My Top 10 Books I read in 2016

I will say this about 2016, I read a lot of good books this year.  It was hard to narrow it down to just 10.  So without further ado and in no particular order.

  1. hammer-of-thorHammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – So it was hard to pick between this one and his other book Riordan wrote, The Hidden Oracle, but I choose this one because of the characters.  I love that Rick has added diverse characters to his worlds.  Not to mention his characters get sassier with every book.
  2. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – A cross between historical fiction and dystopian novel.  It’s quite a thrill ride and it left a real cliffhanger as to how the series is going to end.
  3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – After a so-so first book this one was a real game changer for the series as a hole.  It delved into matters trauma and emotional abuse but still keep the story flowing.
  4. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater – It’s Maggie and It’s Gansey, Blue, Ronan, Adam and Noah.  It’s the perfect ending to a perfect story.
  5. Half LostHalf Lost by Sally Green – It was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking.  Nate didn’t have an easy life and nothing about this book was easy too.  It was very true to life.  It doesn’t always turn out the way you expect and in war there are always painful loses.
  6. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Now this is a fun series.  It’s a dystopian fantasy with X-Men qualities.  Mare is not perfect.  She’s complicated and conflicting but she means well and the writing only gets better with each book.
  7. Pyromantic by Lish McBride – This book doesn’t actually come out until next year so I’ll wait to tell you about it but let’s just say you are going to love it.
  8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – It’s a crime caper and a fantasy.  You root for the the thieves and the con men to win.  It’s wonderful.
  9. Ms. Marvel No Normal by G. Willow Wilson – likable and charming, Kamala Khan is worthy addition to the Avengers.  She proves that it doesn’t matter where you come from and what you believe, you can still be a superhero.
  10. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu – Another great ending to well thought out series.  I may have qualms about who the real villain was but I think it was heartbreaking as it was beautiful.

Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

the raven kingOkay I’ve been trying to write this review for days now.  How do I put into words how much I loved this book? How much I loved this series? And how much I’m going to miss these characters? I’m not sure I can. On so many levels this was everything I wanted it to be. It was atmospheric. It was at times intense. It was romantic. It was creepy. It was surprising. It had happy endings and ambiguous endings. It answered a lot questions but asked some more. In true Maggie fashion, she closed the door on some story lines but kept others open to interpretation.  It had a little bit of everything.  I was left wanting more because I am not ready to say goodbye but at the same time I’m satisfied with how she ended it.  It’s been over a week since I finished it and I still have so many Feels!  I guess I’m not going to write about the plot or the characters because I written about both many times and I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say this. This series should be read by all.  Not just by Teens or adults who read YA.  It should be read by fantasy lovers even though it’s not a straight fantasy.  It should be read by literary fans even though many might turn their nose up to that.  It should be read by history lovers, especially those Anglo Saxon fans. It should just be read!.  So that’s it.  I say see you later to Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, Maura, Calla, Mr. Gray, Henry and Persephone.  This may be our last visit but here’s hoping we will meet again some time down the road.

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 7

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Tomorrow’s the day!  The Raven King is finally going to be out in the world and all of our questions will be answered.  It’s exciting but also little sad.  I really don’t want this series to end. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, Maura, Calla,  The Gray Man or even Orla.  All things must come to an end so how will it end?  How will Gansey die and how long will he be dead?  Will one of the favors they ask of Glendower be to bring him back? What about Noah, will he still be dead after this?  Will any of them get their happily ever after?  Will Ronan live out his life at the Barns with his brother and Mother?  Will Adam leave Virginia behind?  Will Blue go off to college and travel the world?  Will Glendower be everything they were hoping he would be?

Here’s what I think.  I don’t think that Gansey will stay dead for very long.  I think he will die and Noah will sacrifice his chance to live again for Gansey’s chance to live again.  Finally allowing him to cross over to where you go after you die.  I’m not sure how the third sleeper will play out but I think that they will have to wake Glendower to help fight it.  I do think Adam and Blue will go to college out of state but will always come back every summer to hang with Gansey and Ronan who will want to stay.  That’s what I think but who knows.  I’m probably completely off.  The Good news is that it’s only one more day until we’ll find out.

Part 1: The Role of New characters

Part 2: The Role of Characters who are not new but new to Henrietta..

Part 3: The Role of Persephone’s death.

Part 4: The Role of Ronan

Part 5: The Role of Gansey

Part 6:The Role of Love and Relationships

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 6

the raven kingLet’s talk relationships.  Honestly I think the friendships are the most important relationships in the series but I think most people focus on the romantic relationships.  There is Bluesey aka Blue and Gansey and Adnan (or is Rodam? I’m not really sure what their ship is called) aka Ronan and Adam.  Obviously, Blue and Gansey are a go.  We started to see their relationship bloom in Blue Lily Lily Blue.  They tried to keep their attraction a secret as they didn’t want to upset Adam and honestly that was good call.  Though, I wonder how hurt Adam is really going to be knowing that they can never kiss.  I guess it will still hurt anyway that she would chose Gansey over him.  I think now he can handle it as he seems to be in a much better head space than where he was at the beginning of the book.  We also know that Blue and Gansey will kiss.  We knew that was going to happen since The Raven Boys. We got a glimpse of what it’s going to be like when Blue stepped in the tree and saw them kiss.  She saw how Gansey knew what kissing Blue would mean but wanting to anyway.  I think this goes back to what I said yesterday.  Gansey knows he’s going to die, he might as well go out doing what he wants.  But when will it happen?  Early on in the book? Right before they find Glendower?  Will they only get that one kiss?  Will it end in tears? I’m pretty sure it’s a yes to those last questions.

What about Ronan and Adam?  We know that Ronan is gay.  I do love his coming out or really his lack of one.  I like that Maggie wrote his sexual preference the way she wrote the others.  It didn’t need to be a big reveal because if you were following his arc, you would have seen his preference.  Adam on the other hand is not so clear cut.  He was fully infatuated with Blue in The Raven Boys.  I think in The Dream Thieves it was more just him wanting to be loved.  Wanting to be wanted and he thought Blue was the person who was going to be that for him.  By the end, they sort of realized that wasn’t going to happen.  Things were a little awkward in Blue Lily Lily Blue but I think by the end they found a balance between the two of them.  Adam also starts to suspect Ronan’s feelings for him and is flattered.  Ronan is a rich, attractive guy.  He could have anyone he wanted so for him to want Adam, made him special.  Made him feel wanted. Which is what Adam wants.  I think Ronan has hope that Adam will reciprocate his feelings.  He shows that in the hand cream he gives Adam and the trust he has in Adam when he tells him about Matthew.  He shows Adam his vulnerability, which is not easy for someone like Ronan.  Now, Maggie has said on twitter that she wrote the two kisses that fans have been waiting for.  I can only assume she means these two since the only other couple is Maura and the Gray Man and they have already kissed. So how will Ronan and Adam’s kiss go down?  Will it be a moment of shared grief over loss?  A moment of curiosity on one or both of their parts? Will it be the beginning of a relationship or the realization that they are just friends?  All we do know is that they are going to be a lot more kissing in this book then probably in all the other books combined.

Part 1: The Role of New characters

Part 2: The Role of Characters who are not new but new to Henrietta..

Part 3: The Role of Persephone’s death.

Part 4: The Role of Ronan

Part 5: The Role of Gansey

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 5

the raven kingRichard Campbell Gansey III, the once and future King. We’ve talked about his friends and their journey but what about Gansey?  Is he the only one who doesn’t have any kind of power? He must feel left out.  He must feel how Blue felt her whole life.  Maybe not.  Gansey was being very mysterious in Blue Lily Lily Blue with his visit to the faculty lounge and staying late after school.  What was he doing?  Does it have anything to do with how he knows he’s going to die.  If anyone has read or listened to the first chapter, you know that Gansey has figured out what his voice on the tape of St. Marks Eve meant.  He knows that he is going to die.  Did this realization start when he was in the cave and heard the wasps?  Or was it when Persephone died?  Who knows but now that he does know, how is going to deal with the knowledge. I think he is going to throw everything into the search.  If he is going to die, finding Glendower is going to be his final thing he does. Let’s not forget the kiss.  Blue’s kiss of death. Haha, Just kidding. Kinda.  That’s tomorrow’s topic.

Part 1: The Role of New characters

Part 2: The Role of Characters who are not new but new to Henrietta..

Part 3: The Role of Persephone’s death.

Part 4: The Role of Ronan

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 3

the raven king

 

The death of Persephone was a big blow to everyone.  For one thing, she always seemed not immortal but not mortal either.  So for her to actually die was a surprise.  It also put some urgency back into the search for Maura and Glendower.  I think her death will have more impact in The Raven King.  1. The triumvirate of Maura, Calla, Persephone has irrevocably been broken up.   The power of the number 3 is brought up many times in Blue Lily Lily Blue.  The three of them often talk about how their powers are the strongest together.  How will they be now that she is gone?  Persephone also talked about possibly having Adam one day replacing one of them but never says who.  She dismisses this notion but did she know that her time was short?  Who will step up to take her place and be Maura and Calla’s third?  Adam?  Blue? Gwenllian? Artemus?

Part 1: The Role of New characters

Part 2: The Role of Characters who are not new but new to Henrietta..

 

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 2

the raven king Yesterday we discussed a little bit about the new characters that were introduced in Blue Lily Lily Blue.  Today, I’m going to discuss Colin Greenmantle and Artemus.  They were both characters previously mentioned in earlier books but we didn’t actually see them until Blue Lily Lily Blue.

Colin Greenmantle: The last time we saw Colin, he was walking away from Piper, the Gray Man and a thug before they entered cave.  He had just witnessed Piper kill Jesse Dittley and was not having it.  He was already about to leave after Adam and Ronan paid him a visit with their fake but very convincing evidence of a terrible crime and the death of Jesse was enough for him to peace out.  Is he really gone though? The man who put in so much time, effort and money in to finding the Greywaren.  He moved to Henrietta and became the latin teacher in hopes of ruining the Gray man and he’s just going to walk away? Especially now that Piper has gone over the deep end and will soon be a missing person.  I know that the evidence that Ronan dreamt up was enough to scare him but is it enough to keep him away?

Artemus: Last time we saw Artemus he was being rescued by Blue with the help of the Gray Man and Maura.  He’s Blue’s father and Maura’s ex-lover.  Things are probably going to get a little awkward since the Gray Man is currently dating or at least seeing Maura now.  We really don’t know much about Artemus beyond his past history with Maura and according to Gwenllian, he is the one who tied her up.  That would suggest that he is as old as she is and somehow involved with  Glendower?  From the beginning, it has be a part of Maura’s story arc to find him.  It was the reason that she invited Neeve to come stay with them in The Raven Boys.  Now that she has found him, what’s next?  He obviously has some connection to Glendower and is a magician of some kind.  So how does he fit in the search for Glendower and how does he fit in Blue and Maura’s life?

Part 1: The Role of New characters

 

Discussion: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater Part 1

the raven king We are officially a week from the release of The Raven King!  It’s so close!  It’s almost here!  AHHHH!!!  Okay, I’m done freaking out.  Throughout this month, I have posted my thoughts of the last three books as I re-read The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily Lily Blue to refresh my memory of what happened so far. Now we are going to look ahead to The Raven King, itself and hopefully get some discussion going on what we think is going to happen, what we are looking forward to finally reading (a few kisses come to mind) and how we think it’s going to end.  So let’s get this started.

In Blue Lily Lily Blue, we were introduced to three new characters.  Henry Cheng, Piper Greenmantle and Gwenllian. Henry is a fellow student at Aglionby.  Piper was Colin Greenmantle’s wife and the real antagonist of the book.  Gwenllian the daughter of Glendower who the gang finds in his robber’s grave. Let’s break it down one at a time.

Henry Cheng: The last time we saw him, he was protesting the faculty denying his petition for a student council when scaffolding fell down all around Adam. It should have killed Adam but he used his Cabeswater connection to save himself.  Maggie has said that Henry is going to have a bigger role in The Raven King but what?  He probably has some questions about Adam after witnessing his near death and I have some questions as to what he was doing out so late when Blue and Gansey found him and his car.  Is he connected to Cabeswater somehow? Is he also searching for Glendower?

Piper Greenmantle: The last time we saw her, she was stuck in the cave and waking up the third sleeper with the help of the reemerged Neeve.  Obviously this is not good because this was the sleeper that everyone kept warning not to wake. Even more bad news, it sounds like the third sleeper is a gigantic spider of some sort.  What role will Piper play, since she is obviously not dead and now has a favor thanks to creepy spider sleeper guy.  And what does the fact that it was only two of them to wake him up instead of the preferred three?

Gwenllian: The last time we saw her, she was helping the gang rescue Maura from the cave.  We know that she is like Blue and is a Mirror.  She sings and is annoying to all the women at 300 Fox Way.  As the daughter of Glendower, she probably can help them out in their quest to find him, if they can get a straight answer from her and her powers could be beneficial to the women in 300 Fox Way.  Not to mention give us more insight in to Artemus.  What role will she play in the final book?