sp00ky_n3rd's reviews
639 reviews

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

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adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I went into this with low expectations after seeing reactions online, but I really liked it! I like where the story went throughout, I like the characters and the way it was written. The end has completely stressed me out, though, so I need the next one!

Once again, I have to acknowledge Yarros's treatment of Scottish Gaelic as a minority language, but I did not include this in my review of the book.
Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman

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emotional lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

Very cute continuation with great themes for youth.
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I loved this! The story was great. The slow unravelling of everything and the little hints to lead us in the right direction made me so happy. It is fast-paced and easy to read.
A big problem I have with romantasy style books (I've just read a lot of SJM) is that the romance often seems forced and the smutty scenes come out of nowhere or feel irrelevant - this is not the case with Fourth Wing. The romance builds slowly, and when the smut comes in, it doesn't feel over the top or out of place or detract from the story. 5 stars.

(Note: I just want to acknowledge Yarros's use of Scottish Gaelic. I am aware that she has exploited it and disrespected it by deliberately not even bothering to learn the pronunciation, and I'm incredibly disappointed by this. I'm Scottish, and it is a minority language here that has been attempted to be stamped out but managed to remain. It's not okay, but I did not include this in my rating of the book.)
House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

4.5 stars
The story built so well! And as per usual, the last hundred pages had me on the edge of my seat. The only thing that brought it down that half a star was the romance. I think the time has come for me to just say it: I don't think SJM is good at romance. Or maybe I'm just not the intended audience. I don't mind a wee side plot of romance, but honestly, in this book (and some others by her), it felt so forced and sometimes completely unnecessary. It didn't feel romantic a lot of the time, more wedged in. Her fantasy, though, is brilliant.
I'm questioning the Baxion storyline a bit and feel like that wasn't entirely necessary but maybe it will come into play or become more important in later books.

Over all, a brilliant story with good characters and an ending leaving me in much need for the next book!
House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

Genuinely some of SJM's best writing yet. You can see how much she's grown as a writer. Great characters, great plot, great wirld building and great twists. I loved the end, got super emotional, cried in a cafe. I may have rolled my eyes at some of the romance but I think that's just me being cynical! 5 stars on the first book??? Aye. 5 stars on the first book.

I really loved the character of Danika and wanted to specifically point her out because I think it shows SJM's excellence as a writer. Despite the fact that she is not in most of the book, seeing her through Bryce's eyes had me feeling the same love for her and fierce loyalty that Bryce feels for her. At the end when Bryce gets to speak to her and make the drop with her I was SOBBING.

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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

What a great ending! I was so engrossed in all the storylines right from the start, desperate to get back to Aelin and the North after the end of Empire of Storms! I love most of the characters (shoutout Lorcan as a fave), the buildup of the war. I think SJM has trouble killing people off but people died in this book and I SOBBED. I am satisfied and a little sad it's over.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

This was great! I was expecting to be annoyed at the change in perspective the whole time, especially because I'm not a big fan of Chaol, but it didn't annoy me at all. I was engaged the whole time and have really enjoyed how Maas called back to the prequel in both this book and the last.

My only criticism is that Maas seems to find it difficult to write 2 people of the opposite sex into a scene without them falling in love or adding in sexual tension. As much as I enjoyed who ended up together in this book (especially for Nesryn! She deserved better than Chaol), I couldn't help but roll my eyes when it all began. 
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

Waaaa okay this one is the best so far! So many things linking in and different storylines finally converging. I loved this and I'm so excited to read on. The issues I had with repetitiveness were much better in this book. Going forward, I hope to see Dorian come into himself a bit more as his personality seemed to take a backseat in this book.
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

This one was so exciting and fast-paced. Everything unfolded so well, and it was great seeing all the different storylines merge together as the book went on.
I would definitely give the story 5 stars, but I think the execution was closer to 4. It felt like Maas was trying too hard to make everything a big reveal instead of just taking us on the journey with the characters. Some of it worked really well and shocked or stressed me out, but other times, I felt we could have just known what was happening. Examples below -

I felt that Lynsandra's jeweller was an overused device. Every time something was fake, it was presented as a twist. If she was going to do that so many times, just tell us at this point! It's not a shock!

Arobynn putting the black ring onto Aelin had me straight up GASP. This was a time when Maas not telling us the true plan worked really well cause that bit had me STRESSED.
On the other hand - when Aelin put the golden ring on Dorian's finger, that was presented as a surprise when it was clear that was the plan as soon as she brought the ring to the castle with her. I feel there was no need to act like that was a reveal - just tell us she grabbed his hand and rammed the ring on it!


4.75 stars the story was great, and I was absolutely hooked, but I definitely felt the writing could have been slightly better.
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

SJM is so good at building up complicated political back stories while pulling the main story forward and keeping the drama going at the same time. This book was no different in that regard!