Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Three Mini Reviews

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1) by Emily Suvada
Publisher: Penguin
Released: 2nd November 2017
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta's death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world's leading geneticist, and humanity's best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole's genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.

Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world's genetic tech. But it's too late to turn back.

There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.
(from Goodreads)

This Mortal Coil had a great premise but there were a few things throughout that stopped this from being more than a three-star book for me.

While I found the story really interesting and engaging (and unpredictable on top of that!), I was confused a lot of the time. That could have just been me reading too fast to really grasp what was going on, as is often the case, but even parts which I went back to reread were a bit unclear, and there was a lot that I felt was never explained.

I also wasn’t a huge fan of Cole and as I’m all about character-driven plots, it made it difficult for me to really care what was happening where he was involved.

I did really like Cat – it couldn’t have been easy for her to realise she’d been lied to over and over again. I was also really concerned this book was going to be standalone (so many things unresolved!) but thankfully, it’s going to be a trilogy, and I will be continuing on with it. Though hopefully in the next book, the phrase “my darling girl” won’t be dropped about a hundred times…

Overall, I did enjoy this book and would pick up the sequel.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 2nd January 2018
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
(from Goodreads)

The reason behind this rating is Cardan. I didn’t like him. I get what Holly Black was going for and I know he had a secret terrible life and all that, but trying to excuse his appalling behaviour in that way just didn’t cut it for me. It’s going to take a lot more than what we got in this book to change my mind about him, because at this point, I kind of sort of hate him.

Cardan aside, I did enjoy the rest of this book. It was very dark and unforgiving (how messed up is to live with the man who killed your biological father?!), which isn’t unusual for Holly Black, and you’ve got to give it to her for the world-building, which was great. I also really enjoyed the family dynamic between the sisters and while I often questioned Jude’s decisions (why Jude, why), I was always interested to see how she would deal with the situations she ended up in. While there were a few parts I saw coming, I am still very intrigued to see how things unravel after that ending.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I’m dithering a bit on whether to pick up the sequel, but I think my intrigue is outweighing my dislike of Cardan. I’m just really interested to see what Holly Black plans to do with his character, and of course, see where she will take the story next.

Royal Bastards (Royal Bastards #1) by Andrew Shvarts
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Released: May 30th 2017
My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey...
(from Goodreads)

Most of my notes for this book consist of variations of the phrase “ugh, Miles” so from that, it’s probably pretty obvious that Miles was my least favourite character.

Moving swiftly on, I actually quite enjoyed this book. I do agree with others who have said that the modern language used was strange and jarring in this setting, but I kind of got used to it in the end, even if it didn’t make much sense.

I really liked Tilla and didn’t find it hard to sympathise with her situation. Her father was, err, not the best of men, but I could understand why she still felt this need to be loyal to him (even when he totally did not deserve it).

There were parts that were a bit too unbelievable to be anything other than an obvious way increase tension and drive the plot into a certain direction (cough Tilla you couldn’t have just gone to a less public place cough) but the overall storyline kept me engaged and I’ll be picking up the sequel to find out what’s in store for these characters.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like some crappy characters nearly ruined these for you. I’m glad the plot won out. I want to try The Cruel Prince but am not in a rush.


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