I’m feeling great about my reading this month! I managed to read nearly all the books on my TBR as well as 2 extra books which put me at 99 books read for 2018!!! I pretty much loved everything I read in December as well which really topped off my year. I have reviews on all the books I’ve read this month up on my blog so if you would like to see just click on the titles!
The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner – ⭐️4/5 stars
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer – ⭐️4/5 stars
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – ⭐️4/5 stars
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – ⭐️5/5 stars
Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder – ⭐️4/5 stars
Wildcard by Marie Lu – ⭐️4/5 stars
Night Study by Maria V Snyder – ⭐️4/5 stars
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – ⭐️4/5 stars
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee – ⭐️4/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling – ⭐️5/5 stars
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling – ⭐️5/5 stars
I feel like I had a pretty good reading year. I haven’t rated anything under a 3/5 stars which I think is pretty solid. This is kind of like a part 2 because I did my 10 Lowest Rated Books of 2018 so far a few months back so I’ll try not to double up on those books but feel free to check that one out as well as my feeling haven’t changed on those books either.
So with that being said my lowest rated/least favourite books of 2018 are:
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas – I think this is mostly my fault, I went into this book thinking it was going be as in depth and plot driven as the other books in the series and being a novella I just didn’t get any of that… It was a little uneventful and there wasn’t as much action or adventure that I was yearning for. So it was a bit average and boring to me. ⭐️3/5 stars
The first three books in the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi – I had pretty high hopes for this series, when Restore Me came out earlier this year everyone was scrambling to pick it up and were hyping the series up but when I read them it wasn’t as good as what I thought. The premise of the books is really intriguing but the execution didn’t surpass my expectations. Shatter Me ⭐️3/5, Unravel Me ⭐️3/5 and Ignite Me ⭐️3/5
The Darkest Minds Series by Alexandra Bracken – Another series that was super hyped when the movie adaptation came out earlier this year as well as a new paperback set… Again I felt like the premise of the books was super interesting but as I was getting into them I was just bored. I gave the first book a 4/5 as I liked the introduction of the characters and there was a few action sequences that kept my interest piqued but as an overall series it didn’t do it for me. The Darkest Minds ⭐️4/5, Never Fade ⭐️3/5 and In the Afterlight ⭐️3/5
Fire Study by Maria V Snyder – I loved the first two books in the Study Series soo much that I went into Fire Study with those same expectations and unfortunately it didn’t work out for me. There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with this book it just was really hard to finish. There was everything there that would otherwise keep me entertained but the pace of the book was a little slow and I had to kind of force myself to finish it which kind of spoiled the book for me. ⭐️3/5 stars
Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson – I liked Lift as a character but after the immensely intricate, convoluted and expansive world of the previous books in the Stormlight Archives I found Edgedancer to be a little too confined and slow paced. I am an epic fantasy lover so I relished reading The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance and I wasn’t as equally thrilled at the end of Edgedancer as I was with those book. ⭐️3/5 stars
I liked how the story progressed from the last book to now.
Yelena is still dealing with the ramifications of loosing her magic and once her pregnancy has been confirmed she is in even more danger. Valek will stop at nothing to protect her even if that means disobeying the Commander, something he has never done before.
The stakes have risen once again and they remain at an all time high throughout the course of the book. The struggles and situations that Yelena and Valek find themselves in constantly have evolved and become a lot more serious which I enjoy. This evolution of the storyline over the course of the five books is excellent. We see Yelena go from a struggling, beaten, morose young girl, into the strong, resilient, loyal woman she has now become.
I also loved seeing this other side to Valek come through. Finally accepting that Yelena and his love for her has become more important to him than the Commander. I thought the scene where he finally made the decision and proposed to Yelena was super emotional and beautiful to read. The changes we have seen from Valek are probably the most drastic and the growth of his character has been steady over the course of the series. I loved reading from his POV, seeing how he thinks and experiencing the situations through his eyes really helped to engage me in the story.
The plot was constantly ebbing and flowing, being super fast paced at times with a lot of action and then having the dips in between that helped to maintain the setting. The characters are on the move constantly so we really get a firm grasp on the world and really broadened the scope of the story.
Night Study really delved a lot deeper into the details that were sort of glanced over in the other books. I liked that we actually got to meet Valek’s spies that he has placed around Ixia and Sitia and how he utilizes them in various situations. Seeing how loyal his corps are to him and the lengths they will go to satisfy him was another point I enjoyed.
All in all I thought it was a solid book. It progressed and established the plot more quickly I feel which made for an easy read. There were still some surprises and plot twists thrown in to keep me engaged and immersed, which helped to propel the story forward.
⭐️4/5 stars I really enjoyed it! Evolving storyline, high stakes, plot twists, magic!
I like this so much more than Fire Study!
It has been about four years since everything happened in Fire Study and Yelena and Valek have been trying to balance life between Sitia and Ixia. Valek still being very much committed to the Commander and Yelena back at the keep with the rest of the magicians.
I think it was the multiple POVs that captured my attention more so in this instalment of the study series. It wasn’t as focused on Yelena as the rest of the books and I think that’s why I enjoyed it a lot more. She is still an integral role to the storyline but we see how the other characters intersect and have an impact on the plot.
I love that we have more of a spotlight on Valek and his backstory in this book. Learning about his past and how he came to be an assassin and associated with the Commander has always interested me and I was gifted with various super entertaining scenes of Valek contemplating his past decisions and seeing how they differ to the person he is now. It was wonderful!
Ari and Janco are always charming and help to perk up the plot with their banter and liveliness. I love their camaraderie and how they interact with the others yet also are very committed to Valek.
The plot was a lot more engaging in this book than the others because I felt that the stakes were a lot higher. Yelena loosing her powers early on in the storyline and becoming susceptible to magic, which she has never had to experience before, was a nice twist and had me intrigued early on. Also having the knowledge of who the assassin was up in the air for most of the book it was nice to try and figure out along the way who it could possibly be.
Having the relationship between Valek and the Commander in question was also another aspect of the plot that I really enjoyed purely because it caught me by surprise. I honestly didn’t think that the Commander would stoop to that level and I was happy to see some divergence in their storyline.
It kind of just always seemed like Yelena was off chasing someone, putting herself into unnecessary situations that was just frustrating to read. It was all becoming a bit stale and boring and this book has brought back a little bit of suspense and unpredictability.
⭐️4/5 stars If that ending doesn’t have you picking up the next book I don’t know what will!
I was a bit disappointed when I finished Fire Study but I still have hope that the series will pick back up for Shadow and Night Study. There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with Fire Study I just found it a bit more difficult to get through than the other books I’ve read from the Study Series. I love the whole premise of the books and they’ve really continued to expand and grow as the series continued. I’m still invested in the narrative and the characters, I especially like the dynamics of Yelena and Valek’s relationship. So I’m hoping the pace picks back up and I get excited about the series again.