Review: Cassandra Clare & Holly Black – The Copper Gauntlet

The Copper Gauntlet
Cassandra Clare & Holly Black

Call never seems to find any rest – unless he’s at school. When he has to return home for the holidays, he finds his father more set against school than ever, and a set of chains in the basement. Trust is something that seems to be fluid and bought and sold to the highest bidder. Call thinks he knows what he’s doing – everyone else thinks he is mad!

25613630Call and the other characters still didn’t seem to progress much. Aaron does grow a little, in that he wants to protect others not just have them protect him. But he doesn’t seem as smart as he does in the first novel. Not to mention poor Tamara gets sidelined.

There’s some underhand backbiting, and some potential treachery, but for me, these didn’t ring true. Surely they are old enough not to fight like 5-year-olds over a broken toy?

The ending was a little bit of a surprise, I really didn’t expect what happened! The Magisterium seemed a bit like a dumb hulking beast though, with more secrets than anyone could ever have. Hoping for a happy ending seems impossible.

This sort of feels like a ‘questing’ novel. All Call ever seems to do is head to the Magisterium, then immediately go back out again! There wasn’t any of the learning/teaching that went on in the first book to make me super interested and happy.

I’m not saying give this novel a miss by any means. In fact, I think you should get out there and read it for yourself. Once again though, I found myself waiting desperately for the next novel – I don’t want to wait a whole year!

Did this novel take me as strongly as the first one, The Iron Trial? No, sadly it didn’t. It simply didn’t have the same personality when I read it myself, rather than being read to by a talented voice-over. But I kept reading it. I don’t know why, but I did. That’s what makes it 4 stars not 3.

4star

Review: Amanda Hocking – Crystal Kingdom

Crystal Kingdom
Amanda Hocking

Bryn is exiled from the life she knew before. With her lover and friends left behind, she’s faced with her oldest enemy and needs to come to terms with the wider world. That world involves all of the other troll tribes – some of whom will be friendly, and others who are against the side of ‘right’.

25574705While the conspiracy is deeper than it seems, it wasn’t obvious why I should should care about it. Having a terrifying overlord is bad, but without actual threats to people I cared about, meh, I didn’t care. That being said, the depth of plot turns and the like was very nice, and kept me guessing.

The fighting scenes in this were perhaps the worst part of the novel. It felt very dry, and I didn’t feel even a shred of emotional angst over Bryn potentially being harmed. The dialogue between Bryn and various troll leaders was far more convincing, and I liked the way that Bryn and Ridley interacted.

I would say that the style on this is similar to the last book – sometimes I was too busy reading the words and terminology to really get into the story. It didn’t push me along, rather I found myself dragging myself further. I did eventually get into the plot, but I probably could have put it down at any point.

Although this would like to bill itself as a romance, I certainly didn’t get any sort of ‘triangle’ happening. Sure, there were some wayward kisses, but those are bound to happen when people are under stress. The sex scene in it is textbook simple, and if not for that inclusion, I’d be firmly placing this in the teenage fiction category.

The ending just wraps things up too neatly. Yes, some people die, but honestly, I wasn’t very attached to them. Or if I was, it was obvious why they couldn’t be allowed to live. All things peachy. Hint – don’t read the blurb, or you’ll find yourself reading half of the plot and being mislead as to the contents of the novel.

I found this novel disappointing, but I think that it could resonate well with those enjoying urban fantasy that has a mystery element to it. For me, the style wasn’t to taste, and so I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any more novels by this author – although I remain able to be won over.

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Review: Amanda Hocking – Frostfire

Frostfire
Amanda Hocking

24059777Bryn’s job is to rescue her people that have been placed in human homes to generate revenue for their real parents. But her dream is to be part of the elite guard protecting the royals – made difficult by the fact she’s just a little bit odd compared to everyone else.

At first it isn’t obvious what is special about Bryn. But Hocking gently guides the reader, until bam! You know what she is, who she likes, and everything else in between. Except the writing was poor. This felt dry, and not too well written. I simply couldn’t get into the story. There wasn’t enough feeling attached to the Bryn for me. She felt like a placeholder just put there to be different, and let the story revolve around her.

The romance element in this novel that I was promised in the blurb, and the chance of her to ‘lose her heart’, are slim as far as I can see. I wasn’t buying the touching romance, in fact it just felt like a set up. Can’t she keep a hold of herself? She’s going to live a while longer right?

This novel felt incomplete at the end. It felt like it was waiting for a sequel – and it fact, it has a sequel so that’s not so bad. But! It just didn’t feel complete, and had I needed to wait to read the sequel, it’s possible I never would have picked it up.

I received this novel free in preparation for reading and reviewing (plus interviewing!!!!) the newest novel in this trilogy, Crystal Kingdom. The boss has said I can’t read it until I’ve done these reviews, so here I am.

Nothing special to see here folks, a 3 stars from me. But when you combine it with the second novel in the series, things do improve. Stay tuned for that review.

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