Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mini Reviews - Carve the Mark, Shadow and Bone, and King's Cage


Happy weekend everyone!  Today I'm featuring mini reviews of three recent YA reads - Care the Mark by Veronica Roth, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard.  All three of these have been insanely hyped up and/ or insanely popular, but only one of these really stood out to me.  I enjoyed Shadow and Bone the most of the three by far.  I have no idea why I had been putting of Leigh Bardugo for so long!  Read on for my mini reviews:



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Unless you've been living under a rock recently, you've probably heard a lot about Veronica Roth's newest novel, Carve the Mark. It's been hyped up beyond belief (and don't forget the controversy surrounding the story which I won't be covering here in my mini review). Unfortunately, the novel is underwhelming for all of the hype surrounding it and it's much too long. It doesn't merit being nearly 500 pages in length and could definitely benefit from being trimmed down around the edges. Although, it's such a doorstop, the world-building is severely lacking (and sometimes confusing) - it's far too minimal to do justice to the sprawling universe the cast of characters inhabit. I also wish I could say that this book's a little more unique than essentially the X-Men in space. By the way, the audiobook edition features the voice of Austin Butler (from the tv adaptation of Terry Brooks's The Shannara Chronicles) providing the talent for Akos's perspective chapters) and he does a decent job with the material considering that this is his first time narrating an audiobook. Just to be clear, I didn't completely hate this book because it did have some good moments, but in the end it just didn't live up to the hype or my own expectations.



I listened to this audiobook from February 22 - 28, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


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If you're looking for Imperial Russia inspired YA Fantasy, you'll definitely want to try out Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, the first novel in the Grisha Trilogy. The author's writing style makes the novel very readable and I loved getting to know Alina, Mal, The Darkling, and the country of Ravka. Of the main characters, The Darkling is easily the best and most interesting of everyone. Alina isn't bad, but I'll have to admit our chosen one is a bit too naive and not to mention under-trained in many ways to be in the military even if she is only a cartographer. And fair warning, there is a bit of a love triangle (which I could have done without) between Alina, Mal, and The Darkling. As for secondary characters, I couldn't help but picture Holland Roden playing Genya and I hoped Zoya would have been there to do little more than be the next Ravka's very own Regina George. I'm glad I finally decided to try Leigh Bardugo for the first time - I need to continue this series with Siege and Storm.



I read this book from February 23 - March 2, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


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I went into this thinking it was supposed to be a trilogy only to realize about 50 pages from the end that nothing was getting wrapped up at all. I might have liked this more if it were trimmed down to around 250 pages from 507, if Mare was more likable, if it dragged less, and if there was less filler and repetition. I don't understand the love for Mare or Maven - or the hype surrounding this series either. Still didn't get the one thing I was wishing for - that showdown between Mare and Maven. I don't know if I can do this again for book four next year.



I read this book from March 7 - 9, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you read any of these books yet?  If so, what did you think of them?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog!  I hope everyone has a great rest of their weekend!

10 comments:

  1. Aw, I'm sorry Carve the Mark didn't live up to the hype for you. I haven't had a chance to read it yet but I'm becoming a little leery because of all the controversy and mixed reviews. I'll still be trying to read it sometime this year though. Lovely reviews, Lauren!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. I'm definitely interested to see what you make of it, Laura.

      Thanks for coming over!

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  2. Shadow and Bone was so, SO good. I thought the next two in the series were major disappointments unfortunately. But Six of Crows, the next series, was back to awesome.

    I had no interest in Carve the Mark but reading the reactions has been very interesting.

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    1. That's what I've heard. I'm definitely looking forward to Six of Crows - it sounds the excellent. :)

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  3. I don't think I plan on reading Carve the Mark just because of all the controversy surrounding it. I m a fan of Austin Butler though, and I think it's pretty cool that he narrated! One day I plan on reading Shadow and Bone, but I haven't yet. It's very well loved and I'm happy to see that it was the one that stood out the most for you! I could do without the love triangle though. I'm pretty sure that the Red Queen series is like five books right now, and I'm not too sure I want to commit to a series that long. Nevertheless, I own the first book and have still yet to read it! I don't know if I ever will though. :/

    Great mini reviews Lauren! Hopefully I'll read Shadow and Bone soon and enjoy like you.

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    1. And Butler does a fairly decent job of it, being his first time narrating. I'd love to see what you think of Shadow and Bone, Genni! Seriously five books?! I'd say that the first book is the most interesting of the three out so far.

      Thanks for coming over, Genni!

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  4. I'm so glad you liked Shadow and Bone but sad that you didn't like King's Cage AND Carve The Mark that much! King's Cage is at the TOP of my TBR and I'm really excited to read it!

    Aditi @ http://athousandwordsamillionbooks.blogspot.in/

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    1. I hope you'll like it more than I did, Aditi!

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  5. I'm kinda avoiding reading both Carve the Mark and King's Cage until I have more motivation so that I can just breeze through them and don't get bogged down. I'm not really looking forward to either of them to much, though, which is kinda sad. I loved Shadow and Bone so I'm glad you enjoyed it! You'll love Siege and Storm, I think (there's a new character introduced who just steals the show and he's amazing-- no spoilers from me, though). Great reviews!

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    1. I feel you there and I don't blame you at all!

      Cool - I'm really looking forward to it!

      Thanks for visiting, Sam!

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