Review: The Fallen World Series by Laura Thalassa

The Fallen World Series by Laura Thalassa

The Queen of All that Dies: 3 stars

The Queen of Traitors: 3.5 stars

The Queen of All that Lives: 3 stars

Finally I am out of my reading slump, and suddenly I’ve found myself a new favorite author: Laura Thalassa. Last year I read her novel Pestilence, and I really enjoyed it. At the end of March I got around to reading the sequel, War, and thus launched my Laura Thalassa reading marathon.

Thalassa has quickly become one of my favorite authors due to her refreshingly realistic female protagonists and her interesting and complex world-building. The Fallen World series takes place in a future version of our current society, where the entire world is war-ravaged and conquered by an evil king, Montes Lazuli. The main character, Serenity Freeman, is a soldier and emissary, and through a strange series of events ends up married to Kind Lazuli.

At first glance, the plot sounds familiar: helpless girl is kidnapped by evil guy, falls in love with him flaws and all. I started this series expecting that to be the case, but I was pleasantly surprised. Serenity Freeman is a mix of Jason Bourne, Evelyn Salt, and Natasha Romanov. When trapped in a van full of her enemies, she is the lone person to emerge alive. Her serious badassery made her such a refreshing read.

As for the enemies to lovers storyline, sometimes it works for me sometimes it doesn’t. In The Fallen World series it worked for me all thanks to Serenity. Her internal struggle with doing the right thing, saving the world, and falling for a monster is what kept me intrigued. Thalassa is excellent at making you hate, then love, then hate her characters. I understood Serenity’s reasoning, and sometimes even though I didn’t want to, I understood King Lazuli’s reasoning.

The main reason I love this series is because Laura Thalassa went there. That’s the only way to describe it. Laura Thalassa took the dial for “insane plot twists” and turned it up until it broke. The end of book two shook me to my core. I won’t give any spoilers here, but please go read this series for a killer world, badass heroine, and unpredictable plot. I seriously love this series, as evidenced by the fact I read it in five days, and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. Now on to reading more Laura Thalassa books!

Check out Laura Thalassa’s website: http://www.laurathalassa.com

Review: The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

29982722The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

Pages: 576

Publisher: Tor

Note: I received a 193 page sample from the publisher through NetGalley.


Book Summary (from Goodreads)

The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king’s three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm’s only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.


My Thoughts

The Queens of Innis Lear is a wonderful, beautifully written novel.

What most impressed me about this novel was the writing. Gratton’s writing is descriptive, mesmerizing, and magical. I felt like I was reading an old fairy tale.

When I saw how many different POV chapters there were in this book, I got worried that I wouldn’t like it. I tend to like one character’s chapter more than the others and that decreases my enjoyment of the book because I’m just rushing to get back to the POV I like. However, in The Queens of Innis Lear I enjoyed all the POVs. I empathize with and like all three of the sisters, Elia, Regan, and Gaela.

I also really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the world and the king. I felt so much anticipation while I was reading.

It’s hard to write a review based on only 193 pages, so once this book comes out I will definitely be purchasing a complete copy and writing a more in-depth review!

Review: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Ophelia
Ophelia
by Lisa Klein
 
My rating: ★★/★★★★★
 
I admit this book was a cover buy for me. I bought it for two dollars at our library book sale. The cover immediately caught me eye, and once I saw the title I was intrigued. I’ve read Hamlet in multiple classes and spend numerous hours discussing Ophelia, her madness, and her death. A book dedicated entirely to her untold story seemed like it would be very interesting.
 
Lisa Klein is a good writer. She writes with a very beautiful, descriptive style. But I found that as I got further into the book, the writing started to bother me more and more. I think that because she writes in such a slow, descriptive way, Klein takes much longer to get a point across and say anything. So by the end of the book the writing seemed so, so slow. 
 
I understand that this is Ophelia’s untold story, but what I didn’t think this book would be was a chronicle of her entire life. It’s more like a biography. I thought this would be Ophelia’s story specifically around the events of the play, which I think would have been much more interesting. Part I was about Ophelia’s life as a child. At the beginning it was interesting, but by the end I was ready to move on. There wasn’t really any plot, it was just chronicling her life. By the time Part II came around, I was ready for some action. This is when most of Hamlet’s madness and the events of the play take place. But still, Ophelia is pretty far removed from the action. Part III seemed entirely unnecessary in my opinion. Ophelia escapes the castle, hides as a convent, and worries. 
 
One of the things that bothered me about this book is that Ophelia is a member of the “special snowflake” club. She’s the only girl in court who wants to educate herself, and she’s the only girl who finds like at court boring and unfulfilling. Since Ophelia is so different from other girls, I assumed she was being set up to the hero of the story. However, in this novel, just like the play, Ophelia is a bystander. Part III really bothered me because all Ophelia does is worry about her safety. She greatly overestimates her importance, which is why she had to pretend to die and flee the castle. 
 
Ultimately, this wasn’t the book I was expecting. It seems like a lazy retelling. It was pretty boring and Ophelia as a character wasn’t much stronger than she was in the play. However, after reading this, I am more excited for the movie coming out. I think the movie is going to end up being very different from the book, because if the movie is exactly like the book, that is going to be one boring movie.