Young Adult Books: 4 Short-ish Spoiler-Free Reviews/Rants

Young Adult Fantasy Books, 4 Spoiler Free Reviews or Rants

1.The Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass series, #6) by Sarah J. Maas

The first book I want to mention is Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, the 6th book in the Throne of Glass series, a book which is more of a companion novel since we follow Chaol on his quest to heal and to find more allies for Aelin’s cause.

I put myself on the waiting list at my library as I didn’t want to buy this book because I am not the biggest fan of Chaol (and I don’t think I’m the only one). Even though this book didn’t further the main plot of this novel, I loved it and hated it for different reasons.

So why did I read it? I wanted to get back into Aelin’s universe. I was in a reading slump… I wasn’t inspired by the books I was reading at the time… I needed a fantasy kick…

So did I love it? The book has its issues, but ultimately I enjoyed it because Sarah J. Maas knows how to keep me glued to her books and I love this series so until we get the real deal aka Kingdom of Ash later this year I will settle for this…

Here is why I loved the book, in a nutshell:

  • being back in Aelin’s world, even though she wasn’t present
  • the unfolding of this new and magical Southern Continent
  • all the new characters and their stories
  • the diversity of some of the characters
  • learning more about the fae
  • getting a hint at what’s coming

Here’s why I didn’t like this book. I do not understand these predictable masculine characters (Chaol) whose personality and wellbeing is so deeply connected with what many perceive today as being a ‘real manly man’. The macho type who is tight-lipped, somber, works out like crazy and ideally, makes a living through his physique. So you cannot fail to notice how well Chaol fits into this stereotype.

What happens to this manly man when his physique suffers a harsh blow, in case of Chaol, he’s injured and consequently is unable to walk? Apparently, these fine specimens of masculinity are reduced to zero. At some points, he was treated like a child. And I can see why, because he behaved like one. Oh, but at the same time, let’s not forget how manly and sexy he is…

Why is this necessary? See below the first paragraph of the book.

‘Chaol Westfall, former Captain of the Royal Guard and now Hand of the newly crowned King of Adarlan, had discovered that he hated one sound above all others.

Wheels.

[…]

With nothing to do beyond sit in the wheeled chair that he’d deemed had become both his prison and his only path to seeing the world, […].’

Sloppy writing, sloppy representation, and tropes on tropes. …but I still enjoyed it! What does that say of me! Hah! Let’s not go there, everyone needs a guilty pleasure or two.

2.  The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I read The Assassin’s Blade, containing all five novellas set in the same world. Through these, we follow Celaena as Adarlan’s most feared assassin. I don’t recommend these novellas unless you are as invested in the series as I am. Even though we follow Celaena and got some gaps filled concerning her background I don’t think they are worth the read. I felt that I already knew most of what happened here from the series itself and that I didn’t gain valuable insight. They felt flat and plotless. Uninspiring!

3. Firefight (The Reckoners series, #2) by Brandon Sanderson

Oh, Brandon Sanderson, how you can disappoint! As much as I try I cannot find many things I loved about this book. I think there is one character I liked, but otherwise, this book is a big NO, I DO NOT RECOMMEND for me. I feel the time spent reading this was wasted, pointless, boring and mind-numbing!

Why did I do it, you might ask? Well, as I already mentioned it on this blog, I absolutely love Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series. I love it so much I decided to read all his books hoping to find similar amazingness in all of them. How wrong I was!

I read Steelheart, the first book in The Reckoners series in January and even though I didn’t like it I decided to give it another go because Firefight is about one (of the only two!!!!) female characters from book one. The character of Firefight seemed to be complex and it is but this book did not explore any of that complexity. She’s barely there and there wasn’t a POV from her perspective, which I expected.

It was as flat and juvenile as Steelheart, minus the silly metaphors (thank God to whoever decided to edit some of them out) which were abundant in the first book (ex. ‘He was right. I wilted, like a soda going flat in a cup left out overnight.’).

This too felt like a comic book, written by a man for men.

Not much happened in terms of world-building nor character development even though the setting is different and there are new characters introduced.

And there are many on Goodreads who gave this five stars! OMG! The world is coming to an end!

What makes me sad is if someone decides never to read a book by the author after starting with these series. Please don’t do that and pick up The Stormlight Archive immediately. Please don’t be put off by their length! They are amazing!

Now the only question left is whether I will continue torturing myself by reading the last book in the series! Time will tell!

4. The Graces (The Graces series, #1) by Laure Eve

This is a YA fantasy/paranormal witch mystery story about the Graces, a popular, beautiful and mysterious sibling trio, presumably witches, at a high school and River, a Graces wannabe. River will do anything to become a Grace. Will she succeed?

This book gave me major Twilight and Beautiful Creatures vibes. Was it interesting? Hmm! It’s a weird one because there are a lot of unsaid/alluded to creepy things in there and you don’t know whether they are real or just the figment of the imagination of a twisted mind.

I will call this book mental and mega emo. The reveal at the end seemed too bizarre and disturbing.

Overall, I felt that this book didn’t bring much to the table. Recycled plot and characters, not a book I would recommend!

 

I hope the next batch of YA books i pick up will be better…

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