Waiting on Wednesday: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3)

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: Hardcover, 432
Publication: June 17, 2014
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

This book is SO close, yet so far away… I’m very very very excited for this one. This series is absolutely amazing. With Alina finally fully embracing her powers and being the badass we all know she can be, this book has promise to be the best in the series. Also, I LITERALLY CANNOT WAIT FOR THE DARKLING. Despite his evil nature, the Darkling is probably my favorite character in the fantasy genre. Ever. And that’s saying something. Maybe all that evil concentrates into awesomeness?


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week’s topic:
Top Ten Books that you would suggest If You Like “X” TV show/movie/comic/play etc…
So, for my post, the TV show I have selected is Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time is probably my favorite TV show at the moment. Sometimes I feel like I analyze and watch the show more than I read. So, for those of you who have no idea what Once Upon a Time is, it’s a show about fairytale characters (and some classical literature) that live in the modern world in a town in Maine called Storybrooke. So, all of these books are basically fairytale or classical literature re-tellings/re-imaginings with a darker twist. However, I could only think of nine (Sorry!)

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This book took a really interesting twist on the story of Cinderella. While Cinderella is not a major character in OUAT, it still reflects the darker fairytale style seen in Once.
2. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I did not originally know this when I picked up the book, but Throne of Glass is actually a re-telling of Cinderella. (A very loose re-telling). I recommend this not only because Throne of Glass is probably one of my favorite fantasy books of all time, but because it has a really great fantasy aspect that goes right along with OUAT. Celaena reminds me a lot of pre-Charming Snow White– tough and fierce and unwilling to love.
3. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
While I have not read this book, I’ve heard that it is a very dark re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast tale. Once‘s version of Beauty and the Beast is simultaneously dark and sweet.
4. The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
First of all, let me tell you how freaking much I love this book. It’s probably my favorite re-imagining. For those of you who haven’t read this amazing book, it is a re-imagining of The Island of Dr. Moreau. Once Upon a Time also does re-imaginings of classical literature. So, for anyone who enjoys that aspect of Once, would love this book.
5. Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
This is the second book in The Madman’s Daughter series. While it has the same characters as the first book, it is a re-imagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I absolutely LOVED. This book was much darker than the first, and so much more enjoyable. In addition to that, the third book in the series will be a re-imagining of Frankenstein, which has been used in Once Upon a Time.
6. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
For half of season three in Once Upon a Time, the Nevengers (Captain Hook, Regina, Emma, Charming, and Snow) fight the dangerous Peter Pan in the even more dangerous Neverland. The Neverland and Peter Pan story line in Once was absolutely my favorite thing that they have ever done. Tiger Lily is a re-imagining of the Peter Pan story with a love aspect, which shows a different side of the boy who never wants to grow up. It’s absolutely amazing.

7. The Selection by Kiera Cass
While this is not a re-telling or re-imagining, it is still a fairytale-ish story. While it is lighter and fluffier than the rest of the books I have named on this list, it still reminds me of OUAT. Mainly Charming and Snow White’s relationship before the first curse was enacted.

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling is a really amazing dark fantasy novel. The reason I added it to my list was that I felt that one relationship in the book reflected a really prominent relationship in Once. Katsa and Po’s relationship really parallels that of Hook and Emma in OUAT. Both are hesitant of each other in the beginning, but learn to love each other later on. However, with Captain Swan, we’re still waiting on that True Love’s Kiss.

9. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
In light of recent events on OUAT, this fits perfectly. Once Upon a Time’s most recent plot has to do with the Wicked Witch of the West, which really puts in a new spin on the Wizard of Oz tale. Nothing is as it seems, much like the plot in this book.

Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

17383918Title: Alleigant (Divergent #3)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopia
Pages: US Hardcover, 526
Publication: October 22, 2013

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

When I first bought this book in October, I was SO excited to read it. It was literally the only book I had been thinking about for months. I think that excitement is what let me down while reading this book. I let my excitement to see what happened next in this series overcloud the reality of the book. So, I’m just going to put this out there. The book REALLY disappointed me. It was so boring and uneventful that I had to put this book down for five months. Allegiant forced me into a five month reading slump. It was bad.

I feel like the first half of the book was falling action of the cliffhanger that ended Insurgent. It held no excitement for me. It wasn’t until Tobias, Tris, and the group were outside the fence and in the compound that things finally started to pick up. But even then, I felt like, as a reader, I was being force fed fact after fact after fact without any emotion or action to back it up. In addition to that, I feel like all the information that we learn while reading the book about the Chicago experiment was shoved too quickly at us. If this information was spread about between Insurgent and Allegiant, it would have been much better.

Usually I like multiple perspectives. Take Legend by Marie Lu for example. It gives such a good dual perspective of a story without the voice seeming monotonous. However, in Allegiant, Tobias and Tris’ voice read the exact same to me. At some points, I couldn’t even tell who’s chapter it was. It was a good idea, but odd seeing that the dual perspective was only included in the last book.

What really made this book readable for me was the last 200 or so pages. All the action that had been missing from the rest of the book FINALLY happens. (Sometimes, I think, it happened too fast.) But it was FABULOUS. While I didn’t exactly like how the situation in Allegiant was solved, I loved the way it was executed. Everything made sense in the end.

It was really depressing to finish this series. The main reason for that was that the ending hurt like a bitch. It was completely opposite of what I thought was going to happen. It was a surprise to say the least. A really depressing surprise. But I’m really going to miss this series. While Allegiant wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, it was still a fitting ending to a fantastic series.

Amazon – BN – Goodreads