The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Rating: 5 stars

 

First let me say, I love Holly Black. She is absolutely, a wonderful writer. I can never get enough Holly Black. She is one of the few authors that I do not have to read the description of the book, I will just read it and know I will like it. No matter what. The Cruel Prince is no different.

I received the OwlCrate special edition, which is why my book looks different than the originals that came out.

The Cruel Prince is about Jude, a human, whose mother and father were  murdered and she was drug back to Faeire by her half-sister’s Fae father, General Madoc. There he raised Jude, her twin sister Taryn, and her half-Sister Vivienne.

Because General Madoc was Gentry, Jude was taught in school with other Gentry Fae kids. They did not like Jude and Taryn. Jude would not take it, though Taryn would be submissive because she wanted to be a wife. Jude wanted to be a knight, and trained heavily with General Madoc, who would not permit her to try out for knighthood. Prince Cardan, who is the cruel prince, is very mean to Jude. He torments her, and she fights and pushes back. His torment pushes Jude to began scheming, and making her own plans for her future, not caring if she dies, as she lost her fear along time ago. This makes her almost reckless, but as she goes with the flow, she grows.

There is so much intrigue, betrayal, and attitude in this book. I sucked it down whole and could not get enough. I found myself unable to breathe at times because of what was happening. This book captivated me around chapter 4 or 5 and sucked me in that I read into the wee hours of the night, devouring over half of the book. It was bittersweet to let go of at the end, I do not want to wait a year for the sequel to come out.

Do read this book. It is high fantasy at its finest. Black’s writing style is so fluid and easy to follow. My chest was pounding throughout the story. Go read it!

The Naturals

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The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Narrated by Amber Faith

 

  • Overall Rating: 3.78 Stars
  • Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
  • Narration: 4 stars

 

Rating Breakdown:

  • Originality: 4 stars
  • Character Development: 4.5 stars
  • Plot: 3.5 stars

Genre based ratings:

  • Young Adult: 3.5 stars
  • Mystery: 4 stars
  • Romance: 3 stars

This is a series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes about a group of teens that have special skill sets that are used by the FBI in a special group to help solve closed cases. Cassie is really good at reading people in ways that the average person cannot do. Cassie takes ‘profiling’ to a different level and the FBI are intent on honing her skills and making her stronger. She was offered the opportunity to come aboard this group of misfits, which she accepted (or we would not be having this book or review).

When Cassie was younger her mother was brutally murdered. The FBI  never found the body, nor the killer. Cassie accepted this offer for this elite group of teens in hopes that she would be able to see her mother’s file and finally have some closure. Not long after Cassie joins this ragtag bunch of teens, murders start popping up, murders similar to her mother’s. Cassie goes off kilter and trying to solve these murders in hopes that she can ultimately find her mother’s killer. Along the way, she attempts to get a feel for who she can trust, and who she should steer clear of, but, are her intuitions correct? Or is her feelings regarding her mother’s death clouding her ability to read what is going on? Dun dun duuuun!

So why did I only give the plot 3.5 stars? While I feel the book, overall, was a pretty decent story, I feel that it could have been further developed. I believe the relationships between the teens and FBI agents could have been more developed in their relation and how they fit into the story overall.  I also feel that the plot twist, though a FANTASTIC one that I did not see coming, could have been further developed to deliver a more meaningful punch to the story to have a more significant WOW factor and impact.

I gave the Character development 4.5 stars and while it may conflict with what I wrote a paragraph ago, I want to point out, that the character sketches for those in this story are spot on. Each character has their own personality, their own issues, that make them fit with the rest of the group and into the story. I feel that some characters needed more interactions in the story’s overall plot development. It felt like some characters were left out, and it primarily focused on Cassie, Michael, and Dean.  I am hoping to see more of Lia and Sloanne in the next book as they were funny, lively, and made each scene they were in, unique.

I gave this book 4 stars for originality, 3.5 for its categorization of Young Adult, 4 for mystery, and 3 for romance. Here is why, I do believe this to be an original storyline. I stopped reading mysteries a long time ago because I felt they were all done multiple times over and I could figure most of them out. This story was very unique, and I didn’t see the plot twist coming (which is why it received a 4 star for mystery). I am not sure why the subcategory includes romance. Cassie kissed Michael, secretly crushed on Dean, but there was not much more than that. Maybe in the next installment, Barnes will dive into the relationship a bit more.

Narrated by Amber Faith, this book was elevated to a more enjoyable level. Let me reiterate, though I love reading actual copies of books, every now and then, a narrator brings the book to a higher level of enjoyment. Faith did just that. However, her best narration was Cassie, the main character. I did enjoy the voices for her other characters, but I am sure as the characters develop in the story, the narration will as well.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Trilogy

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Goodreads Rating:

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children: 5 stars

Hollow City: 4 stars

Library of Souls: 5 stars

Read this series. If you haven’t, read it. It is beautifully written and incredibly original. We have all seen those old pictures around of interesting or far fetched images with people or settings that does not seem to be real. Ransom Riggs created an entire series around these photos. Beautifully mastered. I cannot wait to see the films. I am saddened that this series is finished, but it has been a wonderful journey!

I cannot write a review that will ever give justice to this series, other than to say that everyone really should read it. I have truly enjoyed reading this series. Ransom Riggs is a captivating author who keeps the reader enticed. I think it ended exactly how it needed to, but would love to know what happens “later” in life for everyone, maybe a novella a few years down the road of everyone involved.

I look forward to reading anything Ransom Riggs writes in the future!