Inish Clare

Well, I expected a lot more than this. At least in terms of the mystery and historical fiction.

However, what I got was a rather bland story where I barely know even the main characters at all, and that the main narrator was largely forgettable. Paired with an even more forgettable mystery and even one where I barely remembered anything about it, and hence you could see why I didn’t enjoy this at all.

I did expect a lot more about the pirate, since I was sold through the premise on the promise of pirates. Unfortunately, it just never delivered it. And the curse or whatever was just uninteresting, it never felt real or even the least bit. It just felt there.

And I did find that almost any paranormal aspect or even anything about the history wasn’t really elaborated upon or fully explored. That is a rather large weakness if you were to ask me. And it didn’t really tie up what it had to do, and I just couldn’t find much of anything interesting to talk about.

So, you could say that my expectations just wasn’t met well enough. It simply wasn’t talked about well enough, and overall this was a rather disappointing read.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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The Stone Sky

Now this was a very satisfying conclusion. I was in love with the first book and the same for the second happened. Here, is where it truly ends.

But it isn’t just about the moon returning, but also about Essun’s tale of motherhood and need for her children. She starts by searching for her daughter, only to be changing the world instead. Here is no different, except that she has to catch the moon.

Most importantly, the most important character was the narrator. It makes sense why it was written in second person, since there will be a final narrator. Who will sum everything up. This tale is one of completeness at the end, where all the lost ties are wind up. And delivering one of a mother finding her daughter, and eventually her past catches up with her and in the midst of a season too.

The writing was the one which drew me in, as did the worldbuilding for its uniqueness. The way that a season was created and functioned, that at the end, a new world will work and function.

The ending, was open enough that I like it. Hopeful, and working towards a better world. Essun reunited with Nassun at last, and their relationship. Nassun has taken revenge on her own father, since Essun trained her. All the while, also changing. But the ending, was how I believe that it should end, one where the world can be changed rather than seeing it become a miracle.

After a tale of loss for mostly Essun, and eventually discovering and having to deal with one obstacle after another. I really feel for her, as she goes through all this with only one intention: find her daughter. And that she had to do all that to be reunited with her own daughter.

And finally, this trilogy is not suitable for everybody. However, it is a worthwhile tale overall. And that I will be continuing with the author’s other works.

5 out of 5

The Unity Game

This just wasn’t to my expectations. I did expect a writing with a tighter plot than this. And that the beginning just did not grab me while it still could.

And that I don’t think it really touched much of the philosophical aspect of the writing as it was. I just didn’t feel intrigued or even interested in it.

The main characters just wasn’t to my taste at all, I found them bland and forgettable. And as always, when this makes me unable to read it I just cannot continue on.

Overall, this just wasn’t written for me and I just didn’t enjoy it. Feel free to check it out as well, I just never really liked this work at all.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Toru: Wayfarer Returns

Now to me, this was what I hoped to read about and it’s representation. Setting it in the Edo era as an alternate history, during the times when Japan is indeed struggling to modernize itself or keep to their ideals.

And I do really like how it handles female characters here. Masuyo is just more than the love interest, I do feel her strength and also her love for her family. Besides, she outsmarts her father but still will try to abide by his wishes when he insists. As well as being truthfully loyal, and never wavering from her beliefs. And her favourite moments were with the Lady Tomatsu as she is a woman who thinks survival is above all, and her ask to just have her denounce her own father. Although it does show her tenacity, but I find Lady Tomatsu to be a more sensible character than anyone else.

As for Toru, he was indeed middle ground. He dreams and wishes to see, and doesn’t like people taking advantage of his country. Strong patriotism, nice personality. But to me, he doesn’t really have much of an arc and his identity is just there and under utilized when it could have added more tension and is it just me but it does seem that he has no noticeable flaws. The one who I did feel was stuck a little more in between and still someone who will dream is Masuyo. And that he doesn’t seem to have much of any character arc apart from that.

The setting is basically perfect, I mean who wants to be overthrown in their lives. Their fear was real, and unless the whole bakufu power really weakened until the Meiji restoration which allowed it implant changes. Otherwise, I can see why almost anyone who was rich back then really wanted to keep their power. Same thing with the need to keep up with them, since they were facing plenty of threats from outside. And I do like the way that it does, although the Meiji restoration is still far away but nonetheless a step to the Japan we know of today. Although the other complaint is that it doesn’t make sense how industrialization can happen over the span of a couple months, not really believable if you ask me.

So, overall I just like this book due to the Japanese culture which was authentic. The way that it generally was for Masuyo did feel real, but she still overcame those boundaries. And last but not least, that this tale was satisfying overall, as my complaints was as above. But otherwise, it was pretty much enjoyable.

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Wolf Of Oren-Yaro

This was a strangely enticing book. It isn’t about a young Queen or a king. It is a middle aged woman who had a son, and well frankly I really liked how the author portrayed her.

She wasn’t portrayed as perfect, but full of flaws and weaknesses. And she constantly ran into all sorts of obstacles because she was stubborn or didn’t know how thing worked there. I really enjoyed how her personal character is rather interesting, uncompromising but never brutal. All the while she has many personal flaws which takes her to interesting places.

The intrigue to me was the best of this all. It was how conspiracies, every country looking to her as some sort of stepping stone to ruling Oren-Yaro. Even when she already has an heir. This takes the intrigue of it to a really dark level, with plenty of villains here turn out to be fascinating people, and the machinations all well done.

It is between Rayyel, who has some reasons why he wanted to know about and is opposing Taleyian. And the Prince Yueback, who is an intriguing villain nonetheless.

I will also fall in love with Khine, who is a mix of con artist and semi good person. Again, I just cannot turn back but become enamoured by him and I completely understand why Taleyian will fall in love with him. I will too, if you ask me.

Overall, this was just enjoyable to this extent. The intrigue, the setting which I say is very Asian inspired given the names. And last but not least, the main character who is a queen, but has her own flaws, struggles to control her court. I really enjoyed reading this tale for all it gave me, and I will recommend it to those who have a love of intrigue with characters who are likely to put power first.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Cold Summer

This book was rather touching, at least in the way I never thought it was. With a time travel story, but centering around all the problems and rift between friends and family here, was the best way it could go.

Kale being a world war II veteran, and the entire idea of him being a time traveler but not completely about the idea of his family, and the problems left by it. It is so real that his constant time travelling created all these problems and fighting in a war really took its toll on him.

Harper, I did like her. Something about her worked, and how she dealt with her issues was important. Poignant, but at the same time willing to give another chance to her own mother. But her coming back here, and getting together with Kale again is a nice idea too, which I think began to really change the whole course of the story.

As for the ending, about the way it was. Open, but I have always liked such an ending. And that Kale does eventually learn how to control, although only to a certain extent. And Harper had simply accepted his unique situation and went ways to help him, that to me is more or less a sort of love. Although I would have liked it that Kale did get some time knowing Harper’s situation, but in this context it is fine since they have known each other since childhood.

But overall, this was a really touching tale. Talking about time travel, war and eventually romance. I think it handles the balance, and it doesn’t try to be too much. It is simply Kale finding his way home, Harper opening a new chapter in her life. And at the end, a simple romance which still has a long way to go.

So, in my opinion I will whole heartedly recommend this.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Flash A Death

The most interesting part about this story was the beginning. It was where it really intrigued me. And I thought that this was horror. But I feel it is learning more to science fiction.

Afterwards, it didn’t really go anywhere once the main character left the room and even worse when Issac was introduced.

The entire situation did intrigue me, and I did believe that it was handled very well and even explored in a way that was rather interesting.

But it was mainly the execution and the main character. After she got angry, and left the place which was by far the best thing to do. After that, it just didn’t seem to go anywhere and she didn’t seem to grow much at all. Or at least in a way that I felt it was satisfactory.

Overall, I really liked the premise and the beginning but just didn’t like the way it was executed or explored.

Rating: 2 out of 5