Quick Reviews: Second Book Syndrome?

Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris

- Cover - Review Title: Unbreakable
Series: Unraveling
Book two
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.

And when Janelle learns that someone she cares about—someone from her own world—has become one of the missing, she knows that she has to help Barclay, regardless of the danger. Now Janelle has five days to track down the real culprit. Five days to locate the missing people before they’re lost forever. Five days to reunite with the boy who stole her heart. But as the clues begin to add up, Janelle realizes that she’s in way over her head—and that she may not have known Ben as well as she thought. Can she uncover the truth before everyone she cares about is killed?

Review

After reading Unraveling and not enjoying it like I thought I would, I went in with low expectations with Unbreakable. I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I quite enjoyed Unbreakable, it had more of an original storyline which was a huge disappointment for me in the first book and I had a lot of fun reading it.

Unbreakable was entertaining, different to the first book and ended up being really intense. My favourite character was Barclay which was surprising. I found myself enjoying this story including the end which broke my heart just a bit.

Second book syndrome? Definitely not! I loved this book a lot better than the first book!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarach J. Maas - Cover - Review

Title: Crown of Midnight
Series: Throne of Glass
Book two
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Review

When I read Crown of Midnight I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect. I didn’t like Throne of Glass as much as I had wanted to so I was hesitant about this book. I ended up enjoying this book a whole lot more than I had expected to which was nice.

Celaena wasn’t as infuriating in this book, she wasn’t as arrogant or selfish. There were a few things that still annoyed me, like the romance that was obvious from the beginning of Throne of Glass, but overall I enjoyed this a whole lot more. The plot had potential and it ran with it. I even had a moment of “Oh my god, no!” and was instantly heartbroken.

The only thing is that for me, the huge reveal that had everyone gasping when they found out; wasn’t a reveal for me at all. In fact I had thought it was quite obvious from the beginning. I had figured out the reveal from the beginning of Throne of Glass which was disappointing for me.

I’m not really sure where book three will lead but I’m excited to find out!

Second book syndrome? No, I thought this book was way better than its predecessor.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter - Cover - Review Title: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Series: Gallagher Girls
Book two
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Chick Lit
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

Cammie Morgan is back, and it’s clear that her life hasn’t calmed down since the events of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. At first, giddy anticipation is in the air. Gallagher Academy, Cammie’s elite spy school, is hosting a visit from a covert training center for boys. Soon after the boys’ arrival, though, everything goes dangerously awry when a series of security breaches are discovered at the academy. Worse yet, teenage agent-in-training Cammie is being blamed for the penetration. With the school’s top-secret status at risk, the Gallagher Girls have to work quickly to save their beloved school

Review

I really enjoyed the first book I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You so I thought I would love Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy too. Unfortunately this was not the case.

For some reason Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy was only an average read for me. The whole first half of the book was very slow and not a lot happened, I was bored. Then the second half picked up but I was starting to get afraid that there will be a love triangle in this book. Josh was back in the picture but I really wanted him to be gone for good, he annoyed me more than anything else. I found that Cammie was making a lot of mistakes that a spy just wouldn’t do, especially compared to how she was in book one.

Overall this was a light, quick read and wasn’t as good of a read as its predecessor for me but I will still definitely be carrying on with this series!

Second Book Syndrome? Yes, I don’t think the book knew where to go with this one. I can see it was setting up a love triangle, I think this book has pretty much set up the rest of the series after the first book which introduced the series.

Miss J

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[Review #115] The Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Cover - Review Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass
Book one
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy
Young Adult
Rating: 
[Goodreads | Book Depository]

Summary

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Review

Throne of Glass was not as good as I had expected it to be. I had pretty high hopes for this one and was thoroughly disappointed. Yet by the end of this book I am now dying to read book two. Let me explain.

The main thing I didn’t like about Throne of Glass was that it felt inconsistent with what I feel like should be fact in the era that this is taking place in. Even if this story is not fact. My suspense of belief could not stretch this far at the beginning of this story.

If you’re a lowly, deadly, well known, feared assassin -even named the best assassin in the country- that is given a chance at life for whatever reason, and you’re going to stay in the kings castle while proving yourself; you most certainly would not at first be trusted to be left alone in a room where you could- if you really, really wanted to, escape. Nor would you be doted on, given expensive dresses, and the use of the royals personal library at the princes request. The prince would not accept such a request, even though you were working for him. For all of that to be possible you would need to gain the royals trust. I did not see Celaena gain the royals trust before any of this happened for her. If she had gone through the process of gaining trust, for a sufficient reason, first then this would have made more sense and been more believable to me.

I really didn’t like that Celaena was treated like a royal guest when they all feared she would assassinate the prince or the king. She had every reason to kill the royal family. Yet she was brought into the castle, treated like a royal guest, flirted with the prince, and allowed entry to the royal library; the one place that only the king or the prince can give permission to enter. Celaena received all of this far too soon and for doing practically nothing.

The beginning of Throne of Glass started off interesting, then it made me sad because I couldn’t believe any of it. Celaena was not acting like the most feared assassin in Adarlan. She was not scary, never felt like a threat and even though she was constantly mentioning ways she could kill someone I did not believe she would kill a man in cold blood. I never once believed that she was the killer her reputation preceded her to be. She felt like she blew a lot of hot air.

As I read on this story grew more interesting and while I still did not like Celeana or her arrogant attitude; I did start to like Chaol. But my favourite character would have to be Nehemia, she was interesting and I found I would keep looking forward to moments where she was involved. She was fiery, fun, real and interesting. Such a nice contrast to the stuck up, arrogant, self-centred Celaena. I just really could not connect with nor like Celaena.

Celaena cared a lot about her looks and what she wore, she cared how beautiful she was and while this isn’t a bad thing it became annoying when she always noticed clothing and wondered how good she looked. Okay so maybe she never wondered how good she looked but that was because she knew she looked good. All the time. It felt like this was thrown in our faces too often.

The romance wasn’t a lot to swoon over either. I was rather annoyed with it as well because I didn’t feel like Celaena actually liked the prince. I never felt like they had a connection or were drawn to each other, there was never any tension between them. It felt more like he was a love sick puppy and she had him wrapped around her finger.

The ending saved this book for me. The ending came out of no where, it was interesting and I felt like everything got a whole lot better. The writing, the plot, the reason Celaena must stay on. It just got good all of a sudden and now I’m dying to read book two.

Overall, the main reason I didn’t like this book was the main character and the way my suspense of belief was not able to stretch. The main reason I am now dying to continue reading this story is because the plot is a good one. There is a lot of potential in where this story could go and I’m now very intrigued in finding out. I just hope Celaena becomes more likeable, grounded and less self centred.

In Summary:
Throne of Glass was not as good as I expected it to be.
– My sense of belief could not stretch to the lengths the author intended it to.
– I really did not like Celaena. She was arrogant, self centred, vain and felt weak as a character. I never once believed she was an assassin, let alone the best assassin in Adarlan. I could believe she was someone that had the skills to fight; but a killer? Not in the slightest. I just could not connect with nor like Celaena.
– I really liked Chaol though. And Nehemia was my favourite character; she was fun, real, fiery and passionate. She actually had a real reason to be where she was.
– The end of the book had me hooked. It suddenly got good. I liked where the plot was going and now I can’t wait to see what happens next.
– Therefore I am willing to continue on with this series.

Miss J

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[Review #88] Throne of Glass Novellas by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass eNovellas
Series: Throne of Glass
Book 0.1 – 0.4
Author:
Sarah J. Maas

Published: 2012
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Children’s

Genre: High Fantasy
Young Adult

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

Review

This Assassin and the Pirate Lord is set on an island that is owned by the Lord of the Pirates. We are introduced to Celaena whom has been proclaimed as the best assassin in Adarlan. She and another assassin, Sam, are there to collect money the lord of the pirates owe them for three of their assassin’s that were killed by his pirates hands. But when they get there they realise that’s not exactly what’s going on.

I thought this was a fun read, and a nice introduction to Celaena. Although I do have to say that I haven’t warmed up to Celaena just yet, she is rather too arrogant for my liking but she’s also very interesting. I love the idea of assassins, although she doesn’t kill anyone unless needed or for reason which I find ironic for being the best assassin in Adarlan, yet it’s nice to see she has a conscience and isn’t up for killing when she deems it isn’t necessary. It’s an interesting take on assassination for sure.

The Assassin and the Desert

The Silent Assassins of the Red Desert aren’t much for conversation, and Celaena Sardothien wouldn’t have it any other way. She’s not there to chatter, she’s there to hone her craft as the world’s most feared killer for hire. When the quiet is shattered by forces who want to destroy the Silent Assassins, Celaena must find a way to stop them, or she’ll be lucky to leave the desert alive.

Review

That summary sounds a lot more dramatic that what The Assassin and the Desert is really about. This one is more about Celaena and learning how to be more selfless. Less arrogant. Perhaps even more humble. And her first real friend Ansel.

Celaena is sent to The Silent Assassin’s by Arobynn for training as part of her punishment for defying his orders on Skull Island, in the previous novella. She is not allowed to return without a letter of approval but she is only allowed to stay a month. So she has to convince the master that she is worth training personally. Celaena finds it harder than she thought, in the Red Desert with The Silent Assassins she realises that her name which is feared in all or Adarlan, means nothing here. So she trains with Ansel while trying to figure out ways to get the master to notice her abilities and train her.

I had really started to hope that Celaena would drop the cocky attitude in this novella, the way she thinks makes it obvious that she thinks she is the best assassin ever. Her thinking didn’t really change that much, even though many times she was shown to be weaker than others. It actually rather annoyed me at how arrogant and cocky she was. But it annoyed me even more that she’s is claimed to be the best Assassin in Adarlan when it feels like she is the weakest one among The Silent Assassins. My suspension of belief finds it incredibly hard to believe this.

The Assassin and the Underworld

When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The misson is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer—and she doesn’t like what she finds there.

Review

The Assassin and the Underworld felt like the last straw for me. It bored me more than anything else. It was cliché  predictable and unoriginal. There was a bit of romance in this novella where Celaena admitted she had never kissed anyone before which in my opinion feels completely off and wrong for this sort of story. Celaena is apparently one of the best assassins that Arobynn has, she’s always instructed to hide her face on missions, she is revered and feared. Yet she’s always getting hurt, captured, she’s clumsy and she’s never used her ‘charms’ for her job? What? She’s killed people but she’s never been intimate? I just don’t believe it. Once again she comes across as too naive to be an assassin, to kill people and have no guilt, she doesn’t sound deadly at all.

It took me six months to pick up the last novella because I decided to stop reading them for a while due to the fact I started to not like anything about them. Well, I was glad for the break because I picked up novella number 4 and found myself incredibly surprised.

The Assassin and the Empire

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .

Review

I nearly did not read this novella because the last two weren’t very good. Ironically this novella was  the only one that I actually thoroughly enjoyed. In The Assassin and the Empire Celaena finally starts feeling, sounding and acting like an assassin. She still feels too naive to completely pull it off but I found myself being convinced it was possible. I finally started to believe that she could actually be the best assassin in Adarlan. Considering she’s been boasting about this in the past three novellas, I never actually believed it to be true until I read this one.

After not having expected to like this novella at all, it surprised me and this one hurt to read. Kind of broke my heart a little. I’m now excited to continue onto reading The Throne of Glass novel to see what happens next!

Miss J
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