Review: Frost Like Night

Frost Like Night
Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The ending is so fantastic and satisfying that my initial impulse was to give this book a 5. Wow. That’s the way to successfully wrap up a fantasy trilogy.

I have settled at a 4, just because there were some things in the first half that weren’t quite as smooth for me. Overall, this is an excellent YA fantasy series, set in a fascinating and creative world, with plenty of dark magic to suit my dark side, and enough hope to please my often hidden light side.

It’s a definite win, and I confess part of my confusion at the start might have been due to the gap of time from when I read the first two books. If you have time for a reread, I think that would be ideal. If not, definitely read a good summary or synopsis of the first two books before diving in, because it’s a complex world with a lot of characters.

Pages: 496

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Review: Kids of Appetite

Kids of Appetite
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed both the diversity in this story and the excellent writing. It’s easier to understand than Mosquitoland (his previous novel), which sounds like a positive, and in some ways, it was a positive. Just not in all the ways.

There were a few gimmicks that didn’t pan out so well when listening to the audiobook, including the repetition of the same sentences 100 times. That was pure agony to a listener, despite how well the reader tried to vary the sentence in both volume and emotion, but if you were reading instead, you would just flip the page and not read that sentence 100 times, which would be less torturous.
I understand that it was a writing risk and was intended to make a point and impact emotions, which it actually did. Visually, I am sure those pages were fascinating, but the point grew old somewhere around the 11th time the reader repeated the sentence on the audiobook. I had to fast forward by 37 or go insane.

Still, that’s a very minor complaint. Overall, it’s an interesting story. It’s a mystery but not at all intense, despite the dramatic setup. The suspense level leans more towards a curious vibe, rather than the deep psychological worry/fear that some stories will inflict upon you. I thought the way the story panned out was pretty obvious, but I still enjoyed the different characters and the way their stories overlapped.

It alternates some between present to past which is done in a way that is interesting enough not to make you feel like the whole book is backstory, which is kind of impressive as basically the whole book is backstory. I think this would appeal to reluctant readers and teens in difficult home situations, as most of the teens in this story came together out of challenging situations.

Pages: 352

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Review: Places No One Knows

Places No One Knows
Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an emotional read with a magical realism thing happening that is quite fascinating.

I personally wanted to shake the MC a few times for treating her dream world as being completely separate from her real world, but then I guess if I started dreaming myself into places I knew I wasn’t supposed to be, I might be a bit confused and overwhelmed too.

Pages: 384

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Review: This Savage Song

This Savage Song
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. It’s about monsters, so that’s awesome. The world itself is fascinating, though the world building at times is a bit forced. I like it better when I learn a bit as I go, rather than having the backstory forced on me, which is how I felt at the start of the novel.

However, I have to say things smoothed out for me after a few chapters, and I really got into this. The characters were interesting. Even though I don’t feel like a whole lot actually happens in the start of the book, the ending kicked things up a notch. I’m hopefully that this is a great starting point for an interesting series, and the next book just blows my socks off.

There were a few things that seemed a bit inconvenient, and it initially seemed to be leaning hard towards romance over fantasy. However, by the end, I would say the fantasy factor was very high, and the romance factor was extremely low. I can’t decide how I feel about that, because I love fantasy. That makes me wish more time had been thrown into the issues of the world, rather than the two main characters and the will-they-or-won’t-they-be-a-thing conundrum.

Despite how wordy this review is, I really did enjoy this story and world, and when book 2 comes out, I will definitely read it. I am hoping book 2 embraces the monsters even more, because when you have a world that dark and vicious, I just want the writing to be a bit darker and . . . bloodier? More painful? Messier? I wanted some additional ugly oomph, I guess, if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn’t.

Pages: 464

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Visions Trilogy by Lisa McMann

Crash (Visions, #1)Crash by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This concept was fascinating (the MC gets visions of a future disaster in which someone she cares about dies, and she has to decide if/how to try and stop or change it). It’s also a quick read, and Lisa McMann has always been a solid YA writer.

Pages: 256

Bang (Visions, #2)Bang by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book 2 is nice and edgy, which keeps things interesting.

Pages: 272

Gasp (Visions, #3)Gasp by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a solid conclusion to a very readable trilogy with enjoyable characters.

Pages: 304

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Review: A Torch Against the Night

A Torch Against the Night
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This didn’t move in the direction or at the speed I expected. I loved book one to extremes, and I confess I was quite sick and very distracted as I listened to this on audiobook. I probably should have waited, but I was anxious to read book 2. I am not sure if my love decreased due to the story or due to my poor reading behaviors and attention span while consuming this story.

Overall, I still enjoyed it, though it didn’t make as much progress, in terms of the storyline, as I thought it would. I think I will listen to it again, right before book 3 is published, at which point I may change my rating.

I still love these characters and am fascinated by the world.

The villains are incredibly well-written and truly horrific.

Pages: 464

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Review: Steelheart

Steelheart
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an action-packed super villain story with some excellent twists. I was a bit sidetracked while reading (on audiobook), so I may be selling the story short with 4 stars. I spaced out, upon occasion, but I think that was likely me, and not the book.

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I plan to continue the series.

Pages: 416

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