Review: Elantris (Elantris #1) – Brandon Sanderson


Elantris (Elantris #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)

Title: Elantris (Elantris #1)

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Release Date: May 30, 2006

Publisher: Tor Fantasy

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Page Number: 622

Source: Barnes and Noble

Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago, without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like, powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling.

Arelon’s new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping — based on their correspondence — to also find love. She finds instead that Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his emperor and his god.

But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris, Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.

A rare epic fantasy that doesn’t recycle the classics and that is a complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantris is fleet and fun, full of surprises and characters to care about. It’s also the wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy.

3 out of 5 stars


You guys. I finally finished this book after reading it for a month!

Elantris follows three main storylines of Raoden, Sarene, and Hrathen. Raoden is the Prince of Arelon, Sarene is from Teod and is to get married to Raoden, and Hrathen is a Derethi priest sent to convert everyone in Arelon to the Derethi religion.

This book is really hard to explain because there’s so much going on at all times, it’s actually crazy. In short, there is a ton of politics, super cool magic, interesting characters, and a slowly developing plot that wraps up nicely at the end.

This is a typical high fantasy in the sense that it is mostly surrounding intricate politics. I really enjoyed this book and was debating between 3 and 4 stars. I would give the first 3/4 of the book a solid 3 stars, but the last 100ish pages would definitely be 4 stars. So I’m going with my gut and saying 3 stars is a solid way to describe the book.

It was such a slow read for me. This could be because I started reading it when I started backpacking around England, so I was a little preoccupied with… literally everything. I didn’t have a lot of time to read during the trip, so that could have also contributed to it feeling a little disjointed. I also just feel like this is a slow-paced book. It was a really good book, but you have to love reading in order to get through it.

I personally really enjoy “slow burn” books where it takes awhile to get everything sorted out and figure out what’s happening, but it’s also kind of exhausting. This book was 622 pages long, so when I was reading it, it felt like it took me forever to make any notable progress. That being said, I think it was a beautifully crafted book.

I really enjoyed the characters of this book, and the story was definitely character driven. There was a lot happening with the plot, but it mostly focused on the characters. I loved Raoden and how he developed this second life when he got sent to Elantris. I think it said a lot about his character and morals because he didn’t just give up or give into the pain he was feeling.

At the time of reading it I REALLY wanted him to tell Sarene who he was once she started going into Elantris, but after finishing the book, he told her at the perfect time. Any earlier and it would have disrupted the story, and any later it would have been too late. I love them together and seeing how much they love each other just makes my heart so happy.

The magic system was pretty cool, but it took so long to actually get to anything dealing with the magic. I honestly think this book could have been at least 150-200 pages shorter. There was a lot of this book that wasn’t necessary to the story to be able to understand and appreciate what was happening.

I’m looking forward to reading more Brandon Sanderson books because I’ve heard that the Mistborn trilogy is AMAZING. I enjoyed his writing style, so can’t wait to pick those up!!

 

Series:

The Hope of Elantris (Elantris #1.5)

REREAD Review: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare


City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

Title: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 725

Source: Barnes and Noble

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

5 out of 5 stars


THIS IS SUCH A GREAT FINALE.

Cassandra Clare is a genius, and I will fight you if you say otherwise… lol maybe not fight you, but strongly disagree.

The small connections made throughout the Shadowhunters Chronicles are insane, and must have taken and insane amount of careful planning. I can’t even imagine the time that has been spent on creating these books, but I’m so grateful for them.

I think this is my favorite Cassandra Clare book… or they just keep getting better and better every single time and the newest one will always be my favorite… either way. This was an amazing book; even better the second time!

One thing that stood out to me about this book was the prevalence of Emma and Julian from The Dark Artifices. At the time, Lady Midnight hadn’t come out yet, so I didn’t know them, but now that I’ve met them already I gained even more appreciation for them! Seeing them as their twelve-year-old selves made me so happy. I love them. They’re my favorites. Ugh everyone is my favorite lol.

Yay for relationship development! I love Clary and Jace. They love each other so much, and their little speeches are always perfect. I love Alec and Magnus. They’re my ALL TIME favorite couple because yay for that LGBTQ+ rep! I appreciate their relationship so much. I love Simon and Izzy even though it’s a little different at the end… no spoilers, but anyone who hasn’t read this series, get on top of it. It’s so good and you’re missing out.

The first time I read this I hadn’t read The Infernal Devices, so Tessa and Jem kind of just went over my head, but I’M HERE FOR IT NOW!!! They’re so precious and I love that we get to see them again. I just love them. I love all the characters. Redundant, I know.

I love picking up on so many little things I missed the first time. There are so many little things that just shows that Cassandra Clare is a queen wow.

Favorite quotes:

EMMA ABOUT JULIAN:

He was going to be so handsome, she thought; girls would be all over him and one of them would take him away from her forever, because Emma was his parabatai and that meant she could never be one of those girls now. She could never love him like that.

BOI. She knew that she loved him when she was 12 !!! Excuse me. Come on I know that being parabatai is what you’re “supposed” to do, but if you know you already love him don’t put either of you through that! So much foreshadowing. I love it I love it I love it.

MAGNUS TO SIMON:

Because the world isn’t divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. As long as you have a soul and free will, you can be anything, do anything, choose anything.

So true. So beautifully worded. Magnus, you always know best. I was almost in tears during this part because I kind of forgot what happened at the end of the book because I read it 4 years ago, and man a lot has happened since then.

CLARY TO JOCELYN:

F is for Fairchild, and the rest for Gray.

yes kill em with all these connections. I just. It’s just so good. I run out of words sometimes.

Also, Clary and Jocelyn have red hair because of Henry from The Infernal Devices. HOW DID I MISS THIS BEFORE NOW?

Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. Romantic. Perfect. I just love these books.

Series:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)

REREAD Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

Title: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 502

Source: Barnes and Noble

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.

5 out of 5 stars


I didn’t think it was possible to love these books more than I did before, but I literally can’t express how much I love them. Every reread just keeps getting better and better, and seeing Cassandra Clare’s writing evolve is beautiful and magical.

I love everything about this series and can’t fathom not having them in my life. So so so dramatic, but I’m just caught up in my feels right now.

I am never the biggest fan of love triangles, but Will, Jem, and Tessa are the epitome of a perfect love triangle. Tessa loves them both so much. The first time reading this series I was TOTALLY against Jem because I loved Will so much, but now I can see why people would want Tessa and Jem to be together. Will is still my favorite. He always will be. He’s my dream guy, just saying, but I see why people love Jem.

I just see that Tessa loves Will more… even if she doesn’t know it yet. My gosh, it’s just so good.

I love all the characters. The plot is amazing. The setting is amazing. I’m LOVING this reread and can’t wait to continue on so Clockwork Princess can break me again. I’m ready for the heartache of the finale of the trilogy.

Series:

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

August Wrapup


Read:

  1. Champion (Legend #3) – Marie Lu *review*
  2. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel – Hope Larson, Madeleine L’Engle *review*
  3. I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman *review*
  4. Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch *review*
  5. Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) – Arden Rose *review*
  6. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small – Kath Stathers
  7. Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset – Heidi M. Neck, Christopher P. Neck, Emma L. Murray
  8. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Cassandra Clare *review*
  9. Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) – Becky Albertalli *review*

Review: Champion (Legend #3) – Marie Lu


Champion (Legend #3) – Marie Lu

Champion (Legend, #3)

Title: Champion (Legend #3)

Author: Marie Lu

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 369

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

5 out of 5 stars


DEFINITELY the best of the trilogy!

I loved reading Champion and am SO HAPPY my brother bullied me into reading these books. Wow. All I can say is wow.

Champion follows Day and June after the events that happen in Prodigy. June takes a position as the Princeps-Elect in order to work closely with the government as she’s been trained to do her whole life. Day’s headaches are progressively getting worse, and he finally has a diagnosis. There is a plague breakout with no cure. The former United States is rivaling and the Republic needs outside help. Will they get the help they need? Who will be champion?

Guys. This series is so fricking good. This last book was the PERFECT way to end the series and I honestly don’t think I’ve read an ending that was better than this one. The way this ended was tragically sad, but also beautiful and perfect. I just have so many emotions regarding literally everything that happened in this book.

I was a little angsty about how Prodigy ended, so I knew that something had to be resolved right away at the beginning of Champion, but it took so long, but was also a perfect amount of waiting. Wow, okay this doesn’t even sound like anything lol.

Because I don’t want to spoil anything, I don’t want to go into much detail with… anything, but this was such a great ending.

I love Day. I love June. I love them together. I love Anden. I love all of the characters in this series.

So many things happened in this book and I think this book specifically, goes to show how talented Marie Lu is. I want to read more books by her because I know that I’m going to love them!

READ THIS SERIES.

Series:

Legend (Legend #1)

Prodigy (Legend #2)

Review: Prodigy (Legend #2) – Marie Lu


Prodigy (Legend #2) – Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Title: Prodigy (Legend #2)

Author: Marie Lu

Release Date: January 29, 2014

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 371

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

4 out of 5 stars


THE ENDING. WHAT?!

Ugh the end of this book broke me. I almost started crying, so I’m not feeling very prepared for the ending of Champion because I’ve heard it’s so sad. Wow, okay coherent thoughts….

Prodigy is the second installment to the Legend trilogy. It follows Day and June as they escape from the Republic and join the Patriots, the rebel group. The Patriots have always wanted Day on their side because he’s the best criminal in the whole country, and June is the Republic’s prodigy. They’re wanted because they’re extremely valuable. Not to mention, they’re on the run from the Republic with no money, and Day can barely walk. They get taken in by the Patriots, and things seem too good to be true, but are they?

Wow.

The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because it was fairly slow during the middle 1/3. It kind of fell into the “second book syndrome,” where it was a lot of explaining and figuring out the whole world and why things are going wrong, proving that things aren’t what they seem. I think this book is *obviously* detrimental to the trilogy, but it was slower than I would have liked.

There were so many scenes that had me on the edge of my seat *while laying in bed…* that I was anxious about! Anxious in a good way because I COULDN’T STOP READING for the last 1/3. The last parts redeemed the whole book for me, but the ending was SO SAD.

SPOILERS:

If you haven’t read this book you can click off, k thanks.

Why the frick wouldn’t Day tell June the real issue at the end?!

I’m just confused, because this might just solidify that BOYS R DUMB or that he’s actually a super great guy who didn’t want to put burden on the girl that he loves. But my goodness they love each other so much why didn’t he just tell her. It just breaks my heart. You could feel June’s heart breaking in the last chapter. She didn’t know what to do, and knew that Day was hiding something, but didn’t want to push this issue and ugh.

I like June and Day, but I also kind of ship June and Anden… Is that wrong? I know that the whole idea of adding him as a romantic interest is to create the love triangle, but I’m kind of here for it. I usually am not a huge fan of love triangles, but I can he here for this one. Day and Anden are SO different from each other, so it’s almost hard to compare them, thus the love triangle is justified… in my mind.

END OF SPOILERS.

I’m really enjoying this series and am so glad that I re-read Legend before continuing on. I can’t wait to read Champion because I NEED to know how the trilogy ends. Wow I’m just kind of blown away tbh.

Also, Champion will be my first “real” read of Booktubeathon! I’m participating in Booktubeathon again and I’m so excited! I’m daily vlogging on my YouTube channel (aubreyjoybooks) so a video should be up tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m so excited to see how much I can read! My TBR is probably overly ambitious, but we’re gonna go for it.

Series:

Legend (Legend #1)

Champion (Legend #3)

Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) – Tahereh Mafi


Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) – Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Publisher: Harpercollins

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 338

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

3 out of 5 stars


I buddy read this book with Emily from her Booktube channel emibookish!

This is a dystopian novel following a girl named Juliette. She has a power that means she is unable to touch anyone without killing them, or coming close to killing them. She has never been loved. She hasn’t touched anyone or been touched in over three years. Oh, and she’s been in solitary confinement in an insane asylum for 264 days.

I loved the writing style of this book. It was beautiful and poetic and rambly, but it a wonderful way. The words flowed so perfectly that sometimes it felt like I was reading free verse poetry. I honestly think this was the easiest writing style to read!

I’ve always been intrigued by this book, so when Emily asked me to buddy read it with her I said ABSOLUTELY. ps. I LOVE buddy reading. So much fun. Anyway, I have always wanted to read this because it sounded interesting.

But here’s the thing. I’m wonderful at avoiding spoilers/knowing anything about books before I read them. So I really had no idea what this was about, but I knew a lot of people loved it. So I was excited to pick it up, and it was absolutely NOTHING like what I thought it was going to be. Any preconceived notion was wrong.

Not bad wrong, just completely wrong. It’s actually comical how much I had no idea what this book was about.

This was so much darker at the beginning than I was expecting. The book starts out with Juliette in her solitary confinement and she’s pretty much going crazy because she hasn’t seen another human being in 264 days. Then Adam comes and becomes her roommate in her cell. She has no idea why he’s there, but she remembers him. She went to school with him and he is now with her. Alone. In her cell. Where she’s been alone. She doesn’t know how to cope, so she kind of freaks out.

But then the story progresses and Juliette gets taken away and finds out that Adam is a soldier who has been spying on her. INTENSE.

I enjoyed this book, but I do have to admit, the beginning was kind of slow. I’ve heard that the rest of the series is amazing, so I’m definitely going to continue on! I already downloaded the rest of the series onto my Nook…. oops.

I can’t wait to read more from Tahereh Mafi because her writing style was GORGEOUS!