Let me just start this by saying that I can never remember the name of this book. It’s just that unmemorable. I only got it because I did read the first one and I thought it would be good to try to keep up with some of the more popular fiction. I had so many issues with the first book by Victoria Aveyard that I don’t know what I was thinking when I gave in and got this book. I am about 200 pages in and I don’t even know how I got that far. It’s so repetitive. The first part of the book was “any one can betray anyone.” Like every other paragraph it just repeated that. Like, I get it. You can stop now. Now I’m on the part where she wishes Kilorn could live a normal life in the stilts in every other paragraph. It gets annoying. Like just say it once and I’ll get it. You don’t need to repeat it every damn chance you get. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t read more than like a page at a time. It’s just so bland. I don’t know how my older brother can like this book. It’s not even “ok.” It’s just blah. I’ll eventually finish this book but I very much doubt it will be anytime soon. I just can’t deal with Mare and her whining.
I feel like this book is barely moving forward and is just repeating steps in the plot in a different way. Oh, look we found one newblood, now let’s look for all the rest in almost the same exact way! No. Just. Take the fight to Maven and be done with it. I can’t stand all this running around not really getting anything done. Let’s not forget the fact that they’re also running from the rebellion because the rebellion betrayed them like almost every other YA. I’m tired of all these rehashed themes. I don’t care how original you try to make it. Do something that makes it truly stand out. Like how different An Ember In the Ashes and The Mortal Instruments series were. They were both pretty damn original compared to Glass Sword which rehashes pretty much themes from every other popular YA books right now. Dystopian. Powerful main protagonist who’s different in some way. Rebellion who’s motives are questionable. Evil dictator or king. 2 love interests for main character. Need I go on? How many different YA books does that sound like? I should honestly just give up on YA, but every so often I do find a good book in there. I don’t know. Oh well.
The Golden Yarn is the 3rd book in the Reckless series by Cornelia Funke. I also thought it was the last book in the series till I had less than 100 pages left then I found out it’s not! I’m super excited. Cornelia Funke is one of my favorite authors and the world inside this series, mirrorworld, is so elaborate and well thought out and I love it! I do need to go back and reread the first 2 books again and then reread this one because while I knew all the major plot points there are small little details and some minor characters that I completely forgot about. Some of those was easy for me to remember after being reminded about it while others I still have no clue about. That’s the problem with reading the 3rd book in such an elaborate world after not reading the first 2 books in a couple of years.
Anyways, on to my actual review.
One thing I hate and I’ll almost always hate in any books is the amount of switching between POVs. Each chapter is a different POV and sometimes you didn’t know who’s till the second paragraph. I don’t even know how many different POVs there were. Some characters only had 2-3 chapters dedicated to them. Where those chapters really that important? Probably if I’m honest. But still. Another thing I didn’t like was all the weird difficult to pronounce names from characters to cities and countries. Funky seemed to have pulled names from french, japanese, russian, and some straight up fantasy. Also, the font they used for the main antagonists letters to the main character could be difficult to read at times. But all that is just me being nitpicky. Overall this book took turns I was not expecting which I loved. There was a POV from one of the pervious antagonists and while in the previous books I really didn’t like her, I thought she was cruel and evil with no redeemable qualities, while in this book I really felt for her and her position. Her pain was all too human for her to be that evil. Her entire plot took a turn I was not expecting and I loved it and her character. I wish there were more chapters with the main character, Jacob Reckless, than there actually were. He’s been the main character from book 1 yet I feel like his chapters only took up half the book if that. This book did not go where I expected it to which is, in some ways, a good thing. It wasn’t cliched, it didn’t have those common over done themes that are in most books anymore. Unlike previous books in the series, this one was definitely a love story between 2 couples. I definitely love how in-depth all of Funke’s characters are. She really took the time to flesh them out and make them all human with flaws and real emotions. It really made you connect with even the villains really.
All in all, I gave this book4 stars on goodreads and can’t wait for the next book. Though I definitely need to reread the first 2. Maybe I’ll re-review this one after I have a better understanding of it after rereading them all. We’ll see.
Sometimes it amazes me how different people’s opinions can be. My brother thinks The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is really good while I think it’s cliched and over done in teen fantasy. At the same time I love An Ember In the Ashes by Sahaa Tahir while he thinks it’s stupid. At the same time I believe we both have valid reasons for liking one or the other.
Since I already reviewed An Ember In the Ashes I’m not going to spend as much time on it as Red Queen. My brother didn’t like it because, due to the plot of the story, soldiers from the same army were killing each other for a kind of tornement. In the grand scheme of things, it was only a very minimal, an expendable, amount of soldiers. So, in a way I can see where my brother is coming from with it being an uneeded waste of lives and resources but at the same time, it was needed in the grand scheme of things based on the inner network of the politics in the book. It was being controlled by an almost otherworldly force therefore not stupid like my brother thinks.
Now, The Red Queen. The squeal, The Glass Sword, just came out this past Tuesday which is how my brother and I got on this topic in the first place. I found out he was reading it and commented my opinion. I’ll get around to reading The Glass Sword eventually. Probably soon since it’s such a huge thing right now. I don’t think it’s all that great because it’s the same as every other teen book right now. Dystopian with a female protagonist that gets thrown into the eyes of the powerful and becomes a threat to them. There’s even a love triangle, sort of, between the protagonist and the two princes. To me, it’s just another of the same in the teen fantasy section and is a part of the reason why I didn’t want to read An Ember In the Ashes in the first place.
My brother defends The Read Queen by saying that it’s okay to use clichés as long as it’s in a new way and this book decently does that but in my opinion these clichés are too in your face. If ther e’s going to be clichés in a book I’d rather them be a minuscule part of the main plot or a kind of subplot instead being the entirety of the main plot. That just gets predictable and old. The only thing that saved The Red Queen was the ginormous twist at the end. I. Did not. See that coming! It was brilliant on Aveyard’s part.
Do any of you have an opinion on the matter? I’d love to hear it if you do.
So, my first review was going to be on Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones but I decided instead to review a book I read recently that surprised me. An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir which is the first of a series. This book surprised me simply because it was good. The reason that it surprised me was because it was in the teen fantasy section at Barnes and Noble and, quite simply, I am fed up with that section. I occasionally browse through it to see if there are any books that look good that I could get for an easy read but, I swear, They Are All The Same. Dystopian or apocalyptic with an unlikely/unwilling downtrodden protagonist, usually female, with the occasional love triangle. For those reasons, after reading the synopsis the first time I saw the book, I passed it by. Next thing I know, my coworker who has similar book tastes to me asked me if I read it and when I said no she told me that I really should. So, because I trust my coworker’s inner book addict, I trusted her and bought the book. I can’t express to you how different it was from most other teen fantasy books.
Without spoilng anything, this book is about a girl whose family is killed one night because her brother is suspected of working for the rebellion. Her brother is taken prisoner and she does everything she can to free him which places her in harms way of the most dangerous assassin in the country, the Commandment. She works as the Commandment’s personal slave to try to gain valuable information for the rebellion who promises to free her brother in return.
Meanwhile, one of the assassin’s in training hates his life and hates the life of the assassin he was forced into and plans to escape one night only to change his mind last minute because of something he was told.
The book switches back and forth between those two POVs which I usually hate because I couldn’t care less about one or the other, but this was one of the few I didn’t mind so much.
I gave this book 5 stars on goodreads but I feel like it’s actually a 4.5 out of 5. Goodreads just won’t let you do half stars. Either way, I definitely would recommend this book if you like fantasy.