Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Review

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Published: September 29, 2015

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.


PERFECTION. 
That’s all you need to know for this review is that word. Because that’s what this book is.  If you want to see what my face looked like upon finishing this book, please reference the gif below:
mindblown

Yup that’s right. That’s exactly what it felt like. Lights and shiny things and everything and all I could do was sit there. Mouth open. Wondering what to do with myself BECAUSE THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.

I haven’t read a Leigh Bardugo book yet. And I heard the Grisha trilogy is amazing. and I know this takes place in the same world. But anyway I’m having trouble writing up this review because I don’t know where to begin with expressing how I feel. I guess characters is an okay place to begin.

Six delinquent characters, all very different in their own way, working together to one goal. To get into the Ice Court, the most impenetrable place and a most impossible task. The Ice Court is one of the most well guarded places. And this group of six has to get both IN and OUT of The Ice Court in order to rescue a scientist who has been held captive within the Ice Court. Each character is thoroughly different. Actually, everyone is leaps and bounds different than the next person. I have to give tons of props to Bardugo. Each character has their own share of flaws, and downfalls. Kaz, can never say no to a good sum of money, and the mastermind of this whole heist, Inej, a.k.a. the wraith is a silent killer, in love with her daggers, and tenacious, Nina a Grisha who is beyond charming and witty, Wylan a newcomer, a youngin’ and a boy who’s family tree proves to be something the group holds against him and Matthaias the druskalla (witch hunter) who holds his religion close and moral standing even higher to his home of the Ice Court and Jesper, the flirty, cunning and deadly shot. All of these characters work….less than flawlessly together but still somehow end up being a very tight group of misfits. You couldn’t really ask for more separate yet together group from this book. Each character is written to the point where you either go hate to love, love to love even more, or love to hate, or love to love to love love to love love love even more. Either way, at one point or another you find yourself  completely enamored with all of these characters.

The pace of this book was great. Never a dull moment, even during the points of travel. It was the perspective switching in my opinion that kept it moving and all the back story you got on each character was wonderful. And how each few characters intertwined with each other was absolutely flawless. It was the perfect amount of intertwined stories, not so much that all their lives revolved around oneanothers, but enough that you knew that they were tied to each other in one way or another. That being said. Thank god there were no love triangles because that would have completely ruined the book. BUT the romance that was there, was BEAUTIFUL. Wonderfully written and just the right amount! I couldn’t  have asked for a better romance (my favorite being between Nina and Mathaias) between the character pairs. And even if there wasn’t full fledged romance, it was still a good sense of caring and love between them. It was beautiful.

And now, for my final thoughts on action and plot. I don’t think there was a moment throughout this book where I felt lost or bored or even “over it”. Fully engaged throughout, and constantly having an issue with putting down Six of Crows. There were nights where I was up all night trying to get my full satisfaction in finding a spot where I could put the book down due to a lull so I wouldn’t miss anything, but no. There was no such thing. A constant moving and flowing river of perfection. The action was great and descriptive and I felt like I was part of the brawls and the cannons blasting and the bombs going off and the alarms sounding. I felt as though I was in Ketterdam and inside The Ice Court. It was one of the most immersive reads I’ve ever experienced. Thanks Leigh Bardugo for this wonderful book, I’ll have to pick up The Grisha Trilogy sometime soon.

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Stephanie-Signature

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Published May 5th 2015

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Taylor’s review

I’m just going to get right to the point. I loved this book. I can’t think of any real negative things to say.

Right from the start, I loved the writing and concept. Sarah J. Mass is such an amazing storyteller. She’s such an amazing author. Everything about this book is so fantastical and glorious.

Even though I loved the writing and concept from the start, it took me to about page 180 to really get invested in the characters.
I really like Feyre. I didn’t think she was annoying or stupid and she could really hold her own. She was so well written and awesome. I did want to slap her up the head a couple of times though.
Tamlin was also a really cool character. He was really interesting and right away I wanted a back story. However, as the story progressed, he got less and less interesting compared to two other characters.
Rhysand and Lucien completely stole the book for me. Both are such interesting, complex characters and I couldn’t wait to read more about them. Towards the end of the book, Rhysand had completely hooked. I just wanted to know more about him as a character.

I loved the pace of this book. It was fast but not rushed and kept me entertained the whole time. So much happens in this book but it all unfolded at a natural pace.

This book could easily have been a standalone (though I’m glad it’s not) so I’m insanely curious to know what happens in the next book.

Overall, A Court of Thorns and Roses is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year and one of my new all time favorites. I loved everything about this book and the last quarter had me half dead (in the best way). I couldn’t put it down and I was completely hooked. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Review: The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

T20519011he Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides by Ben Tripp

Published October 14th 2014

“In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows…”

 

I’d seen this book in a little indie book store sometime last year and I thought the cover (mine is black not red) was so beautiful. I loved the font and the title. I loved everything about it. So I had to get it right away. And even though it sat on my shelf for months, I never really forgot about it.

A few months ago I read Rise Again by Ben Tripp and I really enjoyed so I had fairly high hopes for this book. I assumed the writing style was going to be the same because why wouldn’t I. However, I was extremely surprised to find that The Accidental Highwayman and Rise Again are nothing alike. Both books have vastly different styles. But, because of that, Ben Tripp is now one of my favorite authors. Each book had a writing style that fit perfectly with the main character. I’m not going to go into Rise Again but style of The Accidental Highwayman fit the main character really well and that’s something that I never noticed or thought about until now. But Ben Tripp really showcases how each main character of a book needs their own writing style.
I don’t know how Tripp did it, but he’s such an amazing writer.

The concept of this book is really original and fun. I really liked how different it was. I did find it a little boring at times and I felt like if I had read this book in one sitting, I could have gotten into a lot more. I’ve seen that this book is compared to The Princess Bride but I’ve never seen that movie so I can’t say if the comparison is accurate or not.

I felt like the world building could have been spread out a little more. At times I felt like as the reader, I was getting a lot of info all at once. This book is only 304 pages so maybe if it was a little longer, there could have been more times to spread out all the world building.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Accidental Highwayman. It was a fun, quick read. There were a few flaws for me but nothing major. I wish I could have sat down and read this book in one sitting because I think I would have liked it a lot more.
If you’re looking for a quick fantasy read and that’s different and original, I’d recommend The Accidental Highwayman.

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Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic UK paperback coverA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Published February 27th 2015

Our March Book of the Month!

“Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.”

Taylor’s Review

I absolutely loved A Darker Shade of Magic! I loved everything about it and this whole review is just going to be me gushing about one of my new all time favorite books.

Right from the beginning, this book had my complete attention. The way V.E Schwab is able to write is so outstanding. Each word is carefully selected and strung together in such an elegant and magnificent way. It was almost poetic. This is the first book by V.E Schwab that I’ve read but it definitely won’t be the last.

I was able to fully picture everything that was going on and I could place myself in the story with Kell. I felt like I was on an adventure. And it was incredible.

I loved the characters! Kell is such an interesting character and I couldn’t get enough of him. He’s so complex and had a lot of different sides to him. He’s so magical and kind and just so wonderful!

Lila was just as interesting as Kell. At times I felt like she was just nuisance to both Kell and me. But at other times I could relate to her. She wants to go on an adventure, she’s a wanna-be pirate. She is so fierce and could handle anything that was thrown at her. She’s kind of forceful and sometimes mean but I’ve never read of a character like her in any other book. Her and Kell are both completely original characters and can hold their own.

The concept of this book has blown my mind. How V.E Schwab was able to think up such a book, I’ll never know. It’s just completely amazing how unique this book is.

Overall, I could go on and on about how much I loved this book. The second I finished it, I wanted to start over just I could stay in the magical, beautiful world that V.E Schwab created. Everything about this book is memorable. This is by far on of the best books that I’ve ever read and I’ll be rereading it soon. I highly, highly recommend this book to everyone.

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Stephanie’s Review

I have to agree with Taylor whole-heartedly. I’ve never read a V.E. Schwab book, but my goodness, there wasn’t a part of this book where I wasn’t struggling to put it down. The worlds and the whole concept was something I never even would consider coming across before.

I have to say that Kell is probably my absolute most favorite character I’ve ever read about in a very long while. There was always that kind of hint of mystery and not always knowing what was going on with Kell that made him my favorite, not all of his cards dealt at once. Which was something refreshing in a way. Lila on the other hand, at time I felt was somewhat bothersome but still very strong as a female character (I tend to get annoyed with female characters quite easily).

Lila was someone who I kind of just wanted to be, I guess you could say I placed myself in Lila’s shoes and went about the story through her point of view, alongside Kell. Which I know sounds kind of weird, but in a way I think it’s a fairly ingenious way of V.E. Schwab’s writing style which made the book so great. It was something you wanted to be in, an adventure you yourself wish you could take.

I don’t think I had one single complaint about A Darker Shade of Magic. It was amazing, a book I couldn’t put down and I absolutely loved every aspect of it, the turns, the absolutely wonderful writing style, the worlds that were built. I think A Darker Shade of Magic is probably one of my ultimate favorite books of this year for sure.

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