The Ten Thousand Doors of January Review

43521657I didn’t think portal fantasy would work for me but this was ok!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is about a young girl called January who stumbles across a doorway to another world, setting off a chain of events that will change her life forever!

At first the story was a quite dry and hard to get into. It was a little on the slower side and it wasn’t gripping my attention as much as I wanted it to. It was a kind of info dumpy at the start and it was hard to focus on what was going on. Though, as the story continues and the dual timelines start to come into play, I became really invested in the story. 

I didn’t really like January’s character at the start of the book. She was very placid and didn’t stand up for herself enough for me. In hindsight it does make sense why she would just do nothing but it was sooo frustrating in those moments when I felt like she just didn’t even try.

I was really invested in Adelaide and Eul’s story! I kind of wanted the focus to be more on them and less on January to be perfectly honestly. I would have loved to follow Adelaide more closely as she traveled the world trying to find the right door. She was tenacious and driven and would do absolutely anything to get to her goal, which contrasts quite starkly with January.

The inclusion of the ‘vampires’ was a little strange to me. It didn’t go into enough detail as to what the creatures actually were and they felt like a last minute addition to create an antagonist for January to be running from. Even though the overall story was fantastical that element seemed a little too supernatural and was quite jarring for me.

Overall I did get swept away into the story! The characters were all very distinct and interesting. The few plot twists that were thrown in did take me by surprise and in the end it was entertaining!

⭐️3/5 stars Good, could of been great!

The Starless Sea Review

39834986._SX318_The Starless Sea is a very whimsical, lyrical fantasy novel revolving around a man who picks up a book in a library and finds a story from him childhood in the pages.

To be totally honest I was completely lost for the first half of this book. It was really hard for me to stay focused on the story and actually comprehend what was happening. It jumps back and forth so often between Zachary’s point of view and the fairy tales that it came across a little nonsensical to me. However, after that half way point I really got settled into the story and was able to understand and appreciate how everything was tied together.

All of these characters in this book are very diverse and distinct. Each one of them has a purpose in the novel and interconnects in such a fascinating way.  I really liked Zachary; he was very relatable and realistic to me. He was naïve but still questioned everything that was happening around him which I appreciated. Dorian I was a little skeptical about at the start. We aren’t given a lot of background information about him and I wanted to learn a bit more about where he comes from and what he did with Allegra all those years.

The romance aspect came across a little insta-lovey to me. They didn’t have enough substance for me to fully commit to that story line, however I was able to appreciate how they come together after experiencing everything that happens in the harbor. I was more fascinated by the Keeper and Mirabel; I wanted more interaction between them and to learn more about their history as well.

I have come to the realization that I don’t really like this kind of fantasy novel. There is not really any structure to the magic system and there aren’t really any rules or restrictions that are explained. You kind of just have to go with the flow of the novel and accept what were given and learn things as we go. This whimsical style just doesn’t gel with me personally.

Once I was able to really get my bearings in the story, I was very much engaged and wanted to know what was going to happen next. There is definitely a level of unpredictability and tension on the book was kept me invested in that second half of the plot. I was still a confused at the end about how the new harbor would be established…. especially since they are now on the surface? I definitely think this is a book that I will need to reread just to get everything to sink in!

⭐️3/5 stars confusing yet whimsical

Royal Assassin Review

51ht4hrpk9lLiked didn’t quite love.

Royal Assassin continues pretty much straight where Assassin’s Apprentice left off. Fitz is still in the mountains recuperating after his bout of poisoning at the hands of Prince Regal, ponding whether to remain for the Winter or start the trek back to Buckeep and the burden of being the bastard.

I like how this sequel we delve so much deeper into the backgrounds of a few of the characters and their reasonings behind where their loyalties lie. Which I feel was really the main focus of the book. There are various situations where Fitz finds his faith and trust for his king pushed right to its limits. He even at times I feel circumvents his oaths in a way that still isn’t treason but is better suited to his point of view. We do see some growth throughout the storyline but I feel there is still so much more that he is capable of and hasn’t shown his full potential yet.

I find Molly to be a little bit unlikable. I see the reasoning behind her character and how Robin Hobb utilised her as a way for Fitz to truly display either his love and commitment to her or to the Farseer line. I felt she went into the whole situation well aware of how she will be perceived and accepted the inevitable for what it was yet still she demanded Fitz to choose her knowing he wasn’t going to. I think it was the back and forth that bugged me the most. One day she will be accepting of Fitz’s situation and would just live for the moment and try to be happy and other days she would reject him completely and not be open to any kind of compromise. 

The pacing of the story was a little off for me. There were certain sections that were very action packed with high intensity and then the plot would become stagnant and a little dry. This is a very politically driven plot with a few fantastical elements thrown in, whereas I would prefer the reverse. I felt like it was just a little too long as well, not enough happened for me to justify the book being 648 pages. I think had this book been around the 400 page mark I would of been a lot more engaged.

I want to know more about the mysterious Elderlings, I want to see Fitz utilise more of his assassin abilities and have a few more covert missions. There just wasn’t enough oomph in this for me.

⭐️3/5 stars still a solid fantasy read, just not entertaining enough for me, I’m hoping for an explosive ending!

The Beautiful Review

42265183The Beautiful is set in the year 1872 and revolves around a 17 year old girl named Celine Rousseau, who has run away from her dark past in Paris to rediscover herself in the city of New Orleans.

I didn’t really like Celine’s character at the start of the book. She came on a little too strong and I found her to be a little too arrogant and brash. She kind of thrust herself into situations that I felt wasn’t necessary, for example when she first met Bastien. Stepping in like that even though she was with her friend who clearly did not want to be involved just to satisfy her own need to feel powerful wasn’t the best way to make me like her. Granted she did grow on me over the course of the plot line but even still she ultimately doesn’t think things through completely and she doesn’t really take into account other people’s feelings.

The romantic aspect I actually did enjoy. I’m usually not a big fan of love triangles but the way this plot lines seems to be headed actually appeals to me. I like that hate to love trope and mixed with the star crossed lover’s piques my interests. It was a little obvious but still I liked their banter and the chemistry between all three characters involved!

Other than that I actually really liked all the rest of the characters in the story. I thought they were all very distinct and diverse. Bastien and his court of Lion’s were very intriguing. It kind of didn’t go in depth enough for me though; I could have definitely used more information on each of them. Where they come from, how their powers differ, how did they end up in New Orleans.

The pacing of the book was kind of up and down for me. The start was a little bit slow and it took me at least the first 100 or so pages before I was actually invested in the plot. The fact that Celine wasn’t a favorite of mine kind of stalled my progress for a while and made it harder for me to fully loose myself in the story.

I thought the atmosphere and tone of the book was fantastic. You are kind of transported into that time and place and it felt very realistic and what I felt was an accurate representation of the time.  

⭐️4/5 stars Dark, mysterious, a slow build!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase Review

33843251._SY475_This was fantastic!

This is a retelling of the classic A Christmas Tale but with a bit of a modern twist. Holly is visited on Christmas Eve by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future however she does not heed their warning and she dies. But she is brought back to life and is chosen to work in a top secret company called Project Scrooge as the new ghost of Christmas past and visits others like herself once a year to try and change them for the better.

I loved Holly’s character and the development that she undertakes throughout the course of the story line. She really is the true epitome of a scrooge and I loved the way she has resigned herself to her new role as the GOCP and how she had to deal with how unpampered her life is now in comparison to what it was. She has a subtle transformation and when she is given that second chance I like that she goes for it and is able to change so many lives.

I thought the plot was cleverly written and each character played a major role in the story line. They were all distinct, diverse and necessary in the grand scope of the tale. One of my favorites was definitely Stephanie. She seems unassuming but was a key factor in terms of Holly’s transformation.

I honestly couldn’t predict anything that was going to happen. As the story went on I had my thoughts on which direction the plot would go and I was never right which definitely kept me engaged. I thought all of the twists were perfectly timed and highly entertaining.

I am surprised really how much I enjoyed this book. I’ve been putting it off for a while now and I really regret just how long it took me to pick it up.

⭐️4.5/5 stars A perfect Christmas Read!