Deadhouse Landing

DNF

I found nothing even remotely interesting about this book. As much as I tried to read it, it never seemed to get anywhere. And well, when it never seems to get anywhere safely to say I just drop it.

I found it quite aimless to be honest, and none of the characters got to me. The beginning was mildly interesting on a level, but other than that it just fell flat. Really really flat.

As I didn’t think there was enough devoted to the main character and the world as it was, making me feel that nothing has happened so far. As much as I enjoy being thrown into a world, I was not by any means grounded into it.

That’s where this largely failed to evoke even a little emotion from it. I simply do not care.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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The Walled City 

I found the whole idea enthralling. But at times, I just got really bored by the book itself in the beginning. The research I believe was did to the best of the author’s ability, and even then she took plenty of liberties here. Which was fine with me, as she was carefully in her portrayal. 

It just took a long time to get to really know or even like any of the characters. I like Jin Ling and Dai. While Mei Yee often just fell flat on me. First person narration can be hard when it comes to this number of characters it is shuffling through. And here, I think it just didn’t work too well. I cared about Dai and Jin Ling, but I felt that there could have been more. 

As in really more. 

More depth, and more grit. As in how life in the Walled City really was a horrifying experience for them. I didn’t really get that feeling here. Or even the themes that the story wanted to touch either. 

The plot was pretty decent, nothing gets easily done and the ending was a nice touch. After all they have been through, it is frankly impossible that any of them will be able to go back to normal without serious help. And it doesn’t do anything to say that it will be easy either. 

I guess the book was a nice read with romance, but it just didn’t dig deep enough for my liking. Which was something I will have enjoyed more, as you can see from the kind of works I enjoy. But overall, still worth the time I spent reading it. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Diabolic

This was a strangely very science fiction yet a tale full of intrigue. Spun in such a way that I really enjoyed every page of it.

The story is set in the near future, but it is still about endless political struggles between the Emperor and in this case, the study of sciences and maths. These were all an interesting combination. As well as why it became so.

I do like the idea that something influenced them to reject advancing themselves, instead use computers or technology. Because thinking is what makes us humans, the ability to move things forward and create new things.

As for the intrigue, it surrounds a pretending to be mad prince and a ruthless Emperor, and a terrifying grandmother. End of story. It was interesting to watch the dynamics unfold and slowly they start to kill each other.

I like that Tyrus wasn’t comepletely perfection. He is someone who will place Nemesis first despite what she thinks, and that he is stubborn when it comes to her. All the while, he is unable to prevent certain things from happening which impacted the book itself.

The scheming was brilliantly done, it took Tyrus a lot to corner his own grandmother who got rid of the Emperor. Both of which really defined that they were powerful as it was, and truly difficult to outsmart. But since the story is told from Nemesis’ view, it is hard to really get at which point he starts changing his agenda.

And several times, Tyrus was set back. I find that this is much more of his story than anyone else as he is the one who starts to stand up, and differ from the mad prince he pretended to me.

Nemesis was also there, and her reason were very much understandable. If all your life you were raised to believe that you were protecting someone else, I guess you will get someone like her. And all the moments even when she faced a great deal of anguish throughout the story itself.

Overall, this is something worth reading when it comes to intrigue. It is well thought out and even executed. The political players here all look out for their self interests, and for Tyrus, to an extent looking out for Nemesis. But he is still someone who doesn’t mind killing in the last part.

I think that this just clicked with me because of how the intrigue was really handed. All else, maybe a little too hard to say. But few books actually impress me when it comes to this, so, it’s quite high in my list.

Rating: 4 out of 5

One Dark Throne

Again, I gave up comepletely that this will be worth my time. And like its predecessor, it fails to inspire me in any way possible.

The deadlock is there, just a three way deadlock with none of the Queens even remotely interested in getting the throne. I don’t get vicious backstabbing, double crossing or what I want. All I really get is mostly some underhanded scheming, and some near assassination. Which didn’t even make sense.

And that the world was about as empty as it was before. Think about getting answers, you will be getting none here regarding why this massacre started in the first place or even how come they keep on having triplets. I mean, it can’t be that precise all this while, right? There is no answer to this at all, and sadly, that will have taken my interest. If there was some information on why this sort of needless bloodshed started in the first place.

Most royal families are a lot more pragmatic than that unless they are completely isolated which the book doesn’t answer about it at all. And even in closed off societies, it means more heirs. Unless they have some way of assuring that these triplets will always survive to adulthood. Which again, the book doesn’t touch upon on how advanced is their medicine to ensure that infant mortality doesn’t hit them or how blessed they are.

So, the world really needs some development and also answering the questions. It is rather bizarre to have this sort of tradition without even addressing it within two books.

I mean, how was it not possible to entertain that idea. How was it not possible to know that it was so. And there was a chosen Queen, where I couldn’t give a damn about. I will rather see Queens who fight for their birthright rather than say they were chosen. Or think that they were. Because just a series of unfortunate things happen.

And in this series, I don’t get the brutal feud that I was expecting where each of them will be brutally killing each other. Or even one where there is some questions raised about the sanity of it.

Most of it, was spent on useless things which again contributed nothing to the plot. Or even about the themes of the book itself. Well, the throne clearly isn’t dark enough to have them forget their human nature for certain.

And overall, this was a disappointment. Far worse than the one which I had in the previous book.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Kinslayer

DNF

I gave up on this book. There is nothing else to say about it. In my mind, Stormdancer was still decent although Nevernight was a mess for lack of better word.

I just didn’t care about any of the characters at all. I found Buruu to be more annoying than anything else for that matter. Yukiko, what role did she play in the story again? I can’t even bloody remember.

The plot for lack of better word was all over the place and I don’t think it was going anywhere. Add on characters which I barely know nor care about, and you have a huge problem because I don’t give a damn about them.

I’m not going to talk about the Japanese representation, which to me was bloody confusing here. Some Shogun died, and who inherits. I thought there were Emperors as the title of Shogun used to be non-inheritable. It all depends on the Emperor at least until the Edo era.

But you know what, this confused me. Perhaps it was just too long since I read Stormdancer and I can’t even remember much about it.

But at the end of the day, it failed to jog my memory or even make me care the least bit about the characters.

Rating: 1 out of 5

Flotsam

Well, I was initially interested. But afterwards, I just couldn’t find anything which was memorable. And became another book which I lost interest in and eventually just went on to complete through skimming. 

The story is about the galaxy, but I didn’t feel anything really special about this story. Other than something happened here which drove the ship’s captain to going on something. And the setting which did have some redeemable features about it. 

I guess I just don’t care about any of the characters. Which otherwise will have really intrigued me to the world as it was, and the writing was nothing memorable at all. Just a lot of description and world building which flew over my head. It was just too dry, and it really hampered my ability to love and understand the story as it was. 

Overall, I just didn’t like the story because it didn’t have any characters which I found common ground with. Neither did I find anything which truly intrigued me at all. 

Rating: 2 out of 5

Alanna: The First Adventure

Well, this was okay. It is like many epic fantasies that I know but as usual, it has its own charm. Alanna was intriguing in her choices but it was rather like any other book.

Though this precedes many of them given its publication date. But to me, I guess I just have read way too much in this genre regarding girls dressing as boys.

There is some exploration of it all, and there is some questions raised and some interesting viewpoints when it comes to Alanna and her beliefs as well as necessities. But it just feels too shallow and it never gets into anything which will have made me read and savour every word.

But other than that, the plot of this is very very classic and like many epic fantasies we know today. Just that Alanna is a character on her own and she doesn’t say or whine when things go hard. Just that once, but in a way that she learned something from that.

But overall, I guess it just was my expectations which were a little too high when it came to this. Or that I have just grown out of the epic fantasy genre, unless it has twists in it or complicated characters. But still will recommend it and I will likely continue to read the series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5