Daughters of Doubt and Eyerolling

Month: February 2023

Thoughts on Hell Bent

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo, published 10 January 2023.

TheRightHonourableHarpyEagle: What was that?

The second book in the Alex Stern dark academia series. Not disappointing. Not outstanding. Lots of backstory. No real plot. No 3D characters. Why did it take them so long to rescue Darlington? Anorexic rabbit on cover.

2/5 Harpy Eagles

TheLadyDuckOfDoom: Too much or too little editing

I don't know what went wrong with the editing of this book, but: the timeline in this book is fucked. At one point, they discuss that they desperately need a fourth person for the ritual, but they already met and recruited them before that. At another point, Alex and her friend have been gone for 2 days after Halloween, pointed out because her friend tells her she has been asleep for 24 hours. Their roommate asks where the hell they have been, and they say ohhh the sweets exchange and then some random house caught fire??? This does not check out at all.
Either, the storyline was different at the beginning, and the editor pushed so much around that these inconsistencies occurred, or this is an all over the place pandemic book where the editor was not really working on.
Their friend might be dead, but lets just eat soup and go about our day, no need to look after him? Does not fit the characters. The 2D characters who all got a backstory because they are needed now. Aaand, vampires do exist, because they are needed for the story. 
Also, do we need to be constantly reminded about the demon dick shining like a light house? 
The only redeeming quality of the book is Alex herself, refusing to sacrifice herself. The plot "twist" at the end was shining just as bright as the demon dick, though.
This book reads like a standard urban fantasy, but with younger characters and executed or edited worse. 
When you brew up a concept one time to much, the tea tastes just like water.

2/5 duckies

TheMarquessMagpie: Hell no

I just did not care. Like, at all. So much of it was just meh.
I don't think I'll pick up the next book.
Characters reappearing out of nowhere just for effect - or in my case just a shoulder shrug, because we just don't know enough about any of them to care. Vampires! No story needs vampires anymore. Let's just ignore the fact that one of the gang might be dead, because there's soup. 
This read like YA with a dash of "what can I add to make it badass"… but in the end it still felt like YA because there was basically no depth to it. 
Also, the glowing demon dick. What the. 

2/5 Magpies – not a complete train wreck, but quite the disappointment

I prophesy a re-read

The Art of Prophecy by Wesley Chu, published 09 August 2022.

Before I even dare to share any of my thoughts about this book, let me tell you one important thing about myself: I don’t like epic books. I especially dislike epic fantasy books. I might have said this before.

The Art of Prophecy is the first part of an epic fantasy series and I really liked it. Liked it so much so that I put all the other books I have going on the back burner and concentrated on this alone. In other words, I devoured it.  

Jian is a Chosen One. The Chosen One that has been prophesied to slay the Eternal Khan. His martial arts training has been overseen by different Masters since he was a small boy. Yet, what Master Taishi encounters when she evaluates him is a spoilt boy living in his lavish palace being waited on hand and foot.

Master Taishi is appalled at how unprepared the spoilt hero of the Enlightened States actually is. She takes it upon herself to train him and dismisses his former masters. Neither the masters nor the spoilt hero are happy about this turn of events. But this is only the first of many unexpected turns that will change the lives of Jian and Taishi.

Set in an alternate China. Martial Arts fights that far exceed what you’ve seen in the cinema. A slowly expanding cast of characters. A Chosen One, Coming of Age story like no other I’ve read in a long time.

And now I am ordering the Waterstones special edition for the re-read.

5/5 Harpy Eagles

When a hermit has to leave her elevator

Scotto Moore’s Wild Massive was published on 07 February 2023.

Scotto Moore’s Wild Massive is a glorious web of lies, secrets, and humor in a breakneck, nitrous-boosted saga of the small rejecting the will of the mighty.

Welcome to the Building, an infinitely tall skyscraper in the center of the multiverse, where any floor could contain a sprawling desert oasis, a cyanide rain forest, or an entire world.

Carissa loves her elevator. Up and down she goes, content with the sometimes chewy food her reality fabricator spits out, as long as it means she doesn’t have to speak to another living person.

But when a mysterious shapeshifter from an ambiguous world lands on top of her elevator, intent on stopping a plot to annihilate hundreds of floors, Carissa finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone. She is forced to flee into the Wild Massive network of theme parks in the Building, where technology, sorcery, and elaborate media tie-ins combine to form impossible ride experiences, where every guest is a VIP, the roller coasters are frequently safe, and if you don’t have a valid day pass, the automated defense lasers will escort you from being alive.

Wild Massive: The #1 destination for interdimensional war.
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Like Battle of the Linguist Mages this seemed to be the perfect book for me. I was looking forward to the audiobook ARC and when I got to it I basically listened to the whole book in one very long session. For one, the book is massive. Also, I was certain should I put it down, I wouldn’t pick it up again.

It was interesting and I kept waiting for the weird to unfold and make sense, but –here’s the rub- the ending unfolded the weird but left me unsatisfied. All that – slow info-dumps to get the world-building across and fast paced action scenes – for a rather lame ending. I wish there had been a tiny bit “more” here, though I am not sure how this more could have looked liked.

To sum this up: It’s a wild ride with Sci-Fi and Fantasy elements and I have the feeling that I didn’t truly understand what this genre-bender was about, or that I missed some critical information.

3/5 Harpy Eagles

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