Review: Inferno by Julie Kagawa

inferno The final book in the Talon Saga was kinda of a disappointment in the sense that I didn’t really love it only liked it.  It took a really long time to get going and for the final book the lack of urgency was a strange.  The characters kept telling each other about how the end is coming soon but really didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to prepare for it until they had no choice to and then things Finally got going.  But damn, we had to go through a lot of things to get there.  There was the unnecessary trip to Brazil to meet an ancient dragon that was never mentioned before and there was another trip to Asia for the that we all knew how it would end up.  There were past mentioned characters showing up and taking up time for no reason but fit in one more heroic arc?  I don’t know.  The finale however was worth it though.  The final battle between the Rogues, St. George and Talon made up the lackluster beginning.  It had drama, suspense and melodrama all wrapped into one.  I appreciate the theme of the series being that even though we may be different, what we all want out of life is the same.  We want to live in peace and have freedom of choice.  And authoritative governments are bad.  The best way to bring down an oppressive regime is to overcome our differences and work together and learn from each other.  I very important message for today.  That’s what you should take away from this series in the end. I just wished the last book wasn’t so bogged down in so many side trips.

Quick Review: Legion by Julie Kagawa

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**I was granted a digital ARC of this book and read it a month ago.  Thank you Harlequin Teen for the advance**

Four books in and we finally learn what makes Ember so darn special and it’s creepy.  I won’t spoil it but let’s just say I look forward to seeing the leader of Talon being taken down.  She’s a real piece of work.  I also think she’s another argument as to why immortality or really Really long life spans are not a good idea.  It makes people do some really crazy insane things.  Anyways, fans of this series will be happy with this installment.  It picks up right where the cliffhanger ending of Soldier ended.  The stakes are higher now that the truth of the Order of St. George and Talon have been exposed.  The Order is complete disarray but Talon has a secret that we as readers know about but the characters don’t. So while, it was a good idea at the time to expose the leader of the Order, it also played right into Talon’s hands.  Talon has become the real big bad of the series.  The Order, while not at all innocent, has been played just as much as everyone else.  Their own prejudices and inability or willingness to try to think differently was their ultimate undoing.  As for our heroes.  They all do some growing up.  Constant near death experiences will do that to you.  The biggest lesson they have learned is if they are going to defeat Talon, they are going to have to work together and reach out to new allies, even if that means reaching out to old enemies too.  I believe there is only one more book left which is good because the ending really seems to have set up a potentially epic final battle between our heroes and Talon.  It’s been a fun ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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: Soldier by Julie Kagawa

soldierI think this was the best book of the series so far.  The world and the characters are now well established so we can get on with the conflict of the story.  When we last left off, Garret left after hoping that Ember would tell him to stay.  Ember was too raw from the fight with her brother and her dragon side feelings for Riley to say what she truly felt and let him go.  They both understood that they are two different species so it probably wouldn’t work out.  That’s how they justified it at least.   Garret has gone to London where St. George is headquarters to get answers to if the order knows that their are good dragons, while Ember and Riley try to track down who is leaking information on his safe houses.  Garret soon finds information that St. George and Talon have been working together and have set a trap for Ember and Riley so off he goes to rescue her.  Meanwhile, Ember’s twin brother Dante gets promoted to a secret project that we won’t know it’s true purpose until the next book but it’s definitely not good.  Even though he is all in with Talon, he is having some reservations about what he is doing but not enough to stop him from doing what he is told at all cost.  So the stakes are much higher.  Both Talon and St. George are after them and only if they can work together to break up the alliance.  Ember is starting to come into her potential about how powerful she can be but in doing so she finds that what she has to do to survive is not always easy to live with.  Killing is never easy.  Garret knows that St. George is corrupt but it doesn’t make going against his former order and brothers any easier.  Also Riley has been shut down for so long that it’s hard for him to open up to Ember.  This book was far more action packed then previous book with a pretty big cliffhanger.  One can only hope that everyone gets out alive or at least get a Jon Snow treatment.

My To-Read List for the next month or so

My to-read pile is going to get a little bit of work out in the next couple of weeks.  Not only is the The Raven King finally coming (just in case you haven’t heard) but several other books I’ve been waiting to read are also coming out. Apparently May 3 is the day to release books with four books on my list. It’s also the time for series to end with The Raven Cycle, The 5th Wave, The Selection, and the Taking series are all coming into their conclusions. It’s strange how so many of my series are ending this year but I guess that’s just the way it worked out.  This is all great but I wish they all were spaced out a little bit. I can only read so much at a time.

April 26

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Soldier (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa

May 3

The Hidden Oracle (The Trails of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Invision (The Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

May 10

The Countdown (The Taking #3) by Kimberley Derting

May 24

The Last Star (The 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey

I obviously have a lot of reading to do. What are you looking forward to reading in the upcoming weeks?

 

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.