Reading

T5W: Series That Got Worse with Each Book

The prompt for today is:

December 14th – Series That Got Worse with Each Book: What series started out strong but got increasingly worse with each book?

WOW. Talk about a really really hard topic to think about and write about. I have had to wrack my brain to find 5 series to expand on here and I’m still not sure these are the answers I’d like to give. BUT I’m always up for a challenge. Here we go!

 

  • 3236813Scarlet and the White Wolf by Kirby Crow – I loved the first book in this series. Loved it. Scarlet is a pedlar who meets a roguish bandit on a mountain pass and slowly falls in love with him. There was action, adventure, and some UST that made it all worthwhile. But, in the second book, they travel on a ship to the White Wolf’s homeland and things get…uncomfortable. Liall (The White Wolf) treats Scarlet like a child and that really bothered me. In book 1 there was all this equal footing and it slowly devolved into Liall telling Scarlet what to do all the time and withholding information from him. Perhaps this didn’t bother other readers, but it did bother me. I find myself hesitant to read book 3 and beyond if it will just be more of the same. Perhaps book 3 would redeem the series for me which is why I’m like…do I continue?
  • 23840035Dragon Blood Series by Lindsay Buroker – I feel sacrilegious even saying this. I am a ginormous Lindsay Buroker fangirl, but I have to say it. I had trouble with this series. I adored her Emperor’s Edge series to pieces. It is still one of my favorites. But I just didn’t care about these characters enough to continue in the middle of book 5. I know, I know…if I made it 5 books in, why couldn’t I finish it? But I just don’t care enough to continue. I mean, the main premise is interesting, but a dragon doesn’t show up until book 4 and so far in book 5 (at 33% in), still no dragons. I was hoping for more dragon action but it just didn’t deliver. Sorry, Buroker. Like I said, I feel like a traitor saying this… *huddles in a corner, ashamed*
  • 2917816The Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier Again, I feel like a traitor, but I have to say it. I just did not enjoy books 3 – 6 anywhere near as much as books 1 and 2 of this series. Feel free to disagree, but I just didn’t. Book 1, Daughter of the Forest is my one of my absolute favorite books of ALL time. I read it at 13 and it literally changed much of how I viewed womanhood, faith, and historical fantasy fiction in general. Sorcha is one of the bravest and most courageous heroines I’ve ever seen and her relationship with Red is precious, precious, precious. But books 3-6 were lackluster in comparison to the first 2 books.
  • 7260188The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I am probably in the minority here, but though I enjoyed book 1, book 2 was just okay to me, and book 3 was a DNF. I know it is one of the most popular series to come along in forever, but they just didn’t grab me like they did so many others.
  • 428263Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer – Again, probably an unpopular opinion, but RENESME. COME ON. Enough said, really.

 

I did it! I managed to find 5 book series that I felt could have been so much more and ended up being merely okay or worse.

What are your series that you feel really went downhill after book 1? I’d love to hear!

Reading · Tags

TBR Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Jess at Beacoup Books. So excited to participate in this fun tag! Without further ado, here we go!

 

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I use Goodreads! I’m a total Goodreads junkie. I have a giant TBR list but I divide it up into years. I’m currently building up my 2017 TBR list.

 

Is your TBR mostly print or ebooks?

Ebooks all the way baby. I actually get pretty distracted reading print books now. I love having one “page” to focus on and being able to adjust sizes and light (on my Kindle Paperwhite or my phone).

 

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I definitely go by mood. I’m a huge mood reader. That’s partially why I read multiple books at a time. Depending on my mood I’ll switch around from several books, but I try to read one at a time.

 

A book you recently added to your TBR?

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. A friend gifted me this book for Christmas, so I’ve placed it on my TBR list for 2017. It’s well-reviewed on Goodreads and I’m looking forward to checking it out! It’s an epic fantasy that seems super long, but that’s not always a bad thing. I love fantasy and even epic fantasy, unless it gets dry or too convoluted in the plot and too far away from character development. I’m a big character-person and love character-driven stories. I have a feeling this one will be plot heavy, so we’ll see.

 

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

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The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh. That cover is seriously gorgeous.

 

A book on your TBR you never plan on reading?

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I tried. Twice. I just can’t get into it.

 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

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The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova! I am seriously stoked about this book and have it preordered for my Kindle. I adored the Air Awakens series by the same author and have been looking forward to this new release for months!

 

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you? AND A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you? AND A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

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Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. Everybody and their brother has read this book and I need to get on the ball and get this one read! It looks like an enchanting and exciting read!

 

How many books do you have on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Currently, 422. Not too shabby but there is probably no way I’ll get around to all of them. I should probably go through and clean them out for REALS.

 

Tags

Basically, whoever wants to do this tag, you should go for it! This has been a fun little post and I can’t wait to see all of your answers!

favorites · Reading

Series Review: The Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.

Okay, you’ve been sufficiently warned.

We need to talk about these books. I finished them last month, but I have needed some transition time to ponder and marinate in them a bit. These books were I  one word, breathtaking.

 

TRIGGER WARNINGS

Some people are opposed to the term, but for these books I feel it is very important to highlight the various triggers present. There are several present that may disturb or upset you.

Slavery: If you have problems with depictions of slavery, including sex slavery, be warned that there is ample representation of this in these novels. They are not, however, glorified in any way. The author does an excellent thing job (through the main character) of showing disgust for how slaves are treated in Vere.

Non-consentual sex: This speaks for itself, but be warned that there is abuse and hints at abuse in these books. Again, not glorified, but some may find this ubiquitous. It goes to prove the base debauchery of this culture and its lack of regard for human equality.

Graphic Violence: In my opinion, this isn’t ubiquitous either, but serves to illustrate the cruelty of certain characters and how damaged they truly are.

 

BOOK ONE REVIEW : The Captive Prince

4 Stars (though 4.5, truth be told)

Not gonna lie, this book starts off pretty brutal. There are some major trigger warnings here (mentioned above) including sexual abuse. However, this book reminded me greatly of the debauchery of Rome and all the ways people were used as slaves in the past. It was despicable. The book did not glorify these things, as I said. It fully pointed out how depraved such acts are.

The main character is likeable. The antagonist was extremely complex with hints of a damaged past. The only reason I knocked off a star was because some of the more explicit material was difficult for me to get through, not because I wasn’t completely glued to it. This book was one of the hardest reads I’ve ever done, but it was so, so worth it for its complexity, dignified beauty, and hope for our main character’s plight even when it seems so hopeless.

Our main character is Damen–a prince who through political machinations becomes a slave to the crown prince of Vere (a neighboring, fierce nation who is at odds with Damen’s own). He is horrifically treated, particularly in the beginning, and the prince of Vere, Laurent, proves to be a cruel and calculating master.

Laurent’s country is currently ruled by his uncle the regent. Throughout the course of story, we receive hints of a difficult past between the two. Not least of which is the regent’s desire to see Laurent fight at the border between Vere and Damen’s kingdom.

Book 1 ends with the full indication that Laurent and Damen are headed for a possibly fatal battle.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and could do nothing during my days except think deeply about this horrific, painfully beautiful, utterly engaging read.

I started Book 2 immediately after Book 1.

 

BOOK TWO Review : The Prince’s Gambit

5 Stars

HOLY…oh my gosh. This book. This is easily one of my favorite books EVER. I just can’t even do it justice. READ IT. READ THIS SERIES NOW.

In all seriousness, though, this book was one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever come across. It dealt with very difficult themes in a masterful way. This was truly the best example of slow-burn and the hard road to recovery after abuse that I’ve ever seen. Consent was dealt with in such a way that I was in awe.

Damen and Laurent dealt with so much hardship in this novel and the subtext of their attraction that built in book 1 blossomed into something deep and meaningful in this second installment that I was lost for words.

Here we find Damen and Laurent on the road to the border, preparing various plans and tactics for the battles ahead. Surprisingly, Damen chooses to often willingly help Laurent with his strategies and the two grow closer during their extended time together.

We begin to see the nascent beginnings of the sort of king Laurent could be if given the chance. Damen begins to view him in a new light. I fell completely in love with Laurent in this book, you guys. I just wanted to hold him and promise him that the world is still beautiful–just as Damen does in his own way.

Book 3 had to come immediately after I finished Book 2. I couldn’t possibly wait.

 

BOOK THREE : Kings Rising

5 Stars

By the time I read this book, Damen and Laurent’s story had claimed its place among my all-time favorite series. It is a story of struggle, war, and overcoming impossible odds. I was rooting for them every step of the way. It will definitely be a series to reread countless times in the years to come.

In this book, we have Damen stepping back into his role as Damianos–crown prince of Akielos. Damen is intensely afraid of how Laurent will react to knowing his true identity, but we come to learn that Laurent has known the entire time (as I suspected even in book 1). The two are drawn into an all-out border war between Vere and Akielos. We learn that the Regent has been colluding with the imposter “king” of Akielos to undermine both Damen’s and Laurent’s claims to their respective thrones.

It becomes a race against the clock to overcome the challenges set by the Regent’s men and save both their countries from ruin. Damianos and Laurent end up somehow beating the odds and working together to save not only their countries, but themselves.

I was completely done in by this book. It has a happy ending–one that will no doubt send you into fits of tears. I don’t want to give anything further away.

Just do yourself a favor right now. Go buy all three books and get to reading. Help support the work of C.S. Pacat — one of the finest modern authors I’ve found.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

This book taught me a lot about perseverance through terrible trials. It taught me how a cruel, damaged human being can become a redeemed man. It taught me more about love and life and sorrow and heartache and resolution than many a book in recent memory. I hope that you enjoy this series as much as I did. I can’t wait to reread it again some day.

Find the series on Amazon and most other places books are sold.

Reading

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Finally Read in 2017!

Happy official Book Blog Birthday! Since I have a website for all of my author and writing endeavors, I really wanted to resurrect Unearthing Words and make it a book blog. I read a LOT. I have been reviewing books on Goodreads for a long time but have wanted to participate in challenges, buddy reads, etc. I have decided this is the best place to do it. So, without further ado, here is my inaugural post for 2016!

BOOKS I WANT TO FINALLY READ IN 2017:

  1. The Last Herald Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey // This is an older trilogy, but one that was far ahead of its time in its themes, symbolism, and storyline. I can’t wait to follow Vanyel on his journey!
  2. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss // I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this series – – including that it is many people’s favorite duology. I am eagerly anticipating seeing what all the fuss is about.
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas // I am currently reading her Throne of Glass series and an loving it. If this series is half as good as that one, I will be pleased. All the fanart out there is making me so curious!
  4. The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett // This series sounds like so much fun, I can’t even tell you. I love Scotland as a setting and an looking forward to getting lost in Francis’ story.
  5. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer // This series has been making the rounds forever and I’m so utterly behind. It sounds so interesting with its mixture of genres. Super looking forward to it.

 

These are obviously all series books, but I read so much that it isn’t a stretch to say I’ll read these and many many more in 2017. I’m a big fantasy reader, so most of these fall into that category if not all.

What are you reading these days? What are your top 5 books you’re looking forward to reading in 2017?

**Want to join in the fun? Come be a part of our Top 5 group on Goodreads!**

Reading

November 2016 Wrap Up

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Omg, I read so many books in November. And though this is totally late, I wanted to do one of these nonetheless. This was a month chocked full of family gatherings, a work break, general stress, etc. Whenever I’m insanely busy, somehow my books-read count manages to go up and up and up. I think it’s because it helps me to de-stress.

In addition to books read, I’ll also let you know what shows I’ve been watching, music I’ve been listening to, etc. Just for funsies.

Here we go!


BOOKS READ

  1. The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas (audiobook)
  2. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  3. Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova
  4. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  5. A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles
  6. 5000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox
  7. A Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles
  8. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  9. Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat
  10. King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
  11. Scarlet and White Wolf by Kirby Crow
  12. Mariner’s Luck by Kirby Crow
  13. The Other Guy by Cary Attwell
  14. Feast of Stephen by K.J. Charles


 Now, this looks like A LOT. Most of these were in fact read in November, but a few of them I had started before November and just happened to finish them IN November. 

My favorites out of this batch were:

  • Howl’s Moving Castle – Because come on. It’s a classic.
  • Crystal Crowned – the “crowning” (har har) glory of Elise Kova’s Air Awakens Series
  • A Case of Possession, A Flight of Magpies, Feast of Stephen – all by K.J. Charles, these books are freaking amazing. Sherlock Holmes meets magic meets LGBTQ fiction.
  • The entire Captive Prince trilogy – These books messed me up, man. In the best way. They were so good they are nigh indescribable. Read them. Now.
  • The Other Guy – I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but this book was so fluffy and sweet. I loved it.

 

NON-READING WRAP UP

  • I’ve been playing Pokemon Sun and it is ADORABLE, omg. I love it so much. My 3Ds is definitely earning its keep right now.
  • I’ve been listening to some SERIOUS Panic! At the Disco lately. That band is my jam. Literally.
  • Can we talk about Yuri on Ice!!!? WOW. That show hits me right in the feels. Are any of you as obsessed with it as I am???
  • Just finished “You’re Beautiful” and am in the market for a new KDrama. Anyone got any recommendations?

 

What did you read in November? Any favorites? I love suggestions and recommendations!

About Me · Dreams · Indie · Writing

NEW WEBSITE!!!!

Well, after LOTS of hard work, I have a functional author website! It will become my blog, author information site, and networking portal. If you have previously subscribed to https://unearthingwords.wordpress.com/, please follow me to my new site and follow//subscribe to it! I have thoroughly enjoyed all the fun comments, discussions, and contacts I’ve made here.

All my posts, images, content, and pages have been imported to the new site and you’ll still have access to all of my previous posts and entries. There are some new features on my website and I am VERY excited about them.

Ready for the big reveal?

Head on over to LMSherwin.com!  

The title is still “Unearthing Words”, because I love it so much and that’s what I feel it is that I do as a writer. 🙂

I hope to see you there! I’ll no longer be uploading entries to this blog, so all my new content will be over on lmsherwin.com!

Uncategorized

*Whew!* Building Website is HARD WORK!

Today is dedicated solely to working on my new website! If you’re on the new website already, then you can ignore this sentence. If you’re not, you can look forward to a new website very soon! :-) I am currently working on editing the stylesheet of the child theme to the parent theme I have chosen. It is H.A.R.D. W.O.R.K. with all caps! Still, I know I will feel very accomplished once I’ve gotten it all tweaked and pretty. :-)

I hope that once I announce my new website URL, those of you who are following me will continue to do so from the new site. :-) Thanks to everyone who has read my existing blog.  I really appreciate your readership and your comments!

Thanks for stopping by,

~L.M.