Satisfaction is the word that perfectly sums up how I feel after completing this. I wasn't overwhelmed by it, But, thankful, I wasn't disappointed either. If you stumble across this book, I highly recommend adding it to your wish list and picking up the other ten books in this series (yes, I am including Vampire Academy).
I made it a point to stay away from spoilers about this one - even though I've been dying for it to come out. The absolute ONLY thing I expected from this one was that Sydney and Adrian reunite. Pretty low standards, if you ask me.
I guess the main thing that came out of this book was that we were shown the true strength Sydney and Adrian have gained from their love, and it is beautiful. I don't think Sydney would have been able to survive Reeducation without the hope of seeing Adrian again.
I can't really say much about this because I don't want to spoil it in any way. Just know that it follows the same formula as every other book in the series. There is a problem, and Sydney's smarts and Adrian's charm solve it.
PS- I'm still disappointed that Penguin chose to take away Adrian's English accent. But I guess Mr. Ford did a decent job.
Can't wait for The Ruby Circle!
Okay, so I am going to be 100% honest. I wasn't a huge fan of this series. I enjoyed the first book, but I felt like Maas focused too much on a possible love triangle than on this incrediblely awesome world she has created! It was also extremely frustrating that the characters didn't know what was going on like what "wyrds" were, and it seemed like we were never going to learn. Then the end of the second book happened...
I am absolutely thrilled with where this series is going. We are FINALLY getting some answers! I'm crazy about the world-building that is going on, and, yes, everything is starting to click together. I almost feel like re-listening to the first two now, so I can understand the hints at what is happening.
So, if you know me, you know what sets books apart from being "good" to "amazing" is character development. And, boy oh boy, did I get some character development. Let's break down by characters since it's a mixed POV:
Poor Celaena. I will admit I really didn't care for her at first! I didn't find her arrogance charming. She seemed one-dimensional to me...Until now. She has so. much. depth. I loved learning about her past and why she is the way she is. I was a little weary that we, the listeners, were going to be bogged down by her despair (like in Mockingjay), but we weren't. Her fears are tangible, and it was thrilling to watch her become the woman she was born to be.
The training scenes were beautiful. The development of her magic was beautiful. Her friendship with Ronan was beautiful.
I am always hesitant about the introduction of new males. Celanea was just coming out of a terrible break-up, and I truly did not want to have another book focusing on Celaena developing a new boyfriend. Ronan was not that. They had a wonderful friendship, where, if it developed into a romance, I would be completely fine. Ronan was broken, just as Celaena was. They healed each other. I'm still not over how beautiful there last couple scenes with Ronan were. My only complaint is that he probably won't be too prominent in the next book.
We are introduced to another new character...which, again, scary. But, Manon's POV ended up being my second favorite to listen to! She is a witch, but in a different clan than the only witch we have been introduced to - Baba Yellowlegs. She is a cruel creature that revels in violence. I've never read anything where you are hearing from a deeply mean person's perspective, so that was neat. Her development gave me chills. The witches are preparing for war, and they are given these creatures as their mounts. The mounts are supposed to be mindless killing, flying machines. However, Manon develops a relationship with her mount, Abraxos. Abraxos is a literal slave, and he shows Manon that she is a slave to her culture. I cannot wait to see where the series takes her - hopefully with an alliance with Celaena.
4. Dorian and Chaol
I didn't want to hear from these two. Is that bad? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed them both in the past books. They just aren't as exciting as witches or fay. I'm sad for Dorian, and that is all I have to say on that front. Chaol was annoying. He could not chose a side; he felt like it was between Caleana and Dorian BUT THEY ARE ON THE SAME SIDE. That just annoyed me. Chaol ended up making his choice in the worst possible moment...I won't spoil it.
Yes, I loved it. Yes, you will love it. Yes, you need to drop everything and listen immediately. You will laugh, and you will probably cry. It is worth it.
The initial thing about this sequel is that it is told in three different POVs. Normally, I am completely off putted by multi-POVs. I hate it when the first book is epic, and you love and care about the protagonist, then they throw in a random narrator in the second books (Eldest, anyone?). You are always filled with a sense a dread when the chapter ends because you are thrown into some of character's head on some other part of the universe. However, I LOVED this aspect of Scarlet.
I was panicking because I thought Cinder would no longer be a narrator. How horrible would it be to never be inside Cinder's head again? But, that wasn't the case. We see Cinder directly after the happenings from the first book. She picks up a hilarious new companion, and she carries on. I am in love with the character developing that is happening with her. In the first book, we have a girl who is synonymous with a slave. She is extremely self-conscious and dislikes herself to a certain extent. All she wants is freedom. Now she has freedom, but she is now forced to face that she IS the rightful queen. Cinder has to cope with the loss of her new found freedom and has to grow into her role. She will seriously be amazing by the end of the series, I just know it.
As for Scarlet, I LOVED her. She was hilarious. I am a strong fan of a badass female protagonist, and Scarlet is definitely one. She lets no one hold her back, and she will literally shoot you if you stand in her way. Sometimes her obsession with her grandmother was a little too much, but I know I would feel the same way if one of my family members was kidnapped.
I appreciated how each character would have two chapters for their turn. I hate when both story arcs are broken up where the chapter ends on a climatic part and then you are thrown into the other side of the story. It's terrible writing when authors do that - Meyer does not.
I personally loved all the voices that Soler provided. She is fantastic. She gave the characters such depth and emotion. Whenever Scarlet was upset, you could feel her emotions instead of just hearing them. It also was great since the story is told in different perspectives. It's nice to know that okay, we hear the accent, we are with Scarlet now.
I loved this one more than Cinder. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire listen, and the comic relief provided by Thorne was wonderful. I simply cannot wait to see how the rest of the series unfolds.
After finishing this book (in one sitting, mind you), I was left with one question: Why? Why did I wait so long to listen to this?! Then, Why would I do this to myself. Say goodbye to your life; you will be consumed with this one. Or at least I was.
Let me start out by freaking out about Rebecca Soler. She is phenomenal (even more so in Scarlet, but I will address that more in that review). At first I was put off by the idea that there are androids in this world, but her emotionless, robotic voice is spot-on. She captures a unique voice for EACH character and truly brings them to life. If I see her name as the narrator, I will undoubtedly listen to it.
As far as the story, I truly had NO idea what it was about. I knew it was a retelling of Cinderella. The cover appears to have to cyborg-ish things going on. Other than that vague idea, I had no other indication of what I was diving into. I'm normally not into the whole robot thing, but I am obsessed now. Thanks for that.
Cinder is one of those rare female leads that is badass. She reminds me A LOT of Winry from FullMetal Alchemist. She's a super cool cyborg mechanic who has a crappy homelife, but she is NOT whiny about it. Her step mother is deliciously horrible - very fun to hate.
Kai is a dreamy male-lead. I wasn't necessarily swooning for him, but I felt that his relationship with Cinder was very genuine and fit perfectly with the characters.
I will say that there are a few elements that were completely predictable. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it made some reveals not as epic as I would have liked (hence, 4 stars instead of 5). Nevertheless, I am thoroughly enjoying this series and highly recommend it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series. I cannot exactly place my finger on why it is so addicting, but it is. I tried explaining to my skeptical friend why she should read this series. It went something like, "It's a dystopian romance with a caste system. It's sort of like the bachelor. Trust me, it's great." She was hesitant, but she became addicted to it too.
My first comment is that I really believe this book would have been better as a two-book series. The second book was a waste of time/money. It could have been easily condensed into this book. OR if they wanted to keep three books, then focus more on the rebels in this one. The actions scenes were too rushed.
But who cares about that when there's romance?! Maxon and America were precious. It got a little frustrating there when the same-old crap kept coming up. America: I just can't commit myself to someone dating other girls. Maxon: I just can't commit to you when I think you love someone else. We get it. We got it in the first book. Let's move on from it, please.
Will this series go down as life-changing? No. It probably won't even make my Top Ten Series list. That being said, it does its job: It is an entertaining listen that allows me to escape for a few hours.
I felt like there were a lot of unnecessary deaths. There was only one death that needed to happen. No one else needed to die for the story to progress. America could have had some other reason to leave the castle in order for Max to realize his feels for her.
Also, Chris is a rebel?! Why wasn't this developed?! It could have been an epic plot twist. Why did Chris not realize that America was on the rebels' sides when she brought Georgia to the dinner? Would have made things more interesting.
This is the perfect book to take you out of any reading slump. The characters are all beautifully written, and they all have layers. It is unusual for me to connect with multiple characters (I usually only find myself thinking about the protagonist and love interest), but I genuinely care about all the main characters. The narration is also really great. I can honestly say that once I was about thirty minutes into the book, I couldn't stop listening. This book had me laughing; it had me crying, but, most of all, it had me DYING to dive into the sequel.
If you haven't listened to this one yet, I highly recommend it.
I've been a Lauren Oliver fan since I first came across "Before I Fall" a few years ago. When I learned that she was writing a new stand-alone novel, I definitely marked it on my calendar.
As you can see, I felt "Panic" was about a 4/5.
Sarah Drew really is perfect for Oliver's protagonists (Sam, Heather, Lena), but I am not a fan of her male voices. They are not distinguishable enough for me to be able to identify the characters without Drew actually saying who was speaking. Her angry/crying voices are kind of rough sometimes, but I love them.
The story was also interesting if not totally predictable. It was hard for me to comprehend that the story took place NOW instead of in some dystopean future. I don't really want to give anything away, but I could not stop listening once I started and was happy I decided to let this story quick off my spring break!
If you're a fan of Oliver's other stories, you will like this one. If you generally like YA romances with hints of seriously dark elements, you will like this one.
Why it is that whenever you find an awesome Dystopean trilogy, the third books always sucks? *cough Hunger Games, Delirium, Divergent cough*
Since I've been dying for this conclusion, I forced myself to NOT get excited. So much disappointment in the past has traumatized me. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
Mafi somehow managed to fix everything I hated about the first two books within this one. She wasted no time focusing on things I really didn't care about, and she left me with the only complaint that it is OVER. :(
Okay, now I'm going to dive into a few spoilers.
As far as the love triangle goes, was there really any question who she would choose? The title is "Ignite Me". It's not little bird or whatever Adam has tattooed. It's Ignite Me. Boom. I mildly wish I would have re-listened to the first two books, so maybe I wouldn't be so Pro-Eric. But, who could seriously ship Adam in this one?
I have to admit that Warner's reasons for being so evil to J come off as a little excusey, but we have to take into consideration who our narrator is. Juliette (I'm pretty sure she spells her name differently than this, but since I've only listened to the audiobook, I have no clue) was not a reliable narrator. She was a MORON in the first two books. She was so helpless and pitiful that it makes perfect sense that she would create Warner as an evil dude...Well maybe Warner created that for himself, but whatever. J is the problem Mafi fixed by the way.
She was pretty badass in this one. Finally. Sheesh, only took killing her to make her grow a backbone. It is a little doubtful that a 17 year old could successfully take over the world, but I could not bring myself to care. I wanted her to do it. I don't care about the logistics. I don't live in this world. I just want my protagonist to take over the world.
Now I'm going to gush about my absolute favorite character: Kenji! HE'S AWESOME. I literally laughed out laugh with his comments in this one. It was kind of embarrassing laughing at my ear buds. A part of me wishes he could have ended up with J. How cool would that have been? How many love triangles end with with the girl jumping ship and getting with the random? It would have been epic. I wouldn't have minded if Eric turned out to be a sociopath. I didn't necessarily ship him, but he's less sucky than Adam.
Speaking of Adam, how perfect was Juliette's speech about breaking up with him? I loved that. It perfectly describes EVERY first love. She only fell for Adam because he was the first dude to give her attention/TOUCH her. She needed someone to inspire her, and he couldn't do it for her anymore. (Reference to Delirium::::::: Lena & Alex, anyone?) I appreciated how Mafi spared her readers from having a huge internal struggle over which guy she should chose. It was decided early on, and decided for the right reasons.
Lastly, I simply can't leave a review on audible without mentioning the brilliant performance by Kate Simses. She is fabulous. She portrays the soft and frail voice of Juliette perfectly. She somehow makes her voice sexy for Warner. And I'm still freaked out by how her James voice literally sounds like a little kid.
Reader's awesome, author's awesome, characters are awesome, ending's awesome
I literally have just finished the audiobook, and I am feeling slightly speechless.
As the majority of the previous reviewers have said, YES there is a narration switch, and YES it is horrible. One of the things that makes Adrian so darn appealing is the accent Emily had given him. I don't care how gross it may sound, but I absolutely loved her Adrian voice. "Loved" feels like an understatement, really. I died a little inside when they took away that aspect of Adrian's character. But, even worse? Emily used her original Adrian voice on Neal. Bleh. I actually enjoyed the different narrators for the different chapters, but they should have found an English man to take the part.
With all that being said, is it so bad to the point of no listening? I don't think so. Don't get me wrong, the male actor is not terrific, but he's not horrible.
Now for the story. I just can't. WHY WOULD I READ IT SO SOON AFTER IT'S RELEASE?! I am dying for the next one already. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will definitely say this is the best book in the Bloodlines series thus far. The issues of this novel are far more interesting than the problems of the passed books (I didn't care for Veronica at all.) I also am in love with how Mead somehow manages to establish unique personality traits for all of her characters - even the minor ones.
This novel features tidbits of some of our favorites from the VA series, and it references some problems of the past. I am so in love with Adrian and Sydney and my heart is figuratively crying for the next book.
I, like so many others, am stuck in this dystopian kick. I just can’t get enough. There are quite a few not-so-good stories out there, and, thankfully, Partials is not one of those.
Firstly, since it is an audiobook, I must comment on Julia Whelan’s performance. At first her pacing felt slow, but within five minutes I go used to it – plus you can always use the speed-up function if her pace annoys you. However, I absolutely loved her ability to give each character a unique tone that made their dialogue distinguishable. She’s great.
The first thing I love about the story is all of the characters’ maturity. Yes, they all are in the 15-19 age range, but they have the maturity level of college students – or at least Kira, the protagonist, does. A theme throughout the book is whether age is a signifying of adulthood, and I appreciate that they are not on the maturity levels of teeny-boppers.
Carrying on from the maturity thing, yes there is romance, but it is NOT the primary focus of Kira. I like that. I can’t stand it when a war is literally outside a character’s window, and her relationships are all she can think about. I also can’t help but love a YA female character who is dependent on her own strength and doesn’t NEED a man to survive.
Lastly, something I adored is the fact that there is literally non-stop action. It is a longer audiobook, so it is awesome that so much action is spread throughout the entire book.
It is definitely worth a listen. I definitely recommend reading this If you enjoyed (or I recommend reading these if you liked Partials):
Divergent by Veronica Roth, Hunger Games, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Uglies by Scott Westerfiled, or Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
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