Sunday, January 31, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (mini-review) + Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (mini-review)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Page Count: 465
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars!
Source: My friend Annelise!
Blurb: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

REVIEW: Holy crap, this book is near perfect. I loved living in this world WAY more than I did in Shadow and Bone... but this gives me more motivation to read Siege and Storm finally after all this time of it being left at 60 pages... I'll probably go back to it in the next month or two.

Six of Crows follows Kaz, Nina, Wylan, Jesper, Inej, and Matthias as they go to the Ice Court in search of a man who can create jurda parem something extremely powerful, especially in relation to Grisha.

Not only is this book fast-paced and character driven, the plot is just as fantastic as the rest. The heist aspect is freaking bomb as hell. I loved learning about the Ice Court and the information that different characters knew, and how they helped each other out.

Kaz Brekker's backstory was the most heartbreaking thing... I loved it, I loved learning about him, and although he was not my favourite character of the book, he was definitely up there.

Inej' backstory involving Heleen was... it made me shudder... Inej, being the Wraith is badass and strong and I cannot wait to see more of her in the next book Crooked Kingdom.

Jesper and Wylan are my favourite ever, Jesper and his sarcasm and wit, Wylan with his innocence and also wit, with kindness. They are officially my OTP and I love them with all of my heart. If they do not get together by the end of Crooked Kingdom... I will cry. They are too adorable.

Nina and Matthias are just heartbreaking and I understand them. Matthias comes off as a hardass military type, and throughout the novel he stays that way but also grows, he learns how to understand, how to empathize. Nina is a Heartrender, and just ahh. She is a sweetheart, but also terrifying and she was really interesting to read in her POV.

The villains are fantastic and I loved learning about Pekka Rollins and Van Eck, they were intriguing and intricate and they had lots of interesting motivations.

Bardugo did a great job in tackling the different POVs in 3rd person and I really enjoyed her third person narrative waaaay better than Passenger which I also recently read (not that I didn't enjoy Passenger, because I did...)

This is one of the most intricate fantasy novels I have read in quite awhile and it rivals some of my last years favourites such as Queen of Shadows and An Ember In The Ashes in regards to the complexity and beauty.

Consensus: Six Of Crows shows Bardugo's improvements in writing and style since the Grisha trilogy. In the novel she allows us a glimpse into the heads of some of the darkest and also downright hilarious characters I have read in a long time. She makes it easy to care for each of them making you bite your nails at every turn wondering if your favourite character will survive. Bardugo's an impressive author and the way she tells this story is enamoring.

Passenger (Passenger, #1)
Title: Passenger
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Page Count: 496
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Time Travel
Rating: 4 Stars!
Source: Purchased
Blurb: passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

REVIEW: I loved Etta, and I loved Nicholas, I loved the time travel, and I loved the other characters.
I loved the storyline. I loved almost everything from this book... Yet often times I found it lacking and I am not really sure what it was. It might have been the third person narrative, and that is the only thing that I can think of as I loved everything else about the story. I understand why it needed to be written this way, but I LOVED Bracken's first person in The Darkest Minds.

I think I expected a little too much here, and this book did not lessen my love for Alexandra Bracken in the slightest... As I said just a little bit ago, I think the third person really threw me off... It felt more empty than TDM. I know I shouldn't compare the two but, I just felt off about it.

I loved Etta's journey, and though I did think that she was almost a little to strong for what she knew about travelling, I can forgive that because it felt natural as Bracken explained it, the Linden lineage really made things click.

The villains were well written and I really enjoyed the fear that they created in our MCs.

Nicholas was everything I didn't know I wanted in a character. He's African American (YAY DIVERSITY) and he is indebted to the Ironwoods and this alone brings in a lot of backstory that unwinds itself throughout the novel.

Is this my favourite Alex Bracken book? No. Is this her best writing? Maturity wise, yes. Connection wise, no. Will I read this book again? Eventually. I had to with TDM to truly appreciate it. Will I read the sequel? Of course. And I will read anything that Bracken writes, and I will be honest in my opinions even if I love her writing and don't want to be mean.... That's not what reviewing's about.

Consensus: Passenger weaves an intricate storyline into the lives of two somewhat ordinary teens Etta and Nicholas. The time travelling is exquisitely written and we automatically care for these characters. Although the third person narrative made the story lack a little, it made up for it in all other areas.

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