The Wicked King by Holly Black – Review

Welcome to another book review my dear friends!! Today, we’ll be reviewing The Wicked King by Holly Black. This was so much better than The Cruel Prince. Jude and Cardan were a lot more interesting, and the plot twists were amazing.

Book: The Wicked King

Author: Holly Black

Other book in the series: The Cruel Prince (Review)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.


Quote: “Someone tries to betray the High King, murder. Someone gives you a harsh look, murder. Someone disrespects you, murder. Someone ruins your laundry, murder.

*Cardan. Sassy, lazy, and an absolute jerk, but I love him! His smug arrogance and constant bickering with Jude was awesome. I also like that he is actually a broken guy with a good heart but it is the anger and blame placed on him that makes him hurt others. It makes his character a lot more complex. The things he did to save Jude, and the last few chapters made me love him – while simultaneously hating him for that ending – even more.

*Jude. She improved in this book and I felt she was more relate-able. Her struggle with power and making the right decisions were also very realistic. I think that as the story progressed, she grew more power hungry and too harsh on herself especially since she tried to solve every crisis by herself. She was also kind of an anti-hero, since her reasons for controlling Cardan are a lot deeper than just to keep the throne for Oak (that’s what I’m guessing).

*Jurdan?? Cardan and Jude were great. Their fascination with each other was amusing, and I was very happy that they were making some progress to not-hating-each-other-so-much until that catastrophic ending.

*Plot and Character. This was great. I didn’t anticipate many of the plot twists, and I didn’t guess correctly who was behind any of the betrayals. The many alliances and oaths that Jude had made were now catching up to her. The many different problems caused by Locke and Cardan was also very fun to read and I loved the other side characters. I’m not sure if it’s a spoiler to mention who was in this book, so I’ll stay on the safe side and just say they were all great.

*The Ending. The ending also took a different turn than I anticipated. I was so shocked and definitely not expecting anything like that to happen. However, it was realistic and plausible. I can’t wait for book 3!


Quote: “Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to.” 

*Taryn, Locke, and Vivi. Taryn’s such an evil and cruel sister. I can’t imagine that she could do that to her own twin. I also passionately hate Locke, especially after the first book, and my feelings about him only intensified in this one. Vivi isn’t necessarily bad, but she made some very very questionable decisions, that I thought were cruel. I think she deserved what happened to her at the end. I originally kind of liked her, but now, not so much.

*Memorable. After two weeks, I was unable to remember the smaller bits of the story. The major plot twists and the ending, I definitely remembered, but not some of the smaller twists. I just think that is a little disappointing that it was so easy for me to forget.


Quote: “If he thought I was bad, I would be worse. If he thought I was cruel, I would be horrifying.” 

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot more than book one, and I’m so excited for the third book. The characters were more likable for me, and the plot wasn’t I’d definitely recommend it, and I hope you love it if you read it!

One sentence summary: A surprising political fantasy with great characters.

Overall, 4 stars

★★★★☆

Have you read The Wicked King? What did you think? Did you enjoy The Cruel Prince better than TWK? Are you excited for The Queen of Nothing? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab – Review

Welcome to my first post of April. Today, I’m going to be reviewing Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Vicious is a part sci-fi, part paranormal, part fantasy story with an amazing anti-hero and a great plot.

Book: Vicious

Author: V.E. Schwab

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

__


Minor spoilers possibly ahead: Read at your own risk!


___

Quote: “Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

*Plot. I loved the scientific theories and aspects to the story. The possibility of humans becoming superheroes by surviving near death experiences was very interesting. Even though it can’t happen in real life, it was fun to see how it could turn out in this book.

To help with understanding this, I’m going to give a brief explanation of how EO’s, or ExtraOrdinary, humans work. After surviving a near death experience, a person would wake up with super powers. For example, after electrocuting himself, Victor was able to turn pain on and off for himself and others. Eli, after freezing himself to the very brink of death, could heal himself after getting hurt.

*Characters. Victor is a villain, but a good one. His supposed best friend, Eli, turned him in after Victor accidentally killed Eli’s girlfriend Angie. After Victor breaks out of prison ten years later, he is determined to destroy Eli however he possibly can. I was cheering for Victor the whole time because as the story progresses, you realize how evil Eli really is, and you also grow to feel somewhat sympathetic for Victor. There are two other characters that make up Victor’s team: Mitch, a huge and imposing tattoo-covered hacker, and Sydney, a tough young girl who is also an EO. Her power is to bring back the dead. I loved the relationship between the three of them, and Sydney was one of my favorite characters because of how young, sweet, and innocent she was.

*Timeline. I liked how the story flipped back and forth between the present, 10 years before, and also between the several different characters. It was nice to see everyone’s perspective of what happened and what was happening.

*The Ending. I was very satisfied with the ending, and I’m very curious to see what will happen in the next book.


Quote: “When no one understands, that’s usually a good sign that you’re wrong.”

*Star-minus. This was great, and I really liked it, but I don’t really feel that ‘five star’ feeling with this book. I wasn’t overly attached to the characters or the story. However, that shouldn’t deter you from trying this out!


Quote: “The absence of pain led to an absence of fear, and the absence of fear led to a disregard for consequences.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this, but it wasn’t a five star for me. However, I would still recommend it and I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

One sentence summary: An interesting read with great characters, and an amazing plot!

Overall, 4 stars.

★★★★☆

Have you read Vicious? What did you think? Do you have any other suggestions for books such as this? Let’s chat in the comments!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – Review

Welcome everyone to another book review! Today’s review is of one of the most super-hyped book on Goodreads, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. This was very unimpressive considering the amount of great reviews and five stars that it gets. I expected a lot more that what I got, but it was still a little fun.

Book: The Cruel Prince

Author: Holly Black

Rating: 1.5 stars

Summary: Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. 


Quote: “If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

*The Court. I liked the betrayals and politics in The High Court. All the bloodshed, arguments, and the fight for the crown was pretty okay.

*Cardan. The only character in this book to gain my sympathy was Cardan. Originally I hated him, but I finally grew somewhat sympathetic for him by the end of the book.

*Addictive. Even though it was meh, I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It had this addictive way of making you want to finish it, no matter how boring it was.

*Nothing else? It’s been about a week since I read this, and I’m trying so hard to find anything redeeming or great about this, or even remotely ‘good’, but I can’t. It was just so meh, and unmemorable.

Quote: “If you hurt me, I wouldn’t cry. I would hurt you back.”

*Jude. I don’t exactly know if I like her or not. She’s pretty confident and has this no nonsense attitude and is ready to do anything even if it’s a super bad idea and border-line crazy. I like that, but she wasn’t that great and I didn’t grow to love and cheer for her. And towards the end, I just thought she was a little too power-hungry. Also, what’s up with her and Cardan?

*Characters. Like Jude, they weren’t that memorable and I didn’t care what happened to them. Locke was an idiot, Taryn was an annoyingly backstabbing sister, Vivi was just Vivi, and Cardan’s other cronies were cruel.

*Plot. It’s just meh. I thought that it would be a revenge story or something similar, but that was not what happened at all. Jude gets herself caught up in The High Court fiasco and uses that to make herself even more powerful. Her ‘reasons’ for wanting to ‘make things right again’ were just an excuse for her to seize the opportunity that she saw to make herself an important part of The Court.

Quote: “I have lied and I have betrayed and I have triumphed. If only there was someone to congratulate me.”

I didn’t really like or dislike this. I thought it was just meh, and very underwhelming. For a book that was pretty hyped, it just fell flat. I’m super wary and unsure if I want to read The Wicked King.

One sentence summary: A very hyped book with one-dimensional characters and a boring plot.

Overall, 1.5 stars

★1/2

Have you read The Cruel Prince? What did you think? Do you think it’s worth it for me to read The Wicked King? Let’s chat in the comments below!

P.S. What do you think of the new theme?

Teaser and Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases of 2019

Hello everybody! How are you all? I’m fine except that the holiday break is over, school has resumed (*sigh*), and I’m stressing myself out for no apparent reason. It’s the second Tuesday of the month, which means a new teaser from my current read, and a new Top Ten Tuesday topic! Let’s jump right in:

Continue reading “Teaser and Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Releases of 2019”