About a month or so ago I had the great pleasure of reading Bright Smoke Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge. This book is a Romeo and Juliet retelling where we follow four main characters as they work on seemingly separate missions. Romeo Mahyanai and Paris Catresou work to expose the higher ups of the Mahyanai clan, who seem to be breaking various laws that hold the dying city together. Juliet Castresou and Mahyanai Runajo work to save the city through finding the ancient knowledge that could save the city. In this book the small city known as Viyara is the last living civilization in a world ruled by the dead, and seem to simply be buying time until they all become a member of the undead.
Overall I give this book four out of five stars. It was an awesome read that I couldn’t put down. Ultimately this book lost the last start because I wanted to see more of the world, watch the characters grow more, and learn more about the magic system, the Juliet, and The Sisters of Throne. I felt like these characteristics really set this book apart from others but we didn’t see a lot of it, which could really set this book apart from a traditional retelling.
If you haven’t read the book I urge you to stop here, but if you’re ready for some spoilers keep reading.
I’m going to be honest, I really pumped this book up in my mind but it was still really really good. So let’s talk about it!
I first heard about this book a few months ago and I’ve been interested in reading it, but I didn’t want to spend money on it. (What recent graduate with no job wants so spend money on anything?) I was really pleased to see it pop up on Overdrive and waited (not so) patiently to borrow it. Fast Forward to Christmas Morning where I happily found it under the tree and gave a delighted squeal. Then, about two weeks later, I got the e-mail saying that Wonder Woman: Warbringer was automatically borrowed and saved on my phone.
Let’s go back a few steps and talk about this book series. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the DC Icons series. It was followed by Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu and Will Damron, which was a very recent release that my friend Laura has at her house and I am patiently waiting for. The series currently has 4 books at the moment (two released two to be released): Wonderwoman, Batman, Cat Woman, and Superman. The books are all focused on different parts of the heroes’ lives where they grow and begin to change into the heroes we know they are.
As someone who wants to get into comics I really wanted to start reading this series, and I was really excited for it. Overall I’m going to give Womder Woman four out of five stars. I loved the story, characters, and writing of the story but I didn’t quite like how it was executed because it was sort of predictable and I didn’t really like the ending.
If you haven’t read it stop here. I’m defiantly going to say check this book out from your library (if you can the audio book is really good) and then decide for yourself if it’s worth the buy. I’m happy to have this book in my collection and I can’t wait to get the rest of them as they come out. I annotated this book and I plan on doing so with the others as I get my hands on them. I really did like this story, I really did, and I think that it’s interesting to see our favorite characters grow. From now on I can’t promise any spoilers, so if you haven’t read it I suggest coming back to this blog post later. If you’ve read it, come on and click the “read more” button.
1. How many books is too many books in a book series?
I believe that there needs to be at least 3 books in a book series just because it really makes a beginning middle and end of the story, and seems like the least you would need ot really call it a series.
2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
No thank you! I hate them and they drive me nuts!! Except in Managa… then I half halfheartedly put up with them.
3. Hardcopy or paperback?
Hardcopy. If I’m reading a physical book I like to annotate it and I honestly don’t take the best care of my books so they’re all going to get tossed around a lot.
4. Favorite book?
A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Brey. Hands down, no questions asked.
5. Least favorite book?
The Catcher and the Rye because I had to listen to it for school and it made me soooo mad for no reason
6. Love triangles, yes or no?
It really depends. It can be a great thing or a horrible thing, it just depends on how it’s done.
7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
Witch and Wizzard… I don’t remember the author’s name but I couldn’t finish it.
8. A book you’re currently reading?
Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I’m listening to chapter one as I’m writing this.
9. Last book you recommended to someone?
Every Heart A Doorway. I suggested it to my friend Laura because I thought it was interesting.
10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
Probably something for school. AKA no clue
11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)
12. Favorite author?
13. Buying books or borrowing books?
Buying books and borrowing audiobooks.
14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?
I didn’t like Cinder as much as everyone else, but I haven’t outright hated a book that everyone loved.
15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?
Bookmarks first, dog-ears if I’m really really desperate.
16. A book you can always reread?
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children.
17. Can you read while hearing music?
yeah, I just block it out.
18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)
I don’t really mind one way or the other. It’s just sort of whatever is best for the story.
19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
A day or two… honestly I like at max a week.
20. Who do you tag? (You can invite them to the group to do the tag)
Whoever wants to do it! 🙂 Go for it!
So… I stumbled upon this tag while looking for some tags to do (I don’t think I do enough of them) and I found this one while looking over the blog Dreamland Book Blog and you can see her version of this post here.
So if you don’t know anything about Avatar The Last Airbender let me catch you up a little bit… well… let this video catch you up a little. The opening does a great job of giving you a great basic idea of the show.
And because I can here’s the opening for the second series in the Avatar universe, Avatar: The Legend of Korra!
Alright so let’s get on with the tag. My love of these shows pry shouldn’t take up much more of your time.
The Water Tribe
Katara and Sokka: The Best Siblings
For this one it took me a few minutes to really figure out who I wanted to pick, because every single book I could think of I really didn’t like the sibling relationships or they just didn’t have the relationship. I finally settled on Cinder and Peony from Cinder by Marissa Meyer because even though Cinder owes her nothing she always goes out of her way for Peony and even takes steps to be there when she was sick and passing. I think that they have my favorite sibling relationship honestly.
Yue: Favorite Star Crossed Lovers
As oddly as it is I really like Luka and Sorina in The Daughter of The Burning City by Amanda Foody. I know that it’s really bad because she created him, but they both kept each other in their best interests and simply seemed to truly love each other. I know that this one is pry not the best answer, but it’s honestly my favorite.
Blood Bending: A book with an unsettling/disturbing concept
I’m really split about answering this one, but I’m going to be honest. Hands down this is Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Hands down. The Program was a great runner up, but Scythe wins. That’s honestly what draws me to the series and what has made me fall in love with it, so in this case I love it. I hate the idea of someone having a job of killing people for all eternity and the idea of people enjoying it, but that’s part of what I absolutely love about this series.
The Earth Kingdom
Toph: A Character Who’s Strength Surprised you
I’m going to say Sloane and Quinlan from the Program Series by Suzanne Young. I love the two of them because simply to live in their worlds and do what they need to they need such amazing strength. Sloane has to watch person after person in her life be erased without any consent, and then she loses her own memories and she begins to fight back even while facing her depression and other mental illnesses. Quinlan has to be strong just to force herself to stand up for what she believes in regardless of the possible punishments that can include losing her memories. The two of them are some of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about, and I really like them.
The Tales of Ba Sing Se: The Best Collection of Short Stories
I really don’t read many short stories so I’m going to go with a story that I loved when I was little even though it’s kind of cheating. I love the large American Girl Doll books that contained all of the historical stories… mostly because that’s the only one I can think of.
Kioshi Worriers: The Best Worrier Character
For this one I’m going to go with Lada from And I Darken by Kiersten White. She is such a great worrier and constantly is challenging everything that has to do with her life and won’t let up about any of it. I love how rough she is and how she won’t stop until she gets what she wants. Even at the end of the first book she looks to her country and moves on simply to do what’s best for it, no matter what.
The Fire Nation
Zuko: Best Redemption Story
I don’t remember the name of this character, but I’m going to go with the Dad from The Remedy by Suzanne Young because at the end he does everything he can to make sure that his “daughter” is able to move forward with her life and be safe.
Iroh: The Wisest Character
This one took me so long to decide on… and then I figured it out and I wanted to scream because I didn’t think about it before. Scythe Fryday! He’s such an amazing teacher in Scythe that I can’t help but love him. While I was reading the book I was highlighting so many of his lines and passages because he took into consideration so many things while teaching and carrying out his job… I can’t help but love him and he’s really the wisest character I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Azula: The Best Downfall
Second time I don’t remember the name of the Character, but the King from Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie. His downfall was so sweet to read.
Appa: Your Favorite Fictional Animal
This made me laugh because the day I’m writing this I started playing this character in a video game with my boyfriend for about a half hour. This would be Cebures the three headed dog form Greek Mythology because he’s puppy. He’s a very good puppy. At least in my mind.
Aang: The Purest Cinnamon Roll
Easily this is Iko from Cinder. Throughout the entire book she’s so innocent and so blindly kind and really makes Cinder think about what she’s doing in her life among all of the chaos and everything going on. She’s such a great relief and I can’t help but love her and deem her the purest cinnamon roll to ever come into existence.
The Avatar State: The Most Stubborn Character
I’m not sure anyone will really remember this character or know about her, but Rhine from The Chemical Garden series would have to be the most stubborn character that I can think of.
*** All pictures were found on google images and are not mine ***
A few months ago I finally got around to reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I’m very conflicted about how I feel about it. On the positive side I really did like the story and I got through the first two thirds in a day or two, but then I just sat on it and I didn’t end up loving it by the end. The story itself was very compelling, and I loved it, but I felt like many of the characters fell sort of flat and I didn’t really end up feeling like many of them grew over time. I am still going to continue with the series for two reasons. 1) I have the first book 2) I’m hoping the characters grow and become more 3D in the second book.
Shadow and Bone is set in the Grisha universe, where the elite of the population have abilities to manipulate, create, or change things around them. Shadow and Bone is mainly about an orphan named Alina who lives in a country named Ravka and worked as a map maker for the military. Her best friend, Mal, knew her since she arrived at the orphanage and followed Alina as they both continue their paths in the military. That is, until the day they are sent on a mission to attempt to cross the fold, a great darkness that has taken part of the country hostage. While in the fold Alina releases a great power that fends off not only the darkness of the fold, but the monsters that live inside it. The problem? She didn’t know it was there, she doesn’t know how to control it, and she’s taken from her friend to be taken to the small palace and serve the Darkling. That’s where this story begins. During the book we follow Alina as she spends her time at the small palace developing her power, growing stronger, and falling in love.
Overall this book got a four out of five stars because I love the universe and the story was entertaining. I didn’t love the characters as much as I hoped to, but they have a lot of growing to do and I think in the next book is when that I will really happen because they are left to a much more difficult situation than what they’ve been used to. I also hope to watch as their relationship grows a little more.
Warning: stop here if you haven’t read the book. I recommend it if you’re looking for a new fantasy series, and I really do hope that you read it, but if you don’t want spoilers stop here. If you’re read it, keep going.