Book Review #3: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I first learned about Sarah Maas’s writing when I started following Let the Word Flow (now Publishing Crawl.) When the first of the novellas that act as a prequel to this story came out, I bought it out of interest. That story completely lured me in, and I proceeded to buy the next three and wait anxiously for this one.

Having read Throne of Glass, I can honestly say that the wait was worthwhile. I started Throne of Glass on Friday before work, and read through every single one of my work breaks. The second my shift was finished, I came home and blew through the rest.

It was one of those books I couldn’t stop thinking about, the kind of story that barely allowed me to get any work done, that stayed on my mind as I was lying in bed obscenely early in the morning trying to fall asleep.

There wasn’t a single character I didn’t want to learn more about, not any piece of those 400+ pages that felt dragging or unnecessary. I wasn’t expecting multiple perspectives, but I found that they enhanced the story in ways I enjoyed. The lack of rhyme or reason to the switches would’ve been annoying or frustrating in the hands of most authors, but Maas crafted such a fascinating cast of individuals–coupled with a plot that MOVED–that I honestly didn’t care.

Since I did read all four novellas, I really appreciated the nods to the events of those stories, as well as the hints of what was to come and what was behind. The best compliment I can offer the novel is that–for all its length–I never found myself bored. The world in Throne of Glass is rich and detailed, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Book Review #2: The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I admit that I heard a lot of good things about this book before I ever picked it up. Nominated for a bunch of awards, universally good reviews, the works. And I’ll also admit that I was skeptical. Not because I doubted that all those people were right, but because I doubted that Maggie Stiefvater’s next novel could live up to the awesomeness of The Scorpio Races, which I bought in hardcover because I loved it that much.

The whole point of this review is to admit that I was completely, 100% wrong. The Raven Boys lived up to every expectation I’d had met by The Scorpio Races, and since it’s only the first in a trilogy, it’s quite possible that it could surpass her last novel.

I spent the first chapter or two being more than a little confused, while simultaneously loving the characterization and the immediate setting up of the stakes. Once I fully understood what was going on, and what everyone stood to risk, I loved the story that much more.

Like The Scorpio Races, this was a slow build kind of book. It starts off fast, and then slows the pace some so that you really start to understand the characters and their universe before everything shifts marvelously off-kilter.

While there were characters in The Raven Boys that I didn’t like at all, or at least spent time not liking, there wasn’t a single person who I wasn’t completely fascinated by. And, as an aspiring author myself, I learned so much about the way you interweave many plots so that everything first together perfectly and nothing is left out.

I started slow on this story, and blew through the last 200+ pages in about two hours. Once I hit the middle, where Blue and the Raven Boys start to really interact, I couldn’t put the story down. Even though a budding romance, or several budding romances are suggested, the friendship is what makes the story really worth reading.

The Raven Boys earns a much deserved five stars – it lives up to the hype and makes me desperate to get my hands on the next one.

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Change of Plans

After the way this year has started, I more than anyone should know how even the best laid plans can ‘oft gang aft aglay.’  Thanks to the bf for actually teaching me how to spell an archaic phrase that I’ve probably been butchering in conversation for ages.  🙂

In any case, those of you who remember my Goals for the New Year post might recall that I had plans to finish the rewrite of Facing the Music, while temporarily shelving Between Two Lives.

If you’ve checked up on this blog recently and seen me glowing about my awesome New Title, you’ll already know that these two tasks did a complete 180 priority wise.

That’s right.  I’ve been putting the finishing touches on Positively Anonymous in preparation for the Blind Speed Dating contest over at Cupids LC.  I got into the agent round on my first try, which is super exciting.  Now I’m in the process of doing a final read-through for the MS to make sure the voice is uniform and the words and sentences flow together well.

It wasn’t initially my intention to rework PA right away.  In fact, I was all set to rewrite Facing the Music until the unthinkable–and inevitable–happened.

I stalled out.

That’s right.  All my writing without an outline and no concrete ideas finally caught up to me.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that I’m forming a much more illuminating picture of how I want the rewrite (this will be the third) and the new beginning (this will be the fifth) to go.

I’ll check back in regarding that story at a later date.  In the meantime, know that Positively Anonymous is about ready to begin querying in earnest, and know that I’m excited as hell to see how this goes.