Tag Archives: Vivid World

Series Review: Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine

Marked (Servants of Fate, #1)  Claimed (Servants of Fate, #2)  Fated (Servants of Fate, #3)

Servants of the Fate by Sarah Fine
Marked: 4 of 5 stars
Claimed: 4 of 5 stars
Fated: 5 of 5 stars

Series Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

She laid her cool palms over the backs of his hands. “You’re making this so hard.”

“Good. We’re almost there, then.” He ducked his head until they were nose to nose. “My plan is to make it impossible.”

Servants of the Fate is an adult paranormal/urban fantasy trilogy, with a hefty dose of Greek mythology thrown in. Each book follows a Ferry sibling, a long-living descendant of a family that ferries souls into the afterlife after they die. The setting is post-apocalyptic Boston, and due to environmental disasters, it has been transformed into a dangerous network of canals (think Venice). The world is a fascinating blend of dystopian/urban dangers, the surviving modern technology, and mythological beings – namely ferrymen, Keres, Moros, and the Fates.

Each novel features its own main couple, with their own romance, but the overarching trilogy plot is also compelling, and everything comes together excitingly in Fated.

I really enjoyed this series! It has a blend of both YA and Adult themes that add up to a winning combination for me. As with Fine’s Guards of the Shadowlands trilogy, I was hooked within the first couple of chapters, and I raced through the whole series in less than a week. It helps that I had a great time reading them, and I was always dying to know what would happen next, even without cliffhangers.

Recommendation: Read this if you are a fan of YA urban fantasy with some sexy times thrown in, especially if you’re intrigued by Greek mythology!

Minute Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories, #1)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (Glamourist Histories, Book 1)
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The room had vanished, its walls replaced entirely by arching trees; the ceiling, a sky overhead which shimmered with the light of stars and the moon. The trees rustled in response to a conjured breeze, which carried with it hints of jasmine and the pleasant, spicy scent of loam.

This is a sweet, quick romance, full of the imagery of a Regency English countryside, and I really enjoyed it. The hint of fantasy added a flair to the usual Austen-esque themes without turning it into a full-fledged fantasy novel.

Recommendation: Read this if you are intrigued by the idea of Regency romance with a touch of fantasy, or if you’re curious about the artistic possibilities of folding glamours.

Minute Review: One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers, #2)One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 2)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This isn’t a game, you know.”

“Of course it’s a game,” the seer said, walking back over to the couch where Marci was standing over Amelia. “Everything’s a game, Julius. It has to be. Life is whimsical, random, and cruel, but a game is something you can win.”

This is a great second in series! It was longer, but read very quickly, and everything was explored in more depth: the characters and relationships, world building, and the magic system. The end result was a great story that had me falling in love with the series even more, and I am dying for Book 3, which isn’t due to come out until the middle of this year.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you should give this series a try starting with Book 1 (Nice Dragons Finish Last). It’s dragons instead of magicians, but the vivid story and amazing character dynamics remind me so much of when I read HP for the first time.

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass, Book 2)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
(Spoiler Free!)

“Enough! We have enough enemies as it is! There are worse things out there to face!”

Celaena slowly turned to him, her face splattered with blood and eyes blazing bright. “No, there aren’t,” she said. “Because I’m here now.”

I am so overwhelmed by this book! I don’t know if it’s because this is part of a series and not a trilogy, or if it’s just due to Maas’s wonderful storytelling, but Crown of Midnight doesn’t have even a single trace of Middle Book Syndrome. Even though the story achieves everything that a middle book must fight to achieve (world building, character building, and plot advancement without an actual finale), this doesn’t read like filler–it reads like an essential and exciting part of the journey.

Here are some of the aspects that I loved: getting to witness Celaena as an assassin, SO much more action than in Book 1 (TOG), the explosion of culture building, learning about Celaena’s backstory, getting to know Chaol (though I STILL have no idea how to pronounce his name), and more unveiling of the king’s evil plots. And when The Horrible Thing happened, it completely sucker punched me, even though I knew it was coming. I actually had to put the book down for a day before picking it up again and racing through the rest of the story.

The one element I could have done without was the romance-related anxiety of the characters, specifically when it was not part of the main plot. To be extra clear, I’m NOT talking about the main romantic developments of the story, just the side stuff! While this story somehow avoids having a blatant triangle, there are several moments of internally expressed jealousy and/or heartache on the side. There is so much amazing plot happening here (both romantic and otherwise) that I found those moments distracting. They pulled me out of the badass fantasy and made me sad for all of these characters that I love.

As it is, though, I don’t expect this to go away any time soon, so I’m trying to cope by sticking with the mantra from my review of TOG: I am team Celaena all the way! Regardless of any romantic ties Mass makes and breaks along the way, this is Celaena’s story, and I’m just going to keep rooting for her to come out on top!

As I’ve said, this is an excellent sequel, and many others have said they liked it even better than TOG. I love this series on the whole, and I can’t wait to pick up Heir of Fire to see where Celaena will go from here 😀

Minute Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Book 1)
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”

I absolutely LOVED the world of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. It is steeped in fantasy, occupied by angels and chimera, and traversed by a mysterious art student in Prague with hair that grows blue and a necklace of beads that grant wishes.

Recommendation: Read this if you are looking to be swept away by an immersive story with a unique take on an Angels & Demons. Read this if you dream about exploring Prague.

Minute Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron (Heartstrikers, Book 1)
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

“So far as I can tell, ‘good dragon’ is just another name for coldblooded sociopath,” he said. “No friends, no trust, no love. Why would I ever want to live like that? It’s not like any of you good dragons are happy.”

I was pretty sure I’d like this book, but I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did! Despite a slower start, by 40% I was completely hooked by Aaron’s charismatic writing and the growing plot. By the end I was dying to pick up the next installment.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy quirky urban fantasies and sociopathic, yet lovable dragons. Also, read this because of Bob…

Minute Review: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

A Natural History of Dragons (Memoir by Lady Trent, #1)A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 1)
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Be warned, then: the collected volumes of this series will contain frozen mountains, fetid swamps, hostile foreigners, hostile fellow countrymen, the occasional hostile family member, bad decisions, misadventures in orienteering, diseases of an unromantic sort, and a plenitude of mud.

There is a lot I could say about this book because I loved it so much, but I’m going to keep things short (it is a minute review, after all). This is a wonderfully written memoir from the perspective of a woman who has become a household name in the study of dragons. Her world is very much like ours was a hundred years ago, except with the existence of dragons as a poorly understood force in the animal kingdom. The story is full of Lady Trent’s wisdom, snark, and crazy life experiences, and I can’t wait to start book 2, The Tropic of Serpents.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy biographies, dragons, natural history, subtle but momentous romances (think Young Victoria), and/or women who follow their passions and change the world.