Saturday, September 5, 2015

Heir of Fire

I simply can't review this book. I just can't. It's too good. It's too great.


"You do not apologize," he said, "for defending the people you care about." -Rowan

# the weeks she had been looking at him it had been like gazing at a reflection. No wonder she loathed him.


And somewhere far and deep inside her, an ember began to glow. 


Ice and fire. Frost and embers. Locked in a battle, pushing and pulling. Beneath it, she could almost taste Rowan's steel will slamming against her magic-a will that refused to let the fire burn her into nothing. 


He got his answer a heartbeat later, as he waited for her to shout or shriek or walk away. But the princess just slowly got to her feet, not bothering to brush off the dirt and leaves, and kept practicing. 


Knew that Lady Marion, who had loved her husband and daughter so much, was gone. Knew that this-this was called sacrifice. 


She had wasted her life, wasted Marion's sacrifice. Those slaves had been butchered because she had failed-because she had not been there in time.
"Get up," someone said beyond the young princess. Sam. Sam, standing just beyond where she could see, smiling faintly. 
"Get up," said another voice-a woman's. Nehemia.
"Get up." Two voices said together-her mother and father, faces grave but eyes bright. Her uncle was beside them, the crown of Terrasen on his silver hair. "Get up," he told her gently. 


And then there was Lady Marion, smiling beside her husband. "Get up," she whispered, her voice full of that hope for the world, and for the daughter she would never see again.


Aelin Galathynius smiled at her, hand still outreached. "Get up," the princess said.

Celaena reached across the earth between them and brushed her fingers against Aelin's.

And arose. 


The two creatures lunged for her, the darkness sweeping in around them.

Rowan ran all of one step before she flung out her arms, grabbing the creatures by their flawless faces-her palms over their open mouths as she exhaled sharply.

As if she'd breathed fire into their cores, flames shot out of their eyes, their ears, their fingers. The two creatures didn't have a chance to scream as she burned them into cinders. 


She knew the gold in her eyes had shifted to flame, because when she looked to Maeve, the queen's face had gone bone-white.

And then Celaena set the world on fire.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why Game of Thrones Sucks Monkey Ass

*Spoilers (Obvisouly)*

Also, I wrote this after watching last season's finale. 

So I watched one of my favorite characters in Game of Thrones die (after I had already watched my other favorite characters in Game of Thrones die, right after I watched my other favorite characters die, right after I watched my favorite dire wolf die), and I thought, "I should've just watched LOST again."

Game of Thrones slogan: Welcome to Letdown City. Please allow us to waste your time.

If Game of Thrones proves anything, it's that a story just won't work without a protagonist. You simply can't have 50 different stories (and 500 characters) going at the same time and no main character.

Like, what the fuck is GoT even about? Every time I think that it's gonna round a corner and really come together, someone important dies and ten new characters (who will soon die, too!) are introduced for like two episodes.

I miss the dead ones, and I don't care about the new ones. This second part bears repeating, all caps, and with explicit language.


Okay, so I added a little extra.

What is a story without characters that you get to know and love and share the journey with? I would rather that the story have a main character who is a tree that weathers the storm, befriends a family of squirrels, and has big nuts, than a story with a character I love but who dies and leaves me with questions and disappointment and frustration. I didn't watch all those episodes so that I could watch Rob die, then Jon die and now what? Are all my hopes in Theon? Or the younger Stark the ones that I don't even know they're names and I definitely don't give a shit about? Or even better maybe there will be a NEW character introduced!!! Maybe a unicorn will eat the dragons and Sansa will be the Mother of Unicorns!!

Do some things connect? Yes. Is there always the possibility that some amazing things are going to happen...things I didn't see coming or whatever. Yes.

But they lost me. I simply do not care. The bottom line is that I haven't seen Ned Stark since S1 (because he's dead, or course) and he was Exactly the type of protagonist this type of story could have been built around. Then I threw my chips in for Rob Stark, the next best choice. Dead. Then I put my hopes in the love story of Jon Snow and Ygritte - and that fell to the ground like Ygritte's body with an arrow through it. I was intrigued by Arya and The Hound, but no. Like, what do I have left to be excited about? I can't root for the awesome story of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo because...well, you get the idea.

So, whatevs.

Will I watch next season. Yes. Why?


Friday, June 5, 2015

Crown of Midnight

I read Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas and then I considered making an appointment to see my therapist.

But this time it wouldn't be to talk about anxiety. I mean, I need to figure out why the majority of my thoughts are about things like Wyrdmarks and talking objects and Fae and magic and where I'm going to get the Celaena from the cover of Throne of Glass tattooed on my body (probably my face).

My kids found me the other day wandering through the basement mumbling things like, "Celaena...Catacombs...Damaris...don't trust Archer...Yellowlegs is creepy."

And every night this week I've been shaken out of my sleep by my own voice screaming, "Nehemia!"

Let me sum up this book as best as I can in one sentence...

Crown of Midnight is the motherfucking shit.

And I don't even like to swear.

I can't say that this is my favorite series of all-time because I need to see how it ends up, but lets just say that if it keeps increasing exponentially in awesomeness, it might just knock Harry Potter off of his Firebolt.

I'm being totally serious.

(Although thinking of the Throne of Glass series and the Harry Potter series at the same time just makes my imagination go cray. Like, what if Celaena went to Hogwarts?! OMG! Can someone please write a short story with a Slytherin Celaena taking on like...ten death eaters?! Ah! I can sit here for hours thinking about it.)

Okay, enough messing around. Why is Crown of Midnight SO good?

1. CELAENA Gods she's an amazing character. She's a perfect character because she's not a perfect character. Her flaws are out there for us to see. This balance between her dominance and her vulnerability is absolute character perfection. Her past, her true story, is unfolding at a perfect pace. She's transparent with her emotions. She's so damn intelligent. She's so damn lethal. Yet she's so "normal girl" in so many ways...boy issues (what's a girl to do with both Chaol and Dorian?!) best friends (Nehemia...DAMN YOU CHAPTER 29!!!!!), she has a shopping addiction (I know, I know...not all girls have shopping addictions or even like to shop), and she eats junk food like every self-respecting person of her age should! Add to all the awesomeness this history of suffering, and her overcoming all of it, and now we're having the strings of our human spirit pulled tighter than a mofo (whatever that means). Gah...she's just the best. SO much more than a badass killer.

2. CHAOL and DORIAN When you can write a male character that both male and female readers like, you've won. But when you write TWO male characters that both male and female readers like, then put them into a complicated, and very naturally occurring and ever-changing friend/best-friend/love thing that never feels like a cheesy love-triangle, then you get to skip the rest of Earth because you just won heaven. THEN (damn you Sarah J. Maas!) when you drive the readers mad by swinging them back and forth between the two guys, but the readers don't get mad because they love you for it...well that's just not fair. Both guys are awesome. Both guys are unique. Both guys offer so much to the story, to the reader, and to Celaena! Wow.

3. PERFECT PACING AND FLAWLESS RELEASE OF INFORMATION I know that sounds stupid but I don't know how else to say it. For two books now, I haven't once felt like things were moving too fast or too slow, and the steady stream of story development has not only kept my attention (which isn't easy!) but has somehow outperformed my expectations! It doesn't just get better, and it doesn't get better with a normal progression. Like, normally, a good story starts out with a 1 and ends with a 10, with 10 being the best. It goes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10. This story goes 1 3 7 18 99 1087 5589 a bazillion. I know, I know...I'm talking to a bunch of book nerds which means the numbers are scaring you. Maybe @MissDahlElama can explain what I'm trying to say. She's an editor of mathematics (aka Total Nerd).

4. SARAH J. MAAS IS A TOTAL HOTTIE You might argue that this fact has nothing to do with why Crown of Midnight is so good, and I simply argue back by extending my middle finger and saying, "Who asked you?!" :)

 5. FANTASY FANTASY FANTASY The world is building, the magic is coming back, the Wyrdmarks are being drawn, the portals are opening, the creatures are appearing, the fantasy elements of the overall story take a HUGE leap forward in Crown of Midnight.

6. THE KING OF ADARLAN I LOVE this character. He's done so little in two books, but he's THE issue. It's all about him. What's he up to? What can he do? What does he know? He has the Voldemort effect. He's in the story, but the story doesn't revolve around him...yet. BUT, you can feel it building. You know that no matter what is happening, he's the reason, the problem, the bad guy. And yet, I like him. He's so calm and confident. He's ruthless, but he's refined. I know that I'm behind on this series, and maybe I'm totally wrong, but right now it appears that this is headed for a Harry/Voldemort-like showdown between Celaena and the King. If not, fine. I know whatever happens will be better that what I'm expecting.

7. A SENSE OF SOMETHING HUGE This might go hand-in-hand with #3, but I really want to emphasize this point. There is always this underlying feeling that something big is happening in the Throne of Glass World. And just when you think big things have happened, you're introduced to something even bigger. And this happens over and over and over. It's like Raising The Stakes on steroids. Things definitely get worse and more complicated for Celaena, but it's not just stuff happening to her. It's what's happening in all of Erilea. It keeps you locked in and unable to come back to reality where there are things like laundry and bills and other stupid shit.

8. SARAH J. MAAS IS A TOTALLY HOTTIE This is a pic of when I was like, "Hey, girl." And she tried so hard not to smile, but just couldn't hold it in.

Or maybe I got this pic off of Google images and I'm a liar.

Closing thoughts...

I went to buy Heir of Fire and the bookstore didn't have it. I pushed the entire bookshelf over, mooned the employees, then went to Chipotle and ate two burritos.

If this book series is not made into a movie series, I will start international riots. Although, I don't know how I would react if I found out this was being made into a full scale, big budget movie. My heartbeats are speeding up just thinking about it.

Crown of Midnight is so damn good. When Celaena went through that portal...when Chaol connected all the dots at the end of the book...just...I just...I almost can't take it.

If you don't like this book series, then don't talk to me because I hate you.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Throne Of Glass Kicked My Ass

I read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and then I blacked out.

There was simply too much awesomeness. I started feeling woozy around the 47th chapter, and by the time I read the last word of the story I was overwhelmed. The last thing I remember was feelings of ultra-happiness, then a brilliant blue light...and then everything went black. I awoke on the floor with Throne of Glass held closely to my heart, and sucking my thumb.

If I ever meet Sarah I'm going to demand that she hold me like a baby and tell me all the secrets about this new world that I've discovered. I want to live in Erilea. I want to see how tough Chaol really is. I want to see how smooth Dorian really is with the ladies (not that I want to learn anything from him...I's for a friend). I want to see the glass palace and use Windex on every last inch of it because clean, sparkling glass makes me feel clean and sparkling, too. I want to run through the secret passages of the palace in my underwear because they're SECRET PASSAGES and that's the only place you can do that (legally).

And I want to see Celaena. I want her to hold me like a baby, too. I want to hear stories and stories and stories about her life. I want to tell her about my plans to get her face tattooed on my arm, and how when the bullies try to take my Chipotle money I'll just point to the tattoo and they'll run away in terror.

How can she be so awesome?! There are so many things that I love about this character. She's kick-ass unstoppable, she's hilarious, she's courageous, she reads a lot (bonus points), yet she remains relatable and real with her painful past and her relationship drama (the poor thing...caught between the Captain of the Guard and the Crown Prince!). As I read the next books in the series I truly hope that she gets better and better. I've loved characters before, and then the next book in the series came out and I was like, "I'm breaking up with you."

I'm going to make my 12-year-old daughter read this book. I'll be like, "Be confident and courageous and true, just like Celaena. But don't kill people. Okay? No killing."

The fantasy elements in this story are original and brilliant and there's a refreshing balance between reality and fantasy. Also, I love Love LOve LOVe LOVE how so many fantasy elements of the story/world were introduced and hinted at, but not fully developed yet. This is SO HARD to do! I was fully satisfied, but still wanting more! I didn't get to the end of the story and find myself confused or angry that I didn't know more about the magic or Elana or the Wyrdmarks or who Celaena really is, instead, I was planning out when I would rush to the bookstore to buy Crown of Midnight.

Sarah, thank you.

I became hooked on YA a few years back when I read The Hunger Games, but as time went on and as contemporary stories became all the rage, I started losing interest in reading. Throne of Glass is bringing me back and I'm so happy about that.