Mini Reviews #5: In Which I Finally Hop on the Stiefvater Train


AKA: Ellie can't get her crap together enough to write full-on reviews for any of these books, so you get shortened versions of a bunch of reviews.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them--until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.

His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn't believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.



3/5 Peggy Schuylers.
This book befuddled me.

I liked it a lot. In fact, I might say I loved it. But I haven't the faintest idea why.

Because this story contains almost every tired trope in the book. Special snowflake female main character meets mysterious, rich, enchanting boys (except for one of them who isn't rich, but he's got a tragic backstory and is even more enchanting than the others so it all evens out). There are love squares, unrealistic adventures, and the villain is super obvious from the beginning. And yet somehow it's so well-written that no one (including me) gives a crap.

?????????


The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

23308084The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.



3/5 internet cult leaders.
People say that the sequel is never as good as the original. I've run across plenty of exceptions to this in my life, but The Rose & the Dagger is not one of them.

The main issue I had with this book stems from the writing quality. The characters were lovely, and the plot was fantastic - the ending wrapped everything up very nicely without the feel of a fake fairytale ending. But the actual writing in this book was. Very choppy. There were. Lots of fragments, intended to create. Dramatic pause and suspension within the language. But when you have. Too many of those. The effect gets. Lost.

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

21456824The vampire world is in crisis – their kind have been proliferating out of control and, thanks to technologies undreamed of in previous centuries, they can communicate as never before. Roused from their earth-bound slumber, ancient ones are in thrall to the Voice: which commands that they burn fledgling vampires in cities from Paris to Mumbai, Hong Kong to Kyoto and San Francisco. Immolation, huge massacres, have commenced all over the world.

Who – or what – is the Voice? What does it desire, and why?

There is only one vampire, only one blood drinker, truly known to the entire world of the Undead. Will the dazzling hero-wanderer, the dangerous rebel-outlaw Lestat heed the call to unite the Children of Darkness as they face this new twilight?





4/5 kickass pirate queens.
After being severely underwhelmed by Blood Canticle, the preceding novel in this series, I didn't have very high hopes for Prince Lestat. But my expectations were far surpassed.

Usually I hate when new characters are brought in mid-series - they never feel like they really belong. But Rice has an unparalleled ability to seamlessly blend old with new in her books, and I loved every single one of her new characters just as much as the old favorites. Benedict, Fareed, Gregory, Rhoshamandes - THEY ARE ALL MY CHILDREN. Prince Lestat's brilliant and shockingly real characters overshadowed a somewhat tedious plot structure to bring about a beautiful read. I can't wait for the next installment.


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Let's chat! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Have you read any pleasant surprises lately? Comment below, and remember that you are all very beautiful pickles.

Namarië,
Ellie

13 comments:

  1. I love The Raven Boys and The Rose & the Dagger! I haven't read the Anne Rice book though :/

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    1. They were both good! Ahhh it was wonderful :)

      - Ellie

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  2. I know exactly what you mean with The Raven Boys. I'd read a few Stiefvater books before it, but I didn't love them so I was hesitant for this one. It's so weird, and I've read all four books now and I'm still confused as to how I feel about them.

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    1. Yes - I suspect I'll end up the same way.

      - Ellie

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  3. OMG I LOVE THE RAVEN BOYS SERIES. I think Blue Lily, Lily Blue was my favourite. You should definitely continue with the series.
    I think why I love it is because I found the characters so intriguing and the atmosphere of the books eerie, but not scary, and the WRITING. AGH I COULD JUST EAT THE WRITING.

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    1. I actually just finished The Dream Thieves, so that one's up next! I'm very excited to get to it.
      OH YES THE CHARACTERS ARE LOVELY. Especially Noah :)

      - Ellie

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  4. I haven't read The Raven Boys series yet but ahahahaha at your review. I definitely need to bump it up the TBR pile!

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    1. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts!

      - Ellie

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  5. I NEED TO READ SOME STIEFVATER!!

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    1. YES, YOU DO. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts!

      - Ellie

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  6. I haven't read any of these before, so thank you for sharing what you thought of them! And I love your unit of measurement, internet cult leaders are the more effective way to measure something ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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    1. I'm glad you liked it! I think you would like The Raven Cycle. Haha thank you.

      - Ellie

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  7. I'm a bit scared of reading The Raven Boys because I wasn't into The Scorpio Races. I'll see if I can check it out in the future.

    And danisnotonfire, eh? Interesting...

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