Wonder Woman: Warbringer
I was wary of reading this book because, well, I suppose I find it difficult to consume a character in a different media than I am used to. Because I am not a comic reader, I have only seen Wonder Woman on screens and was thus afraid of the author’s inability to portray her correctly. I was afraid that there would not be enough substance to fill an entire novel. But I saw that the book was being met with excitement and anticipation so I took the chance.
I enjoyed it. The Wonder Woman and warbringer lore were all new to me and fascinating. I was interested enough in the plot to keep reading. Once through the middle, you will find yourself flying through till the end. It was jam-packed with fight scenes and surprises, like a really good action movie. I liked the characters enough to care whether they lived or died but mostly I kept reading because of a “what next?” compulsion.
In the end though, the book is ALL plot and I was glad I had borrowed it from the library. Kudos to the author though, for including many POC characters and keeping faithful to Wonder Woman’s feminism. That’s nothing to frown at.
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Three out of Five stars
I didn’t know much about this book other than the information on the dust jacket. It sounded funny. It sounded kind of like a Harry Potter thing with the school of magic. I didn’t know that it was a carry-over from her Fangirl novel (which I haven’t read). I didn’t know that it was like a fanfic inside a fanfic trying to be a stand alone novel. The similarities to Harry Potter (while not reading as parody) were so jarring that I had to stop a few chapters in and Google some information on this book.
It is entertaining. It is important as a LGBTQ+ positive, YA novel. And it does stand on its own merits. Eventually. The first half of the book was slow and too steeped in Harry Potter parallels. I know we all miss JK Rowling’s world, but we are not seeking to read something so similar that it could have been published on the internet under a screen name. I am just unsure as to why the later (unique) elements were not incorporated into the front of the book.
While I don’t mind switching view points, I think we had too many in this book. It detracted from the development and appeal of other characters. The conclusion was also anticlimactic for our main protagonist.
Carry On was not a bad book, but I would say that it was a disappointment from Rainbow Rowell.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
4.8 out of 5 Paws
This is an unusual book and a bit of a jarring switch from her usual if you spent the past couple months working your way through Stiefvater’s books. I would classify this one as magical realism.
I loved that I could tell Stiefvater was a fellow horse lover. I didn’t know for sure until after I finished the book and looked it up. It was the way she wrote about them. Even the blood-thirsty sea horses.
I also ended up looking into whether or not Thisby is real place. It’s not. But it felt so real. That was one of the real strengths of the book. You could feel the sand and taste the salt on the air.
It was a love song to place and animals.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
4.5 out of 5 Paws
I’ve made no secret of my love for Maggie Stiefvater. YA books are important and she’s one of the authors you should be reading. And as much as I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I think that The Raven Cycle surpasses my adoration. If I was doing an overarching starred review, the cycle would get five stars, and I think my favorite book out of the four is The Dream Thieves.
I’ve rated The Raven King with a very high 4.5 because it was beautiful, scary, and a satisfactory ending to the saga. There was even room left for a sequel series, which I didn’t love, but I’m sure the fanfiction writers did. I read that Stiefvater was working on a Ronan specific trilogy. I wasn’t expecting that but I am delighted by the thought. A rating of 4.5 means I thought very highly and even loved this book but it’s probably not one I will try to read again and doesn’t push anything off my favorites list.
see what I thought of the other books:
The Dream Thieves
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
4.5 of 5 Paws
I’ve been putting off writing this review. And to be honest, in the past, my record for actually reviewing every book in any sort of series has been meager. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s because few author’s have the ability to make each installment stand on its own. Perhaps it is my tendency to binge read a series in order. Maybe I need emotional and temporal distance from each novel.
That being said, I do think Stiefvater is one of those authors that can and has mostly written books that stand by themselves. Especially for The Raven Cycle. (What the flip do you call a book series with four books? Trilogy is easy. Three. What is four? Quadilogy? Maybe I’ll Google it.) I’m just going to admit right here and now that I am a huge Maggie fan. Might as well face facts. I hate to give her less than five stars, but towards the third quarter of the book as we move toward the end, I felt absolutely jarred by the transitions that we follow Adam through. In my opinion, they were too fast and too rough. If I came out of the story enough just to think about the concept of chapter transitions, then it is going to be a sticking point.
All-in-all, it’s another great read. I immediately rented the fourth book from the library.
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Five out of five paws.
Maggie Stiefvater never disappoints which is really rare for a multiple series author. Her books are the reason I tell people of all ages that they should still be reading Young Adult.
Stiefvater’s books have always been wildly imaginative, and if she based her mythology on any real-world stories, I had never heard of them (although I suspect Glendower was an actual historic figure). The series feels entirely original. Just when the reader thinks she has run into a cliche and is getting ready to roll her eyes, Stiefvater turns the cliche on its head. Every character is smart in their own way; every character is fascinating and rounded. The cliches are twisted and so is the action, with a surprise around every corner. And if that wasn’t enough, Stiefvater’s writing style is a treat. I remember picking up “Shiver” years ago, reading the first paragraph and being hooked by the beautiful way she used words.
I loved “The Dream Thieves” and am already reading the next book in the cycle.
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
At first, I was a little bored with this book because it seemed to be a thinly veiled, angsty teen, love story where nothing happens. But I really like Stiefvater (especially her writing style) so I persevered and I am glad I did.
Yes, Sinner is a love story featuring a werewolf but underneath it is so much more than that. It is a brutally honest portrait of a city (L.A.). It is a study in addicts and addiction and grief and guilt. It asks a question of humanity: do human beings ever truly change?