A Pick Me Up for Broken Things – How Snyder’s Healer Series Healed my Soul

The Healer Series has healed my fantasy deprived soul. I used to read so much fantasy and lately I was mostly unhappy with what I read and I missed stories, worlds, and characters that would captivate me. I felt as if something in me was broken. The joy I usually deprived from fantasy books was gone – maybe even lost. But then the Healer Series by Maria V. Snyder came along. This trilogy – Touch of Power, Scent of Magic, and Taste of Darkness – fed three ravenous beasts within me: the thirst for action, believable friendships and world building.

I Need To Catch My Breath – Action Packed Storylines That Don’t Slow Down

Just as her Study Trilogy the action was fast paced. I enjoyed the setting and the world building, but the incredible fast pace, the lack of narrative breaks and therefore the amount of running, hunting, being hunted and fighting the protagonists had to go through, captured me from the first to the last page. There was barely a break for the poor guys to catch a breath.

Cross My Heart And Swear To Die – Friendships Save The World

Alongside the action, the friendships make up the core of the story – at least for me. They are believable, withstand opposition and hardship, are comical and endearing, and longstanding. Once I close the book, I start to miss them, as I felt like a member of that circle. The sidekicks are usually the most lovable characters in the book. Until this day I am always happy to see them again – in other stories or when rereading the old ones.

Take Me Away From Here – Building A World Where I’d Rather Be

Within a short time I am fully immersed in the world and often the magical, political, and social system that is new to me. I can see it, feel it, and I am familiar with it, still I discover even more throughout the entirety of the trilogy. Yet I believe, if those are continued I would learn so much more and still am surprised by it.

So far I have enjoyed Maria V. Snyder’s Study Trilogy and Healer Series. I have to admit that I am not as thrilled with the Glass Series (that is set in the same world as the Study Trilogy), but I will surely finish that as I want to continue my adventures in Ixia. If you need something to pick you up that you can’t put down – have a go.

Merken

Josephine Angelini – Dreamless (Starcrossed Trilogy #2)

Dreamless

paperback
publisher: Macmillan
published 2012
pages: 502

Book (English)

Blurb:

As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.
Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out. A ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.
As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. (Goodreads)

In (Very) Short:

+ second book in the Starcrossed trilogy
+ fun, entertaining read with Greek mythology thrown in the mix
+ met lots of old friends and met some new ones
+ Team Hector 🙂

My Opinion:

The second installment in the Starcrossed trilogy was a really great read. Dreamless started where Starcrossed has left the reader and though it has been quite some time since I read the first book, it was easy to get back into the series.

Helen is now descending into Hades every night desperately trying to fulfill her destiny (not gonna go into detail in case you haven’t read the first book). This time she is all alone (since nobody can go with her) until she finds another human down there – Orion.

I enjoyed the development in this book – how friendships develop and change once love gets mixed up in it all. Though the action part of the narrative was sometimes a little slow, it left much room for the exploration of characters, friendship, and also the power of dreaming.

I felt sorry for Helen and sometimes I wanted to shake and yell at the other characters for making her feel even worse. As if being in hell, getting hurt, and not getting any rest or sleep for months isn’t awful enough. And as much as I liked some of the characters in the first novel, they were really getting on my nerve this time, since they were not necessarily opposing Helen, but their actions and words put even more pressure on poor Helen.

I got reacquainted with old friends and the characters from the first book, but also met some new characters as well as some of the gods who cause mayhem. I did actually like Orion and did not mind the love triangle thing too much since it wasn’t so on the nose as the relationship between Lucas and Helen in Starcrossed. I am still Team Hector though. I don’t know why, but I sure like him.

Bottom Line:

It was a fun and entertaining read and a good continuation of the series. I am looking forward to the last installment of the trilogy.

Rating:

rating 4

Thomas Thiemeyer – Das Verbotene Eden: Logan und Gwen (#2)

This book is not published in English yet. I have no idea if it ever will be, but I will keep an eye and ear open and let you know. Look further down for a short review in English.

verbotene eden 2

Hardcover
Verlag: Knaur
veröffentlicht 2012
Seiten: 464

Book (Deutsch)

Klappentext:

Seit Juna aus dem Land der Frauen geflohen ist – mit einem Mann –, fühlt sich die junge Heilerin Gwen einsam und nichtswürdig. Sie schließt sich einem Spähtrupp an, der durch verlassene U-Bahn-Schächte in die Stadt der Männer vordringen soll. Doch der Einsatz scheitert grausam, und Gwen fällt in die Hände des jungen Kämpfers Logan, der sie als Sklavin verkaufen will. Logan aber hat die Rechnung ohne seine Gefühle gemacht – und setzt damit Ereignisse in Gang, die das Ende beider Welten bedeuten könnten … (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ 2. Buch in der Verbotene Eden Reihe
+ gute Umsetzung einer interessanten Idee
+ unterhaltsam, schnell, flüssig

Meinung:

Hierbei handelt es sich um das zweite Buch in der Reihe Das Verbotene Eden. Den ersten Teil habe ich als Hörbuch gehört und er hat mir gut gefallen. Die Idee, dass Männer und Frauen durch einen Virus dazu gebracht werden sich zu hassen und somit unterschiedliche Zivilisationen zu bilden, war sehr faszinierend. Und da das Hörbuch gut war, habe ich mir den zweiten Teil aus der Bibliothek mitgenommen.

Die Geschichte ähnelt dem ersten Teil, Logan und Gwen treffen aufeinander (d.h. Logan nimmt Gwen gefangen und will sie auf dem Sklavenmarkt verkaufen) und sind das erste Mal mit dem anderen Geschlecht konfrontiert. Während Gwen noch ihrer Gefährtin Juna hinterher trauert, die Protagonistin im ersten Teil der Trilogie, scheint Logan allem gegenüber doch etwas offener zu sein. Er ist gerade Champion seines Stammes geworden, was ihm den Respekt und die Loyalität des Stammesführers einbringt, aber auch den Neid dessen Sohnes und damit einen gefährlichen Gegner.

Der Geschichte an sich war sehr gut. Der Schreibstil war flüssig und die Handlung schnell und vorwärts treiben – wie bei einer Strömung, die einen sanft mitnimmt. Ich hätte gerne mehr über die Welt erfahre, leider kam das ein wenig kurz. Auch wenn der Leser mehr über die Zustände und ein wenig über die Geschichte von einzelnen Charakteren und damit über die Geschichte der dystopischen Welt erfährt, hätte ich trotzdem gerne mehr Hintergrundinformationen erhalten.

Und auch wenn die beiden Protagonisten keine Abklatsch der Protagonisten des ersten Teils und durchaus eigenständige Charaktere sind, konnte ich sei streckenweise nicht ganz fassen. Ich hatte ein paar Probleme mich mit ihnen zu identifizieren, da ich einfach einige der Entscheidungen nicht nachvollziehen konnte und auch nicht verstanden hab, wie blind man durch die Welt läuft. Ich habe einige Fallen schon gefühlte Kilometer vorher gesehen und trotzdem sind die beiden da blind hineingelaufen. Aber trotz meines Ningelns, war ich gut unterhalten.

Fazit:

Ein solider 2. Teil einer Reihe. Schnelle Handlung, flüssiger Schreibstil, eigenständige Protagonisten und keine plumpen Kopien des ersten Romans.

In English:

This is the second installment in a dystopian series. In the world where men and women hate each other and are at the brink of war, Logan and Gwen cross paths, well, Logan captures Gwen and intents to sell her on the slave market. But of course things change.

I have listened to the first installment as an audio book and I really enjoyed it. The premise was interesting: due to a virus men and women started to hate and kill each other and separated into different societies. While always at the brink of war, those tendencies have grown more certain after the first book. A group within each side tries to keep the sexes separate, while others realize that the effects of the virus slowly disappear.

Altogether this was a good 2nd installment; it was easy to read, fast-paced and fluent. However, I would have loved to learn more about the world that Thiemeyer had created, which he failed to provide. And although both characters are independent characters and no shallow copies of the two main protagonists in the first novel, I couldn’t quite grasp them. I did not understand the decision they made at times. I even saw traps a mile away and they still walk into them blindly despite the fact, that Thiemeyer tried to describe them as perceptive and intuitive.
But all in all, this was a good and entertaining read.

Rating:

rating 3

Rick Riordan – The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)

Throne of Fire

paperback
publisher: Puffin
published 2011
pages: 451

Book (English)

Blurb:

One Curse.
Two Heroes.
Five Days to Save the World.
Ever since the gods of ancient Egypt were unleashed on the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in big trouble. As descendants of the magical House of Life, they command certain powers. But now a terrifying enemy – Apophis, the giant snake of Chaos – is rising. If Carter and Sadie don’t destroy him, the world will end in five day’s time. And, in order to battle forces of Chaos, they must revive the sun God Ra – a feat no magician has ever achieved. Because first they must search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spell…
Can the Kanes destroy Apophis before he swallows the sun and plunges the earth to darkness … forever?

In (Very) Short:

+ 2nd installment of The Kane Chronicles
+ fast paced and good adventure
+ great world creation and writing
+ wonderful incorporation of Egyptian mythology

My Opinion:

This is the second installment of Riordan’s Kane Chronicles. This time around the Kane siblings and their minions/students try to stop Apophis from rising and plunging the world into chaos, which will happen in about five days time. So, no pressure there…

Just like the first book, the story is made up as a recording from the siblings send out into the world. After Sadie and Carter have recorded and told their 1st story and send it out into the world, many students (though you have to be descendant from an Egyptian pharaoh line to have any power at all) came to learn magic. Thus the story begins, when many students have arrived in Brooklyn and are currently taught by the Kanes. I really enjoyed this narrative frame and the implementation of it.

Riordan has a great gift of using and incorporating Egyptian mythology (with a little twist) and writes a fast paced and thrilling story. I still have my issues with the protagonist, I can’t help it. Though I understand where they are coming from and why they make their individual choices, both Carter and Sadie are still annoying. They follow their own individual desires (5 days till the world ends and Sadie has to get to London to have a birthday celebration with her friends. I get that you should live everyday to the fullest and I would probably agree if there was nothing to be done to stop this, but seriously…) and although they are the heroes, they are the ones that need rescuing all the time. The siblings cause or create a problem and someone else saves them, they cause another problem, the next person saves them. And so it continues…

Though a rant a bit, the world creation is fantastic and the writing fluent. It is a good adventure story and if you don’t want to think too much and just have action and story wash over you – this is great.

Bottom Line:

A good adventure story that has a few weaknesses, but entertains and washes over you like a relaxing read.

Rating:

rating 3

Trudi Canavan – The Traitor Queen (The Traitor Spy Trilogy #3)

Traitor Queen

paperback
publisher: Orbit
published 2013
pages: 518

Blurb:

Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels. The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors. Lorkin has also had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast forever. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ final installment of the Traitor Spy Trilogy
+ fluent and easy writing
+ even in the 6th book set in Sonea’s world there was still a lot to discover
+ I thoroughly enjoyed the book for its world creation and characters (maybe not all, but many)

My Opinion:

The Traitor Queen is the conclusion to The Traitor Spy Trilogy. If you have not read the previous two books please do not continue reading: Spoiler Alert.

The story continues where it had stopped in the last book and it did not get any less convoluted. There are still several storylines and perspectives present. While some of the story lines collide towards the end, the five narrative perspectives remain the same.

Lorkin is released from the Traitor Sanctuary to negotiate between the Guild and the Traitors. The Sachakan (who are the mortal enemy’s of the Traitors) imprison Lorkin to gain information which he does not share. This gives the guild the opportunity to send Sonea into Sachaka: officially to plead for her son, but unofficially to start negotiations with the Traitor Queen.

While the tensions between Sachakans and Traitors rise to the point of war, the Guild in Imardin is still busy trying to catch the Rogue magician that is running amok in the underworld and tries to gain control over the city.

The narrative is still slow and though I was expecting it to pick up pace, it did not really. The battle at the end was not epic, there was not a lot of danger and Sonea did nothing. I was most disappointed with that. Though I understand why she couldn’t do anything and I get that Lorkin was the one to be at the center of things, it was still disappointing. Lorkin is just not my favorite guy. He was a flat character that did not show a lot of development and was just a little boring.

And the attempt to make the Traitors look good and the Sachakans bad failed as well as the attempt to make Lorkin the hero. I get that the Traitors were constructed to be better than the Sachakans, but even though the flaws in the Traitor system were obvious, Lorkin and later the Guild tried to make them better than they were.

I was surprised that characters I loved in the previous books (going back to The Black Magicians Trilogy) were getting annoying. I really liked Dannyl once, but I was about to jump into the book and shake him. Cery was condemned to do nothing really, why I don’t know, but there you go.

Lilia, Anyi, Gol, and Kallen saved the Imardin storyline for me and Soneas’s temporary presence the Sachakan story line. I enjoyed spending time with them and they were interesting enough to hold up the book.

The writing and the world creation had the most to do with the good rating. I just love a great world where I can get lost in and that still offers so much to discover.  And although her trilogy might not have been as fast paced as the previous one, it is still marvelous to wander through her world and learn so many new things even in book six.

I know the ranting above might question my rating and my taste, but it really was a good book and it was okay that it wasn’t as fast paced as the previous trilogy (many of the characters did get older and slower 😉 ) because I was in the mood for exactly that.

Bottom Line:

A good conclusion to a trilogy, wonderful writing, fantastic world creation and enough things left unsolved for the other to potentially return to this world. I would pick it up again.

Rating:

rating 4

Trudi Canavan – The Rogue (The Traitor Spy Trilogy #2)

The Rogue

paperback
publisher: Orbit
published 2012
pages: 485

Blurb:

Discover the magic of Trudi Canavan with her brand new novel in the Traitor Spy Trilogy…
Living among the Sachakan rebels, Lorkin does his best to learn about their unique magic. But the Traitors are reluctant to trade their secrets for the Healing they so desperately want.
Meanwhile, Sonea searches for the rogue, knowing that Cery cannot avoid assassination forever — but the rogue’s influence over the city’s underworld, however, is far greater than she feared.
And in the University, two female novices are about to remind the Guild that sometimes their greatest enemy is found within… (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ 2nd installment in the Traitor Spy Trilogy
+ wonderful and complex world creation
+ reunited with old friends and met new characters
+ slow narrative pace that was right for me at the time, but might be too slow for others (not that action packed!!!)

My Opinion:

The Rogue is the second installment in The Traitor Spy Trilogy which in itself is the second trilogy centering around our main character Sonea. I met Sonea in The Black Magicians Trilogy and this trilogy is set 20 years later. I think one could read The Traitor Spy Trilogy without reading The Black Magicians Trilogy, but it might be more confusing. The world creation is very complex and the relationships between the characters would be less comprehensible without the first trilogy. If you haven’t read The Black Magicians Trilogy, you might not want to continue reading although I doubt I spoil things, you would just not understand.

If you did not read The Ambassador’s Mission (Book 1 in The Traitor Spy Trilogy) than: Spoiler Alert!

Sonea is now the Black Magician in Imardin and not allowed to leave the city. Having to accept Black Magic as necessity to defend the Allied Lands and the Guild was difficult for magicians, thus they restricted Sonea’s movement and life so the citizen would feel save.

Sonea’s son Lorkin has left Imardin to become the Ambassador’s apprentice in Sachaka, where he was attacked. He was saved by a slave, who is part of a group referred to by the Sachakans as Traitors. The traitor slave takes Lorkin to the Traitor sanctuary. Here he tries to establish relations between the traitors and the Guild. Sonea, who had to remain in Imardin, is busy protecting her old friend Cery from a new thief lord, who is also a magician – a rogue. At the same time two novices show the Guild that their biggest scare comes from within the Guild.

There are many different story lines combined in this trilogy: five different story lines narrated from five different perspectives. The switch between these narrative strands occurs quite frequently and can be a little bit of a challenge, but I got used to this quickly. Since there are not many long breaks between each narrative, the risk of forgetting and having difficulties of finding your way back into that story line is quite low.

While we meet many characters that we have known from the early books, there are many new characters. Some of them are sadly a little flat and not as intriguing as the old characters. I enjoyed reuniting with old friends again, but was also open to meeting new ones. However, the new characters themselves were less likable than the old ones. Lorkin (Sonea’s son) was bothering me a lot, Lilia was very naive (while I saw what was gonna happen to her a mile away), and Tyvara and her Traitors were also a little annoying at times. Though I understand that we were suppose to like the Traitors, the flaws in their system were just too big and the people were way to stubborn for my part.

The narrative pace might have been to slow for some people, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the complexity of the story, I enjoyed the world creation and was happy to find my way back to Imardin, but I also learned so much more about Sachaka and the Duna tribes. I was happy to spend time with Sonea, Dannyl, Lilia and Rothen. It was a good read and I was looking forward to finishing the trilogy.

Bottom Line:

A good read with a constant narrative pace, wonderful world creation, a fluent writing, and old and new characters.

Rating:

rating 4

 

Marie Lu – Legend

legend

paperback
publisher: Penguin Books
published 2011
pages 295

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Los Angeles, California, Republic of America
He is Day, the boy who walks in the light.
She is June, the girl who seeks her brother’s killer.
On the run and undercover, they meet by chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither knows the other’s past. But Day murdered June’s brother and she has sworn to avenge his death.

In (Very) Short:

+ first part of a trilogy, young adult dystopian novel
+ fast paced and plot driven
+ story is narrated in alternating points of view
+ teasing of bigger conspiracies within the world creation

My Opinion:

Legend by Marie Lu is the first part in yet another trilogy. After some heavy-duty theory reading, I needed something light and fast and predictable. Although it was (for me) light and fast, it was not as predictable as I thought it would be – apart from the love thing.

In a world were the plague is a constant threat and only the rich and wealthy are protected by vaccines, two very different characters collide. Both have grown up in different social circles, each brought up to different ideological believes. When June tries to find the person that killed her brother, she meets Day – the master criminal the whole country is after. While June tries to expedite information from Day, both discover that a lot more is going on behind closed doors of the government research facilities. (I don’t want to go into more detail when it comes to the plot since it could potentially spoil your reading.)

I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and very action driven. The two points of view from which the story is told – Day and June – add tension and also allow deeper character development in this plot driven novel.
The writing is fluent and Legend is set in an interesting world with a lot of secrets. Although the love relationship was predictable, the world creation is great and the secrets, that are teased, are so incredibly fascinating that I really have to continue this series. I like my little and my big conspiracies. I can’t wait to find out what the government is really doing and what is up next for the duo.

Bottom Line:

A fast paced book that is fun and entertaining, very plot driven, yet does not lack character development.

Rating:

rating 4