Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Shadow and Bone

Alina Starkov doesn't expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they're sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling monsters who feast on human flesh.

When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.

Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling's favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. Bust as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her...and only she can save the future. - Excerpt from the book's dust jacket.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is a high fantasy book under the young adult catergory. I absolutely love this book and I finished it within 2 days which I don't do often. The story is certainly new for the YA genre. When I was reading this book, I can't help but being reminded of another fantasy series which I love dearly which is The Black Magician's trilogy. I'm not saying it's the same but there are some similarities which I would not mention. I have been reading quite a number of contemporary books and so reading this book reminded me why I love fantasy in the first place.

The plot of the story is very smooth and twists was just fantastic and thrilling. By reading just the prologue, I was hooked instantly and I just kept reading. The characters of the books are also good especially the Darkling which made I kinda love. That character is just so intriguing and I know that there's more to him. Two quotes from him that I love are:

"The problem with wanting is that it makes you weak"- pg 221

"There are no Ravkans, no Fjerdans, no Kerch, no Shu Han. There are no more borders, and there will be no more wars. From now on, there is only the land inside the Fold and outside of it, and there will be peace"-pg 341.

For the main heroine, I just felt she had okay character development but I kinda wanted more from her. Other side characters were written essential to let the plot move forward which I felt it was good. Some russian is used in the book where I don't quite understand and I wished the author would put in a glossary at the back of the book with the meaning and pronunciation of the word. The world and magic that author created is good and unique which makes the book more interesting compared to other fantasy.

Overall the storyline and plots are the parts that captured me the most followed by one of the characters. I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers because this is one of a kind. It's a fantastic page turner which impressed me much and I will definitely treasure this story. This is one of those that I will read again and again. After doing some research I found that this book was taken on for a movie so I'm looking forward to hear news of it. There is also a wikia page for the book which shocked me that there were so many fans for the trilogy which was good. I can't wait for the last one to come out as I plan to order the second book along with the last one. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels

Simon was on a date with Isabelle and they met up in a coffee shop. Simon was troubled as he did not know whether he was exclusive with Izzy and so he was dating Maia at the same time too. There was two weird men hanging around the shop and Izzy was able to tell they are subjugates of a vampire. They approached the table and said that their master wanted to meet Simon. Simon thought it was Raphael so he went with them, Izzy wanted to follow too but was not invited hence Simon went alone.

They arrived at a trendy restaurant and Simon did not expect to see Raphael at a place like this but he was actually asked by a woman. She is Camille Belcourt, a vampire that led the clan that Raphael is in charge of. Camille has been around and she offered Simon help where she can teach him how to stomach normal food and also speak the holy words that Simon could not. In exchange, Simon were to help her get back her position with the clan as Camille claimed that she was forced to leave by Raphael because a crime was blamed on her. Simon had a lot to consider whether he should help or not.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare is the fourth book in the mortal instruments series. This book was quite slow in the beginning of the book, there was action here and there occasionally but not enough for me. Towards the end of the book it was really good. I read this book with a big gap between the third book as I knew that book 4,5,6 was more closely related. When I started the book, there was much things that I kinda forgotten and so I needed to research on the third book to refresh my memory. 

Being the fourth book, I actually expected more growth for some characters which I actually did see in Simon but not so in Clary and Jace. I'm not fond of female leads that are weak and sort of damsel type so I honestly say I don't like Clary. But the other characters that were involved in this book made it good for me. I liked that the story was featuring more of Simon as I was not impressed by the teenage love drama happening between Clary and Jace.

As for the plot, it was really interesting because I do not know what to expect after what happened in book three. I really enjoyed reading more about the story and the progress of it. The ending did make me feel excited to continue to the fifth book which I have and subsequently the last book was out last month so I get continue on without waiting. My advice is that if you love the series just continue with it as it's still fun to read about the shadowhunter world. For new readers, I wouldn't say it's my favourite series but I still like it as it's a unique world just that it's not at the top of my list to recommend and I feel that there is too much hype for the series. I would prefer infernal devices because of the characters in that book are stronger and this book has weaker ones.
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