Reflection: January 2016

This is going to be my first of a monthly series in which I explain, whether briefly or in depth, the books that I read that month. In January I read a total of two books and began a third; less than I was hoping for but consistent with my end of year goal.

Genres

  • 1 x YA Fantasy
  • 1 x YA Contemporary

 

This month, I read Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, which is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. I rated it, technically speaking, at 4.5 out of five stars but given that Goodreads doesn’t function on a half star system (annoying!) I boosted it up to a five. Overall, I adored this book due to the fact that firstly, it is an epic high fantasy tale with an incredibly strong female lead (we need more of that), and secondly because Sarah J. Maas would have had to do something drastically wrong for this series to go down in my estimations.

[This review contains no spoilers for Queen of Shadows or any other books in the series]

Despite this, however, I did have a few criticisms of this book. They begin with the fact that the world is so drastically reduced in Queen of Shadows. In Heir of Fire, so many locations are introduced to the reader and explored, however in Queen of Shadows it simply feels as though the majority of the novel is set back again in Rifthold as it very much was in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. In those previous books, I did not have a problem with this as we hadn’t been given any other idea of what the world would comprise, but considering that in Queen of Shadows we know what we are missing out on, I couldn’t help but feel slightly cheated.

Also, I found that the portrayal of two certain male characters, particularly in the first half of the book, became very tedious. I felt as though their narrative and dialogue consisted of nothing but blind worship and devotion to Celaena, when she can clearly handle herself. Honestly, after three hundred pages, we get the point that she is incredible and beautiful and majestic. It’s evident through her actions; these characters don’t need to be stating it every few pages!

I realise that these comments make it difficult to understand why I rated this book as 5 stars. In short, it is because I was absolutely gripped all the way through. It is as action packed as you can expect any respectable fantasy novel to be, it had its fair share of plot twists that had me almost wanting to throw the book across the room (I would never actually do that to a book!) and some epic new characters with new, exciting storylines were introduced. I am absolutely in love with the world that Sarah J. Maas has built and in the grand scheme of things, my criticisms really are minor.

In addition to reading Queen of Shadows, I also read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, which I rated three out of five stars. I did a small review of this in my previous post, so you can see my thoughts on it there!

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So that’s it for my first Monthly Reflection post. Overall, I’d say this has been a relatively successful reading month, especially given the fact that Queen of Shadows is an absolute tome! I look forward to making my next post in the series in a month’s time.

First book for February: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Have a lovely day.

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