The Girl with the Windup Heart (Steampunk Chronicles #4)

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Started: December 18, 2016
Finished: December 28, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

Actual rating: 4.5/5 stars

Oh, yes, I’m happy about this ending!

I love Mila’s character and her relationship with Jack – honestly, they became one of my favorite ships of all time when I read this. Mila’s naivete and fresh eyes are an amazing addition to the dysfunctional group of main characters in this series, which was exactly what was needed after the past 2 books. If things had continued the same way and Mila had been different, I think I wouldn’t have enjoyed this final novel as much.

The story is actually quite short – time-wise, not page-wise – and that’s usually something that makes me squint my eyes and go “alright, you better have a ton of details and a brilliant story line or this was not worth it”. In the case of this book the beginning was a bit of a let-down – and the reason why I deducted half a star – but then it picked up. It became intense, action-packed – and far bloodier and scarier than I had anticipated. And I loved it! Also, loved seeing the return of some characters and the addition of other, unexpected ones!

In short; a good, good, good ending to this series 🙂

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Gilded Cage (Canary Club #0.5)

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Started: December 27, 2016
Finished: December 27, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

I received this book as an ARC from Reading Addiction PR on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was certainly an interesting introduction to Sherry D. Ficklin’s new series.

Set in New York in the 1920s it follows Masie Schultz, the daughter of bootlegger Dutch Schultz, and her struggle to find a place in a world built on money earned on smuggled alcohol. The novella is quite short and fast-paced – and as it is the introduction to this series you don’t get much in way of character development, relationships or world building, but you do get some, just enough to wake your interest and make you think “hm, this series might be interesting”.

Due to that I’m giving it a 3 star rating. Once we have the first proper novel for this series I’ll probably give it a go as well.

Stardust

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Started: December 22, 2016
Finished: December 26, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Alright, so, here’s a tip: don’t watch the movie before the book, don’t watch it multiple times and don’t ever expect the two to be the same.

Usually I follow that advice – with this one, however, I went against it. Well, not intentionally; I saw the movie Stardust at some point with my sister when I was in my older teens and at that time I didn’t even think “hm, maybe I should read the book first” because it was either watch it or do some boring thing which I cannot remember right now.

Anyhow, me having watched that movie – not once but several times – and me having way too good a memory when it comes to details expected this to follow just about the same story line. Which was not the case. The two are not the same and, once I’d realized that (I’m ashamed to say it took a while) I ended up enjoying this immensely because it became an entirely new story! Add Neil Gaiman’s brilliant storytelling and you’ve got a really good book.

The reason why I deducted one star from this review is that the movie is – sadly – still affecting me. I keep remembering the details in it and, at times, those made me disappointed in the lack of details in this story. Which is the way it should be, because this is a fairy tale like story and fairy tales are supposed to have details left out. But, yeah, in the position I was now I had trouble reconciling the details of the movie with the lesser amount in the book.

I still want to re-read this, though, and who knows; maybe then I’ll up the rating? 🙂

Twelve Doctors of Christmas

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Started: December 21, 2016
Finished: December 21, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…
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…the Twelve Doctors Christmas stories!

(yeah, that rhyme didn’t work, moving on)

This was the best thing ever to listen to while Christmas cleaning an entire house. I loved that there was one story for each Doctor, because I’ve been missing the old ones.
No, not all of the stories were 5 stars – but so, so many of them were spot on perfect. There were fun stories, sad stories, dramatic stories, action-filled stories, stories focusing on adults, stories focusing on kids – and the references throughout the entire thing were amazing.

In short, I might have found a new Christmas tradition.

Endure (Defy #3)

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Started: December 17, 2016
Finished: December 20, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

I’m so, so happy that this book was not like Ignite because then I might have DNF:ed it shortly after starting it!

Whereas Ignite was predictable and slow – in my opinion – Endure kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole novel. I loved how the kingdom of Dansii turned out to be compared to the other two kingdoms – and how that made the whole story so much darker than the previous two books.

Also, I liked the romance much better in this novel than in the previous two. It felt more real, more accurate – it wasn’t just a fairy tale thing anymore. And that meant heartbreak warning! My main ship in this series was slaughtered – and I mean that in the literal sense!

In short, I’m really happy with the ending to this series. Well done!

The Blazing Star (Untitled Series #1)

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Started: November 22, 2016
Finished: December 17, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 2/5 stars

This book had potential to me. It held a lot of things that are exactly to my taste, such as ancient civilizations, magic and time travel.

Aaaand then there were things that I didn’t like and unfortunately they outweighed the good things.

1, Predictability
I found so much of this story to be incredibly predictable. I felt like I knew exactly who was a good and a bad guy from the start, as well as who was going to live or die and who was going to fall in and out of love. And all of those predictions came true!

2, Teenage-y drama
Yeah, this might have to do with me being 25, but I just can’t stand books with a lot of teenage drama/angst/whatever. Come to think of it I couldn’t really stand those when I was a teenager either, so maybe it’s just a thing I’ve never enjoyed. But if you don’t mind books that fall in this category you shouldn’t have a problem with this one.

3, No editor?
I know I received this as an arc, which might mean it’s not the finished version and there might be mistakes, but seriously; this many mistakes? I almost wished I had this in print just so I could mark all the faults – and I don’t even like marking out all of the faults to my students! I just… it is just very annoying to have both grammar mistakes, misspelled words, sentences where the words have been mixed up as well as words, sentences and even whole paragraphs repeated when you’re trying to enjoy the story. And to have at least one of these things happen on every page…

I can see potential for this story, but I don’t think I’ll continue reading a possible sequel. Sorry.

Death Marked (Death Sworn #2)

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Started: December 7, 2016
Finished: December 11, 2016

Language: English
Rating: 2/5 stars

Okay, so remember how much I enjoyed the previous book?

Remember how excited I was to continue with this one?

Well, now I kind of wish I could go back in time and punch past me in the face for wishing that.

Seriously? This is not a satisfying ending by far!

I felt like this was a less intense and less interesting book quite early on – first half of the novel had me zoning out quite a lot and, as I listened to it as an audio book, that was an easy thing to do while still moving forward in the story. It got more interesting as it progressed, but I was not happy with the fact that there was definitely a love triangle happening, which was far from necessary.

And then we have the ending.

Mind you, I tend to not mind an open ending because that makes me imagine a continuous story for the characters on my own. However this was a terrible, terrible open ending that felt more like an attempt at a cliffhanger that deserves a sequel to solve things. But no, no, this is a duology. There is no third book! Everything just ends! I’M SO UNSATISFIED!

The only reason for me not giving this 1 star is that I still love Ileni. Her being there, in this story, boosted it all to two stars. And she deserves better!