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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sweetbitter Season 1 Thoughts and Feels

Image result for sweetbitter showSweetbitter
Season 1
Thoughts and Feels
3.85 out of 5 Stars

Before reading, please assume spoilers for the entirety of the television show AS WELL AS the book Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler.


Image result for sweetbitter showWhat initially caught my attention for this show was almost classical- the trailer for it just opened the door enough to get a glimpse of the story inside without revealing what was actually going to happen. From there, I read the book and have been watching the episodes ever since. I finished the book a couple of weeks ago and reviewed it here, and while I will try not to do this, it is very likely that I will make comparisons to the book.

Sweetbitter in its first season has been a coming-of-age story that dips into the luxury of finding your own life independent from anyone and anything. Tess has been an incredible character to follow as we see her struggle, succeed, and explore the different avenues that are presented to her as options for ways to live. The key element of this story and of this season comes to point in the finale when Tess tells Simone that she has never really allowed herself to want anything. While not explicit until this point, once Tess says that it becomes clear that this was the theme coursing underneath everything. She finally is starting to let herself want things in her own life.


Image result for sweetbitter showLooking at the character of Tess, she is very human. A bit cliched, but also necessarily so. I think what is best about her character though is that she is slowly starting to grow a spine. It is very annoying to see a character bend their will so easily for others, but as the episodes progress, it appears that Tess starts to hold her own more and more. Despite this growth, I think there is still a lot of room for her to grow. The backstory is not as important for Tess, but I think I would like to see her develop herself as a less self-centered friend and establish goals and benchmarks for herself. That's kind of the whole point of the show, is for Tess to make a life for herself.

One of the things that I really loved about the show is that the side characters got SO much more attention and development than they did in the book. For example, I loved Sasha in both the book and the show, but the Sasha in the show was such a more fleshed out person. I love that he and Tess have a whole other relationship to them that was not in the book and I think it can come in extremely handy in the future should they be approved for a second season. The show definitely did not cover as much ground as the book did, but honestly, that is fine with me because we got to see a lot more of the other characters and build relationships with them all instead of just a handful.

Image result for sweetbitter showFor those of us who have read the book, we know that there is a whole lot more to the Jake/Simone plotline. It is a very interesting and disturbing dynamic that they have between the two of them, which was briefly hinted at in this season's finale, but overall, I thought it was just a tad underdeveloped in the show. A lot of what I think the viewer was supposed to use to get this feeling from was Tess's speculations and questions to other workers, but that doesn't feel substantial enough to me. There were rarely any times that there was a significant example of the creepy vibe of their relationship actually coming from them (Jake and Simone). And while I know Tess is supposedly a good judge of character, that is not enough for me to take her insecurities to the bank. Because that's partially what they are when they're coming from her: insecurities because she is into Jake.

Why just under 4 stars if I can't really find anything bad to say? It's because nothing really blew me away either. The acting was good, the camera work was good, the setting and scoring were good, the script was fine... it all just sort of leveled out a bit when I think it could have reached a different height. The character development should all keep progressing I think as is- with the exception of Jake and Simone who could use some more work in their relationship. The plot should definitely continue to see Tess find herself and grow as a person. The tone of the show is in the right area. Everything I think though could be stepped up just a little.

Image result for sweetbitter showMy biggest question now is if there is going to be a season 2? There is definitely enough story left because the show did not cover the whole book. Plus, I want to see more from all of the characters and how their relationships unfold. Especially in regard to Tess, because she is a bit of a self-centered friend and I want to see Ari put her in her place. Also, there should be a very significant moment with Howard that is pivotal to Tess as a character growing and deciding to take what she wants for her life and I want to see that. Well, I do and I don't. It's a horrible situation, but what Tess decides to do afterward is great. With all of that, I hope there is a season 2. I would definitely watch it because I think the creators of the show have a good grasp of the story and can make it better and better.


Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman Review

39886209
The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman
***3.5 out of 5 Stars***

Thank you so much to the author for providing an ARC for me to read!

For those who don't know, The Soldier Prince is a royal romance that takes place (for the most part) in the Alps in a fictional country called Stellangard. It is fluffy and sexy and perfect for a break from the ordinariness of everyday life. The story picks up right away and follows Sasha as she accidentally throws herself into a situation that leads to a mandatory trip to Prince Alexander's castle for her own protection. Does that not sound like a perfect set up?


SPOILERS BELOW

PLOT: Fully aware that this is a fun romance book, there was not too much of a plot to speak of- but it works in this case because the story is more about the relationship between Sasha and Alexander than it is of what the terrorist group is doing against the royal family. So going off the plot of building the relationship between the two of them, I think the story did a pretty great job.

Fisherman's Bastion at winter, Budapest | The 20 Most Stunning Fairytale Castles in Winter
I believe this castle is actually in Budapest
There was one series of events in particular that I just adored: their date in the city. The entire thing from the beginning at his mother's grave all the way through the apple pie was just so casual and adorable. What I think I really appreciate about that moment is that is shows the reader the two of them outside of the extreme situation of a terror threat. Yes, there was still some pretty high security, but it gave both of them a glimpse of what their lives could look like together. There were a couple of other really cute moments like that. There were a couple of awkward ones as well that I felt like were forced, and I was cringing the entire time Sasha was trying to talk to Xander about how they could make a relationship work. But the other moments make up for the few awkward ones.

CHARACTERS
Sasha: I really liked Sasha. She was just so completely normal. She wasn't too weak or too strong but completely believable and relatable without being bland. A bit impulsive, but that is almost excusable because she is in a very unique and strange situation. I loved hearing about her background and interests and I thought she was the perfect balance for Alexander and he was the best for her in return.

Alexander: While I can appreciate the general appeal to Alexander- prince, soldier, uptight, caring, protective- I wasn't completely on board with falling in love with his character. There were pieces to him that I really loved reading and were making me swoon, like when he was taking care of his family, but as a whole not really my type. He's definitely Sasha's type though and I think she really pushes him to relax a bit more into less of an overbearing ass, just like how he pushes her to challenge herself and reach for what she wants. A.k.a. I ship it.

Image result for harry and meghan
An actual royal couple ;)
There weren't too many other characters. There were a bunch of minor ones that all kind of filled in the gaps, but these two were the only ones that were really developed in the story. As far as the two of them go, Sasha and Alexander, it was pretty good development for the most part. A bit choppy at times, but then it still all made sense by the end of the book without being too disruptive.

WRITING: I have to say this first: Every time I read Stellangard my mind read Stalingrad. It is SO SIMILAR in spelling and it kinda drives me crazy. The only other thing in regard to the writing of the story is that it was all in third person but limited omniscient from two POVs, Sasha and Alexander (like how Cassie Clare writes in the Shadowhunter books- that kind of thing). I really like this kind of writing in general, but I wish that the sections were more divided so that there was a clearer distinction as to when who was thinking what. For example, a chapter would start from the perspective of Alexander but then randomly switch to Sasha when a thought from her perspective was needed. It required a bit too much work on the part of the reader I think and was slightly confusing. If it was divided into either whole chapters or even section breaks, I think it would work a lot better. And I'll be completely honest, it could be because I was reading and ARC, so that change may have happened in the final version- I just don't know.

Image result for swiss alps
Swiss Alps- near this fiction country
On a separate note, the country that Raman describes sounds like paradise to me. Mountains, castles, chilly weather, cabins and apples, oh my... how much for a vacation here? A house that I can buy? How much to change citizenship to this fictional place? The descriptions were really amazing and I can't help but wish this place was real. Not even for the royalty, but for the country itself.


The Soldier Prince is a book to grab and bring on vacation, read on a plane, or just before you go to bed to relax. It's both lighthearted and captivating, allowing you to fall in love with the couple and hope to see their happy ending. Apparently, this is also only the first book, so we'll see where this series goes. A part of me hopes that we get to see more of Sasha and Alexander to see just how they make their story work, but another part of me really wants to see one of the siblings and see a relationship with one of them. At the end of the day, I will be looking forward to the next book in this series no matter what.

Thanks for reading!

Spoiler Free Review: The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman

39886209The Soldier Prince (Royals of Stellangård Saga, #1) by Aarti V. Raman
***3.5 out of 5 Stars***

Thank you so much to the author for providing an ARC for me to read!

For those who don't know, The Soldier Prince is a royal romance that takes place (for the most part) in the Alps in a fictional country called Stellangard. It is fluffy and sexy and perfect for a break from the ordinariness of everyday life. The story picks up right away and follows Sasha as she accidentally throws herself into a situation that leads to a mandatory trip to Prince Alexander's castle for her own protection. Does that not sound like a perfect set up?

The Soldier Prince is a book to grab and bring on vacation, read on a plane, or just before you go to bed to relax. It's both lighthearted and captivating, allowing you to fall in love with the couple and hope to see their happy ending. Apparently, this is also only the first book, so we'll see where this series goes. A part of me hopes that we get to see more of Sasha and Alexander to see just how they make their story work, but another part of me really wants to see one of the siblings and see a relationship with one of them. At the end of the day, I will be looking forward to the next book in this series no matter what.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

Image result for solo: a star wars storySolo: A Star Wars Story
Movie Review
 
3.4 out of 5 Stars


Before I really get into this review, I want to make it clear that I am NOT a Star Wars junkie. I haven't even seen all of the movies. So please, please, please- if you are a huge fan of the franchise, please either read this kindly or don't read at all. I'm reviewing this movie based on this. movie. I understand that it fits into the series of movies, but I'm pretty sure that it comes before the other main movies so I'm good to review it for itself.

Solo was pretty entertaining. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly spectacular either. What really didn't do it for me though was that it was the general idea of the characters and the plot that made me enjoy it and captured my attention- not the actual content and execution of them. If a movie has a great premise and holds my expectations for something amazing (especially if they have the budget for it), then I want to see it followed through. It was almost there for so many different elements, that it just fell short in too many categories for me, like character development, suspense, action, and dialogue.
Image result for solo: a star wars story

What I was really hoping for was strong characters. I don't mean this as in their values and actions, but in how dynamic they were and definable as themselves. I've heard so much about the Star Wars character of Han Solo, but I wasn't really feeling the playboy vibe from this movie. I got the arrogance- that was well done- but that was about it. I didn't even ship him too much with Kira. Speaking of Kira, I really wanted to like her. But the same issue came up where I wasn't really getting a grasp on her character. The two of them just didn't have as strong as a connection as I thought they would. They were cute, but fleeting. I wasn't heartbroken at the end of the movie. About that- was Han even upset? Was he supposed to be? Because I felt like he just accepted it way to easily.

Image result for millennium falconThe other thing that I really wish the movie did a better job of was suspense and intense moments. I think there was only one time when they were trying to escape the gravity hole that I actually felt like I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened. There were so many other moments though that I though could have had this element and didn't. Like when Han is fighting Dryden at the end and Kira steps in to help. I wasn't even worried about Han's life or possibility of injury. That feeling of oh-crap-what's-going-to-happen wasn't there. I missed those moments because I thought there would have been a lot more of them.

All of the actors though I thought did a great performance. I didn't recognize all of the names and faces, like Alden Ehrenreich and  Phoebe Waller-Bridge, but it also included some of my favorite actors like Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton. I actually didn't realize that Thandie Newton was in this and when I saw her on the screen I freaked out just a little. I really enjoyed all of their performances though and I think it was a well-efforted even showing of the character across the entire movie.
Image result for han solo

Would I recommend Solo? I don't know. I'm not sure if I'm the best person to ask this question to because I don't know the Star Wars movies that well. But if you had asked me last week I would say sure- go for it. There wasn't too much else out. But this upcoming weekend Ocean's 8 is coming out and I am really looking forward to that one, so I will definitely be seeing that and reviewing it. Also Deadpool 2 is on my list of movies to see while they're out. So in terms of recommendation, I would put those two above this one I think. I also haven't seen Book Club yet, but that's a comedy so it's slightly different from these other movies.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Feysand (A Court of Thorns and Roses): A Ship in My Fleet

A Ship in My Fleet
Feysand (Feyre and Rhysand)
From: A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
***Assume spoilers for the entire ACOTAR series***

My level of obsession with this ship is probably way too high to be healthy. But, being completely honest, I'm totally okay with that. To put it in perspective: I'm a very frugal person and don't spend money on fandom merchandise- ever. For this ship, I bought a navy sweatshirt that says "Team Rhysand" on it and I wear it proudly in public. There's just something about the equality between them and the respect that they have for each other that really just makes them work so well together. They don't always get along either, which may seem like it would work against them, but really creates a more believable relationship where they can resolve their conflicts and disagreements in a realistic and healthy way.

When I Started Shipping:
Tumblr / moonlit-sketches
Contrary to most readers of this series, I started to ship them in book 1. Yes, even with all the creepy touching and inappropriate comments and everything else that was working against Rhys at that time. I would like to point out though that in my mind, I saw his reasoning for doing those things. Maybe not all of them- the little details that he reveals later- but for the most part I got the vibe that he was doing the least that he could do to maximize Feyre's safety and health while she was in that hellhole Under the Mountain. I also did not like Tamlin because he was just pretty and sitting there, and I know he had his own circumstances of being bound by Amarantha. However, when he did break away from her, he tries to hook up with Feyre. Um....what? But yeah, I started shipping Feysand book 1. I didn't ship them as much as I do now, but I was definitely hoping she would end up with Rhys and not Tamlin. Yeah me!

Favorite Cannon Moment:
These two have a lot of really great scenes. In general, I love when they play "thought for a thought." Even the concept of this game is built on a foundation of trust. Trust that the other is being honest and trust that they won't judge you or tell another person what you said. It's completely beautiful. A specific scene though that I love (and I'll keep it PG-13 or younger) is when Feyre celebrates Starfall for the first time and she paints the star splatter on Rhys's hand. She laughs and Rhys stops still because he knows that's the first time she has done so since Under the Mountain. It kills me because Feyre is fully comfortable with Rhys and is starting to heal. And Rhys is starting to heal too and this scene shows that he really only wants Feyre to be happy and what is best for her.


Tumblr / monolime
Feyre:
Understandably, it takes Feyre a bit to be open to this relationship. She has had a hell of a time in the fey world, so it makes complete sense to me that it isn't until the end of the second book that she actually beings to accept Rhys as something other than a friend. What I really appreciate about Feyre is that she is more than just her role in the courts and with other characters. You can really see this in her passion to paint and I think it is really reflective of how her relationship with Tamlin worked versus her relationship with Rhysand works based on how she paints. After she was Under the Mountain, she couldn't paint at all. But being with Tamlin couldn't bring that back for her- she was stuck in this depressive state and Tamlin was doing nothing to help bring her out of it. Rhysand on the other hand is when she started to paint again and I think part of it is because of how Rhys helped pull her out of her depression. Feyre is able to be her whole self and feel secure enough in herself and the chance to mess up when she is with Rhys. 

Rhysand:
What a gem. My favorite thing about Rhys is that he pays attention to Feyre and communicates with her. Since they were Under the Mountain all the way through the war and into A Court of Frost and Starlight, Rhys has paid attention to Feyre to make sure she is not just okay, but the happiest that she can be and that he sets aside his own desires. The fact that he knew they were mates and was going to let her get married won him some major points in my book. It broke my heart, but it made him all the more endearing to me that he would do something like that for her. As a character alone, I also really appreciate the sass and the clever comments that come from him. The way he holds himself and acts around his family even though he has so much authority and power shows just how good of a guy that he is.
Tumblr / raconteaurwitch

Feysand:
There are a lot of reasons why I think they work really well together. One of my reasons why they're a favorite of mine- definitely one of my OTPs- is because they are so realistic as well. They argue and disagree with each other and there are still moments when they aren't on the same page, like with their views on Nesta. I don't agree with Rhys's perspective on this, but it drives home the point that these two still function even though they are different people. They respect each other's opinions and differences and will talk through things together that they need to have a mutual agreement for.

The last thing with Feysand is- I WANT A WEDDING. Yes, I know they secretly went off to get the mate bond blessed or whatever but is that the same thing as getting married?? Feyre was human; maybe there's still a part of her that wants a traditional human ceremony. If that's the case, I want to see that because we have yet to see a Sarah J. Maas wedding and it kills me... 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

34323570Furyborn by Claire Legrand
4.3 out of 5 Stars

This book has been flying across so many platforms that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I am really glad that I did too because it was so so so much fun to read. What I really appreciated about this book was that while it was really enjoyable to read, the story is still complex enough that I had to pay attention to it. It sucked me in and I read it in a single day. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly confused as to what was happening at first because I didn't read any synopses or covers or reviews or anything. I went in completely cold turkey. It still worked though after awhile, which I think is a real credit to Claire Legrand for being able to write in that style successfully.

For those of you who do want to have an idea of what is going on before you read, Furyborn is an angel book. Yes, I am classifying it in that category that (in my opinion) has sort of fallen off track since the Hush, Hush and Fallen phase of YA lit. Please note, I'm not counting Cassandra Clare's books in that because they are in a league of their own. But I haven't read any really strong angel books in awhile, and that is definitely a key point to this series. Rielle and Eliana each have their own specific plot-lines, broken up with alternating chapters. As the book moves along, they each learn in their own time their own power and potential with the empirium, the magical source that flows through their world. Even though they are in different times, their plights are similar and they both have a role to play in a larger story of war and threats.
Image result for sun photography 
SPOILERS BELOW

PLOT: Initially, I was really thrown off from the alternating chapters. I couldn't really tell what was going on and the 1000 year gap between them made me think that I was missing something. In reality, it was actually pretty clever to have that large gap because Simon messed up when he was a kid. It's all clear by the end of the book and I really appreciate that now.

Of the two different plots, I was definitely more interested in Eliana's. Rielle's wasn't bad, it just wasn't as engaging as the other one. I think they were both very necessary and in terms of pacing, they each moved at the speed that they needed. Also, that prologue sets them both off perfectly, from content to title. I'm curious to see where each plot goes, especially since there is a limited amount of time to work with in Rielle's story. We got the "two years earlier" notification and the trials took months to complete, so there's only what, a year and a half, for her to get pregnant and have Eliana? I suppose she could already be pregnant, but we'll see what happens with that because she isn't the queen yet. She's been named the Sun Queen, but not the Queen queen and I think she will be. Still looking forward, I don't know if I want the alternating chapters to remain. They were disorienting and often I had to stop to remind myself where the characters had been left off from their last chapter. It was just slightly distracting, so I hope each character gets larger chunks of page time at a time.

CHARACTERS:
Rielle: Clearly, Rielle is not the Sun Queen. I can't say I don't like her though for being the Blood Queen because I think she's a good character. A bit messed up from her childhood and devious in terms of being enticed by the empirium, but at her heart, I think she has good intentions. It does make me nervous though that she has such a close relationship to Corien, which I'll get into him later, but I hope she becomes more independent in the next book.

Image result for red dye in waterEliana: She really reminds me of Celaena from Throne of Glass. And I do mean Celeana for those who have read that series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there is a level of selfishness that I find annoying and that I think frankly makes her stupid at times. I love that she takes action though and will stand her ground when challenged. I wish though that her relationship with Simon had been developed better. It seemed like it went from distrust one second to wanting to hook up the next without absolutely no transition in between.

Audric: I feel like he's probably the most innocent of all the characters. Yes, he knows the least, but he also I feel like has the least volatile reactions to things. I don't see him as a fighter, even though he supposedly has been trained and is super powerful. If we can see some more of that in the future, I think it would help improve how I see Audric. Right now he's at like a puppy level of cuteness and I don't think that was the intention.

Simon: On the other hand, Simon is as cutthroat as he is initially described and we get to see that in action. He is honestly my favorite character with the exception that he went from "shut-up-and-listen-to-me" toward Eliana to a doe-eyed "you-say-I-do." That was not fun to read. I do ship them, but it was a forced ship. It didn't feel natural.

Image result for angel drawingCorien: This dude gets the creep award. At first, I thought he was just a minor detail- more of a nuisance that would lead to a larger problem. But then he starts to get inappropriate with Rielle and it skeeved me out. Even though he's a creep, I think he is the best-written character out of them all. It's a slow reveal of his personality and his role in both plots and it works amazingly. So even though he is a creepy psycho, I think he is the strongest and most dynamic character.

Navi: She came out of absolutely nowhere, but I'm glad she did. There isn't too much that I want to say about her other than I'm really interested to see what she brings to the table with the involvement of her country.

Ludivine: I was not too surprised when she came back and was revealed to be an angel. There just wasn't enough grief from the other characters to really let that pain seem real. I also think she may end up becoming the wraith that Eliana meets in her chapters, changing her name from Ludivine to whatever it is that begins with an E (sorry I can't remember right now!).

Image result for claire legrandWRITING: There was something about Legrand's writing that pulled me into the book right away. I can't put a finger on it, but I kept wanting more. The world that she created too has just layers upon layers to it without being overwhelming or drowning the reader. The only real downside to the writing of this book is I think the alternating chapters. It was jolting each time to switch from character and time to character and time. If there could be larger sections of the plot to each character, I think it would be a lot better and cohesive. And maybe this is just me, but I really want more of Eliana's story than Rielle's. I want to want more of Rielle's story, but that desire just isn't there right now

If you read the acknowledgments, you'll find that the conception of this story happened fourteen years ago. With that much time, it is no surprise that this book was this good. I really hope it also means that the next two books will be just as amazing and have even more twists and turns than this one. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and it is so great to have another series with angelic beings. I've missed them. Furyborn is also just a good book in general, so if angels are not your thing, you'll still probably really like it.

Thanks for reading!

Spoiler Free Review: Furyborn by Claire Legrand

34323570Furyborn by Claire Legrand
4.3 out of 5 Stars
Spoiler Free Review

This book has been flying across so many platforms that I had to see what all the fuss was about. I am really glad that I did too because it was so so so much fun to read. What I really appreciated about this book was that while it was really enjoyable to read, the story is still complex enough that I had to pay attention to it. It sucked me in and I read it in a single day. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly confused as to what was happening at first because I didn't read any synopses or covers or reviews or anything. I went in completely cold turkey. It still worked though after awhile, which I think is a real credit to Claire Legrand for being able to write in that style successfully.

For those of you who do want to have an idea of what is going on before you read, Furyborn is an angel book. Yes, I am classifying it in that category that (in my opinion) has sort of fallen off track since the Hush, Hush and Fallen phase of YA lit. Please note, I'm not counting Cassandra Clare's books in that because they are in a league of their own. But I haven't read any really strong angel books in awhile, and that is definitely a key point to this series. Rielle and Eliana each have their own specific plot-lines, broken up with alternating chapters. As the book moves along, they each learn in their own time their own power and potential with the empirium, the magical source that flows through their world. Even though they are in different times, their plights are similar and they both have a role to play in a larger story of war and threats.

If you read the acknowledgments, you'll find that the conception of this story happened fourteen years ago. With that much time, it is no surprise that this book was this good. I really hope it also means that the next two books will be just as amazing and have even more twists and turns than this one. I cannot wait to see where this series goes and it is so great to have another series with angelic beings. I've missed them. Furyborn is also just a good book in general, so if angels are not your thing, you'll still probably really like it.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 1, 2018

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard Review

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War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
4.1 out of 5 stars
 
This sad time has come..... the end of a great series. And Victoria Aveyard really did a great job wrapping this one up. There were a couple of huge frustrations, but overall it was a fantastic ending that closed up a lot of details in a really satisfying way. War Storm was dynamic and powerful, driving home the end of the story in an electrifying way. This ending in particular may be one of the best young adult series endings I have ever read. 


Image result for red queenSPOILERS BELOW
 

PLOT:
Image result for glass swordThere was so much in this book- so many details, so many moments, and so many fine movements- and it all came together beautifully in the end. What I really appreciated about this too was that it kept moving. There was never a moment where something inane was happening. It all was crucially important to the larger picture and all played into each other. The only setback from this is that I wish there was another book. Yes, because I want another book in general from this series, but also because I think there was so much that it could have easily been split into two books. This way as well, there could have been some more details added in for things like character development.

Image result for kings cageI have to mention the ending as well. Not as a setback, but as a really potent strength for this book. So often a series or a trilogy will just stop or leave things half-baked at the end of it all. This did not. It closed off the story in a way that was realistic (or realistic for the fictional world) and left room for the story to breathe even after the final page is turned. There were no moments in particular that really stood out as being amazing about the ending. There were actually even a couple of times where I think I could have read a bit more about, like the final surrender from Iris and her mother. As a whole though, it was so nice to have a good ending. It has been really hard to find a series that perfectly nails the ending of the overall arc, but War Storm definitely fits the bill in my opinion.


CHARACTERS:

MARE: This is one of the few characters where I am not just pleased overall with how her character has grown through the series, but I enjoyed her role in this book specifically as well. One of my absolute favorite things about her is that she stuck to her convictions in this story. She has gone through hell and back and after recovering (I think for the most part) she is so much stronger for it and I love that we got to see that new leaf of Mare being turned over. I think it was so well done and that there could even be a way to see a glimpse of how Mare would carry herself in the future.
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CAL: I want to slap him across the face. Generally speaking, his character was really well constructed, as frustrating as he can be. Towards the end though, I hated his development when Mare killed Maven. They had literally discussed how one of them needs to kill him like an hour before Mare does it, and yet he's still pissy about it afterward. Even as Mare is ON A HOSPITAL BED. Sure Cal loved Maven and they were brothers, but I think there was still some set up in his character for more compassion and understanding toward Mare for what she had to do. But after it happens, it's like that conversation and understanding had been thrown out a window.

MAVEN: Great character. A complete crazy sociopath by the end of the book of course, but such a great characters. I loved the consistency that we saw from the first book through this one in terms of how his mother has shaped him and how he has been affected by her gift. It hurt when he died, not because I didn't want Maven to die, but because it was tragic what he went through as well and who he could have been without his mother's evil.

Image result for red queenIRIS: This was the most confusing character of them all because I feel like her character was bouncing in attitude and tone throughout the entire story. The character developments in general I thought were not as strong in this book as the others, but Iris especially felt like she was just fitting whatever role was needed for her at the time in order to move the plot along.

EVANGELINE: By this point in the series, I love this chick. I love her character, I love her growth, I love her personality. She's just great and I think she is a great example of how these characters have had to grow and develop with each other as well as individually. Eve (by the way, random nickname?) has come so far from the first book and I think her plot has been one of the strongest in the series.

WRITING:
Unfortunately, this is where my largest issue lies with the book. I really loved some of the points of view. Eve, Mare, and Iris were great touch points to have and I loved reading from their perspectives. However, it felt odd to say the least when random points of view would be thrown in, like from Cal or Maven. I can understand how it would be hard to incorporate some of the plot points without these points of view, but it was forced and didn't seem as incorporated into the story as the other chapters. Multiple points of view are great, but this felt scattered.
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It is going to be so sad to really say goodbye to this series once the book hangover fades away. Since Red Queen came out in 2015 this series has always been one of the books that I look forward to every year, and now there will be none. I really hope Victoria Aveyard keeps writing though and making fantastic worlds like this one. I don't want to continue in this one- the ending was too good, anything else would ruin it- but I think she has a great talent for world building and creating these complicated characters. I hope that eventually we will see more of this skill.

Thanks for reading!

SPOILER FREE Review of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

27188596War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
4.1 out of 5 stars

This sad time has come..... the end of a great series. And Victoria Aveyard really did a great job wrapping this one up. There were a couple of frustrations, but overall it was a fantastic ending that closed up a lot of details in a really satisfying way. War Storm was dynamic and powerful, driving home the end of the story in an electrifying way. This ending in particular may be one of the best young adult series endings I have ever read.

It is going to be so sad to really say goodbye to this series once the book hangover fades away. Since Red Queen came out in 2015 this series has always been one of the books that I look forward to every year, and now there will be none. I really hope Victoria Aveyard keeps writing though and making fantastic worlds like this one. I don't want to continue in this one- the ending was too good, anything else would ruin it- but I think she has a great talent for world building and creating these complicated characters. I hope that eventually we will see more of this skill.

Thanks for reading!