In Memoriam of all the Series that Ended in 2016

In the tradition of award shows every way, we at Stacks would like to recognized those series that are no longer with us.  They have ended.  They and solved all their mysteries and tied up any loose ends.  We were said to see them go but they will always be remembered for the joy that brought to our lives.

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Quick Review: Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly

sea spell Let’s be honest this series is nothing but fluff, not that is a bad thing or anything. We all need a little fluff in our lives.  It was entertaining but I’m glad that this was the final book because I’m not sure what more they could do.  That being said it was definitely left open for a spin off series.  The mermaids or merls (I’m not going to miss the cutesy sea inspired words) have finally regrouped with their talismans and take out Sera’s uncle and the evil mage Orfeo and his monster.  Sera, Neela, Ava, Ling, Becca and Astrid have all overcome their own trials to get to this point and worked together to win.  Astrid had the biggest arc of the ladies. She started off as standoffish and refused to help but after being shown kindness from the other girls, she knows that she has to help.  She sets off to find Orfeo in hopes of getting his talisman.  She expects to hate him but she finds that she starts to like him.  He does something that no one has been able to.  Give her back her magic and her pride.  He shows her the love and caring that has been denied to her since she lost the ability to sing.  Will she turn against her new friends? Of course not but there were times that I really couldn’t blame her if she did.  Sera grew from a girl fearful of not living up to her mother’s standard to true leader.  Becca learned to give up some control and trust others to help.  The others helped but had little to do throughout the series.  So yes it was fluff and not the greatest story of all time but it had it’s moments.  Anyone looking for a series to read on their summer vacation this isn’t a bad pick, as long as you don’t mind all the cutesy words.

Quick Review: Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

dark tideAs I read this book, I go back and forth being enthralled and “why am I reading this again?”  I’m interested enough in the story to keep reading to find out how it’s going to end but some of the cutesy words is well eye rolling.  I know that it takes place under the sea and they are mermaids but I find it annoying.  They call each other merls instead of girls but why don’t they call boys, moys or something like it?  It’s a small thing.  The other thing that bothers me is that there are six mermaids who must come together to stop the evil Orfeo but only Sera, Astrid and Becca seem to get the limelight.  Ling (who is on the cover) Neela and Ava are little more then afterthoughts.  I realized there are a lot of characters and not easy to give all them equal time but Marissa Meyer did a wonderful job of doing just that in the Lunar Chronicles so it is possible.  I want to know more about the other mermaids.  I was excited when I saw the cover and Ling on it.  The last time we saw the merl (god I hate that) she was captured by the big bad guy on her way to find her piece.  You would think that would be center stage but we don’t even get to Ling until 50-60 pages into the book.  The little we get from her is exciting as she tries to escape from Orfeo, find her piece and also escape from the work camp she is sent too.  At least she got a couple of chapters.  Ava got one and Neela none, which is weird since she was a big part of the last book.  Maybe that means we will get more of them in the final book coming out later this year but I have a feeling it’s going to be more of Sera and Astrid.  Not that I don’t like them but I want to know about the others.

There are just so many good books coming out!!!

I was looking at all the new books coming out in the next couple of months and THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS THAT I WANT TO READ!!  I’m already behind because The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare came out earlier this month. I have to get myself in gear.  Here are just a few titles that I can’t wait to read this fall.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, 9/29/15

Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan, 10/6/15

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, 10/6/15

The Rose Society (Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu, 10/13/15

Dark Tide (Waterfire Saga #3) by Jennifer Donnelly, 10/13/15

The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume One by Daniel Kraus, 10/27/15
The Iron Warrior (Iron Fey #7) by Julie Kagawa, 10/27/15
Manners and Mutiny(Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger, 11/3/15
Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer, 11/10/15
Frozen Tides (Fallen Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes,12/15/15
Endure (Defy #3) by Sara B. Larson, 12/29/15
I’m sure I’ve missed a few but one thing for sure, I’m going to be busy!  What books are your excited to read this fall?  Let me know in the comments if they are any I need to add.

Review: Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly

Featured imageJennifer Donnelly is a good author.  I love her adult series, The Tea Rose (well actually 2/3 of it.  The third book, The Wild Rose, I could do without) Most of books are historical fiction and you can tell she put in the time and effort to get the details of the time period right.  Even for her YA titles, Northern Lights and Revolution.  She knows how to tell a story that is full of romance and suspense that keeps you drawn in.  I guess that is what I was expecting with her Waterfire Saga.

The first thing you may have noticed as I did that Rogue Wave as did Deep Blue, the first book in the series, has a mermaid on the cover.  Clearly, this was not going to be her usual historical fiction novel.  I don’t think it ever says when exactly this novel takes place but I feel it’s implied it’s in modern day.  The Mer people are descendents from the lost city of Atlantis.  Some of who adapted to the water after the city drowned into the sea and formed six different kingdoms in our oceans and seas.  Our heroine, Serafina, is the princess of the Miromara, a Mer kingdom that spans the Mediterranean, Baltic, Adriatic, and Black Seas. On the day of she was supposed to be crown the heir of Miromara, they are attacked and she is forced to flee with her best friend, Neela.  A princess from the Kingdom Matalia, located in the Indian Ocean.  After many trials and tribulation, they find their way to the River Olt, where the famed Lele witches live.  They meet up with four other princesses from the other Mer kingdoms and are told they are the descendents of the originals and only they can find the six talismans that will stop the big bad monster and save their world.  Got it? I forgot to mention that Serafina was supposed to have been betrothed to Mahdi, the heir to Matali Empire and Neela’s cousin but that didn’t happen because all hell broke loose or and Mahdi may have been cheating on her.  It wouldn’t be a true YA novel if it didn’t have some teen angst, right?

Rogue Wave starts as the six Mermaid Princess separate and go and find their talismans. Serafina, goes back to Miromara because she is sure there is something about Merrow, the mermaid she is descendent from and is also the one who hid all the talismans but of course that’s a dangerous since her home is in ruin and now ruled by Traho and his deathriders, who attacked them.  Neela is heading back to Matali to try to warn her parents and hope they will take action.  They both are constantly being chased by death riders and others who are also looking for the talisman but they are both smart and determined and find ways to get out of trouble.

The first book I thought was only kinda, meh.  I didn’t have a problem with the story or the characters but It didn’t seem to have a lot of energy.  I like Jennifer Donnelly as an author, so I guess I have certain expectations when it comes to her work and this I feel is not her best.  I mean, props for her for trying something new but I feel it’s a little bit by the numbers.  It’s like she had a checklist of everything that should be in a YA fantasy novel and checked things off one by one.  Also the writing style is a bit off.  I think they are going for a little younger end of the YA spectrum so the 13-15 crowd because it’s very tame.  There is nothing anyone would be upset or offended about it. It’s a little surprising because as I said before, she has written YA novels before without dumbing them down.  That may not be the best way to describe but she does spend a lot of time recapping what has already happened or spelling things out so the reader won’t miss it.  it’s unnecessary and also slows down the pace of the book.  Oh and don’t get me started on the cutesy sea lingo.  Instead of calling each other girls, they say merls and they use currensea not currency.  There are so many of them that a glossary is included at the end.

Rogue Wave is a better effort then Deep Blue but it’s still not up to her standards.  It took her two books but by the end of this one I see that this a real purpose for her characters.  It’s more then just collect six talismans and save the world. It’s also a great book of female friendships.  Serafina and Neela’s friendship is great.  They are strong and there for each other.  We have barely had a chance to get to know the other four, Ling, Becca, Ava and Astrid but their was a beginning of a real bond between the them. Well the five of six. Astrid is the daughter of the leader who was first thought to behind the attacks and was seen as a outsider.  I think that now that we have a real sense of what their mission is and who they are really up against, it’s only going to get better.  So Miss Donnelly, you get another chance.  It’s not a great series but one I’m willing to see how it goes.