Saturday, February 29, 2020

Short and Simple Reviews: Call Down the Hawk, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, and The Hand on the Wall

This is a place for books that I didn't fully review.
Maybe I listed my likes and dislikes, had a little short paragraph, or a few sentences to convey my feelings on the book, but whatever the "review" is, all of them are short and simple. (hence the clever name)

Call Down the Hawk (Dreamer Trilogy, #1)

The dreamers walk among us . . . and so do the dreamed. Those who dream cannot stop dreaming – they can only try to control it. Those who are dreamed cannot have their own lives – they will sleep forever if their dreamers die.

And then there are those who are drawn to the dreamers. To use them. To trap them. To kill them before their dreams destroy us all.

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer . . . and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed. . . 
  Goodreads / Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

I admit that while I loved The Raven Cycle, my memory of it is vague. So I loved the fact that while this book takes place after the events of The Raven Cycle, this series feels like it stands completely on its own! Which also means that the focus is entirely on Ronan! It's great seeing characters from original series in spin-off but, time for more honesty, I hate it when spin-offs focus more on every single beloved character from the original series, rather than the focus character and the new characters (*cough* The Dark Artifices *cough*). This book did not have that problem. We get a whole new story! It feels like the same world of The Raven Cycle but it explores the world of Dreamers and it really answers a lot of questions that never got answered in the previous series. We learn more about Ronan's family. We see whole new characters, like Jordan Hennessy. Her ability is so intriguing and I look forward to seeing her more in the series. And, we get a whole new set of problems! Overall, this is a promising start to a spin-off series and I look forward to the next book!

I hereby give this book
4 Stars
Meaning: I really liked it!

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

I really liked book one (I gave it four stars), but I had a really hard time with this book. I just kept wanting to push it aside. It reminded me why I do not gravitate to fantasy, even though I love fantasy books. Fantasy books are dark and there is no happiness until the very very very end of the series. And until that very very very end, the characters will make stupid decisions and these stupid decisions mean that people will die. That was this book. Every time I was frustrated by someones' choices, I would put the book aside. Characters would also change opinions like a switch and it really did not make sense? Amani wants to run, but then she wants to attack. Zelle was the other way around. Everyone hates Amani, but then she has an opinion they agree with so they love her? Even though they would not listen to her opinions before? It was strange. The plot does pick up later in the book and I did find the last interesting. 

Overall, I am not sure how I feel about this book because I am kind of disappointed, but I do not know what part of that was just my own stress. This book did feel like it had middle-book syndrome so maybe the next book will be better.
I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson delivers the witty and pulse-pounding conclusion to the Truly Devious series as Stevie Bell solves the mystery that has haunted Ellingham Academy for over 75 years.

This is such a fantastic series and while I am slightly disappointed that it is coming to an end, I am not disappointed by this conclusion! After the last book, I wasn't sure what this book would focus on because Stevie "solved" it, but this book made it clear that there was a lot that still needed wrapping up. I loved the glimpses of the past with the present, which also made it clear that we can never really know everything from the past (although Stevie figured most of it out!). The book is just formatted spectacularly, with the reader knowing a little bit more than the characters, yet it still feels like we don't know everything, with Stevie three steps ahead! This book kept my attention and once I started, I kept flipping through the pages to the end. I loved Stevie, she is such an intelligent and strong character, but I also loved how the book also shows that even she has anxiety and panic attacks. I wasn't as much of a fan of David. I feel like he never really grew up and I'm not on board with the relationship between him and Stevie. Overall, though, this is such a fantastic mystery series! It feels both classic and new all at once and I felt like it just kept surprising me!
I hereby give this book
4 Stars
Meaning: I really liked it!

RECENT COVER REVEALS: January & February Round-Up

Here are all the cover reveals I have come across the last two months!
(Click on the cover to see the book on Goodreads!)

Which cover is your favorite?