Tag: romance

Song of the Night is a slop of yaoi desperately wishing to be more

Song of the Night is a slop of yaoi desperately wishing to be more

☆☆☆☆☆

0 stars

This book is officially the SECOND worst book I’ve ever read (thanks Tridea’s Children!), but honestly that’s a barely. I feel like I’ve just been stamping my brain through a meat grinder trying to read it. I don’t even remember how I found this. Perhaps like Tridea’s Children it manifested in my home, and it is just my yearly destiny to test my faith in indie publishing by reading a catastrophe such as this.

What is this book? Well, it’s every yaoi you ever saw online circa 2010, but it was published in 2019. I use yaoi very deliberately, as that is what this book is: it’s not gay romance, it’s not lgbt, it’s bad yaoi where everyone has too large hands and anime chins. It’s a romance around the small, fragile, feminine, pale (So So Pale) beauty of a young ‘boy’ and a strong ‘man’. Yes, it’s one of those MANxBOY (DON’T LIKE:DON’T READ)(LEMON/LIME WARNING XD) stories. I can’t fable how this exists in the modern age, in a physical book I can hold in my own hands.

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The Iron Daughter warrants a cold reception

The Iron Daughter warrants a cold reception

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

After highly praising The Iron King, I knew I was setting myself up for a big comeuppance. After all, the Iron Fey IS a series from 2010-2011 (yes, the whole quartet came out within two years), and WAS quite cliche despite all the things I loved about book one. The ‘sequel series’, books five to seven, span 2013-2015, and the next book is due 2021. It’ll be interesting to see if/how the author evolves during the years and trends in YA, but the initial series of books is very dated to 2010. The Iron Daughter especially.

That’s not to say I hated this book at any point. It’s still notably engaging and of a better quality than the vast majority of books from this era, or really just books I’ve read. The side characters are fantastic and the world is a wild mish-mash of faerie mythos and lore that is extremely entertaining. Still, this books has to lose a bunch of points for the plot, and especially the romance. A lot less gets done in this book, and a lot more time is spent angsting over forbidden love and love triangles. It’s dumb and exhausting and takes up so much time.

While the book scurries over the normal ‘second book syndrome’, the useless romance, angst, lesser plot, and idiocy of the main character is exhausting enough on its own. At least Grimalkin is still perfect.

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To be honest, Holly Black’s Tithe wants what The Iron Fey has

To be honest, Holly Black’s Tithe wants what The Iron Fey has

★★★★☆

(4.5 stars)

There’s only a mild chance this high rating is influenced by how many bad books I’d read before it.

I know I make outstanding threats against Carden Greenbriar and this is a provocative headline, but I am overall a Holly Black ‘fan’. However, reading The Iron King (book one of the Iron Fey series) was like a good punch of breath air. Specifically, it’s worth comparing this book to Tithe, Holly Black’s YA paranormal romance from the same era. Yes, The Iron King is very much a ‘regular girl turns out to be special and fey, finds feyroyal love interest, uses trickery and special-ness to avoid finale murder by someone supposedly invincible’ story. So is Tithe.

While I think there’s plenty of fun (and merit) in dissing YA tropes and cliches, it is also true those things became common for a reason. Where many other YA books from this era fail on the same ideas and plot beats, The Iron King succeeds smoothly: The love interest(s) are not toxic, the MC has a personality, the world-building is unique and original, and the writing is solid. I really enjoyed reading The Iron King, and I expect I’ll be reading the rest of the series. It’s fun, perfectly middle-ground YA with a lot of neat faeries and characters. The world needs more all powerful sarcastic cats.

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Fallen is a puzzling, prime example of poor YA

Fallen is a puzzling, prime example of poor YA

★☆☆☆☆

(.5 stars)

If you’re new to this blog, or need a reminder, I’m drawn to the following in books:

  1. Angels/Demons
  2. YA from around the early 2010s at the height of the paranormal boom
  3. Bad YA (from around that era, quite often)

I’d actually, however, avoided picking up Fallen for a long time. It’s really, really easy to find in thrift shops and even libraries, and ticks all of the above boxes. However, I never grabbed it because… well, I’d already read it back in 2012. I hit it down as ‘DNF’ because it was boring. I think I got 100 pages in, but on reading the full thing here, I couldn’t tell you where I last stopped- the first 100 pages of this book is exactly the same as the next 350 pages, and it all blends together in a cacophony of bad.

I read it this time in two sittings while at work because I’m an adult now, but this is an extremely frustrating book to contend with. The supernatural revelation takes place 77% through the book, and even then the reader gets very few answers on anything that happened. This is a thick book of absolutely nothing but school life, and I wouldn’t even be able to parse some of the ‘lore’ and ‘story’ if not for the really bad movie made from this which somehow does a far better job delivering exposition.

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YA literature can do worse than The Beholder… so at least there’s that

YA literature can do worse than The Beholder… so at least there’s that

★★★☆☆

(3 stars)

This (The Beholder, Anna Bright) is not a book I would have ever picked up, but I got it in a book crate and felt I ought to give it a go. It’s…. well, it’s not very exciting, and there isn’t a ton to talk about. I don’t hate it or have much to dislike, and generally enjoyed reading it, but it’s also not very engaging (or plot focused). The world building is a wonderful idea, but the execution is at times head scratching.

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Sweet Peril is not sweet and has no peril

Sweet Peril is not sweet and has no peril

☆☆☆☆☆ (0 stars)

Look, middle book trilogy stump is a thing, and it was especially defined as a thing thanks to the trilogy era of YA, first seen in the paranormal romance boom. Book one, they meet… book three is the final battle… What is book two?

Well, this book two is sort of like a short story collection with an overlapping cast. There’s no plot arc or drive to this book at all, which is frankly astonishing. There’s at least eight chapters (a large chunk of the book) which are loosely connected time jumps where our main character, Anna, goes to another country/state for a purpose, achieves it, and leaves.

We’re operating on levels of sheer non-plot structure that would blow anyone’s mind.

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Sweet Evil is a chaotic, inexplicable mess

Sweet Evil is a chaotic, inexplicable mess

☆☆☆☆☆ (0 stars)

Ooowee!!! You have to imagine me making that sound as I think about this. I just finished this book, and this is all coming in hot. There’s a lot to say about this- the increasingly and incredibly Christian themes, the insane hypocritical nature of the horniness in this story, the sexism, the premise, whatever Kopano was, Kaiden’s participation in crimes against humanity….

Oh yeah. You thought this was a generic para-ro about a good girl falling for a bad boy and they’re both half-fallen-angels? You’re right! And then the next 60% of the book happen, because pacing and story structure is off the rails here. There ARE no rails on the coaster of Sweet Evil.

Let me be your conductor.

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