Obsidio by Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff (Book Review)

Publisher: Knopf Books
Page Count
: 615

I may not always be up to date with all the latest book releases, but I really was looking forward to the finale to the Illuminae Files. I previously reviewed Illuminae (review here) and Gemina (review here) on the blog and even though I really struggle with talking about sequels, I could not pass up the chance to rave a little about this one. While there won’t be any spoilers for Obsidio, I do think it’s better if you have read the previous books in the series before continuing on.

I should probably start by saying that I was not one of the many people who hyped Illuminae. I enjoyed reading it, but it was really only during Gemina that I came fully on board with this series. Obviously the format is a lot of fun and the characters definitely grow on you over time, which makes Obsidio such an enjoyable conclusion to it all. Whereas the previous books mostly focused on one couple during the story and only lent cameo roles to the others, Obsidio truly brings it all together. In my opinion, it took away the spotlight from Asha and Rhys a little bit, but not enough to really make me mind since I was already invested in what the other characters were up to.

What I enjoyed most about reading Obsidio was the fact that you really get answers for all your questions. It adds another layer of depth to the characters (AIDAN is still my fave and I won’t back down on that – I have a soft spot for AIs), provides a lot of action, gives you the necessary conclusion, but still doesn’t close the door on this universe forever. It really was a wild roller coaster to read this book and I devoured it in one day, but sometimes I almost wished the stakes were higher or that the consequences were more devastating and lasting. That’s not to say that you won’t have a wide array of emotions coming your way while reading, but that tiny evil voice in the back of my mind just maybe expected even more cruelty (at least targeted towards the main characters). But if I ignore that tiny detail, and that’s really all it is, then it ended absolutely beautifully. I love when my series end as if they were tied up with a neat little bow, making sure I won’t have to worry about the people in it, even if I will always love reading more about their lives.

I realise this is a super short review, but books like this are always best experienced first hand. Just get ready for some hard hitting moral questions and a final adventure that really does the Illuminae Files justice.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A very satisfying conclusion to the Illuminae Files!

Have you read Obsidio or other books in the series? Do you plan to? What are your thoughts?

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard (Book Review)

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 528

King’s Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series (click here for my review of Red Queen and here for my review of Glass Sword). Admittedly, I pushed this one back on my priority list for quite a while, mostly due to me not having liked Glass Sword at all. It was confusing and lacked intrigue and direction. Maybe Glass Sword just suffered the typical second book syndrome, but even after several of my fellow bloggers assured me that King’s Cage did not have the same problems, I wasn’t too eager to pick it up. Well, I guess it is time for me to join the ranks and say that King’s Cage is in fact better than Glass Sword, but I am still not fully back on board with the series.

The first time I opened the book, I immediately noticed a vast improvement. The book has a map! I remember being completely lost in terms of the country’s scope and the different towns and the travel time between destinations in the previous book. I was bored with the amount of moving back and forth and my lack of understanding where anyone was going, so this was a big plus already.

Then we are right there with Mare, still prisoner to Maven. The torment and weight of the situation was palpable throughout the entire time. It gave us a vulnerable Mare, which was direly needed in my opinion, because no one person can do everything, but it also gave us real insight into Maven and why he is the way he is. I enjoyed those chapters a lot, despite the slightly repetitive nature of the scenarios that played out. I know that Maven isn’t a good person and I am not making excuses for his behaviour, despite understanding that it might not be entirely his fault, but he is still the person I like to read about most in this series. (Yes, once again, the villain is my fave – what a surprise!) I think it really helped to see his side of things and Mare’s reactions to his confessions.

King’s Cage brought about another change though and it’s one I am still not sure how to feel about. There are multiple POVs this time around and just for the sake of keeping some surprises, I won’t tell you who they were from. I am not going to lie though, it took me quite some time to even remember who this person was and to this day, I still only have a hazy memory of them. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with the series. Aside from the people that appeared in the first book, I have troubles remembering anyone, just because there are too many people that are very insignificant for long-term plot developments. The names and abilities start to blend together, so I actually needed these constant reminders of who did what for what house and which color belonged to whom etc.

Overall, I liked the direction the book went into. Stakes were upped again, I started to like Mare better again as well, even though she is still not one of my faves. Cal is just cancelled, there’s something about him that just rubs me the wrong way. Maven is still my wicked darling. And I really had a change of heart when it came to people I previously disliked whole-heartedly *cough*Evangeline*cough*. I still don’t believe this series has a strong priority in my mind, but I am curious to see how it all ends. I think there is the real possibility to not go the classical route and insert some great twists instead.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Improvement from Glass Sword for sure!

Have you read King’s Cage? Or the Red Queen series as a whole? What are your thoughts?

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)

Publisher: Michael Joseph
Page Count
: 320

At the beginning of 2017 I read Sleeping Giants, the first installment in the Themis Files series, so it is only fitting that I sort of closed the year with its sequel Waking Gods. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the series is a kind of darker and more adult version of Illuminae (set on Earth but still dealing with space stuff). I will never tire of the format being in protocols, journal entries and interviews.

Honestly, I remember how it took me a while to get into Sleeping Giants at first, with the writing having felt very clinical and detached, but I didn’t have that issue at all with Waking Gods. In the contrary, even after all this time, I could jump right back in and quickly remembered where we left off and I guess the ten year time jump helped with that as well. Everything happens a lot faster, though, and I think that is due to a whole new rush of information. Just like the humans in the book don’t know how to handle it all, the readers themselves get swept up in the stress and panic a bit. There are definitely some decisions made that I didn’t agree with and consequences that I would have had no clue how to react to.

While this sequel is still very dark and won’t let you get too attached to anyone, it felt like it was a tiny bit less disturbing than the previous book. The new cast additions were nice and didn’t take away from the focus on people we already were familiar with. I felt like we didn’t spend as much time with certain characters as we used to, which made events that I cannot describe in detail due to spoilers less impacting. In general, it seemed like the author attempted to give everyone their time to shine and didn’t go as much in depth as we used to before.

Nonetheless, I still very much enjoyed this book! I like the science behind it and often wonder if parts of it are true (aside from the aliens, there’s obviously no huge alien robot terrorizing us). The story still manages to surprise with its twists and turns and always leaves on a note that keeps you craving more. I can only recommend this series!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I am just so excited for what is to come next!

Have you read the Themis Files? Would you be interested?

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (Book Review)

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Page Count
: 510

Our Dark Duet is the second and final book in the Monsters of Verity duology (you can read my review for the first book, This Savage Song, here). While I will try to avoid spoilers for this part as best as I can, I don’t recommend you read on if you haven’t read This Savage Song.

Back in 2016, I talked about this series all the time. So much so, that I pre-ordered the hardcover copy of Our Dark Duet, fully knowing that I’d be in Canada by the time it would arrive and therefore also buying the ebook version for my Kindle. All of that because I truly loved This Savage Song. I loved how quietly exciting it was, how original the creation of the monsters was. But most of all, I loved the characters and that’s what lead me to put off reading the book for such a long time. I was worried about their future and their livelihood and rightly so, because Monsters of Verity doesn’t have a happy end, but it might just have a hopeful one (even if it comes at a price, as Schwab so deftly put it in her acknowledgements).

To me, Our Dark Duet was a lot … well, darker. Whereas Kate’s opportunity at a family and a place where she belongs got once again taken away, August tried to embrace his supposed purpose in life and lost himself in the process. They had to grow up even more than in the last book and it just made me feel terribly sad for their circumstances. Only when the two are together, they can allow themselves to be themselves. I am very protective of my son August, but Kate grew even more on me here than she did in the last book. They see each other for who and what they are and that’s such a vital and beautiful quality whether it’s in friendship or whatever else they were having. It’s my favorite part about their relationship, while I simultaneously hated that they spent most of the book apart.

The book didn’t just deliver more of the same old, it had quite a lot of new elements  a terrifying monster and a new Sunai, by the name of Soro. The latter, in particular, was quite the enigma to me, which leads me to a final statement I want to make with this review: There’s still a lot of unanswered questions. It’s not like the book ended on a cliffhanger and I won’t survive, but there is so much more that this world has to offer, so many characters that we could still explore and I truly want to spend more time with. I don’t know if that is an option, or if Schwab is truly done with this world, but I, for one, would really enjoy some sort of spin-off or continuation in Verity and its surrounding areas (aka maybe a Prosperity spin-off???).

A lot happens in the book, we get several different POVs and there was a lot of heart in the story. My heart broke and hurt for hours after I was done. It’s always that way when I truly loved something and I just need to establish it one more time – if I could, I would adopt August and coddle him for life!

Rating: 5/5 stars! I am sad it is over, but this story was freaking fantastic.

Have you read the Monsters of Verity duology? I am telling you, it is totally worth it!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray (Book Review)

ttsayEver since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.
Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count:
432

This is the second book in the Firebird series and as such I don’t recommend you reading on if you haven’t read the first one (you can find my review for it here). Also, I don’t intend to spoil anyone, but if you want to go into this blind, which I would also understand, I don’t suggest you read this review!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You is the second book this month that I’ve read with Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. It’s so nice to have someone to fret about the story and characters together. We intend to do this more often in the future, so if you ever want to join in, just give us a shout out and we are happy to include you! Definitely don’t forget to check out her review of the book once it’s out!

It’s been a long time since I’ve read the beginning of the Firebird series, but somehow Ten Thousand Skies Above You manages to get you all caught up and nostalgic for parts of the first book before the real action starts. I remembered that the first book was completely different from what I expected it to be. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Now, Ten Thousand Skies Above You changed that! I thought that this story would be similar to the last one, mainly about Marguerite and Paul, and while that wasn’t wrong of me it was a whole lot more too. As the blurb already tells us, Paul’s soul is being torn apart, called “splintered” here, and hidden away in distant dimensions where Marguerite now has to find and save him. I would have liked to get an explanation on HOW they actually do the splintering, but it allowed for some interesting developments to the story, namely Paul not being there all the time.

Quite honestly, I was really glad he wasn’t that big of a part this time, at least not by physically being there. The story needed to move forward and this way it could. It gave Theo the chance to shine and actually made me think that the love-triangle here was a real possibility – even so much so that I was rooting for him rather than Paul sometimes. Marguerite uses the time in this book to make up her mind about her feelings and about their other selves in different dimensions. Even though I found her conclusion a little disappointing, it made sense. Still, this wasn’t what most of the book was about!

We constantly find out about so many new things and background information we didn’t have before, it was exhilarating. Conley wants to rule the multiverse, but there are so many more people involved. My belief and trust in certain characters was shattered multiple times! I loved getting to see different universes again, although I remain of the opinion that there is still potential for even weirder worlds. There were so many twists and turns I really didn’t see coming and then it just ended. I know that cliffhangers are there to hook you, but there was no need for that! I was already dead-set on reading the third book by the time I reached the last page and that cliffhanger was just cruel. Now I will have to just sit around and wait for the conclusion to this epic tale that stretches across dimensions … not fair!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! The faster pace and the constant twists made this a fabulous read! If it weren’t for the cliffhanger I’d be SO happy right now.

5stars

I’m having a great reading year so far, slaying my TBR one book at a time! Have you read the Firebird series yet? What’s your take on it?

Allegiant Official (Teaser) Trailer Release

So the first Allegiant Teaser Trailer is out!

I don’t think there is much to talk about. For those of you who didn’t know it already, I have read the entire Divergent series by Veronica Roth and while I did enjoy it mostly, I absolutely disliked Allegiant as a book. I don’t want to spoil anyone, so I am not going to go into detail of why I didn’t like it.

However, the movies are a whole different story. I love the movies! I think they are really good so far and diverge from the books (see what I did there?). So far there have been a couple of changes, which I am surprisingly okay with, and I actually don’t know if they’ll stick with the storyline from the book or not. Either way I am excited to see what they’ll be doing. But I am mad that they once again decided to split the final part into two movies – I guess they must really need the money.

Also, I am excited to see Jeff Daniels (who’ll forever be Will McAvoy from the Newsroom in my head) in the movie. What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to the movie as well?

UPDATE: Here’s the Official Trailer

We Are Groot: The Guardians of the Galaxy

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy! I am going to say more than that, but I needed to get that out of the way.  But before we dive into my not very refined review, here are some facts about the movie:

Genre: Marvel superhero movie

Length: 122 minutes

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro, …

Plot: After the existence of a very rare and dangerous infinity stone is confirmed an unlikely group of outlaws and misfits has to protect the galaxy from being destroyed.

Now, on to the important stuff – my review. This may contain spoilers, so if you want to go into the movie completely untained by my opinion – do not read on! As you may have noticed, I really like lists, so, here we go with another one comprised of my thoughts:

  • First off, what’s not to love about this movie? It is hilarious, action-packed and even touching at times. I mean the start of the movie was already heart-breaking and then I almost teared up again when Groot sacrificed himself (although I knew he would regrow again). And the jokes – they just kept on coming! I laughed so much during this film. I will admit to having a certain affinity for Marvel productions, but I have not yet met anyone who disliked this movie.
  • The soundtrack was absolutley amazing! Pairing this great music from the 60’s and 70’s with the sci-fi background of the story resulted in a truly awesome mix! If you don’t know the music, here’s a tracklist.
  • I love the cast! And not just the main cast. I was so happy to see Karen Gillan in a major movie, it was almost worth shaving off her entire hair (but then again, at least Marvel was nice enough to make her a wig out of her own hair – which is weird, but also kind of awesome).
  • I can’t wait for the sequel! I am not that familiar with the storyline, because I haven’t read the comics, but I really want to know who Peter’s dad is! An ancient, angel-like being sounds interesting to me.
  • Baby Groot! Dancing Baby Groot was so cute and definitely the star after the movie. In anticipation of going to the cinema und also because I am crazy; I crocheted for almost two days straight and attempted to make my very own Baby Groot. Since I was too lazy to go shopping for proper garn though, I just worked with what I could find at home. What do you think of the result?

SAMSUNG

 

So, that was it for today. Did you love the movie as much as I did? If not, I am definitely willing to discuss.