Observations on Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

blue lilyAll the feels!  Re-reading this book just reaffirms how painful The Raven King is going to be.

  • What’s the deal with Henry Cheng?  I mean seriously?  Maggie has already said he is going to play a bigger part in the next book but what?  What was he doing out that late at night when Gansey and Blue run into him?
  • Speaking of, is there ever been a more romantic non-kiss.  It almost puts some actually literary kisses to shame!
  • I want to know more about Persephone’s backstory.  Actually I want a spin-off series that is just about Persephone, Maura and Calla.  Hey Maggie, can you make that happen?
  • Adam learned a very important lesson.  That it is okay to ask for help and even if you don’t ask, if a friend offers it’s not out of pity but out friendship.
  • Piper Greenmantle is not someone I would want to meet in a dark alley.  That woman is truly scary.
  • What is Gansey doing in the faculty lounge?  Does he already know he’s going to die and this is him making plans?
  • Why haven’t any written the Murder Squash song?
  • I love how all-in Ronan is to being Supernatural.  He’s owning is Greywareness!
  • Also how touching was his revelation about Matthew?  How he’s working on saving him.  With what happened in the cave, do you think he’s figured it out.
  • I like Blue and Ronan’s relationship. For all his guff, Ronan can’t help but care.  He saved her from falling twice, once in the beginning of the book and in the end and then stayed behind in the dark to make sure she got to the other side.  He’s a class act when he wants to be.
  • What kind of man buries their daughter, face down in a grave for robbers to find? Maybe Glendower isn’t worth it after all.
  • Jesse Dittley wasn’t kidding when he said his cave was cursed.  May he Rest In Peace
  • Never Scrying by yourself kids.

So, we are now two weeks away from the release of The Raven King and the anticipation is just killing me.  Will they find Glendower?  Will Blue and Gansey finally kiss and will it kill him?  Will Ronan and Adam kiss? Who is the third sleeper? Is it a huge spider because I am not okay with that! What has Neeve been doing all this time?  I have so many questions that I hope to get answered soon.  Dear readers, what are your questions for The Raven King?

Countdown to The Raven King!

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Guess what Guys?!  I just figured out we can do slideshows! This is so exciting to me!  Anyhoo, it’s April!  Finally!  Only 25 more days until the release of the The Raven King!  FINALLY!!!!  I can’t wait!  I’m excited but dreading it all the same time because you know that none of us are coming out of this unscathed.  Now that I think about it, keep Stacks in your thoughts in the last week of April, first week of May because it’s going to be a couple of brutal weeks for Kate and I between this and Captain America.  So here we go, to help everyone prepare for the final book in the The Raven Cycle, we are going to look back at past reviews and commentary about one of our favorite series.

First, Let’s start from the beginning with Kate’s review of The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves.  Somehow, I haven’t written a formal review for this series.  Strange.

Here are a few more posts about The Raven Cycle

Public Service Announcement

What I’m Thankful for

Books that Rocked My Face off, Part two

Dear Stackologist: Life is Full of Tough Choices

RE: Sexism, Twitter and Giant Insects

Highs and Lows of Fandoms by Cassandra Clare and Maggie Stiefvater

Cover Reveal: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Discussion Posts: Re-reading series before the new installment comes out

Fan Art

Books that Rocked My Face Off in 2015

What I Can’t Wait to Read in 2016

Currently Reading: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

And finally, First Listen of The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Later this week, we will start discussion posts about what we think is going to happen in The Raven King.

Review: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

stars above As you may have noticed.  Kate and I haven’t posted much lately.  I’ve been on vacation and had every intention of updating while I was gone but I was too busy enjoying doing nothing but hanging out with my parents and friends that blogging didn’t happen.  Oops.  Let’s try to make up.

Stars Above is a collection of short stories that takes place in the world of Lunar Chronicles.  Most of the them are prequels, giving readers more insight into who the characters were before the action the novels.  In the case of the first story, The Keeper, it fills in the story of how Cinder came to earth and how Michelle Benoit and Scarlett fit into her life before she became a cyborg.  Glitches follows Cinder as she meets her step family for the first time and how she went from the great hope to the just the mechanic.  In the Mechanic we get to read Kai’s first meeting with Cinder from his perspective and the final story, Something Old, Something New takes place a few years after the end of Winter where the whole gang comes back together for the wedding of two them.  I won’t say who because I don’t want to spoil it but you will be happy.  My favorite story was The Little Android. It’s the only story that doesn’t star anyone from the Lunar Chronicles but does feature a cameo by Cinder.  It’s about an Android like Iko that wants to be more then just an android.  She starts to have feelings with a human and buys an escort android body to pass herself as human to get closer to him.  The problem is that the man is in love with someone else.  We get a better view of what life is like for people living in New Beijing before Cinder’s revolution for androids, cyborgs and humans.  It’s a very bittersweet story but beautiful written.  This collection is worth it just for this story alone even if you are not a fan of the Lunar Chronicles.  For the fans, it’s a must read.

Review: The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa

the iron warrior*Spoilers*

I’m not sure if Julie Kagawa counts towards our Diverse Stacks, Diverse Lives challenge since I would have read her books anyway.  This is the last book in the The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series.  I knew I was going to read it as soon as I finished the last book, The Iron Traitor  and I’m going to read Soldier, the next book in her Talon series.   So counting her as my Asian American author doesn’t really go in the spirit of the challenge since we are trying read new authors,  However, I think it’s good to point out the diversity that is already in my reading list.  Yes, this is a little self serving, pat myself on the back type of thing but while I do mostly read white women, I’ve never been exclusively been just that and honestly until this past year I’m not sure I’ve noticed.  I’ve been reading Julie’s work for a couple of years now and it make me think.  I’m not sure where I’m going with this but you should read her work is all.

So The Iron Warrior is the last book in the The Iron Fey series’.  The first series followed Meghan as she transitions from normal teenage girl to Fairy Queen of the Iron Fey.  In Fairy mythology, iron has always been one their weaknesses and the human world has become more and more technologically advance the Nevernever has started to get poisoned, except for some of the Fairy who have adapted and created a new kingdom of Iron.  Call of the Forgotten is the continuation of the series but follows Meghan’s brother, Ethan and son , Kerrian.  Now, it’s been about a decade since Meghan has left and in that time Ethan has grown cursed with the sight and is constantly harassed by the Fey.  Then one day he finds himself back in the Nevernever with a new girl, Kenzie and his nephew, Kerrian, who is roughly the same age thanks to the fact that time moves differently in Faery.  Yeah, it’s weird.  It’s even weirder since Ethan didn’t even know that Kerrian even existed.  You see, their was a prophecy that one day Kerrian would kill Ethan and either destroy the courts or unite them.  So obviously everyone wants to keep them apart.  It didn’t work because the prophecy is set in motion when Kerrian does in fact stabbed Ethan and temporarily lifting the veil between faery and the human realms.  Now Kerrian is the champion for the Forgotten Queen who looks to lift the veil permanently and only Ethan can stop him.

Ethan is the type of hero I like.  He’s sarcastic and I do love sarcasm.  He’s also a fighter.  Not always the swiftest on the up take but he’s loyal.  He knows the stacks are high and despite being given outs several times throughout the book he never backs down.  Kerrian I’m not really digging.  He’s quite stubborn to the point of destroying the Nevernever.  Everything starts with Kerrian unwillingness to let go of his love. Since the story is from Ethan’s point of view, we don’t get to know the inner working of Kerrian’s mind and because of that I found him a little unsympathetic.  We all have people we love that we don’t want to lose but losing your soul for them.  Killing your uncle and friend.  No one would want that.  If he was able to keep his emotion’s in check all of this could have been avoided but then again we wouldn’t have a story.  Kenzie is my favorite.  She’s a normal human.  She’s not fairy or half fairy or related to.  She just happened to be with Ethan when he goes back and because she is curious and looks for adventure sticks around.  She is also sick so wants to live life to fullest.  That being said she is the smartest of them all.  She adapts quickly to the Nevernever.  She may not be a fighter but it’s often her quick thinking that saves them .  I would love a book just about her.

All and all this was a great series with a satisfying ending.  It’s not the usual fairy story and full of action and adventure.  If you like fairy books or fantasy, you can’t go wrong with the Iron Fey.

 

What I Can’t Wait to Read in 2016

It’s 2016!  Happy New Years!!  A new year means new books!  And we love new books even if they just add to our TBR pile.  So here a 10 books that I’m super excited to read in 2016!

  1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater- The final book in the Raven Cycle and I couldn’t be more excited and dreading at the same time.  It is well documented about how much I love the series and Maggie as an author.  I can’t wait to see what will happen to Blue and the Boys but at the same time not ready to say goodbye.
  2. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – The first book in Rick’s new series The Trials of Apollo is going to be good.  I just know it.  For one thing Percy is back!  That’s really all I need to know.  I also hope it means that Leo is also back and happy and in love with Calypso.  That would be the best.
  3. Untitled by Sarah J. Maas – So the next book in the Throne of Glass series doesn’t have a title but hasn’t dampened my excitement for it.  Aelin has all but declared her intentions and now heading for home.  The real fight for Erilea is abou to get real.
  4. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir –  An Ember in the Ashes was one of the books that I loved the most last year.  A mixture of historical fiction, dystopian and fantasy it was truly something refreshing.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.
  5. The Last Star by Rick Yancey – The final book in the 5th Wave series should be interesting.  The 5th Wave was full and real but the The Infinite Sea was a intriguing but not as entertaining.  Now that we know that who the aliens are and not things are really going to go down.  Not to mention the movie for the first book comes out soon and I’m quite interested to see how it transitions from page to screen.
  6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – The Red Queen was the other book by a new author in 2015 that I really loved.  The other was Ember in the Ashes.  It was quite a debut.  I can’t wait to see what Mare will do now.
  7. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – It’s been over a year since Cassandra’s last series ended. She has filled the void with her novella series Tales from Shadowhunter Academy it hasn’t been the same.  Now we are moving from New York City to LA with Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorne five years after the end of The Mortal Instruments so of course the world is once again in peril and it’s mostly the Clave’s fault.  I do hope it’s better then the last 3.
  8. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I’ll admit that I was only so so on the first book but I think this series has real potential and I’m willing to give it a go.
  9. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – Magnus and friends stopped Ragarnok from happening at least for now and now he’s going to have help from his cousin Annabeth.  (Annabeth is going to be very busy this year) We know from the last book that Thor lost his hammer and judging by the title that is going to be a major part of this book but he won’t be the only God as we also know that Loki has been pulling strings for a long time. Things should get interesting.
  10. The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – Now I’m not sure if this book is really going to come out this year or not but according to Goodreads, it’s scheduled for 11/3 so *crosses fingers* Paige has taken over the syndicate only to be betrayed by her former boss.  It’s time to start a revolution against Scion but I have a feeling they won’t go down without a fight.

And so many more books I want to read and not to mention try to complete our reading challenges. It’s going to be a busy reading year.  How about you? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

Books that Rocked My Face off in 2015

This year it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 books as there were so many books I really loved this year.  So to narrow it down, I had to ask myself which ones was I still thinking about even after I started reading the next book?  Those are ones I choose for the list. (These are really in no particular order

  1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – This book I really wish I read when I was a teenager as so many of the messages I could have really used.  You would almost think that a book about teenage beauty queens stuck on a desert island would be caricatures but they weren’t.  They were very like girls I know or were me.  I could pretty much identify with all of their struggles.  Plus it was a lot of fun.
  2. Winter by Marissa Meyer -I am really going to miss this series so much.  Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter made me laugh, cheer, angry ( on their behalf) and proud of all of them.  Winter was by far the longest book of the series and it was non-stop action.  There wasn’t any filler or time to relax.  It was the perfect ending.
  3. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – A little bit Harry Potter and a little bit of fanfiction.  It was a great final book to an imaginary series.  I was surprised by many of the twists and turns and touched by the romance.
  4. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – I loved the first book in the series and so I was nervous this one wasn’t going to be as good.  It was better.  Now my only complaint is that she doesn’t write fast enough.
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – It was fun, tense and very interesting.  I thought I knew where things were going and then I didn’t.  I’m looking forward to what lays in store in the next book.
  6. Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow – This wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  It was surprising.  It was fresh.  It had the sassiest A.I. in the history of A.I.’s.  For that reason alone, you all should read it.
  7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – It was sorta historical fiction with a dystopian vibe and boy did it work.  It was brutal and it was tense but entertaining.
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – This was very much an Ocean 11’s style caper with a little bit of a magic and darkness in only the way that Leigh Bardugo could do it.  It’s set in the same world but after the events of her last series but a completely different vibe.
  9. The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson – This is the third book in the series so the stakes are so much higher and it didn’t disappoint.  It’s full of humor, action and ghosts.  What else can I say.
  10. The Rose Society by Marie Lu – This is the second book in the series that tells the story from the villainess point of view (though I’m not convinced that Adelina is the real villain but whatever) It was intense and was surprising, maybe a little problematic but worth the read.

There was two books that I enjoyed so much that I read the other books in the that were out in the series this year too.  So I thought they would get their own category.

  1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas  – For those looking for a Game of Thrones fill in until George publishes the next book, I recommend this.  It  was has all the twists and turns and is not afraid to kill of a character or two.  I’m never really sure where it’s going to take us next but I know it will be well worth the ride.
  2. Talon series by Julie Kagawa – It has a little bit of everything.  A Romeo and Juliet Love, a love triangle, a betrayal and yeah dragons.  Who doesn’t love dragons?  Ok, the idea isn’t that original but I do love it anyway.

Review: Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

frozen tidesWith all of our talk about whether or not to reread previous books before starting the latest book in a series, this should have been one that I did that.  This series has so many characters, subplots, locations and so many dead characters it’s hard to keep track.  It’s very Games of Thrones like that.  Which is actually what I think it’s trying to be or at least the teen version or it.  While not as ambitious, it’s the same concept of multiple parties fighting over thrones and kingdoms but also looking for the mysterious kindred that grant to the owners with unprecedented powers to rule them all.  So there is a lot going on.  *Spoilers* Continue reading