Book Review: Good Omens

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I know, I know, it’s blasphemy to not give this book five stars. Believe me, I feel guilty only giving it three stars. Not because I feel like it deserves more but because I know I should’ve liked it more. I mean the writing was fantastic and the main characters should’ve been interesting enough. I don’t know, maybe I just need to sleep on it, but sometimes when I was reading it–it felt like the writing was focused more on coming up with a clever punchline than advancing the plot.

Don’t get me wrong it was hilarious. I had a couple belly laughs while reading it, but they weren’t enough to make me invest in the book. While I read it I had two opinions: “Oh that’s cool” or “oh that’s funny.” I didn’t have any other feelings while reading it. So, yes, I had to give it three stars. I feel badly about it; to those I offend with my mid-level rating please forgive me.

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Review: Vicious

Vicious (Villains, #1)Vicious by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always my review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS so if that bothers you stop reading now and just know I rated this book 5 stars.

If you are continuing I assume you’ve read it already or spoilers do not bother you.

I am starting here to give you enough lines to contemplate if spoilers bother you. Anyway, yeah, I loved this book. It’s the first book since January I’ve read and instantly knew it had to be five stars. No debate or hovering over the starts, certainly no wishing there was a half star button; this was five stars through and through.

Let’s start with the style. It wasn’t that long of a book. The edition I read was like 360 something pages, which is a fair amount but certainly not long. Yet, despite being the kind of book you can toss in your backpack on a long train ride, it was so full of backstory. Sometimes I hate jumping around of perspectives, and it could’ve been messy with all the flashbacks, but the fact that they were so clear about when and where the flashbacks took place made sure nothing fell out of place and really built up the depth of characters. By the end of the book, I knew Eli’s, Victor’s, Serena’s, Sydney’s, and Mitch’s backstory and motivation to be there. I liked how the first half of the book it jumped to flashbacks every other chapter, but once it reached the first deadly fight between Eli and Victor, where Victor ends up incarcerated for 10 years, the book is mostly linear.

The powers themselves were cool (yeah, I wanted to sound smarter and pick a different word but cool is the best way to describe it). I mean, who would’ve thought the EO who could heal himself at rapid speed would be the most powerful of them all? It really created an interesting dynamic because almost all the other EOs had powers they could use as a weapon and Eli’s reflexive gift could only protect him, but it was to such an extent that he was basically immortal.

The villains were amazing (I mean it is the villains series right so what do you expect?). Eli truly believed he was the hero, and that final scene hovering over Victor’s bloody body and shouting he’s saved them all and he’s the hero while the police only saw him as a murderer, was such a brilliant visual. Serena was all-powerful and again created the sort of dynamic most people really need when reading a story like this (villains that are more powerful than the protagonists). I also really appreciated the perspective of the reader vs the outside world. In the beginning if anyone would’ve guessed who would grow up to be a super villain most of the students and Lockland would’ve probably picked Victor over the incredibly charming Eli, but as readers we got to know better.

Finally, I am so happy with the final fight scene, but it made me so nervous when I was reading it. Poor Mitch! We were led to believe he was dead twice! That was so rude. I remember reading his death the second time and before he could pull the trigger I was thinking “I swear to god if he dies I’m DNF’ing this book, I don’t care if there are only twenty pages left, it’s done. Wow, that was an amazing climax. Especially since, I truly didn’t know who was going to win, since a second book is coming out it could’ve been anyone.

Anyway, I loved the book (obviously) and I’m excited to read book 2 when it’s out.

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Review: The Master Magician

The Master Magician (The Paper Magician, #3)The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5 but rounded up to 2 because I can at least see why other people might like this series. I am clearly not the target demographic.

As usual my reviews contain spoilers so if that bothers you stop reading now.

So I read these books because they’re free on KU but I don’t think I’ll continue with the second series. I don’t know. I might. They’re short so they help boost my reading challenge goal. I’ll think about it.

Every compliment I had for this series went out the window with this one. The first half of the book was Ceony preparing for her Magician exam, which obviously wasn’t a source of stress or conflict because she proved in the first two books that she’s the greatest magician in the world and is perfect.

Like with the rest of the series the main focus was on the sort of forbidden romance between Magician and apprentice. This book showed it was a real problem and other magicians have fallen for their apprentices and it’s a practice that needed to be stopped. So yeah, that’s cool I guess.

Most of the book was Ceony preparing for her exam, except not actually preparing because as I said before she’s perfect. She’s not only perfect and better than any other folder on the planet, despite only being an apprentice, she’s finding time to study every other magic discipline and cook and clean and save the world.

The second book built up two villains that appeared to be a force to be reckoned with. The entire world fears them so of course, they can hold their own in a fight. Then again, they never fought Ceony and her mastery of everything ever created. Ceony easily disposed of her big bad guy in the second book but the more dangerous one escaped. I was optimistic cause I thought, at last, there will be some real tension. There will be a moment where Ceony actually faces a worthy opponent and the book has some real conflict instead of just the will they or won’t they get together conflict.

Nope! Not only did Ceony track down this at large, all-powerful villain easily, she and Emery walked away in relatively okay health. Even though an excisioner is capable of killing their opponent after just touching them, and even though Ceony and Emery were both tied up and at Siraj’s mercy, they somehow never came close to dying. They overpowered him and killed him twice cause he’s just that powerful and weak at the same time.

Then there were like two chapters about Ceony passing her magician exam, graduating, and finally being able to date/probably marry Emery.

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Review: The Glass Magician

The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician, #2)The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As usual my reviews will contain spoilers so if that bothers you stop reading now.

I’m going to start with the things I don’t like so I can end with the things I like and people can walk away from my review feeling optimistic about the book because my compliments will be the last thing they saw.

There were parts of this book I liked and parts of it I was really annoyed by. The romance still annoys me because it feels so forced. Ceony was Emery’s apprentice for such a short amount of time before she fell head over heels for him and I get it, she went through his heart in the first book but I just, I was really annoyed by how over the top in love they were with each other the first time. Like Emery felt closer to her because of it when he could’ve felt violated just as easily. It almost felt like they were in love the moment they met. Anyway, I don’t want to focus solely on the romance because I don’t hate it, it’s just an annoying and unnecessary subplot.

I couldn’t stand the support cast. This was clearly the story of Ceony and Emery, the other characters felt like they were just props to tell their story and didn’t have much of a story of their own. Sure they had some backstory, but the details just felt kind of irrelevant and they felt 2 dimensional at times. Their only recurring traits felt sort of superficial. Like Delilah, I mean come on. Was I supposed to feel emotion when she died? Was she really just introduced in this book to be the cute little girl who wants to help then dies? Cause that didn’t make me feel anything during the book and when I look back on it now it feels kind of contrived and manipulative. I mean she was such an inconsequential character. She helped Ceony by being able to cast spells Ceony couldn’t cast herself and by being scared to show how brave Ceony was.

This brings me to the part of the book I actually couldn’t stand. Everything I’ve said to this point maybe got a shrug from me while I was reading. I still could’ve maybe given it 4 stars or at least 3.5 if those were the only knocks, but Ceony herself has such a martyr complex that just doesn’t make any sense. She doesn’t feel real, she does things that purposefully put herself in danger then lucks out of them and talks like she’s a master magician when she hasn’t even been an apprentice for a year, and Emery just enables her cause he’s in love. Also her entire meaning of existence is Emery, then when her family is in danger she’s like oh yeah I forgot about them now I need to sacrifice myself for them. Like seriously, she felt like she was going out of her way to put people in danger so she could have the right to die for them.

Oh wait I have one more complaint, sorry I just finished reading the book so it’s all still sinking in. It bugged me that the entire magical structure in this world is now fluid. The division is what made it so interesting and unique. Now Ceony is going to be even more powerful despite being an apprentice for less than one year and she had totally contradicting thoughts to this. She was like I’m a folder, it doesn’t matter I’ll always be a folder, then it ends with her looking out the window saying she could be anything she wants. Like come on, so much inconsistency in her character on the last couple pages.

Okay, time for what I liked. Though I thought the villains were defeated a little too quicky in the final fight I thought they were compelling figures. They were at least more powerful than everyone in the book and I were treated with the respect of dangerous threats at large. Since it’s the second book in a series, I would’ve preferred it if they won this round and built up the tension. I mean we know the good guys are gonna win, but you couldn’t even give the bad guys a book to prove how powerful they are? Wow, okay this was supposed to be my complimentary paragraph. I guess I’ll just say I liked them for the amount of time we had them. They were formidable until they weren’t.

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Review: A Conjuring of Light

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always my reviews will contain spoilers so stop reading here if that bugs you.

This was a very satisfying ending to a very entertaining series. As a trilogy, it felt more like book one introduced us to the world with a quest that made the big bad guy possible and then books 2 and 3 were just one massive text that was split in two out of courtesy to the reader.

Osaron was a fantastic big bad guy, he had a believable motivation, a clear weakness, which was still difficult to target, and you could really get the sense that he could break the world. He was treated with the respect a villain capable of ending the world should have.

The interparty rivalries was where the personalities of characters came out and kept the human element of the story intact and each goal in the plot had its own minor conflicts for the characters to overcome so it wasn’t just a clean arc but a volatile one. I appreciated hearing more of Holland’s backstory, he really was a tragic figure and probably the one I enjoyed hearing about the most, however all the characters had an interesting backstory. While some revealed more of themselves to the readers than others each was clearly the protagonist in their own story and could have a book written about them.

All in all, this was my favorite book in the trilogy. I loved it.

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