Size Doesn’t Matter (14): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (14): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Spirit War by Rachel Aaron
Series: The Legend of Eli Monpress #4
Published by Orbit on June 5, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 544
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Eli Monpress is vain. He's cocky. And he's a thief.

All Eli Monpress wanted was the biggest bounty in the world. He never meant to have obligations, or friends, but master swordsman Josef Leichten and Nico, the daughter of the dead mountain, have saved Eli's life too many times to be called anything else. But, when a friend upsets your plans and ruins all your hard work, what's a thief to do?

After years of running from his birthright, Josef is forced to return home and take up his title as prince. War is coming for humans and spirits between the Immortal Empress and the Council of Thrones, and Josef's little island is right in the middle. But conquest isn't the Empress's only goal, she has a personal vendetta against a certain thief.

What started as a simple side trip to help a friend is rapidly turning into the most dangerous job of Eli's career, but he can't back out now, not when Josef needs him. But when you're under attack from all sides, even the world's greatest thief can find himself cornered, and it's going to take all the fast talking Eli can muster to survive the next few days.

Man, at this point I am REALLY starting to realize how much I need romance in my books. I was doing okay until this book, but now that a potential ship has been introduced with no kissing, I’m realizing how parched I am for kissing. Lack of ships aside, The Spirit War is the best Monpress book yet. It’s basically the Two Towers of Eli Monpress.

The Spirit War is mostly Josef’s book, but Eli also gets a fuckton of character development and back story. From a character perspective, things are getting really fucking intense. Also from a plot perspective actually. Mostly, I want to give Eli a million hugs. Like, I knew Benehime wasn’t good, but oh man now I have an idea of how bad she is and it’s not good. View Spoiler »

The Eli Monpress series continues to be a pretty slow read for me. I really like it obviously, but I find that the writing style makes it easy to put down until the end when shit starts going down. Aaron will switch focus at the end of each chapter and go to a new character, which keeps me from really focusing on the book. It’s all good, but it’s not something I speed through.

The end, though, was madness. Seriously, there’s this war and it is like defending Helm’s Deep, because they are totally outmanned and outgunned (ironic since in neither book do they actually have guns) and just hoping against hope they can hold out until reinforcements arrive. It’s epic as hell. Also, even though I predicted the ending, it was still really startling and intense because um how are they ever going to get out of thisssss? View Spoiler »

One more book to go. Here’s hoping my Nico/Josef ship will actually sail. That’s all I ask. Well, that and Benehime going to the special hell.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (14): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerThe Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Narrator: Christopher Guetig
Length: 15 hrs, 20 mins
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1
Published by Listening Library on October 6, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

I’m of mixed opinions about The Sword of Summer. On the one hand, I actually think it’s the best series starter of Riordan’s I’ve read. It starts with more of a bang even than Percy Jackson, what with View Spoiler ». Plus, I think it’s awesome that Magnus’ talents do not lie in fighting, which has always been the big strength of the main male protagonists thus far.

In some small measure, Riordan’s doing some new things here. The women in the series so far are the best fighters among the main characters. Magnus isn’t a fighter. There isn’t an obvious ship yet, either, and I dearly hope Magnus and Sam aren’t intended to be a thing down the line. The diversity seems better-handled and feels less forced than in Heroes of Olympus, though there also isn’t that much of it.

At the same time, though, it’s not enough. I’m tired of the formula. I’m tired of the chosen one, who always has to be a white male. They go on adventure after adventure, overcoming a prophecy in a tricky way at the end of each book. It’s grating on me more and more that all these ancient religions, based in foreign countries, now have focal points in the US. Like, did it have to be set in Boston? Couldn’t it have been set in Scandinavia? But no, of course not. It’s mostly not set in Midgard anyway, but this just bothers me. In the prior two series, I was able to let it go, but it bothers me that none of these things are changing at all. I’d been idly hoping that he and Gunilla might be the ship, since she’s similar to Clarisse and that would be something different, but View Spoiler ».

The audiobook wasn’t my favorite. Christopher Guetig fits Magnus pretty well, but I didn’t love a lot of his voices otherwise. He wasn’t a bad narrator, but he wasn’t particularly engaging either. Print would be my preference over audio, I think.

I’m on the fence about continuing this series. I don’t think I would at all, but I do want to see more of Annabeth, and there’s the chance that Percabeth could turn up. I just really wish that Riordan would diversify in so many senses of the word.

Size Doesn’t Matter (14): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerHello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 9, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Usually I post these mini-reviews in the order I finish the books, because there’s really no reason to do anything else. In this case, though, I actually have a fully written review in my drafts folder, one which I’ve decided not to publish. I don’t want drama, so I’m going to keep it simple.

Reports of this book have been, in my opinion, greatly exaggerated. From what I’d heard, I was shocked how much I liked this book. Hello, I Love You is cute and fun, and I read it in just a couple of hours. The setting and the culture shock and Grace’s character arc were my favorite parts, despite being what I’d feared. Her mom’s visit really highlights how much she’s learned and where Grace’s tendency to be a bit of a jerk came from. She’s learning, which is really all anyone can do. What I didn’t like so much was the romance. It’s not quite to unship levels but I don’t really get their connection, and I think Grace treats him pretty poorly in general.

Hello, I Love You is worth a try for fans of manga, manhwa, kdrama, jdrama, anime, etc.

One response to “Size Doesn’t Matter (14): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger”

  1. Jessie says:

    Okay, I have only read the Eli book so clearly I am here to share Eli feels. This is also the book where I realized how much I liked the books but how much MORE I would if there was more time given over to feels, and shippy feels in general. I love the characters so much that it PAINS me to not have kissing scenes or flirt-filled banter.

    And yeaaaah Benehime. You knew she was bad like “whoa fire bad” but she’s also like “creepy fucker bad.” I felt so much for Eli in this. It’s definitely Josef’s book but ooohhh Eli.

    I can’t wait for you to read the next book! 😀
    Jessie recently posted…Backlist Review: Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian HearnMy Profile

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