0

The Censor’s Hand

This was the most surprising book I have read. It was the right kind of darkeness, as well as sexism and having a very relatable main character which I really connected with.

Miranda was really what kept me reading. The way that she seemed so real, she is confident and not completely the type of typical protagonist. She isn’t filled with emotions, neither is she always wanting to prove herself. I like it when a protagonist is like that, which is what really clicked with me. She is obeying orders, but she is confident in her abilities and talents, but never always needing validation or even some guy to tell that she is good. That is where this novel really did well on.

The other characters didn’t keep my interest as much as Miranda did. And the world although well developed and clearly interesting suffered due to the plot. I really couldfind many moments where I was bored, so completely bored of the novel. And moments when I was hooked. That is what I consider a flaw of the novel.

Although it has one character who really shone for me, in a world where there is a lot of injustices as well as problems. All the while suggesting some hope, I like that Miranda is not the centre of it all. But there were moments where the pacing failed to hook me, and for some part of the book I had to put it down. But overall, this was a worthwhile read.

My verdict: Recommended fod Fantasy fans, this is really written for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Advertisements
1

Heartless

I loved this book. Whether it was just an origin story of the Queen Of Hearts, or whether it brought me back to Wonderland together with a new character. And one that I so immensely liked.

For such a long time, I was really feeling agony for Catherine. She didn’t choose to be like that. She simply wanted to open a bakery, marry and hope that her parents would agree. In which they were just bloody clueless parents who ended up screwing their own daughter(I really wished I could see when they started to realise that if they just approved, she wouldn’t have ended up being the Queen Of Hearts.) And that is a tragic end, the one where I really hoped Catherine would have managed to convince them. But she didn’t, and they weren’t interested in her. And well, that is where just makes me want to have them realise that they were the reason why Catherine became the Queen of Hearts as we knew of today. And this is where I believe that it is the saddest part of the book, knowing that there were so many ways this could have turned out right but never did.

Catherine is never a heroine we should be rooting for, she is a little too passive I would say. She dreams and dreams, she wants but doesn’t fight for it. Yet, there was some charm about her. Slowly, towards the end, where she becomes what we knew of her. I could relate her. And for some reason, I absolutely liked her, loved her even. When her story was a downward spiral, I guess I would always find some way to love them. Once again, Meyer had managed to do it. Except that it is a lot darker than The Lunar Chronicles. And who the person she was at the end, just as what I thought she would be. The ending line was perfection.

As for the world, this is Wonderland. There isn’t much of anything else we need to do. I loved the way that it was handled, and the way that it introduced so much. Be it the Mad Hatter, or Jest. I really like them all. This book is where we see where they would become and eventually end, why there isn’t another character.

I did love a great deal of female friendships here. Even if it is rather rocky like how everything serves a purpose. Like Mary Ann who was her supporter, but also has a great deal of problems. Of Margaret, and her unattractiveness and self righteousness. Something about them just clicked.

As for interesting characters, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and Jest. They were my absolute favourite and their interactions have always lightened up the mood when I really needed it. And especially do give some very interesting dialogue, one which will be memorable for a long time.

If I would to say whether this retelling is like any other, consider this. It is like Maleficent, a book about the origin story of a villain, and one that no one can ever forget. And one that doesn’t serve to disappoint. It makes enough references to the original story, but it is the story of the Queen Of Hearts. And I guess this is where I will always like her retellings, they contain enough references to make it work yet be so completely different. And this is exactly the same.

Rating: 5 out of 5

0

Under A Painted Sky

I love this book, once again managing to prove to be a diverse and interesting way of looking at America in the 1800s. One which I greatly enjoy, and once more about the Chinese American, which is a rare guest in historical fiction.

Samantha basically gets pushed to going on a trail due to a series of unfortunate events, and when she does she quickly thinks of whatever her father does. She makes a big mistake which sets her off on a trial. And most importantly, having net a good friend who would always help her.

And well, this is where female friendships takes a lot more role here. The romance, although is present isn’t as important as compared to the friendship that Andy and Sam has. Who stuck by each other and followed each other, when at best they only met for a short while before deciding to set off together.

The plot is simple and even goes in many directions. Although on some level doesn’t really fulfill the expectations but the ending is hopeful and bright. I think for a story like this, it is the most suitable to do so.

As for the tone, sometimes it’s light, and sometimes it is pretty tragic and sad. This whole story is a mix of both, Samantha had been a victim of circumstances. Andy is a slave and also in search of her brother. And almost all of the cowboys aren’t just a bunch of them with good lives. And well, this is where I feel it is realistic to the time. Where plenty of discrimination happened, where plenty of injustices were done. And plenty of times, it resulted in terrible consequences.

I think that this book is something that you should read for something that gives you hope, that does show the truth of America in its early days. And also, Samantha going on a journey where she hopes to find her father’s friend but eventually went on a completely different kind of journey. And once again, this book doesn’t end up having a completely happy ending. There are still some relevations that never happen, and never we fulfilled. Thankfully, not a lot of importance was ever placed on it.

Well, it indeed was something that I greatly enjoyed although it didn’t completely meet my expectations. But it didn’t disappoint either.

Rating: 4 out of 5

0

Cradle

I really don’t know why I kept on reading, even when I really cannot even seem to find a character to relate. Strangely, I just kept on reading.

The writing is excellent, and somehow really drew me in. Anything else really was difficult to relate to, but as long as it was the writing, I found it strangely entertaining and easy to read.

However, the plot and characters are not even memorable. Apart form the fact that it is set in the era of King James I, who happens to be a new king. And also one of the many colonies where settlers would eventually go to, I really don’t know what else about it. Nothing about the main character is really entertaining, and I can’t really remember anything about it at all.

And well, you could say that I only kept on reading because of the writing style. And also because I was slightly interested yet had no idea what was happening. I didn’t remember much from this book, but I really liked the writing.

So, how can I rate this? It won’t be high, since apart from the style I really didn’t feel anything about the story.

Rating: 2 out of 5

0

The Hundredth Queen

This feels like every fantasy book I have read. Mostly because the world is unclear, the rules for why they are killing each other and the women simply take it are incredibly stupid. Why would women want to go through that kind of rite.

However, rank tournaments was only revived rather recently in the book. But the only thing that made so little sense to me was, why the hell didn’t they do anything about it. The women would not just accept it without some great thinking on Tarek’s part. It was just accepted. Are the women here really that stupid and shallow?

Well, they all are. I couldn’t believe how stupid they were. In fact, if you were to compare them to the typical ideal of a woman. They all are willing to fight other women to the death just for the sake of marrying a single man, who can also in time do the exact same thing. Is anything really that stupid as to accept this when it was only recently revived. I would say, Rajah Tarek needed to be a tyrant, and well, he most definitely doesn’t feel as one. And well, I mean in that world is the only kind of woman apart from our dear main character either naive, shallow. Jaya doesn’t really have any personality.

Although I know that they tend to be raised to obey and follow. But really, why doesn’t anyone sees the stupidity of it and is pointless to comtinye.

There are way better ways to do so than fight through rank tournaments, and killing is allowed to be done, and yet not one single wife realised the stupidity of this entire tournament. Not even our dear protagonist. Anyone with a functioning brain can reduce that. Way to go to let the women appear even more shallow.

And from that all, Kalinda is a special snowflake. She is plain, yet she ends up being picked and called beautiful by many. She has some special abilities, but I don’t bother to find out because really, with all those problems above, I didn’t even see the possibility of me continuing. Most of the characters there lacked common sense to see that it is wrong, when sisterhood is practiced by them, yet there is so much of hostility among the wives. Which only worsens once the rank tournaments.

Well, with all that you don’t really need me to answer whether I want to recommend this book.

Rating: 1 out of 5

0

Karina’s Silver Shoes

I originally really liked this work at least before it became one heck of a mess.

The beginning was the strongest part was where Karina will pick up the silver shoes. But after that, I don’t even know what is happening. There is no certain clarity in this novel, and I know that magical realism can be rather messy in the first place.

But the writing had no wit, absolutely nothing to draw me in. And by halfway, I was skimming. I kept on due to my ability to like this kind of books, but in the end, I don’t even know what it happening anymore.

Well, it showed promise. But the novel could have used plenty of cleaning up, and clearly making the writing more vivid, real and also alive. Magical realism is confusing as it is, and with the writing as dull as it was, I really didn’t like it at all.

Same for the characters, I simply didn’t care for anyone of them. At all. They were all just there, Karina, some princess or some weird bunch of characters which I don’t really get a sense of their personality.

I think that given all I said, you will know how I feel about recommending this.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

0

Roar

Something about this book just clicked with me. Amidst having insta love, the most dangerous kind of love triangle where both of them want to protect her even if it means locking her in her own room. Yet, there was something that just kept me reading.

Now that I have gone past that, what I feel as though really dragged me into this book was the writing and also, the worldbuilding. How interesting was it? Storm hearts, stormlings and they are the rulers as they can control storms. That is really what controls them. It felt so wonderfully thought out yet there were moments where I think that it could have used more work, such as how they could take storms and turn it into theirs. Although I get it why it’s illegal.

As for Aurora, I don’t know why but I just like her. She doesn’t just exist for the love interest even if there are moments where she ends up judging herself by their expectations. Apart from that, strangely, she is more worried about her kingdom. She doesn’t want to end up at the submission of others, and well she doesn’t want to appear weak. And she does think things through a little bit, not just run away without a solid cover up. But I feel as though she needs a little more time just to learn it, the consequences are rather dire after what she did. And well, I feel as though she needs to know the full extension of them and learn from them.

But her wish to be strong is rather admirable. And also, something about her is revealed later which will surprise you. And it did really for me, something was there that shook me off and well, when I found what it was, I was clearly surprised yet having absolutely no clue how was this possible. One thing to say, the author played with me so well.

I think that the most important part of this was the unique worldbuilding, something clicked between Aurora and me, even though I like neither of the love interests. Aurora should just rule herself, once she learns a thing or two. One thing I have to admit was quite a disappointment: the Queen could have been utilized better than just discarded after her daughter left. I mean that woman survived her son’s death, her husband’s death, her daughter is only missing not brutally slaughtered. I can’t believe a character with so much badass potential was wasted like that. And well, I guess it is safely another issue of this book.

My verdict: you decide, there are problematic issues yet something about this book was incredibly additive which was why I liked it so much.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5