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Wordless Wednesday – Pier of Kamouraska

Posted by on February 10, 2016 3:33 am in My work | 4 comments

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Pier of Kamouraska, a favorite village between here and my hometown.

Kamouraska, Canada, August 2014

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here!

 

Filling the Shelf – 198

Posted by on February 8, 2016 4:30 am in Book talk | 6 comments

Welcome to Filling the Shelf, or as many of you know it, Mailbox Monday! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)

Hello again dear readers!

How was your week?

One of my uncles passed away this week, so things have been a bit tough. I needed something to take my mind off real life, so I did a lot of reading. I didn’t complete a lot of books but I started a lot of them, almost all enjoyable (which is almost a worst struggle than all bad books, surprisingly!) So far I’m making good progress on my 2016 goal of completing series.

Also, hum, I went a bit crazy on bookoutlet.ca. And ordered a “few” books… I’ve also cleared up some space on my shelves so I feel good about the state of my bookcases right now.

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Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi and The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey and Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine and Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

What books did you recently add to your shelves?

 

Review : Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by on February 7, 2016 1:08 am in 3.5 stars reads | 0 comments

throne of glassThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Pages : 404
Genre : YA, Fantasy
Series : Throne of Glass, book 1
My Rating : 3.5/5

About the Book  :

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Thoughts :

Oh, Throne of Glass! How long I have waited to read you!

Once upon a time, when it was first released, I wasn’t so sure about Sarah J. Maas’ fantasy series. The cover was, in itself, okay, but not really inspiring. And yet, the reviews kept coming, each new one more glorious, and I decided to give it a try. I got 50 pages in I think before I put it away.

The past week was a bit tough for me and I needed something light and fun and a bit magical to read. Throne of Glass felt like it could be what I needed, and happily, I was right.

Despite its high fantasy type of setting, Throne of Glass is actually quite easy to get into. The author is careful not to share huge amounts of worldbuilding, leaving just enough to nourish your imagination while you read. Celeana’s fantasy world is also quite standard when it comes to fantasy : kingdoms fighting, princesses in fine dresses, magic made illegal, etc. The narration is engaging, the pacing is good, and the twists and revelations keep things interesting.

There’s a lot of good to be said about the book, but there were also a few aspects I enjoyed less. The first one was the romance. I (mostly) don’t read romance novels, but I do love some romance in my stories. However, Celeana’s love life was so unoriginal, and so lacking in subtlety, it really did nothing for me. I liked Dorian and Choal as characters, and both have some entertaining banter with the all-amazing Celeana, but I wish the romance would have come at a slower, more natural pace. I’m also not a fan of love triangles, so this certainly didn’t help.

The second thing that bothered me was how perfect Celeana was. Oh, she has a bit of a temper, she’s not in the best shape at the start of the story and she’s also not the best at guessing poisons (but still quite good at it). Other than that? She’s pretty much awesome at everything : she’s gorgeous, athletic, witty, an excellent assassin, curious, a bookworm, intelligent, great with a sword, great with a staff, great with a bow, great with daggers, great at climbing walls, great with animals… I might have forgotten a few, but I’d say this is quite a list of achievements for an 18 years old lady! I’m hoping further novels give her some flaws and expand on her past; I’m willing to accept most of her perfection without blinking (too much) if something in her blood (magic? fea? child of gods?) justifies it.

Despite these flaws, I really enjoyed Throne of Glass. I had a great time with the book, which offered me exactly the right kind of entertainment just when I needed it. It was so easy to slip into Celeana’s world, that I went on to read the sequel as soon as I finished with this one. It’s also supposedly better, and I can’t wait to see exactly why – stay tuned for a review of Crown of Midnight soon!

(As a side note : If I continue to enjoy the series, I’m really, really, really tempted to try to get my hands on a hardcover copy of the book with the alternate cover, which matches the rest of the series. It’s such a better representation of Celeana, I believe it would look great on my shelves!)

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Review : I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Posted by on February 5, 2016 4:12 am in 4 stars reads | 2 comments

i hunt killersI Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Pages : 359
Genre : YA, Thriller
Series : Jasper Dent, book 1
My Rating : 4/5

About the Book  :

Jasper “Jazz” Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he’s also the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal’s point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo’s Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My Thoughts :

I Hunt Killers had been sitting on my shelves almost since its release in 2012 – so yeah, a really long time. So long that I wasn’t sure what it was about anymore, or that I was really interested in reading it. But since my 2016 personal challenge is to read & finish a maximum of series (either on my shelf or previously started), I thought it would be a great time to give it a try. It’s also one of the rare series I own that isn’t fantasy, sci-fi or the likes, which made it a little more intriguing.

All of this to say, I started reading I Hunt Killers with minimal expectations, and I ended up loving it.

The first thing that surprised me was how fun the book was. There was a bit of humor, the dark kind of course, and it suited Jazz’s character so well. The tone reminded me a bit of the narration in Dexter (the TV one, as I have never read the books), with a bit more empathy from our main character.

The second thing that pleasantly surprised me was the lack of romance. I was totally prepared to have Jazz meet some girl who learns to love love him despite his past, blah blah blah. When I realized Jazz already had a girlfriend, with whom he had a good relationship, who also was strong and interesting (on top of being a p.o.c., yay for diversity), I was thrilled. It was so refreshing to have the girlfriend and the best friend (also a great character) already established. This allowed the story to grow and take center stage in a dark, delicious way.

Oh, and it was a good story. The way the author wove Jazz’s past and present was exactly what it needed, keeping me intrigued about the current murders but also about the wicked way Jazz grew up. His doubts, his constant hesitation about his self was extremely well portrayed. I haven’t read a lot of YA books directly touching the subject of parental abuse, and how children can end up confused between their love and their hate for the abusive parent; I found this aspect of the book to be not only interesting, but also incredibly well demonstrated.

It’s safe to say I really enjoyed this book. Surprisingly, it felt quite adult for a YA novel, both for its violence and its complexity. While the serial killer story was predictable, it didn’t keep me from enjoying the book at all. I ordered Game, the second book in the series, as soon as I finished it. I Hunt Killers might have been waiting a long time on my shelves, but I’m actually glad I’m reading it now that the complete series is available to me!