Mini Reviews: Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine, Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

Posted March 1, 2017 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 1 Comment Tags: ,

I received this book for free from BEA16 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Reviews: Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine, Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini TaylorFrostblood by Elly Blake
Series: Frostblood Saga #1
Published by Little on January 10th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: BEA16
AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.
All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king's tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.
Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

So, here’s the deal with this one. I was really excited to read it because I love fantasy books with magic and romance in them. But then I started to read and while I liked Ruby fine enough and the opening scene was exciting, it turned out that it just all felt very familiar. Not in a way that it seemed to have actually copied any specific books but it just reminded me of a lot of books that I’ve read before. In fact, I finished this one about a week ago and there’s really not much that’s stuck with me since then. It’s really disappointing, especially for what’s suppose to be a new epic fantasy series, that it was really just so boring and flat. The writing was fine and the plot was fine but nothing was special or unique to this book. Also, it seems weird to me that the title of this book is Frostblood when the main character is actually a Fireblood who is supposedly pretty powerful and special. Why can’t she even have the book named for her? I kept waiting for some crazy reveal or twist that made the title actually make sense but  SPOILER it never happens. And the romance was sold to me, at least on the ARC, as being steamy but unfortunately, I got very few feels from this one. Frostbloods are described as having a hard time showing their emotions and Ruby being a Fireblood tends to be a little more unpredictable and emotional (yep, seriously) so the moments between the two that I imagine were suppose to be full of romantic tension, felt a little flat and one sided to me. Arcus was a little too guarded and cold for me. I really wanted to like this one but the lack of true tension and chemistry and anything really unique or memorable kept me from falling.

 

Mini Reviews: Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine, Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini TaylorThe Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine
Series: The Impostor Queen #1
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 5th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

This is another series about ice and fire magic but this one is about a million times better. I definitely recommend this series to fans of young adult fantasy series because the characters are so interesting and the world building is actually really good. I was intrigued from the start by the Valtia and her magic and the Saadella and their relationship and the transfer of magic and everything involved with how this all works. And I only grew more interested as the plot developed and we learn more about both what happens inside the temple and the city of Kupari and what happens outside of it. Some of the revelations along the way were interesting and unexpected but what I liked most about the book was watching Elli learn more about herself and her journey from start to finish. She definitely doesn’t end up where she thought she would but that only makes her stronger and smarter. She starts trying to find out what’s real on her own rather than just listen and believe whatever someone tells her. This is a really good story about how everything you thought you knew might not actually be true and learning to trust yourself and stand up for what you believe in. I didn’t love the romance in this one but I did really like Oskar and Sig and all of the secondary characters from the banished lands and I really hope we get to see more develop between Oskar and Sig and their friendship/balancing magic relationship. I also really loved the sequel and CANNOT wait to find out what happens in the final book!

 

Mini Reviews: Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine, Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini TaylorDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Published by Little on April 8th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, fantasy
Pages: 613
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

I have been waiting for ages to read Dreams of Gods & Monsters and I don’t even have a good reason for it. I’m just terrible at actually finishing series and am always scared I’m going to hate them and they won’t be satisfying. So I pre-order them, put them on my shelves, stare at them, but rarely read them. I finally decided it was time to find out how Karou and Akiva’s story ends. And I’m glad I did! While I didn’t love it, it does feel good to have some closure on these stories and to have been able to visit with these characters one last time. But for me, the real magic in this series was the first book. The world building and fantasy elements were so vivid and the characters and their backstories were so complex, I fell in love. But after that, the rest of the story was just not as exciting. I kind of just wanted a story with Akiva and Karou and Zuzana and Mik. I didn’t need all of the other stuff the author kept throwing at me. I really didn’t know why it was there and it almost seemed like she kept adding more and more stories and making it more complex but getting no closer to a resolution and almost making it more boring in the process because I just really didn’t care about so much of the other stuff. I don’t know if that makes sense or not but it’s how I felt. And I hate when authors add something in near the end that seems to solve everyone’s problems. That sort of happened here but created a new problem that I kind of hated and didn’t understand and left me feeling like it might not have been worth it to read the entire series. I know I still gave the book three stars. I just thinking in general the writing is beautiful and I love the characters but the plot just fell short for me. I’m not sure it’s a series I’d be willing to throw at people and making them read. Especially because the length of the books makes it quite an investment.

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