Category Archives: Reason: I Like the Series

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I preordered The Final Gambit ten months before it was published. It was worth every month of that wait! The book is full of surprise twists and puzzles to solve. The light romance is nice, too. By the end of this book all the questions have been answered and the ends are tied up, for now at least. I was very sad that my time with Avery and the Hawthorne brothers had come to an end, but it was a very satisfying end so that made it okay. I very highly recommend this book to everyone, but you have to read the first two Inheritance Games books first.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 80
Pages Read in 2022: 28,874
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Reason: Grim Readers, Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

I did not much enjoy reading Crown of Midnight. I wavered between giving it one star (I almost never give books one star) and two and in the end it just barely saved itself from getting one star. Parts of it were decent. Good even, on occasion. It’s just there were so many things that annoyed me.

Note: This review contains some mild spoilers.

Celaena is kind of dumb and downright annoying. So incredibly annoying. She gets irrationally mad at Chaol, insisting, after a week of sleeping with him every chance she gets, she will never trust him again for withholding information (as he should have due to his job), but she withholds information from him all the time (including the fact that the king has threatened his life if she does not assassinate each person he assigns). This just makes her come across as a spoiled brat. Also, she is way too trusting of the wrong people. If she was such a great assassin, she would be much more careful about where she places her trust. For example, even knowing the type of person Archer is, she immediately believed him (including lies) about Chaol. Now, I realize the author needed her to do that to make the plot go a certain way, but it was just another place Celaena didn’t make sense. Thinking Nehemia always only told her the truth just because Nehemia said she would doesn’t seem to make sense for an assassin, one who would generally be suspicious of everyone.

Dorian pining over Celaena while at the same time insisting he had let her go (he hadn’t) was possibly true to character, but it was so idiotic and annoying. I just wanted to smack some sense into him. I literally groaned a few times when the story returned to him.

I felt like several characters didn’t behave true to their character. I’ve heard many authors speak about how they have to let their characters go where they want to go. It seems that this author was set on what she wants her characters to do to make the story go a certain way and so quite often the thought crossed my mind that character behavior seemed forced and out of, well, character for them.

Honestly, the only characters I truly liked were Katlain and Mort. And one of them is insane and the other is a brass door knocker. The others… I just didn’t care what happened to them. When it finally showed what Celaena really is, I was like oh, whatever, just finish the book.

In general, the writing was just poor, poorer, actually, than the first book in the series. I read a whole lot of YA and the vocabulary was less sophisticated in this one than most I’ve read. One time the author decided to suddenly use a big word, it didn’t really much make sense. Celaena, in mourning, had dinner with Dorian. It said something about how it was a quiet dinner, but not lachrymose. Considering this was Celaena I wouldn’t expect her to be tearful through dinner, especially not a dinner with Dorian. A better, more fitting word would have been somber, but maybe lachrymose was the author’s word of the day that day so she really wanted to use it.

The author repeated a lot of things over and over, particularly during the first about two-thirds. Sometimes I just felt like she was trying to increase the word count. Occasionally changing time or place or what’s happening wasn’t clear, but then that just may be me because I often found my mind wandering, even during parts that were supposed to be exciting. The witch explaining Wyrdkeys was dreadfully boring. The first part of the riddle seemed totally obvious to me and took Celaena way longer to solve than I think it should have. And then the “shocker” at the end was painfully obvious well before the big reveal.

A lot of people love this series, so I’m clearly in the minority disliking it. If you loved Throne of Glass (I liked that one very much myself), give Crown of Midnight a chance. You might find it rather dreadful like I did, or you might love it like most people, so don’t just write it off based on the problems I had with it.

2 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 69
Pages Read in 2022: 25,232
Graphic Novels: 1

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Colony East by Scott Cramer

Colony East by Scott Cramer

I read the first book in The Toucan Trilogy almost five years ago and never got around to reading the second book, Colony East, until now. The author did a great job over the first few chapters nutshelling what happened in the first book so I was able to remember it easily and not feel lost at all even though it’s been so long since I read it. The characters in this trilogy are very well-rounded and their growth throughout this book is very well done. I found it fascinating (and likely accurate) that the few surviving adults don’t think the kids can pull together a new world without adult help even though they are clearly doing just that on their own. I really enjoyed this book and hopefully will get the third book read before another five years go by! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian novels.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2022: 5
Pages Read in 2022: 1569

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Filed under Dystopian, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

Secret is in the Bones by Heather Sunseri

Secret is in the Bones by Heather Sunseri

The third book in the Paynes Creek Thriller series, Secret is in the Bones carries on what was happening at the end of the first book (I somehow missed reading the second book and that was not a problem reading this one). As is typical of books by this author, I literally could not put it down. I kept staying up until midnight or later (VERY unusual for me) and had to force myself to put my Kindle down and go to sleep. The action is pretty much non-stop and the romance between Faith and Luke is just perfect. The occasional chapter from the point of view of the killer/stalker/all around bad guy really added to the reading experience. I got to know more than the characters! I often wasn’t sure where things were going and even though I knew who the bad guy was I had no idea where he fit into everything, or why he was obsessed with Faith, until nearly the very end. Truly a fabulous book. I recommend it to adults who enjoy thrillers, but definitely read the first book in the series or you will be very confused reading this one (though obviously the second book isn’t required before this one).

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 81
Pages Read in 2021: 26,482

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Thriller

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the third and final book of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy. It’s a lovely wrap-up to the story that started with some old love letters and a fake boyfriend. This one follows Lara Jean and Peter through their final year of high school. It’s cute and sweet, though quite a bit heavier and more emotional than the first two books in the series. I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first two books in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 77
Pages Read in 2021: 25,056

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Hawthorne Legacy is even better than the first book. There are fewer individual puzzles to solve, but instead a lot of clues to be gathered leading to where Toby is hiding. Along the way lots of secrets are revealed and relationships inside the mansion evolve. There’s a lot more Xander (always a good thing) and Max, too. I literally could not put this book down, promising myself I’d read just one more chapter (repeatedly). When I finished it I was so sad. It’s definitely one of those book hangover sorts of books. I highly recommend this book to teens and up and especially anyone who enjoyed The Inheritance Games.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 67
Pages Read in 2021: 21,495

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Filed under Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

When the Moon Has No More Silver by Connie Lapallo

When the Moon Has No More Silver by Connie Lapallo

Picking up around the time Cecily finally made it to Jamestown, When the Moon Has No More Silver is the continuing story of the early years of the colony, focused on the women and children and told from the point of view of one of the original settlers (Cecily’s mother Joan). The book ends right around the time the Peace of Pocahontas ended. The writing is very descriptive and goes at a relatively slow pace which really works well for the topic. The research in impeccable. The author is descended from various settlers (including the narrator) so it was partly a genealogy project for her so she wanted to get it as correct as possible. There is an entire section at the end explaining which few characters are fiction, short bios of some of the Jamestown settlers, primary source quotes, explanations of various things included in the book, and much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in colonization and Jamestown in particular. You do not have to read the first book (Dark Enough to See the Stars in a Jamestown Sky) for this one to make sense, but I’d recommend reading it first anyway.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 66
Pages Read in 2021: 21,137

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

The Desolations of Devil’s Acre by Ransom Riggs

With less than 10% left in The Desolations of Devil’s Acre I had my doubts that the story could possibly be wrapped up. Somehow, though, the author managed to do it and even gave an ending that was completely unexpected and also absolutely wonderful. As my 13-year-old said, it was a perfectly happy ending for a scary and intense book. The action is pretty much nonstop in this one. It’s an excellent conclusion to the six book Miss Peregrine series. I’ll miss Jacob and Emma and Noor and even Enoch. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read and enjoyed the first five in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 65
Pages Read in 2021: 20,542

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: I Like the Series, Young Adult

PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

I’m so conflicted about the end of this book. It definitely did not turn out exactly how I wanted it to, but it was still perfect so I love it anyway. The author does such a great job at conveying emotions and drawing you into to story. The characters are well rounded and I even found myself caring about the meanest character. Sometimes the main character drove me crazy, but that’s how it is with flesh and blood people, too. It’s just an all around excellent book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA and liked the first book in the series.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 52
Pages Read in 2021: 16,378

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Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: We Be Book'N, Young Adult

A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs

A Map of Days by Random Riggs

The fourth book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, A Map of Days sees Jacob and a few of the kids on a mission to locate an uncontacted Peculiar in America. As usual the author incorporates strange old photos into the story to create characters and plot lines. America is kind of the “wild west” of Peculiardom so the adventures are even more outlandish and exciting than in the first three books. I recommend this book (and series) to people of all ages who enjoy strange, but fun, stories.

5 (out of 5) Stars
Books Read in 2021: 51
Pages Read in 2021: 16,025

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Filed under Fantasy, Reason: Bedtime Story for the Boys, Reason: I Like the Series, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Young Adult