Thoughts on Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 1

Yashahime can be found on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Youtube

Happy October 3rd, Yashahime release day!

Spoilers for Inuyasha and Yashahime episode 1

Back when this sequel was announced in May, I made a post about it, basically detailing my waffling on how I felt about it. Since that post, I’ve come to mostly look forward to it. So I’ve been counting down the days, lemme tell you. So here are my thoughts, now that I’ve watched episode one:

Weirdly, the biggest emotions I’m feeling right now are dread mixed with sadness. The first episode isn’t sad at all, mind you. On the contrary, it’s got some good comedy in it and I really liked it, but I just have a feeling something bad is going to happen.

So this episode opens on Towa sitting in a feudal lord’s castle, being grilled about where she came from. It flashes from there back and forth to shortly after Kagome returns to the feudal era. A lot of the episode is actually spent there, and we see them fighting the Root Head demon from the trailer. It was really nice to see all the characters again – the whole main cast pretty much. It’s immediately noticeable that everyone has grown and matured. Things that would have been a dramatic argument in the original show were discussed calmly three years later in this sequel. It was just so nice to see the character growth.

I was expecting this episode to set up the main plot for the series, but I suppose it’ll take more than twenty minutes of show time to do that: other than flashing forward to Towa, Setsuna and Moroha together, it hasn’t (yet) explained how it got to that point. That is why I feel so much dread.

From the trailer to the movie posters, there are two people in particular who haven’t made an appearance while Towa, Setsuna and Moroha are doing their thing: Kagome and Rin. Both of them, while in the episode during the fight with the Root Head demon, haven’t been hinted at at all during the later time setting. It’s… unsettling.

Mind you, we only saw the three girls during the later time period, so it’s not guaranteed any of the other characters will be later in the show, but the lack of them being featured on the posters and images and stuff makes me worry.

So the Root Head demon – it’s obvious while ‘defeated’ in the first episode isn’t actually so. And honestly, the set up for how it got there was pretty nice. It wasn’t just ‘it showed up one day’, but actually had a reason that made sense why it was there and why it was in Kaede’s village in particular. So as said, this Root Head demon I don’t think is quite done, and I feel like it’s going to be the catalyst for… whatever happens for all the characters.

I don’t like it. It makes me feel so nervous, augh.

As mentioned earlier, this episode has some good comedy. Moroha is definitely Inuyasha and Kagome’s daughter, to put it plainly. She’s such a great combination of them that it’s hilarious just to see her being herself. Setsuna you can tell is a bit stoic like her father, which is also funny in its own way. Towa’s interactions with the feudal lord are pretty funny. Towa, unlike Kagome in the original series, is actually concerned about preserving the timeline. Her facial expressions when being confronted with a book brought back from modern time is great, and so is the one when she sees Kagome’s old bicycle seat, which was found in a river.

That part honestly made me gasp a bit, and lends to my worry about Kagome: why was her bike seat in a river? It looked old, and like it had been there for a while. It showed that clip, and I went ‘oh no. Oh no, this is gonna make me sad, isn’t it’.

We don’t get to find out what happened in episode one though, they’re gonna make us wait. It’s gonna be tortuous and it’s gonna make me cry. It’s gonna, it’s gonna.

So overall: I really enjoyed this episode. They set up some good hooks for future plot points, and I really liked the back-and-forth setting way of telling what’s happened so far. The episode was definitely worth the wait, and I am excited (I also dread) to see more.

If you watched this, do tell me your thoughts. As far as I know, none of my friends are watching so I have nobody to talk about it with.

 

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa | Blabber

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1)Pestilence by Laura Thalassa
Read July 21-24, 2020
Romance/Fantasy/Apocalyptic
381 pages
Spoilery blabber

So, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this one. I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it, either. It’s also been weirdly on my mind since I finished it, enough so that it’s compelling me to write a review a month later. So props to it, it’s stuck in my brain.

Pestilence is a biblical apocalyptic romance novel, set during the reign of the four horsemen. Pestilence, shown on the cover, arrives with his brothers and begins spreading, well, pestilence. And I gotta tell ya, I need to point out its inaccuracies right away: In the book everyone is taking care to avoid getting sick. Obviously now we have a real life example to show that hey no, people are stupid. (I kid – it’s not a negative to the book at all. If anything, the writer is just trying to portray ideal humans, which I respect.)

Anyways.

The plot of the book starts when Sara, the main character, tries to kill him to save humanity, fully expecting to die in the process. Only she doesn’t and she doesn’t. Pestilence, instead of killing her, takes her prisoner and boom, romance.

Again, I kid. One thing I did like about this was how long it took for the romance to develop. It was slow, it wasn’t ‘I know you hate me but I’ma jump your bones anyways’ or anything like that. Honestly though I think it should have been slower. Like across several books. There is the whole moral ‘he’s committing genocide’ thing which would usually be a deal breaker, but apparently the romance happened because ‘he felt bad about it’. I mean, I could see it happening eventually, but I feel like it needed a lot more nuance.

And that’s my main issue with this book, was this plot line where Sara was trying to convince him to stop killing humanity and he wouldn’t because reasons. I’ll get to this more later, as it culminates at the end of the book in a way I really didn’t care for.

But for overall plot, this book was entertaining enough if you focused on the romance, but a bit slow otherwise as far as ‘progression of the apocalypse’ goes. It felt a bit stagnant at times, broken apart only by romance scenes. I mean I get this is the point of the book – the romance – so I’m not judging too harshly here, but I guess with this huge premise set up to put the romance in, I wanted a bit more depth.

Characters: I rather liked Sara, for the most part. I do think she let her guard down around Pestilence too quickly though. Like I said I feel like the romance should have taken longer to develop, especially with the premise. Pestilence was alright. He was the stereotypical ‘beautiful born yesterday man meat’. He wasn’t a bad character per say, he just didn’t have too much to him.

So with the above, my overall enjoyment of this book was about a three stars. Like I enjoyed it, didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It was very middle of the road for me.

Until the ending, which is what dropped the book down in rating for me.

As mentioned above, spoilers.

The ending was very anti-climatic. I mentioned earlier the plot line where Sara was trying to convince Pestilence to stop killing humanity. Well, that was true – she was constantly trying to get him to stop (but also banging him so really, her words held no sway for a while).

The main reason he wouldn’t from what he said was that he was divinely ordained to do it, or whatever his words were. Long story short it was ‘I cannot stop as it is divine will’. Which to me, implied something bad would happen if he disobeyed. The book repeated this reasoning over and over and over again, and created a sense of unease, because let’s be real this is a romance and I knew eventually he’d drop it, and with this foreboding, I felt like something big was gonna go down. As the book progressed, he did admit feeling bad about killing humanity but that was all the remorse he ever showed.

Here’s the kicker: Eventually, Sara was like ‘eff it, he’s really not gonna stop’ and tries to leave him, because she, after 300-odd pages, realizes she’s not gonna change him. He follows her and basically locks her up so she stops running away. I had to stop and think about this section for a bit, because bam, sudden abusive plot line out of nowhere. Like what?

So Sara just broods in her captivity for a few chapters and eventually Pestilence lets her out because he’s still not happy, because she’s still mad at him for killing humanity (shocker). And then he’s like ‘I’ve decided to stop killing humanity, don’t worry’.

And that’s it. No divine retribution. No big biblical climax because one of the four horsemen decided to just stop his mission. No interference. No consequences to Pestilence for stopping killing humanity. Nothing.

And then they live happily ever after for ten years until the hook for book two shows up.

I mean.

I mean.

If he could have stopped this whole time with no consequence, why didn’t Sara call him out on that? She basically is like ‘sweet’ and just rolls with it. She doesn’t strike me as a dumb character, nor is she written like one. But for some reason, she doesn’t seem to notice or care that there was seemingly nothing stopping him from not killing people earlier. That this ‘divine mission’ was just him being stubborn, and not the threat of a righteous strike-down, as heavily hinted in the book earlier.

It just left a sour taste in my mouth, is all.

And it dropped my enjoyment of this book from ‘I liked it’ to ‘I didn’t quite like it’. Still didn’t hate it, mind you. But that ending was like a wet paper bag with an old sandwich in it.

2.5 stars

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas | Blabber

A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1)A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3.1
229 pages
YA/basically new adult fantasy
Read May 17th – June 3rd

Spoilery Blabber

This book suffers from the ‘second book syndrome’ that the actual second book manages to avoid. I suppose it’s not surprising that this super common lull in a series would catch up with this one eventually. On one hand, this is a novella, so it’s unfair to judge it how I would a book. On the other hand, I’ve read other of Maas’s novellas set in already established series and they are way, way, way better than this one.

I’m not saying this was a bad book. It just wasn’t… good. Nothing happened. I felt like I was reading a fanfiction. You know, the ones where the fanfiction author pulls the characters out of the main story arc, sticks them in some unspecified point in the cannon plot and goes, ‘now how about they celebrate a holiday together’. Which is exactly what this book was, except we knew the plot took place after the ending of the third book.

Going into this, I had heard mixed things. Those still solidly on the Feyre/Rhys express seem to love this book. Me, along with those who have been a bit disenchanted at this point, were a bit more let down. For me I think it stems with the fact that this series peaked in book two. Book three was okay, and this one is probably a bit lower down than that.

I feel like if there was a bit more plot then it would have been better, but come book four, the author could just go ‘the winter solstice was last month and Feyre told Rhys that she’s ready for kids’. Because that’s literally the only important plot point in the entire thing. Otherwise, you get to read about shopping and painting and more shopping and how much Amren like jewels. Oh, and a sex scene that uses the word ‘shattered’ to mean ‘orgasm’ for some reason. Multiple times within the same scene. Like why ‘shattered’, all I can picture is the two goin’ at it and then Thanos pops in and snaps his fingers. At least Maas didn’t use the word ‘sheathing’ this time.

My issues with how the sex scenes are written in this book  could beworth a whole different post, so I won’t get into it anymore here I don’t think.

So overall, this book was okay. It wasn’t bad – there wasn’t really anything I disliked about it (except ‘shattered’… shudder) but there wasn’t anything that really drew me in, either.

And I don’t have anything else to say about it because nothing else happened in it.

So here we are.

3/5 stars

 

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson | Series Blabber

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
The Kiss of Deception
The Heart of Betrayal
The Beauty of Darkness

Spoilery Blabber

I feel like this trilogy suffers from the opposite of second book syndrome. Instead of being the worst, the second book in my opinion is by far the best of the three.

The Kiss of Deception starts out with the main character, Lia, running away from an arranged marriage, and is soon pursued by the prince whom she was to marry, and an assassin sent by another land. The book is told in three perspectives – Lia’s, the Prince’s and the Assassin’s, and for the first book, you don’t know who is who. You can’t tell which of the two men is out to kill her and which is there to try to win her over.

It was a very interesting concept, even though I knew it would come with the caveat of a love triangle, and lo and behold, it did. I mean, of course both the prince and the assassin would be late-teens, both good looking and both caught off guard at how ‘different she is than they thought she would be’. I mean go figure, right.

So my gripes with the love triangle aside, the first book was a rather solid opening to the trilogy. It had a bit of world building and some minor character development to boot. Lia though, was flat for me after the first book, and she would remain that way for me through the second with minor improvements and then finally flesh out a bit more during the third.

So the first book I ended up giving a 3/5 stars because of my lack of investment in the characters. The world was cool, but the characters… eh.

The Heart of Betrayal was next and in my opinion is a good bit better. The characters flesh out a bit and the setting gets so much cooler. So Lia and whathisface are walking around right, and they come across this ruin with a guy’s head in it. And it’s obviously Abraham Lincoln’s head from the Lincoln Memorial. So utterly buried, Washington D. C. exists in this world. That means this is a regressed future Earth. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I love books like that! And as the book continued, more and more little hints of the setting are revealed an the map itself is a huge clue – imagine the USA after the polar ice caps melt. Same thing right?! Ahhhh it’s so cool. <33

And the Komizar is probably one of my favorite characters – he’s such a bastard. I think he’s what made me like the second book so much. He actually had personality. That and the revealed setting gave this book a 4/5 stars, which is the highest rating I gave the entire series.

And then came the third book, The Beauty of Darkness, which is many peoples’ favorite book and unfortunately not mine, not by a long shot. The best thing about this book, I will give it, is that the love triangle basically disappears. And I was very happy with who ended up with whom. That I did like. It’s not often a love triangle ends up the way I want it to. It’s nice to see my ship actually set sail and flourish. I was so happy (despite the fact that the characters still weren’t totally drawing me in). I mean the characters had definitely developed a bit but honestly I still didn’t really care much for them.

But what really killed this book for me, this 700 page book, was the last 50 pages. So like, they’re building up to this war, right. This huge war that they’re going on and on and on about, that they’re trying to prevent for the entire 700 pages… and like… it’s just so anti-climatic.

Ok so the Komizar gets there and just happens to have the remaining two kids from the second book that Lia couldn’t take with her and wow wow, they’re saved super quick. And then after fretting for 200 pages about how smart, tactical and manipulative the Komizar is, about how he’ll outsmart everyone… Lia totally guesses exactly where he’ll show up.

And then on top of that, for some reason, she has to climb this hill to speak to the people… the people that had been hearing her talk for months and months and had still decided to go to war against her. And she gets up there to give this life changing speech that will change their lives and we don’t even get to read the speech. Really. The book was like ‘And I told them about how things should be’. Like really. This speech, which apparently convinces One hundred twenty thousand people, we don’t even get to know the contents of aside from ‘I told them about this thing’. And then this eighth-of-a-million large group of people who all somehow heard her over the chaos of war simultaneously drop their weapons and effing give in.

War over.

BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHY BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE SAID.

To me, it was like she was just talking more about what she had already yapped about when she was in Venda! What was so different about it now that it changed one hundred thousand people’s minds all at once?!

And then boom, two chapters of aftermath and the book is over.

Goodness gracious I hated that ending.

So this book got a 3.5/5 stars from me but after typing this all out I feel like that might have been a bit high.


So yeesh. The plot devices in this book were terrible, the characters were flat, but the setting was super, super cool and I loved it.

So this series was ok I guess. I mean, read it if you like YA Fantasy, you’ll probably enjoy it. But if you want something with a bit more uh… oomph, I don’t know, man.

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat| Blabber

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat
270 pages
Fantasy, M/M Romance
Read Dec 15-17, 2017
(Mildly) Spoilery Blabber

I think I went into this book expecting something other than what it was.

This book, when lent to me by a friend, gave me the impression that it was a PWP book. (Plot? What Plot?) Basically I thought it was going to be a book written with the veil of ‘sure there’s a setting, but we know why we’re all here’. A lot of romances fall into this category, and considering that’s what I was in the mood to read, I was good with it. I didn’t go into this book expecting to be blown away by beautiful writing or fascinating plot development, let’s put it that way.

And so I started reading… and was pleasantly surprised. There is plot in this book. Like, actual plot. And a bit of world building. And some character development was well. In fact, the whole ‘gosh Emily, read it, it’s gooooood *eyebrow swaggle*’ I got from my friend when she lent it to me element took a back seat. This book is a fantasy with a romantic (would you really call that ‘romantic’?) subplot, not a thinly veiled excuse to write a bunch of sex scenes. It was interesting.

Now granted, this book can be graphic at times. The culture that is set up is very… intense. Citizens from different nations are slaves (this happens across the different countries with each other’s people), and many of those slaves and the nobility as well are uh… basically all over each other at all times. There are public shows of sex, there are depictions of same sex rape. This book is not for children, and not for the weak of heart.

It all creates a gritty read. Everything is written in a way that makes you vaguely uncomfortable, and it’s written that way on purpose. The tone of the book says ‘this is happening, this is the world, and it’s not good’. So what I’m saying is, while the culture that this book is written about celebrates these things, the tone of the book does not. It’s hard to explain. But at no point did I get the feeling that the author was trying to say ‘yeah sexual assault!’ She wrote it in a way that it wasn’t romanticized, but was written as ‘this is part of the culture’, I guess. So if that’s something you’re not okay with reading, I would avoid this book like the plague.

So if you’re still reading at this point and haven’t backed out from losing all interest (I wouldn’t blame you if you had), here is a bit of a plot overview:

This book follows a prince, Damen, whose illegitimate brother overthrows him, fakes his death to the citizens of his country, and ships him off to the country of Vere to be a pleasure slave to its prince, Laurent, under a fake identity. Damen’s motivation to reveal his true identity is minimal, as he slaughtered Laurent’s older brother in war between the two nations a handful of years beforehand.

So the book follows Damen as he tries to navigate being a slave for the first time in his life to a man who is frigid and cruel in a culture that says whatever goes.

And honestly, I rather liked this book.

I wasn’t expecting to, but I did. It’s one of those books that you buzz through really fast because the writing is addicting. You know what you’re reading isn’t five star material, but you get sucked in and you just can’t stop and you need to know what happens next.

I think that’s why my friend lent it to me, telling me it was good while swaggling her face. It is good, just not in the way that she had suggested. The ‘romance’ between the two main characters I wouldn’t even call a romance. If it is, it’s a slow burn that must developed in later books, because I didn’t get a sense of it at all in this first one. The two hate each other and the don’t do so much as hold hands, let alone jump each other’s bones the whole book.

It was an interesting dynamic between the two – hate fulled their interactions and weirdly led them to cooperating towards the end of the book. Hatefully, haha. I could definitely see the ‘hate to love’ trope appearing for these two eventually, but I would not by any means call this first book a romance, even though it is categorized as such. It was a fantasy, based in geopolitical intrigue for sure.

The prince of Vere is the prince, but his uncle, the Reagent, currently holds the thrown. The man, while initially appearing to be almost decent, later shows himself to be a disgusting, manipulative individual, and you find yourself almost rooting for Laurent, who has a few major personality flaws of his own. It was weird how the author got me to like a character I would normally strongly dislike.

So even though there were so many reasons why I should find this book appalling, listed above, I found myself buzzing through it and, for the most part, liking it. The writing is addictive, the characters, at least the main two, are weirdly fun to read about, and the setting, while hard to read sometimes, drives the plot forward. Overall, I dug it. It was good.

I want to read the other two in the trilogy – hopefully will borrow them as well. I hope, I hope I hope I hope that the culture the book is written about is turned on its head, that the tone that author creates of ‘this is gross’ is a predictor for it being overthrown. That would be super neat.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss | Blabber

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
994 pages (43 hours)
Audio book
Fantasy
Listened Sept 5 – Oct 8, 2017

Spoilery Blabber

I’m so torn over this book.

I’ve never gone back and forth between ‘I hate this’ and ‘I like this’ so often while reading something before. There are parts of this book that I absolutely loathed. Other parts I found pretty decent. At no point was I ‘loving it’ but there are definitely parts that somewhat redeem that awfulness that was the middle of this book.

I warn you now, this is going to go into detail about events and character development. Major spoilers ahead.

Reading The Wise Man’s Fear is like eating a jelly donut full of peanuts. You get the smooth, lovely donut – the setting – but then every second chew, you hit your poor little tooth on a peanut – Kvothe – as he performs yet another completely ridiculous act. It throws off the jive of the donut. It makes you less likely to enjoy the soft, chewy gooyiness of the donut because you constantly hit little Kvothe-peanuts and get them stuck in your teeth.

That being said, I really really like the world this book it set in. The overall plot points are really good, the side characters are great, the lore is awesome. If it wasn’t for the main character, this book would seriously be a 5-star read for me.

But Kvothe just has to put his foot in everything, doesn’t he. He’s magically good at everything, including getting on my nerves.

So to rant about celebrate Kvothe being Kvothe, I bring you the following:

The (mostly) comprehensive list of things that Kvothe is ridiculously, unbelievably good at:

  • Music! Kvothe is an expert musician. He earned his pipes at a musician’s guild after trying only one time because he had two years of practice with a broken instrument. Of course, those who have been playing for decades have nowhere near his skill because of this.
  • Sympathy. The magic system in this world, sympathy, is super difficult to learn and even harder to master. But alas, as a twelve-year-old, Kvothe got instruction for a couple months from an arcanist that was travelling with him. Therefore three years later after being on the streets and not practicing at all, he was miles ahead of his 18-20 year old peers who were trying to get into the university as well. He even got paid for it!
  • The Heart of Stone. Associated with sympathy, it allows a user to divide their mind into sections to maintain different focuses at once. Kvothe, the darling, can do four, five, even six divisions while the average arcanist can do maybe three. Four if they’re really skilled. Of course, he could do this after only a year in the university. His professors are likely tenured, but that’s no comparison to Kvothe’s mighty experience.
  • Being a douchebag. And I’m not talking being an asshole character, no. He’s actually got a decent heart (one of the few positive things going for him that didn’t annoy me to bits). But the douchebag bit comes from being around Denna. Denna herself isn’t an awful character. She’s not great by any standards, but she’s (more) realistic than Kvothe is. But when he’s around her, he gets this damn smugness. Denna constantly has men around her, dating her, yada yada. They never last long, but Kvothe is constantly there. And while he’s obviously in love with the girl, he won’t make a move. Instead, he watches these men come and go and then gets smug because “he’s known her longer” He’ll outlast them. I’m not even kidding. That’s a direct quote. The friendzone only exists if you effing put yourself there, man.
  • Skimming over things that I would have found interesting. Namely the court hearing and the shipwreck. Seriously, those were some prime opportunities for character development, and instead you just go ‘that happened and it’s over. Not gonna give you any possibility to learn that I’m not entirely a butt nugget, sorry’.
  • Sex. Yep, you heard it. For the entire first book and about half of the second, Kvothe dropped the line ‘had no experience with women’ about fifty damn times. Flirted at? No experience. Winked at? Lol I have no idea what I’m doing. But suddenly he sees a Fae, jumps her, sleeps with her and then admits to her that he had never done that before. And you know what she says? Do you know what the sex-goddess-fae-that-seduces-men-to-their-doom-for-hundreds-of-years-fae SAYS? She says ‘LOL I DON’T BELIEVE YOU. YOU WERE WAY TOO GOOD AT THE SEX FOR THAT TO BE THE FIRST SEX’.
  • Sex. Yep. You heard it again. And also smoldering, apparently. Because as soon as he finishes his sexy sexiness with the sexy sex fae of sex, he returns to the human world and tells the humans what happened. And then you know what happens? All the women in the room effing swoon because he looks like he knows his way around a woman and then they decide they need to prove that human women can be just as sexily-sexed as fae. Commence more sex. Goodness gracious. I’m all for people doing what they want with their bodies, but like… these women were like we can’t let a fae beat us. This single human’s opinion matters way too much for us not to jump his bones. Yeesh.
  • Getting away with stuff. In the middle of being with the sexy-sex fae, Kvothe ventures away and finds the Cthaeh. It’s this creature that lives in a tree, knows the future and is constantly guarded because of it. It can influence world-wide events through subtle manipuation. Therefore, it’s constantly watched and any who come near it are killed to prevent any of its schemes from coming to fruition. Except that one time that Kvothe found it. ALSO, the whole ‘Any who are drawn in by the sexy-sex-fae never return. They’re doomed.’ Except Kvothe.
  • Memorizing stuff. At one point, Kvothe gets a sword. And not just any sword, he gets the Harry-Potter-wand-equivalent of swords (weird, huh. I was so totally shocked) and has to memorize its 3000-year history. How long do his teachers, the ones who have been doing this their whole lives expect him to take? Just shy of a week. How long days he take? A day and a half.

I feel like I can’t write this list anymore. It’s making me too irritated, haha. Along with Kvothe’s amazing feats there were a handful of situations he found himself in that magically solved themselves because he’s just so good at what he does, which is everything. He was taught to fight a secret fighting style that nobody outside the culture is to know. Totally was accepted into the group. Repeatedly bullied and was bullied by a rival. Neither one of them permanently harmed. Had to learn a new language. Did it in two weeks. Went out to kill five men, totally killed 20-something without issue. The list goes on.

So, shortly after deciding that there was no redeeming this guy, I went on the internet to see if I was alone in feeling this way. Luckily, I’m not, but I did read some interesting theories regarding his blatant Mary-Sue-ness:

1. Kvothe is a badly-written Mary Sue. This is one theory. This is the one that has the most evidence, but at the same time, the rest of the book is written so well. I kind of find it hard to believe that Rothfuss took such a nosedive by accident. He has to know what he’s doing, here. He has to know that his main character makes me want to punch a brick.

2. Since the book is told from Kvothe’s POV, he’s exaggerating to make himself seem cool. Maybe these events didn’t happen exactly how he’s saying. Maybe he’s an unreliable narrator… if that’s the case, he’s still a douchebag that is so insecure that he feels the need to embellish everything he’s done in his life to make himself seem neat.

3. This is the one I hope is happening: Kvothe, in present day, still has not defeated the Chandrian and his making himself seem foolish in his story so people don’t read it later and endanger themselves. Since the third book isn’t out yet, this is pure speculation. But with the skill of writing in the rest of the book, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. Evidence to this comes from present-day creepies running around killing people. I’m thinking that Kvothe never does defeat his foe and now he’s trying to make himself sound like an idiot so nobody else follows in his tracks. I hope this is what’s happening, so so badly. Another add-on theory for this is that the Cthaeh actually is manipulating him into telling his story like a ding-dong. I feel like him running into the creature once and everyone freaking the eff out about it except him is too convenient. The Chandrian and the Cthaeh. They have to be making him act like a dolt. It has to be them. Right? RIGHT?! D:

Because if it’s not… gah. Just yuck.

That being said, I did mention Kvothe had his good parts. He’s never attacked or been lecherous towards a woman, even when under the influence of drugs or had obvious advantage over them. Why are you mentioning this Emily, you say? Shouldn’t this be expected behavior of a human? You’d think so, wouldn’t you. But I’ve read too many novels where abusive or deviant non-consensual behavior has been romanticized for some unknown reason. It was nice to read a fantasy novel without any of it, for once. Gosh, when this is the only good thing about a character I can come up with, that he meets the ‘normal human’ standards, I think that says a lot about social norms and common book content, no?

He’s also good to his friends. Though honestly that’s about all he’s got going for him, at least in my opinion.


So overall: I really liked the plot, the world, the lore and the side characters. Kvothe can jump off a cliff.

Will I read book three? …Effing probably. I need to know if my theory is correct. Dammit Rothfuss, you make me crazy but I still wanna read your book. Dammit dammit Dammit. I guess that’s what make a good writer. Grr.

Overall Rating: 2.75/5 stars

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Review and Spoilery Yapping

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Read Jan 5th- Jan 7th
358 pages
YA Fantasy

– Spoiler Free Reviewy Bit –

I’ve very, very late onto this bandwagon. I feel like everyone and their mom has read this book and that a review on it at this point might be a bit redundant. But hey, I’m gonna do it anyways.

Shadow and Bone was a fast paced fantasy where nothing happened and then everything did. I feel like that was my main problem with the book – its pacing was all over the place. That being said, I still loved the thing. I was (and still am) in the mood for YA fantasy and this book definitely scratched that itch in the best way. I can see why a lot of people enjoy this book, and at the same time, I can see where many had problems with it. Luckily for me, I’m on the ‘I like it’ side of the spectrum. There were a decent amount of tropes that this book fell victim to that should have bothered me but somehow didn’t. I really must have been in the mood for a book like this. I seriously enjoyed it but I can recognize its flaws.

The book begins a trilogy following a young woman who falls into the chosen one trope. Because of this, she’s whisked out of her military lifestyle to become a Grisha, a practitioner of the Small Sciences. The Grisha wear color-coded clothing, depending on which concentration they work in. The Darkling, for instance – the ruler of all the Grisha – wheres black. Summoners – those who can summon fire, water, etc – wear blue, yada yada. There are four different colors total, and what I found interesting was that while the Grisha made up a very small number of humans, they still had barriers between the different groups. Rivalries, jealousies, strengths and weaknesses. It was fascinating reading the politics between the groups for the little time that it was focused on. The main character Alina, finds herself placed in one of these groups, but saying which one is a spoiler and would ruin why she’s ‘the chosen one’.

The plot picks up after Alina begins her Grisha training and details about the multiple wars with other countries causing strife across the nation and the unsea, a vast, huge realm of darkness that stretches across the land like a scar, are revealed.

This book has action, romance, hints of ‘magic school’ness, even though all the Grisha whine ‘It’s science! IT’S SCIENCE SHUT UP’, and great world building. Based on Russian culture, this book is definitely unique in its background. I think one of my favorite things about this book is the strong female friendship present throughout most of it. The characterization is great as well – The Darkling in particular is fascinating. His motives, his actions, all of it. He’s like watching a train wreck. I just couldn’t look away. Alina’s character, while also pretty decent, I feel still lacks a bit of development. I’m hoping that’ll change in the future two books, especially after having to deal with the events in the first one.

The writing is wonderful as well. The usage of verbage and syntax sometimes almost give a poetic feel to the book and at other times, convey grittiness and despair. I really enjoyed the writing.

And my top absolute favorite thing about this book is that I had heard rumors about certain characters going in, so I was kind of waiting for something to happen, something that would prove these rumors, and when it finally happened, I was still caught off guard. I knew something was gonna happen and I still didn’t expect it. It. was. awesome.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book. It’s given a solid beginning to a series that I’m hoping will stay just as good throughout.

4.5/5 stars


– Spoilery Yapping –

Okay so, as of 2017 I’m going to start adding these sections to my reviews. Only read these if you’ve read the book or don’t care about being spoiled out your ass.

This book was exactly what I needed I think. A YA fantasy that had handsome dudes in it to get me out of my reading slump. I read this baby in two and a half days. That’s practically unheard of for me. So this book follows Alina, right. She’s this girl who in my opinion reminds me of Violet from The Invincibles. At least, I pictured an older version of her throughout this thing. A stringy, skinny girl that (shocker) is secretly beautiful. Like I said above, tropes that should bother me but somehow didn’t. I think it was the writing and characterization that kept me from being overly annoyed by the tropes. I was just enjoying myself so much that they didn’t irk me.

Anyways. Violet Alina is plucked from her life as a military recruit to be trained as a Grisha after she blinds a bunch of people with her body. Shortly after she’s convinced everyone around her that she’s not a living time-bomb waiting to explode, she’s introduced to The Darkling, who I’ve developed a weird obsession with.

Image result for the incredibles violetThe Darkling is this very attractive ancient organism who tells Alina she’s destined for great things. And gasp, Alina starts falling for the guy. As soon as this started happening, my spidey senses started tingling and I felt the imminent approach of a love triangle. That’s because Alina’s best friend Mal (also strikingly good looking) whom Alina is secretly in love with (despite her being near him for their entire lives and her never mentioning it, shocker) saves her life and is then shipped off into war. Misunderstandings abound and Alina pines for the guy until his perfectly-timed-to-cause-drama return.

But lucky me, I’m not so sure about this love triangle anymore, especially after the end of the book. This is that thing I mentioned earlier. That rumor. I had heard going in that people loved and hated the Darkling, that he was despicable but they still loved the guy. I was 50% into the book and was still thinking ‘I don’t see it. He seems like a decent guy’ and then wham. The Darkling is actually an evil bastard.

Everything that Darkling had done up until that point, the romance, the kindness, everything, evaporated. And though I knew something like that would have to happen to prove the rumors, it still caught me totally off guard. And that’s what made me love the book: The Darkling’s character. His character is written so, so so well. Alina, upon realizing his true intentions, went back over all of his past behavior and she came to the realization that all of it was manipulative, all of it. He played her like a fiddle and showed no remorse. And the best part was, I didn’t notice any of it earlier on either and Alina’s realizations were also mine. Even parts that she didn’t go back and cover, I did, and I found them to be full of ulterior motive. I loved it. This book, this character. He’s a conniving bastard and I think it’s spectacular.

I hate the Darkling and I’m obsessed with him at the same time. Alina’s a decent character, Mal is a decent character, Genya is a decent character, but the Darkling is just morbidly fascinating and it’s great. Really, he’s like a train wreck. It’s just so awesome.

Wah, I need book two, stat. I need more.

I just sincerely hope that the author doesn’t decide to be all ‘lol Stockholm Syndrome!’ because I think I’ll have to punch the book in the head. We shall see now, won’t we.