Glass Sword

Victoria Aveyard

Throughout the first novel, I hoped the series would show the growth of the main character and the few minor characters. The second novel made it clear the main character would not grow. The main character has three thoughts which are repeated to fill a book. (1) I loved Mavin, but he betrayed me. Maybe there was good in him. (2) I love Cal, but I don’t trust him. I will sleep with him but not trust him. (3) I must save newbloods.

Several new characters were introduced in this book. These characters are merely abilities that will useful in the eventual battle that may come at some point? Their personalities and stories are about as bland as the world the author half-built.

I wanted to stick with it. I wanted it to be a good series. But the lack of depth, insight, and growth made it impossible to overlook the lack of world building. Overall, this series is a disappointment.

-A Bookish Girl

Advertisements

How to Train Your Viking

Toothless the Dragon, translated from the Dragonese by Cressida Cowell

If you have not yet been introduced to the book series that How to Train Your Dragon, stop what you are doing now and begin the series today. Amazon suggests the reading age is eight to eleven-years-old, but they are liars and fools. These imaginative and fantastic novels tell a story about becoming a hero despite being ordinary in every way. Don’t we all want to be a little more heroic in our everyday lives?

This novella written from the point-of-view of Toothless is just as magical as the rest of the series. I urge every adult to read this series – if only to remember how to be swept away into a land of imagination for a little while. This short story is great to fill your lunch hour with a bit of magic so that you can return to work happy and smiling.

This series and this novella make for an enchanted time spent with your family or just with Cowell’s words.

-A Bookish Girl

Philosophy for Heroes: Part I Knowledge

Clemens Lode

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this novel from the author and publisher.

Lode writes an accessible and engaging introduction to his series on living a “heroic” life. The book is written like a conversation, which makes it easy to pick up the themes and theories included in this book. It is written for anyone to pick up and read. If you are a philosophy student the first chapter of the novel is a bit difficult to get through as Lode introduces basic concepts and definitions in excruciating detail. Once you have endured this chapter, the conversation picks up. (If you are new to philosophy, this chapter may be difficult to understand, but Lode does an incredible job breaking down the jargon and ideas that you will need to continue your philosophical journey.)

I do think this book will be the weakest of his series because it is the beginning. The author seems to have a very clear path ahead with topics that will be far more intriguing. If you are acquainted with philosophy, you may skip this book and jump to the second without much loss.

-A Bookish Girl

Red Queen

Victoria Aveyard

The Red Queen is not a good story if you are looking for a strong heroine lead in a fantasy series. If you are looking for a series like The Hunger Games, a tale about a female (Mary Sue) becoming the leader of a revolution, then this series and this novel will be great for you. If you enjoyed the love triangle and push-pull romance in the Hunger Games, the romance in the novels will be enjoyable for you.

If you can stomach a perfect character for whom all the main male characters fall in love, has a rare and powerful ability, and is as emotionally mature as a middle schooler, the background characters are interesting and the story about the revolt is intriguing. It does require reading the entire series and suffering through the point of view of the main character before this part of the story is resolved.

I enjoyed this novel because I enjoy stories. I wanted Maven to be a twisted, psychopath and finishing the book let me know if I was correct. I wanted to see if Cal was a kind-hearted character as I suspected. I wanted to see if the Reds would rise against the Silvers. To resolve these background tales and inquiries, I pushed on from the otherwise obnoxious point of view.

To be fair, I am about 100 pages into the second book and the character seems to have grown a bit. Yet, the growth seems very focused on vengeance and still lacking any emotional depth.

I guess I learned that you can enjoy a novel while disliking the main character and their point of view simultaneously.

-A Bookish Girl

Asylum

Madeleine Roux

I was given this young adult novel from my mum out of the blue, so I was rather excited to read it. As a gift, I did not do my typical days of research and deliberation before purchasing the book. Thus when I started reading, I had no idea what it was about, how it was rated, etc. I just read from a blank sheet.

The story is engrossing, creative, and creepy enough to make you want the lights on when you go to bed. The writing is straightforward and fast-paced so the story can be devoured in one sitting. The novel makes the reader feel like the narrator; at times angry, paranoid, and just a bit lost.

At times, the story feels like an insight into a mind slowly going crazy, told by an unreliable narrator. Indeed, this would have made the book incredible and unique. I would have loved the final twist to have been an unexplained statement of the unreliability of reality. But, I did not write it, and my preferences are just that, preferences. Roux gives us a haunting thriller that can be devoured quickly and stay with you in dreams and dark, stormy nights. Worth the read during the next stormy night that you find yourself alone.

-A Bookish Girl