Stacking the Shelves (174)

May 28, 2017 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 0 Comments

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Instagram Posts

I’ve been really trying lately to do more with Instagram because all the Bookstagrammers these days are so inspiring and it’s really quite fun! ♥ These are a few of mine from the past week and the rest of them here. 🙂

New Book

Only picked up the one this past week. I own another Didion already that I haven’t read but I’ve had my heart set on owning this one for ages. It sounds incredible.

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Purchased
Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion

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Recommended Reading: Civil War Fiction

May 27, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 2 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Civil War Fiction 101

Early Review – Sisters of Shiloh by Kathy Hepinstall & Becky Hepinstall HillikerIf you’re looking for two sisters who choose to join the battle…

When Libby’s husband dies in the war, she vows to avenge him by joining in the war effort. Her sister is unable to let her go alone so disguises herself as well and the Josephine and Libby become Joseph and Thomas. The two sister writing team crafted a truly sorrowful yet memorable tale in Sisters of Shiloh.


Paperback Release Day Feature + Giveaway! I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabeIf you’re looking for a woman who disguises herself to fight beside her husband…

I Shall Be Near to You is another moving story of a woman disguising herself in order to join in the war effort. It’s heartrending and inspiring and Rosetta was a truly remarkable character that was  inspired by the letters of a real-life female soldier who fought in the Civil War.


Book Review – Fallen Land by Taylor BrownIf you’re looking for a behind the scenes tale set during the Civil War…

Fallen Land is a more subdued tale of the era, removed from any actual battle but no less fraught with brutality. It’s a harrowing tale of two people who fell in love in the midst of war while being chased by bounty hunters. It’s a slow, meandering tale with a positively sumptuous writing style.


If you joined in for today’s topic, link up below by sharing your blog post link in the comment box!
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Better Late Than Never: The Dead Zone by Stephen King

May 26, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Better Late Than Never, Book Reviews, Read in 2017 4 Comments

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

Better Late Than Never: The Dead Zone by Stephen KingThe Dead Zone by Stephen King
Narrator: James Franco
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on April 25th 2017
Length: 16 hours and 11 minutes
Genres: Horror
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep

three-half-stars

Never before on audio! A #1 national bestseller about a man who wakes up from a five-year coma able to see people’s futures and the terrible fate awaiting mankind in The Dead Zone—a “compulsive page-turner” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Johnny Smith awakens from a five-year coma after his car accident and discovers that he can see people’s futures and pasts when he touches them. Many consider his talent a gift; Johnny feels cursed. His fiancé married another man during his coma and people clamor for him to solve their problems.

When Johnny has a disturbing vision after he shakes the hand of an ambitious and amoral politician, he must decide if he should take drastic action to change the future. The Dead Zone is a “faultlessly paced…continuously engrossing” (Los Angeles Times) novel of second sight.

*First published in 1979, this is my first time reading The Dead Zone. Better late than never.

Johnny Smith has lived with physic abilities his entire life but it isn’t until the car accident in his 20s that they become an undeniable ability. He lay in a coma before waking to discover that his girlfriend at the time is now married, that he’s lost four years of his life, and that he now possesses the ability to witness the future of any individual (and sometimes even objects) he touches. Sometimes the future he sees is only a few minutes ahead of the present time but sometimes it’s years ahead. The truth of his abilities are revealed to the public after the highly publicized account of him waking after a four-year coma, and the limelight changes his life irrevocably. He sequesters himself from the public after the demands for his assistance in finding lost loved ones/missing persons, despite his mother, Vera Smith, and her insistence that he was brought back “to do God’s work.” When news of a high-profile serial killer hits his radar, he begins to feel morally obligated to at least try to help. And when he shakes the hand of an up and coming politician and foresees not just his future but the future of the human race, Johnny has to decide what is “right” and if he’s now duty-bound to changing the future so it never becomes our present.

“We all do what we can, and it has to be good enough, and if it isn’t good enough, it has to do.”

First published in 1979, The Dead Zone ended up being far more relevant to today’s time than I ever would have predicted. The future of the dirty politician that Johnny foresaw is a man by the name of Greg Stillson who started off as a nobody yet rose up in the ranks and quickly became the popular vote for the next President of the United States. His political platform and personal style were aimed towards the working class and he was prided on his honesty but had a definite lack of tact. He completely lacks any political knowledge, has big plans for America (albeit most of them beyond ludicrous), and is a devoutly religious man. Stillson is first introduced almost as a caricature of a real villain, someone that can’t possibly be taken seriously, but you slowly realize his influence on the vast population is something that cannot be brushed off as having little consequence. The ludicrousness didn’t last long after realization dawned. As I said… most relevant, right?

The Dead Zone is many stories in one. The beginning is a long drawn out section detailing Johnny’s recuperation in the hospital and the subsequent surgeries that were required for him to ever be able to walk again. Once he’s back on his feet, literally, the story switches focus to catching the serial killer, and you begin to think that that’s the plot except that story finds resolution and hundreds of pages remain. It came off slightly clunky, almost like we were being left out on parts of Johnny’s life that weren’t interesting enough for the page, but at least in this instance, James Franco’s narration gives these characters life. His acting skills are on full display to helpfully differentiate the characters, making Johnny a mellow smooth-talker, and giving Stillson a villainous voice that accurately matches his vile actions. Despite the definite lack of any type of horror (unless you count the potentially horrific reality of it all) and the obvious backpedaling done on that ending, The Dead Zone ended up being a vastly different King than I’ve come to expect but was still no doubt a thrilling story.

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Audiobook Sync: Week 5 Titles | Freakling and Boy (May 25 – May 31)

May 25, 2017 Bonnie Audiobooks, Sync 4 Comments

This week’s free set of titles is ready to download! Make sure you get these downloaded by May 31st because a new set of books will be available to download on June 1st. In case you’re new to the Audiobook Sync program, here are the details:

Any individual may participate by downloading the OverDrive App to their device of choice and returning to the SYNC website each Thursday after 7am Eastern Time to download the new audiobook pair for the week. Each title is available for one week only, but once downloaded they can be kept forever, so the opportunity to listen can extend well beyond the term of the summer program.

This year’s program kicks off on April 27th and there will be a total of 32 titles available to download each week. Be sure to sign up for email and/or text alerts at Audiobook Sync to remind you when new titles are available. The audiobooks can be downloaded onto your computer and easily transferred to your smartphone for easy listening — and remember that these audiobooks are yours to keep!

Now without further ado, your free audiobook titles this week….


 photo freakling-75927-sync2017-1200x1200_zpsbhxualip.jpgFreakling (Psi Chronicles #1)
 by Lana Krumwiede | Read by Nick Podehl |
Published by Brilliance Audio | Download available here!

Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand. Taemon has learned to blend in, to pretend he’s just like everyone else in Deliverance. To pretend that he can’t send his mind wandering into objects and see exactly how they work. But Taemon’s brother, Yens, suspects the truth, and he’ll stop at nothing—even murder—to expose Taemon’s secret. In this thrilling dystopian novel from newcomer Lana Krumwiede, Taemon must choose between accepting his life among the freaklings or fighting for the destiny he’s never wanted?—and all that comes with it.

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Boy by Anna Ziegler | Read by Sarah Drew, John Getz, Travis Johns, Amy Pietz,
Bobby Steggert |
Published by L.A. Theatre Works | Download available here!

Anna Ziegler’s Boy is a powerful statement about sexual identity and the mystery of what makes us who we are. After a baby boy is seriously injured in an accident, a doctor persuades his parents to raise the child as a girl. As the child grows up, the child—known as Samantha and Adam at different times—faces an extraordinary challenge to carve out a place in the world.

Happy listening!

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Waiting on Wednesday – Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill

May 24, 2017 Bonnie Adult, Waiting on Wednesday 14 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe HillStrange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on October 24th 2017
Pages: 448
Genres: Horror
Format: Hardcover
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: NOS4A2

A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill

“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap.
A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”
On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.
In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.

About Joe Hill

Joe Hill's debut, Heart-Shaped Box, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. His second, Horns, was made into a film freakfest starring Daniel Radcliffe. His other novels include NOS4A2, and his #1 New York Times Best-Seller, The Fireman... which was also the winner of a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror Novel.

He also writes short stories. Some of them were gathered together in his prize-winning collection, 20th Century Ghosts.

He was awarded the Eisner Award for Best Writer for his long running comic book series, Locke & Key, co-created with illustrator and art wizard Gabriel Rodriguez.

He lives in New Hampshire with a corgi named McMurtry after a certain beloved writer of cowboy tales. His next book, Strange Weather, a collection of novellas, is due in fall of 2017.

I’m a mega fan of Joe Hill, sure, but not only does this compilation of stories sound incredible but that cover is all sorts of amazing too. Dying for this one. DYING.

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What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Planned Beach Reads

May 23, 2017 Bonnie Top Ten Tuesday 10 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

When I think of beach reads, I think of contemporary novels. Most are fluffy and contain some form of romance. I don’t typically read a lot in that genre type but they are fun occasionally and I currently find myself with an abundance of them on my TBR. These are the ones I’d pick to accompany me onto the beach. 🏖

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Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave [Purchase]
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert [Purchase]
Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis [PurchaseOnly $1.99 on Kindle!
Love is a Mix Tape (Music #1) by Rob Sheffield [PurchaseOnly $1.99 on Kindle!
I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron [Purchase]

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What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin [Purchase]
Heat Wave by Karina Halle [Purchase]
Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe? by Hazel Osmond [Purchase]
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie [Purchase]
The Boy Next Door (Boy #1) by Meg Cabot [Purchase]

Any of these you’d recommend I bump up the priority on? Which books would you bring to the beach with you?

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Something To Look Forward To – Week of May 22nd, 2017

May 22, 2017 Bonnie Something To Look Forward To 5 Comments

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Here’s what’s releasing this week: a blend of YA, Adult and the occasional Middle Grade. Something for everyone to look forward to! All book purchase links go to their respective Amazon page.
Help support this blog and use the purchase links to get your copy!

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Week of May 22nd, 2017

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The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by HarperCollins

Refuge for Masterminds (Stranje House #3) by Kathleen Baldwin [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Tor Teen

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Hold Back the Stars: A Novel by Katie Khan [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Gallery Books

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Rise of the Isle of the Lost (Descendants #3) by Melissa de la Cruz [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Disney-Hyperion

Dove Alight (Dove Chronicles #3) by Karen Bao [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers

In a Perfect World by Trish Doller [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Simon Pulse

The Romeo Catchers (The Casquette Girls #2) by Alys Arden [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Skyscape

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The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers

Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by HQ

Roll by Darcy Miller [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by HarperCollins

Waiting on Wednesday – Black Mad Wheel: A Novel by Josh Malerman photo 31868315_zpsjfrnt5cu.jpg photo 22431764_zpszor6ryxj.jpg photo 33099585_zpszgauldgg.jpg photo 31212988_zpspvtmsnqv.jpg

Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Ecco

Radiate (Lightless #3) by C.A. Higgins [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Del Rey Books

Dreaming of Zhou Gong (The Timekeepers #1) by Traci Harding [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Voyager

River of Teeth (River of Teeth #1) by Sarah Gailey [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Tor.com

The Caledonian Gambit by Dan Moren [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Talos

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Crazy House by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 22nd 2017 by jimmy patterson

What She Saw: A Novel by Gerard Stembridge [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Harper Paperbacks

Enemy of the Good by Matthew Palmer [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Roses of May (The Collector #2) by Dot Hutchison [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Thomas & Mercer

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Simon Schuster

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The Long Drop by Denise Mina [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

Shadow Man by Alan Drew [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Random House

Perish the Day (The Storm Murders Trilogy #3) by John Farrow [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Minotaur Books

Watching the Detectives (The Country Club Murders #5) by Julie Mulhern [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Henery Press

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Dragon Teeth: A Novel by Michael Crichton [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Harper

Blood Oath (Laura Elliston #2) by Melissa Lenhardt [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Redhook

Isadora: A Novel by Amelia Gray [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Little Sister: A Novel by Barbara Gowdy [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Tin House Books

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Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group

A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Bloomsbury USA

Chemistry by Weike Wang [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group

The Heirs by Susan Rieger [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)

According to a Source: A Novel by Abby Stern [Purchase]
Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

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Stacking the Shelves (173)

May 21, 2017 Bonnie Sunday Book Haul 14 Comments

Between some Kindle sales, an Audible sale, and my Book of the Month order, I’ve got tons to share today. 🙂

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Purchased

I finally discovered Clive Barker last year and I’ve slowly been accumulating his collection of stories. And can you believe I haven’t read any Scalzi yet? I’ve been on a bit of a true crime kick lately and had to get Helter Skelter when I saw it on the audible sale! And Thick as Thieves, of course. Added bonus: Steve West narrates. 🙂

Kindle
Abarat (Abarat #1) by Clive Barker

Audibles
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
Lock In (Lock In #1) by John Scalzi
Thick as Thieves (The Queen’s Thief #5) by Megan Whalen Turner

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I had a couple of free book credits so I used those to get the newest from Megan Abbott and David Grann. Very excited for all of these!

Book of the Month

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

What new books did you get this week?

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Recommended Reading: Fairy Tale Mashups

May 20, 2017 Bonnie Recommended Reading 101 2 Comments

Taking classes and getting excited for the assigned reading was always my favorite part of school. Using that same concept and turning different genres, locations, and subjects into a course of their own, you could come up with your own assigned reading. These would be my picks for recommended reading, what would yours be?

Fairy Tale Mashups 101

 photo 49011_zpsxrmjemhj.jpgIf you’re looking for some Gothic fairy tales…

I’m super late to the Angela Carter party but oh man, did I love this collection. Each of her stories is a retelling of the fairy tales we all know already (Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss in Boots, Beauty and the Beast, etc.) with her own special Gothic twist. They’re macabre and eerie and a total delight to read.


Book Review – Indexing by Seanan McGuireIf you’re looking for something with fairy tale detectives…

Indexing is the first installment in a series about a government agency that monitors fairy tale manifestations and prevents them from getting out of control. The concept is that people are born predisposed to a certain fairy tale and if allowed to run its course, it could be disastrous for the rest of the world. Highly entertaining.


 photo 13533748_zpswtulxiqw.jpgIf you’re looking for some fairy tales in comic book form…

Fables: Legends in Exile is the start of a long and thrilling series about the inhabitants of Fabletown, a town kept veiled from normal humans which allows the fairy tale beings to live right alongside of us. This is the first installment of a 22 volume series (not including the additional spin-offs) so be prepared to devote some time.


If you joined in for today’s topic, link up below by sharing your blog post link in the comment box!

 

 

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Book Review – A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

May 19, 2017 Bonnie Book Reviews, New Adult, Read in 2017 4 Comments

Book Review – A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 2nd 2017
Pages: 720
Genres: Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon|B&N|Book Depository|Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Queen of Shadows

three-half-stars

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.
As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series

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A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Well, it’s finally here.

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I’m so exasperated and everyone and their mother has given this 5 stars at this point so I’m feeling like quite the outcast. I liked A Court of Thorns and Roses, adored A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin was quite possibly my most anticipated book of the year. I took the day off work to read this and while I can’t say that I regret doing so or that the book was bad, it just wasn’t what I was expecting. There were things I liked and things I didn’t like, so I’ll start with the good.

The best parts of this book were, surprisingly, the war scenes. We all knew a war was coming in this installment but I never quite expected it to be nearly as epic and for all the fae and their magical powers to be quite as badass as they were. Savage, brutal, and thrilling (and the war makes up a large chunk of this book). In terms of the best (non-violent) parts, Feyre getting to explore more that the Court of Dreams has to offer was lovely. Her depictions of the city were enough to form magical cities in my mind, but the library carved inside an actual mountain? The shelves built into the stone walls, the reading nooks, the low-burning lamps, the cozy chairs, and the fireplaces.

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And lastly, I loved how she incorporates all of the lesser characters that seemed to have minor roles in the conclusion: the Suriel, the Weaver, the Bone Carver, and even a new terrifying beastie.

And now onto the bad.

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I’ll do my best.

My first issue: the beginning. The story opens where the ending of Mist left off with Feyre returning to the Spring Court. She’s intent on gathering information about King Hybern and his armies but it turned into this long and drawn out affair that transformed Feyre into this cruel and vindictive person that I didn’t much care for. What she intended to achieve simply didn’t seem necessary to the story as a whole either. My second issue was actually with the writing itself. I’m not sure if less editing was done, or time constraints to get this done and published (or a combination of the two) but this read incredibly uneven. There’s so much to accomplish with a final book in a series and it felt like Maas had a checklist of things that needed to be answered, actions that the characters had to take to set up certain events, etc. and we bounced hurriedly onto the next task on her list just as soon as one was completed. The story lacked a grace and flow that was needed to draw these three stories together in order to give it the final farewell it deserved. And lastly, in terms of farewells, the ending caused the majority of my grumbles. Maas implied throughout the entire book of things impending that never came to fruition and things ended all nice and neat with a pretty little bow on top. Clearly, many (and I mean many) fans were perfectly content, I, unfortunately, was not. But as I said, it wasn’t a bad ending but it wasn’t the ending I expected.

Maas has already announced that there are two additional trilogies to come set in this same world and while I was originally excited, I’d really like to know the focus on those stories before committing to more. What started as a beauty and the beast retelling turned into a fascinating world full of magic and fae. While I don’t give this final installment the highest of marks, this was still a most engrossing trilogy.

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