Wednesday, May 31, 2017

[Review] Three Dark Crowns (#1) - Kendare Blake: Triplets, Witchery, and Wasted Potential

In THREE DARK CROWNS, triplet heirs to the throne must compete in a deadly battle for the crown.

What intrigued me: I love reading about magic!

Misses the Mark So Hard...

THREE DARK CROWNS was so much not my thing that I genuinely wanted to quit blogging over this. There are DNFs and books that don't match your taste, and then there are books that make you forget that you're supposed to enjoy reading. I really wanted to like THREE DARK CROWNS desperately. I didn't though. I really, really didn't.

It's just one of those books that hooks you with a cool premise, but that's that. I expected an action-filled THE HUNGER GAMES style battle to the death, but really just got a slumberous High Fantasy story with a side of blown up insta romance. Kudos to the marketing team here, they honestly exaggerated this so massively, it's hard to even find the connection between the super fun things that the blurb and cover hint at and the actual book.

So much Wasted Potential!

THREE DARK CROWNS is supposed to be a dark, dark story about sisters planning to kill each other for the throne. Actually, it's just a super boring YA romance times three with genuinely zero plot, zero potential to connect or care about the characters, and very peculiar POV choices. I can only describe the writing and execution as extremely irritating. The POVs are all over the place, not necessarily even from the actual sisters, but from random side characters sometimes, and it's a nightmare to even make it past the point where you know who the characters are. I had immense problems trying to get into this, which is why it took me weeks to finish this. 

The magic system and all is fine and interesting. Poisoners, elementals, and people who talk to animals! Sounds fun! I really enjoyed reading about the whole poisoner storyline and Katharine. Poison mixers! This alone could've sold me on this book. I feel like if it had been executed differently and had stuck to one POV, or even just three POVs (of the sisters), I would've felt completely differently about this! All that instant love and lack of action could even just be excused a little if the writing and execution weren't so terribly irritating and weird, and unnecessarily extra. 

The biggest problem I have with this - the story has so much potential that it's just SO frustrating and stressful to see how Blake absolutely doesn't even come close to using it. The blurb is so great, I could actually cry, this is supposed to be a story about anti-heroines and darkness, maybe a bit creepy and vengeful and stabby. But it's none of that. THREE DARK CROWNS is yet another of the gazillion stories about princesses with magical powers that fall in love. That's it. I'm so frustrated and sad.




Overall: Do I Recommend?

THREE DARK CROWNS is a disaster if you're picky about your High Fantasy and like to form connections to characters. I almost quit blogging altogether over this because it made me forget that reading is supposed to be fun. This wasn't fun in the slightest, the exact opposite of it. Clearly, this is highly, highly subjective.

Additional Info

Published: May 9th 2017
Pages: 448
Publisher: Penhaligon
Genre: YA / High Fantasy
ISBN: 9783764531447

"When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown."
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you read nice High Fantasy lately?

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Monday, May 29, 2017

18 Books, Foreign Covers, Witches, and Yelling | May 2017 Book Haul

I haven't done a book haul in almost two years on my blog, actually doing this cause I was asked to. Let's see if you guys like it. I snuck a few review copies in, too, cause if I'm gonna make a post like this, might as well show everything, ha. 

I haven't bought more than one physical book at once in like, two years, I live in a cave without light and am actually terrible at taking pictures of books. You'll see. Today I'll show you what I did this month... I bought everything.

I'll mention why I got it and translate the title if applicable, all books that aren't in English are in German and some books are used cause that's how I roll. HERE IT GOES

  • HALF BAD by Sally Green is a book I really didn't know much about, I just read witches and thought to myself, why not. No self control. The subtitle says "The Darkness in Me".
  • BREATHE by Sarah Crossan is by one of my favorite contemporary authors and a dystopian about a world where air is getting sparse... or something. I don't care, it's Sarah Crossan! The subtitle says "Trapped Under Glass", by the way. Drama, drama.
  • DUALED by Elsie Chapman is "You or Me" in German and it's about doppelgangers. I honestly didn't even read the blurb, I only wanted to support Elsie because I adore what she does with her social media. Super pumped that the premise is cool, too. 
  • I was told to read THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray for maybe.... 5 years? How old is this book? It's a damn brick in German, 700 pages. Honestly not looking forward to this. But I'm doing this mainly for my friends (*cough* Cat *cough*). The subtitle says "All Beginnings are Evil" and I'm scared.

  • WAKING GODS by Sylvain Neuvel is finally, finally, finally the sequel to one of my favorites of 2016, SLEEPING GIANTS. Space robots, you guys. It's super dramatically called "Giants - The Wrath of the Gods". Drama queens.
  • THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake, called "The Black Throne - The Sisters" here. Things will get confusing, isn't the sequel called ONE DARK THRONE? Yikes. Anyway. Triplets, magic(?), high fantasy. Already read it and absolutely hated this one.
  • SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake, called "Love is Like Flying a Kite" and yet again, I didn't read the blurb. You guys know I loved HOW TO MAKE A WISH for the biracial rep and so I decided to support the author some more and also get a wonderfully pretty book while doing so. Win: win.
  • THE CIRCLE by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandsberg- I was told there would be bisexual witches. The title says the same thing, it's just called "Circle".

  • BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve Tucholke. Oh my god that title is so long. It's "Don't Fear the Deep Dark Sea" in German . Well, I think our title is actually be shorter for once, haha. I don't know what it's about, I adore her writing, so I threw this one in.
  • SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY by Gary Shteyngard. I bought this one after watching the Black Mirror episode Nosedive and getting totally obsessed with social media-related books, this is supposed to be similar. Social media. Conspiracies. Something.
  • ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis. I've been meaning to read this for ages. Basically the movie Passenger minus the creep factor, I think. We shall see. You guys know I love space books.
  • The subtitle for HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins reads "Wild Magic", for what reason ever. Again, witches. I'm starting to notice a theme, oh my. Didn't mean to intentionally buy witch books, hahaha.

  • DREAMOLOGY by Lucy Keating, called "Two in One Dream" here, no clue what they were going for with this title, I do love the cover. I already read this and it's about a girl meeting the boy she's been dating in her dreams. 
  • THE SEAFARER'S KISS by Julia Ember- OKAY I HAVE A GOOD EXCUSE FOR PUTTING THIS HERE. I actually bought like 4 copies of it for my friends' birthdays (who are all inexplicably in summer, what's that about), so this totally counts. Bisexual mermaids, you know the drill, this is one of my favorite books ever.
  • I got THE CIRCLE by Dave Eggers together with SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY, literally same reason. Already read this and really disliked it, it's about some weird social media company and strange conspiracies, just weird. There's a movie incoming, I heard. 
  • GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins. I was feeling like some adult thriller reading, so I threw this in. I don't know anything about this, haven't seen the movie. I assume it's about girls and trains, haha.

  • BEFORE I DIE by Jenny Downham, the title is the same here. I remember a friend really liking this, it's about a girl checking off a bucketlist before they die of a terminal illness, I think. We shall see.
  • The revenge of my L.J. Smith obsession. I honestly don't have a single idea what these are about, they're two 3-book omnibuses (what's the plural of omnibus, is this right?) and yeah, no clue. I think NIGHT WORLD has vampires and DARK VISIONS has witches? 

Have you read any of these? Also, do you want me to keep doing these book haul things whenever or are your eyes bleeding from my bad pictures?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nancy Drew Review: The Message In The Hollow Oak

It's time for another installment of the Nancy Drew Review project. The Message in the Hollow Oak was my third reread of the 64 original titles. For those of you intrigued by Carolyn Keene not being real, since I keep bringing it up, here's a nice chart that goes over the ghostwriting process for these 64 books. 


Side note: Anybody have any recommendations for me for easy-to-use video editing apps or software? Preferably free. Preferably. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nancy Drew Review: The Spider Sapphire Mystery

Okay, I'm back with another video in my Nancy Drew Review project. Apologies for the handheld shakiness, I wanted to sit in my comfy chair and still have good light. I'm going to be a pro at these videos by the time I finish all 64 books!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Nancy Drew Review: The Bungalow Mystery

Introducing the Nancy Drew Review Project. For the next few months - assuming it takes that long - I'll be rereading my way through all of the classic Nancy Drew stories.

I've decided to do a short(ish) video review following each one where I go ever my thoughts on the books, characters, and series as a whole. I'm a terrible rambler, so I'll apologize in advance for that. Below is my first video for the project.

Since I won't be creating a book style for each of these, you should really check out my Book Style for Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain.