Review: The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)

I could not wait to get my grubby hands on this book. I tore through the first two books like they were nothing. Those books were some of the best writing, the best story I had read in a while. Once I got this book, but I became hesitant to start because it is nearly 700 pages. Just let that sink in… we are talking books nearing the size of Cassandra Clare’s TMI books. That, folks, is dedication and time consuming.

In the final installment of The Remnant Chronicles, Lia is the only one who can save Morrighan. There is an evil determined to destroy that land and Lia cannot let that happen. Finally stepping into her role as First Daughter, Lia has to be not only a soldier, but a leader. This is a title and responsibility she has run away from her whole life. Along the way, she questions her feelings for Rafe and for Kaden. Can she trust her feelings? Is she strong enough to do what is necessary?

To get through this story, I chose to listen to the audiobook. Ladies and gents, the audio is over 18 hours if you listen at 1x playback. Eighteen. HOURS. That may or may not be faster than reading the physical copy, but that is still a lot of time. I listen at a high playback speed (2x) so I gave over 9 hours to this and I don’t believe it was worth it. It was bleak and monotonous. I felt as if nothing happened over a very, very long period of time. The tone was passive and not engaging. There were no character interactions and even fewer reactions. I wanted/needed something to happen. I wanted something to remind me why I fell in love with the first two books. It just didn’t happen, folks. Instead, it was predictable and I was not vested in the outcome anymore. I didn’t care what happened, I just wanted the story to be over. It all fell apart after the first third of the book. BORING. DULL. UNEVENTFUL. People were talking to talk but nothing substantial was being said. yawn

Once again, this story was told from multiple POVs, not all of which were necessary. Why did Pauline need a voice? Why? I liked her as a secondary character but she didn’t deserve to be center stage. Rafe and Kaden were their usual drone selves, whining about how they should be in charge, whatever whatever whatever. It did appear that Lia developed a bit more during this book, but it felt like she did it all at once and not gradually. Can’t say I believe that at all. Nobody grows up overnight, sorry but that isn’t how it is really done.

The action scenes didn’t happen until the last 5% or so. When they did – BAM. They were over before they started because they lasted a few pages at most. Uh… why not find a way to keep that action and suspense throughout the entire book? Just a thought. Forcing it into the very last pages of the story make a reader mad. It makes the story feel rushed, as if you are putting words on a page to make a deadline. There was so little resolution when the story was over and done with. What happened with Jaxon? What of his kingdom? WHO KNOWS because it isn’t talked about.

Overall, I was incredibly let down by this book. I wanted the feel from the first two books to continue in this story but it did not. It was 685 pages of nothing then everything crammed into the last two pages and…. DONE. If you enjoy very long winded stories where little to nothing happens other than pointless interaction, then this is the story for you. If you can handle not having a resolution to the overall story, you are in luck. As for me, I am disappointed with this one. Anticlimactic middle/ending to what could have been a a hell of a story.

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Books Left Unread #49

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

 

Conversion by Katherine Howe

 

Conversion

 

I remember buying this book at the store years ago but haven’t been able to start it yet. Reading some of the reviews makes me not want to read this story. Have you read it? What did you think of it? Should I forget about this and move on?

 

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DNF Review: The Thousandth Floor

The Thousandth Floor

 

What hooked me into wanting to read this book was the blurb:

New York City as you’ve never seen it before.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.”

Sounds great, right?! Dystopian-ish and futuristic type feel! WRONG. SO VERY WRONG.

This is the story of spoiled rich kids and their rich kid problems. The higher you live in this building, the more important you are, or think you are. The teens in this building are the true definition of “spoiled rich kids” who think they can get away with anything. Parenting and rules do not apply to these kids. There is a lot of high techy gadgets that make life easier but this story is so heavy laden with them that they start to border on stupid. Not sure I would be lazy enough to ever need a machine to show me the clothes in my closet when I could just open the door myself. But hey, I’m not rich.

The first quarter of this book is a giant info dump. Pages and pages and chapters and chapters of pointless information. You would expect something along that lines because you need to be brought into the world, but taking 25% of the book to give backstories felt like too much. You are introduced to the five characters that basically make up the entire story. Each has their own POV but they all sound like they have the same voice. I was so lost in the beginning because I had no clue what was going on. You really are thrust straight into the story. As you start to get familiar with the characters, one story stands out the most: Avery and Atlas. Why am I pointing this out? Because they are step-siblings and they are attracted to each other. Avery has an unhealthy obsession and attraction to her step-brother, Atlas and he encourages it.

GROSS.

I do not have any desire to read about incest. I believe it was supposed to read as something sexy and adorable but that just did not sit right with me. I couldn’t get my brain to really accept anything else from this story after reading this line:

On the other end of the call was Atlas, her brother – and the reason she never wanted to kiss anyone else.

WHAT.

If you can manage to get past that, the rest of the story is boring. Avery ends up hiring a hacker to find out where Atlas was over the summer (stalker!); the hacker ends up really liking Avery; another girl was sent away to a rehab facility but doesn’t want anyone to know about it; the rich boy ends up liking the non-rich girl that cleans his apartment. Snoozefest. I never connected with any character or any story.

There is one tiny upside to this story: the idea that entire cities can be housed in one building. These people never leave their building. Everything they could ever need is simply located on another floor. That is kind of nifty. Yet the world building does not and will not  begin to save this book. I have read that people compare this to Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, however, I know nothing about either of those worlds so I cannot begin to compare. What I can tell you is that this is a very long boring book about the superficial lives of spoiled rich kids. And there is that unhealthy attraction between two step-siblings. Ick. I did not like this at all and I would not recommend to anyone.

 

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DNF Review: Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns

 

Oh how I hate writing DNF reviews. I enjoy giving my opinion on books, how they made me feel, etc. but when I am forced to stop a book because of reasons, I don’t enjoy that. This book simply had too much going on and it was beyond confusing.

Uh… I think this was a story about three sisters, triplets, who all fight to kill each other until one is left and they can be crowned queen. That’s what I got out of it anyways. Every generation the current queen births triplet girls, without fail. Then these three sisters are taught to develop their natural talents (magic?) and the dark arts of killing discreetly. Everyone knows it is going to happen but nobody cares. And that’s as far as I got.

The portion of the story I made it through was a huge info dump of history. I was hit with a tidal wave of information that I didn’t know how to process because I didn’t know how it related to the overall story. There is no real backstory to prepare the reader for what is going on, other than what I mentioned above. The chapters were back and forth with names of people/places/events and I never knew if they were current or in the past. The alternating POVs all sounded like the same person talking, I couldn’t tell which sister was talking. I felt the three sisters of this story were obnoxious. I didn’t care what happened to them. I didn’t care who died and in what way. They were that annoying to me. I felt there was no world building, no characterization, nothing to help me understand what is going on. This story felt incredibly flat. The plot itself was soooo slllloooowwww. I found myself rolling my eyes too many times so that’s when I knew I was done. I finally had to give up and move to another story.

I know others raved about this story and loved it until the last page, but it just was not for me. This feels like the perfect example of how not every story is for every reader. I have started to enjoy high fantasy stories more and more, but this was not for me.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Bad Blood

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bad Blood  (The Naturals, #4)

 

From Goodreads:

“When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far.

As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock.

New victims. New betrayals. New secrets.

When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers.”

 

I don’t know about you, but I love this series and cannot wait for this book to come out!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing my…

Top Ten-ish Books to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

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Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula

 

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)

 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Gris Grimly

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

 

Frakenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein

 

It by Stephen King

It

 

The Omen by David Seltzer

The Omen

 

Amityville by Jay Anson

The Amityville Horror

 

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist

 

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

 

What books would you recommend reading to get someone in the Halloween mood? Let me know!

 

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ARC Review: A Darkly Beating Heart

A Darkly Beating Heart

 

This is the story of an extremely trouble teenage girl, Reiko, who leaves the States to live with her relatives in Japan. While in Japan she accidentally finds a way to slip backwards in time to Japan 1862. She is so angry and full of hatred. This is not normal teen angst, this is full on murderous anger.

First and foremost, this book is extremely well written. Smith did an amazing job writing time travel into a story. It did not feel sci-fi or cheesy, but fluid and natural. The whole thing was full of brilliant characters. The one character that stood out to me was the protagonist, Reiko. Her constant hatred felt over the top. This wasn’t the normal type of “I hate my parents” type of teenage anger, this was so much more than that. It honestly made me uncomfortable at times. Reiko is hellbent on making her ex-girlfriend pay for the hurt she caused by dumping her. I can understand being upset that someone broke up with you, but wanting to cause them bodily harm is something entirely different. The amount of rage Reiko carries with her throughout the entire book almost caused me to put the book down. There was no real need for that in this story. Thankfully Smith did an outstanding job of developing Reiko as the story continued. This was not an overnight fix, rather a slow burn realization and growth for Reiko. That was refreshing to read.

Reiko and her anger issues aside, the other characters in this story were really good. Jiro, a samurai from the alternate 1862 Japan, was very well developed. Jiro is the one that helps Reiko learn to let go of the hate she has been carrying with her for so long. Miyu is also from alternate 1862 Japan. She is the person Reiko takes over while in the past. Miyu is also set on revenge but her hate is not as strong. Together the make one heck of a team.

The plot of this story is what really stood out the most to me. The plot was so well developed that it kept me entertained the entire time. The story line of present Japan with past Japan blended together seamlessly. The time travel portion of the story is explained in a way that didn’t leave me scratching my head. This book truly was written flawlessly. The writing style was beautiful, the settings were rich and descriptive, and the characters were though out. However, I can only give this book 3 stars for two reasons:

  • Reiko’s unnecessary constant rage, anger, and hatred. Again, it made me uncomfortable and I struggled to get past it.
  • Triggers of suicide and self-harm. Those are two extreme topics that not everyone will like. The way Reiko casually talked about them left a sour taste in my mouth.

If you do give this book a chance, do it with the knowledge of the above two main take away points. I can see how this book will not be welcomed with open arms by all readers, but I urge you to give it a chance. The second half of the book gets better, I promise.

 

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