Clarke created was beautiful, the writing was almost poetic in areas and the characters developed in such an interesting way. I think one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that one minute you are enjoying the halls and general scenery of Piranesi’s life and then the plot shows itself and suddenly, your invested in the outcome.

This won’t be a book for everyone, especially for those who find it hard to loose themselves in the prose. But for those who can and for those who stick with it until the middle mark where the plot really comes through, I think you will really enjoy it.

This one gets 5 stars from me!

That’s all for now!

-M-

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks is a standalone juvenile fiction book about a girl who loves to bakes journey to get to know her convict father.

When Zoe Washington receives a letter from her biological father on her twelfth birthday, she isn’t sure what to write back. Her father is a convicted felon, serving a sentence for a horrible crime. She has never met him and he has never met her but he says he’s innocent and Zoe can’t help but being curious.

Secretly, Zoe begins a correspondence with Marcus and becomes all but obsessed with discovering whether he is guilty or innocent of his crime. That, and convincing her parents that she’s ready to audition for the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge, Zoe Washington has a busy summer ahead of her. But can she do it?

This is a prime example of a misleading title. I saw a colleague recommend this book and picked it up purely from looking at the cover. So I was quite surprised when it had absolutely nothing to do with journalism or writing for a newspaper or anything. I totally missed the cookbook, cupcake and cake poster in the background, but the girl on the cover just screamed “journalist” to me. All that being said, this was a good book and a really good audio book.

I was almost lost toward the middle-end of the book, when I kept cringing knowing the “uh oh” moment was coming. And I did find Zoe a little naïve here and there but overall, I liked her as a character.

The baking elements of this story where really great. I loved Zoe’s internship at the bakery and her Fruit Loop creation. Yum! There was also a really good balance, in terms of believability, with Zoe’s relationship with Marcus.

Overall, this was a fun read and would probably appeal to both boys and girls around 4-6th grade.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Mask Falling

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon is the fourth book in The Bone Season series.

Paige and Warden are on the run from Scion London and the Rephaim. Seeking shelter in Paris, Paige agrees to work for an underground organization, working as a spy to bring down Scion. But she did not escape London unscathed and the road to being healed will take all her mental and physical strength.

With Warden, Arcturus, at her side, Paige must heal her body and soul, traverse the catacombs of Paris and risk herself again and again for revolution. But how often can one face death and come out alive… and whole?

Man, I really do love these books, but Samantha Shannon, you are killing me! There is just sooo much time in between each book in the series. Book three came out in 2017. And although, I remember most things, I am sure I am missing those little intricacies that would make the story even better. NOW, don’t get me wrong, I know why these books are taking so long. Just looking at all the research and language injected into this book, I am sure Shannon spends a ton of time on each one. But that still doesn’t make it any easier to be left hanging so very badly for so very long. Sigh.

I sort of loved that this book revolved around Paige and Warden. Their relationship has be up and down and it is great to see them working side-by-side again. I also really like the Parisian underworld. The tunnels, the masks and the new characters all really contribute to the story. But man, that twist. I thought I saw what was coming and it turned out to be very different than what I thought.

I’m in for the long haul with this series but let’s hope this next one is out in under four years!

This one gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-