Golden Son

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“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”

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This book by Pierce Brown was my travel companion for the last month. It saved me on endless train journeys and in boring waiting rooms. Thanks to Mona who gave me her copy of the book!

Spoilers ahead! 

Storytime! The story picks up two years after the happenings in Red Rising. Darrow serves in Augustus´ house and the other characters are also members of the active society. The loyalties forged in the academy are put to test. (I´m sorry, writing abstracts is not my best quality. But you have read the book. So you know what happened.)

The world Darrow enters after the academy is full of danger, political intrique, betrayal and enormous battles. The unpredictability of the story is simply awesome. And the ending! The bloodydamn ending!

I loved how the complex structure of the Golds society slowly starts to unfold as Darrows secret fight continues. You have to pay attention to all the different families and arrangement in the rangs of the Golds. It is wonderfully though through however it is not a light read if you want to understand the true motivations of the different parties. Well, at least for me it wasn´t.

Darrow shows his best performance so far. Everyone wants to use him for their purposes -but he just stays ahead of all them. He´s nearly too perfect, but I guess we have to live with that. Hero-type.

(Seriously, why is Darrow so good at planning attacks, thinking outside the box and trapping others? I mean, it’s fantastic and you never really know what he is planning until it happens , but oh dear, HE´S A GENIUS. DAMN. WHERE DOES IS COME FROM. WHERE DO I SIGN UP. I WANT TO HAVE HIS MIND AND BRAIN.)

Whilst the first book was more like paving the way for a rebellion, this one starts it. I have to be honest. When starting the trilogy I thought he would be “coming out” sooner. It´s not until the end that the world starts to know the truth about him -unintentionally. I never would have guessed that he starts the rebellion as a Gold. I love it. I simply love it. Darrows plan of destroying the Golds from within is fantastic. And it works. (Until it doesn´t.)

Which brings me to the betrayal. Oh, I was so surprised. I mean yeah, I assumed that things wouldn´t go as simple as planned. But Rogue? No. Oh my. The good, loyal Rogue.

Admittedly, it was bit obvious and the whole time I thought that something would happen. There where quite a few hints about Rogue in the book but boyo, I have not thought of a betrayal on that scale.

“In a world of killers, it takes more to be kind than to be wicked.”

It saddens me. I love this quote so much and was hoping for it to be… true, I guess. Rogue was so  kind-hearted. Gory damn.

This also brings me to Darrow. Oh Darrow. There where so many moment where he could have said something to Rogue. (Or Mustang. Or his other friends for that matter.) Sometimes I wanted to shake him and yell “FIX IT, DARROW!”.But well, in short: He didn´t. And that was a mistake.

And now! My favorite part! Darrow and Co attacking Mars: The Iron Rain. That was so so so good. The attack is described perfectly: short sentences, chaotic, you can literally feel Darrow panicking. Everthing happens so fast and he´s not taking all of his surroundings in and it´s so easy to empathize with him. The whole chapter is so well-written and was the icing on the cake. Seriously. It´s epicI had goose bumps all over my body.

Everything happens for a reason and there are so many thought-out and ingenious ideas and plans. This results in entertaining I-cant-put-this-book-down-what-is-he-hoping-to-archieve-with-THAT moments. Plus: Space. I love space. I love cool space tools. I was so satisfied. Space, space, space!

The only bad thing about this book is that it’s only 442 pages. Also, screw it for hurting my feelings.

I might be using bloody damn even more often now. It´s a great word, my goodman.

📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 ◊ ◊ (8/10)

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Laura 31|10|2016

 

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Book tip! Red Rising

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“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”


Before I´ve read this book I heard phrases like “It´s the next Hunger Games” or similar comparisons and because this trilogy is so much more than that, I would like to present:

Why you should start reading the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown.

 

Book 1, Red Rising:

Storytime! The earth is dying. Darrow is a Red who works deep beneath the surface of Mars, building up a habitable enviroment for the people still on earth. It´s hard work, but it´s a good cause. 

At least that´s what the Reds are supposed to believe.

Darrow finds out that the so called highColours -Golds first of all- have already spread to many other planets, enjoying a perfectly good life. He then joins a group of rebels fighting the oppression. That´s when the real fun begins. 

When I started reading I thought the story is about rebellion. I thought Darrow would rise and with him all the lowColours. I thought he would be standing up as a Red, fighting the unjust society. I thought this would go the same way many dystopic science fiction stories would. I thought it would be that simple.

Oh, I was so wrong.

The storyline is fantastic. It went a completly different way from what I expected it to go and it was great. Everything happens so much more slowly but for that it´s so greatly detailed. Don´t get me wrong -there´s going to be a rebellion. In a way. With detours. And necessary indirections. 

The world-building is skillfully done. First you get introduced to Darrow and his world which is so lovely. After that the Reader experiences the outside-and-very-hightech-world Darrow enters which was confusing at first and super amazing later. (I won´t go into detail here, spoilery stuff.) Admittedly it was the second part of the book that really got me hooked.  Though it´s sort of story where you guess who´s going to win in the end, but it´s all about the telling. It´s a mixture of science fiction and dystopia, of fights and combats as well as plotting of ingenious plans.

Hands down to Pierce Brown who had done it so perfectly. In the beginning you start to the see the Golds as cold and unlovable but as the story goes on, they become more “human”. They become more solid and tangible. It creeps up on you and suddenly there are moments where you start to cherish and even love them. You start to forget why Darrow is where he is. What the reason is why everything happens the way it happens. It´s crazily done.  (It occured to me only later but that´s problably the same way Darrow experiences it. Clever, Brown. Clever.)

I have the need to mention that there is a lot of graphic violence in the book, so be prepared if you´re faint-hearted. There´s going to be blood and cruelty. A lot. I´m serious.

Plus: There are some great characters. Darrows -lets say- “crew” consist of many different and lovable-weird-in-their-own-way people. One walks around in a skin of a wolf he killed and you will love him. I promise.

I´ll stop worshipping this now. Go and read it yourself. I don´t want to blab anything.

What a bloodydamn good book. 

📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 ◊ ◊ (8/10)

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Laura | 17.10.2016


“Funny thing, watching gods realize they’ve been mortal all along.”


 

 

 

 

 

The Book Of Lost Things

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“Stories wanted to be read, David’s mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.”
– John Connolly, The Book Of Lost Things


The Book Of Lost ThingsJohn Connolly, 2006

 

(Only mild spoilers ahead!)

Storytime!

The book is about the twelve-year-old David who has just lost his mum. His dad remarries and David soon finds himself with a new mother and a baby-brother. He hates the whole situation and soon hides behind his books. In his depression, he starts to hear voices coming out of the books he used to read with his mum. He then begins to see the Crooked Man and hears the voice of his mum asking him to rescue her. One night he follows her voice into the garden and ends up in another world.

There he meets the Woodsman who takes him in and saves him from creatures half human half wolf. In short: David then sets off to look for the King and the book of lost things, hoping to find a way back to his world.

On his journey he is constantly followed by the Crooked Man who tries to intimidate and convince him to give up his real-world family. His struggle of accepting his new family begins to fade as he understands the consequences of. The Crooked Man (a seriously seriously creepy guy) is truly gruesome and tries to persuade children to give up things they hate. He is not only wicked and cruel, he´s inhuman, fiendish and evil. He is so cringe-worthy and so frightening realistic. (I am actually really scared of him, this dude is damn creepy, holy crap.)

As the story goes on, David finds himself in complicated and cruel situations.  With every decision he becomes more mature as he tries to learn what´s right and what´s wrong. It’s a story about a boy growing up. You might say it happens in a harsh and unscrupulous way, but he manages to handle all the danger in a way an adult could not.

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.” 

It´s a fairy tale. But it´s not to be mistaken as a children´s story. It´s filled with dark and scary creatures that seem to come directly from your deepest nightmares (literally: that kind of happens there). John Connolly weaves in different tales (for example Snow White or Red-Riding Hood) and changes them into something more dark and bloody. But it´s so very well written. I would like to mention that adults and children might have a different view on some of the scenes. There is one conversation between the Crooked Man and David where I clearly felt some sublimial sexual intention. (Which is one of the reasons the Crooked Man freaks me out.) Children might not see it as such, so… it all depends on the reader.

Opinion: The Book Of Lost Things is a dark, bloody and kind of disturbed adventure. It´s extraordanary creepy and beautiful at the same time. Admittedly it was a little too dark for me sometimes. Some parts left me horrified and I just wished to see some light at the end of the tunnel. David runs from one dark situation to the next one. Well, there even are some funny scenes, but overall it is quite gloomy, so be prepared. (But, you know, it´s my opinion. Maybe it wasn’t half as bad and I´m just a frightend piece of pie.)

“Can I ever come back here’ he asked, and the Woodsman said something very strange in reply.
‘Most people come back here,’ he said, ‘in the end” 

Interesting is that at the end of the book, you don’t really know how much of what happened really happened. You don´t know if the magical world is real or if all of it happened in Davids head. But the thing is, it doesn´t really matter. It seems like a weird blending of both. It is a magical and thoughful read, so:

📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 ◊ ◊ ◊  (7/10) 

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Laura | 13.10.2016

 

 

 

 

Let´s talk Crooked Kingdom

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“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.” 

Crooked KingdomLeigh Bardugo, 2016


 

THE DREGS ARE BACK! (Sorry, that just sounded really cool in my head.)

This is going to be emotional and I apologize. 

(And yes, this contains spoilers, so hush, go go and start reading the book before coming back.)

How to review such a masterpiece? I never really thought that you could raise the bar any higher after Six Of Crows. But Leigh Bardugo did. And it is incredible.

I don’t want to go into detail with the story. It sets in right after the happenings in Six Of Crows. The crew first sets off to free its Wraith and then, Ketterdam. We spend all our time in Ketterdam, getting to know the narrow streets, harbours, bridges, market places, balconys even better -there are so many details the first book wasn´t able to cover. (Plus: Theres a BEAUTIFUL map of the city in the book)

One great thing about the book is that you never really know what´s going on. The plot is so layered and complex and tricky. Seeing the story unfold through the eyes of the different characters leaves you guessing until the last minute. You´ll always be on the edge of your seat, biting your nails.

“Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”  (Crooked Kingdom -Leigh Bardugo)

Characters/The Crows/My babes: Alright, so I don´t know where to start. Hands down for Leigh Bardugo, who put so much love in creating every single character. After Six Of Crows I thought: Wow, she really did think about her characters. But after Crooked Kingdom I thought: Wow, she REALLY did think about her characters. I don´t know any other way to put it. They are all so incredible diverse and unique and reasoned.

It´s such a joy to read the story from different point of views. It beautifully adds to the story that all characters have a slighty different view on the happenings. It´s refreshing and amusing. Right, what´s new? Wylan gets his own POVs and they are wonderful. He´s too precious.

“Though Kaz’s tone was easy, Matthias heard the dark anticipation in his words. He had often wondered how people survived this city, but it was possible Ketterdam would not survive Kaz Brekker.” (Crooked Kingdom -Leigh Bardugo)

There are so many things I am so damn happy about.

First. No one is perfect. And I do not mean that in the general cheesy “everybody is flawed” way, but Bardugo has put so many details in every character, they are so realistic and lovable. The flaws are often deep and depressing. And even more important: The flaws are not seen as bad. The flaws are not going to get fixed.

I loved this in particular. There are so many stories where people have flaws which get fixed throughout the strory. Of course, that is not necessarily bad and it might even be desirable in general. But I mean the totally unrealistic view of fixing flaws. When someone is affected by, let´s say, a  traumatic event in the past, it´s not automatically going to be gone after a kiss or a hug or anything. In so many stories, these flaws … dissapear? It´s like a character isn´t allowed to have flaws at the end of the story when he/she is supposed to be strong and grown? I just don’t get it.

I was so happy with Crooked Kingdom. No one has to overcome their flaws. They accept it and help each other not to fix it but to live and deal with them. And that’s great. That’s real.

Second. Wylan and Jesper. Okay, I am not going to freak out now. These two becoming canon is like the best thing that could happen, ever. But- not my point now. (I have to take a really deep breath now. Christ.) I meant to point out the great, not mentioned, unimportant, uncommented, totally normal gayness/bisexuality. It´s never (not once!) pointed out by one of the other characters. NOT ONCE. Yes, they do notice it.  But it´s so frickin´ normal to them and that’s wonderful. Bless it. It´s the way it should be. (It´s kind of sad that I feel the need of mentioning it but there are so so few books where a gay couple is treated like any other straight couple. So yes. I´m in love.)

“Jesper ran a finger up Wylan’s forearm, and Wylan flushed a vibrant pink. Matthias couldn’t help but sympathize with the boy. He knew what it was to be out of your depth, and he sometimes suspected they could forgot all of Kaz’s planning and simply let Jesper and Nina flirt the entirety of Ketterdam into submission.” (Crooked Kingdom -Leigh Bardugo)

Third. Not everyone lives happily ever after. It was horrible. Yes. And he didn’t deserve it, and Nina didn’t deserve it, and I didn’t deserve it. But it is great storytelling. It is surprising. It happens in the end when everyone thinks they made it out alive. 

No mourners, no funerals? I´m happy Matthias gets both.

The book will give you so much joy, happiness, anger, heartbreak, tears and general fist-into-the-air-because-genius-scheming-faces. All at once.

This book deserves to  be the brightest star in the sky. I´m gonna marry it. Love to Isa, my all time favorite audiobook-listening-bro. I am so proud of the 18 hours. 

📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 📚 (10/10)

img_0334Laura | 11.10.16

 

 

PS: Please don´t continue reading. It´s going to be messy. Thanks.

 

JESPER AND WYLAN, MY ACTUAL RAYS OF SUNSHINE.

BLESS IT, BLESS ALL OF IT, I AM DEAD INSIDE YOU CAN BURY ME NOW

HE SAID HIS FRICKIN EYELASHES WERE LONGER

NINA AND MATTHIAS I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT, I AM GOING TO CRY AGAIN SO BYE THANKS

REMEMBER, SHE LOVES HIM MORE THAN WAFFLES AND I THINK YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND

INEJ AND KAZ, THEY HOLD HANDS

IS MY TIE STRAIGHT

my heart.