Empire of Storms Book Review

empireofstormsTitle: Empire of Storms
Series: Book #5 in Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 689
Format: Purchased Hardcover

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

As this is the fifth book, there will most likely be spoilers in this review.

When I first started this book, I knew it was going to be intense. I just wasn’t expecting it to be as intense as it was.

There was so much going on, so much that happened, and my mind was reeling after reading it, trying to comprehend everything that happened, everything that is to come, and so much more. And to be quite frank: I absolutely enjoyed it.

I found that the plot followed a steady stream from where it left off in Queen of Shadows and took a lot more darker turns, a lot more sexual turns, and showed a lot more teamwork, friendship, and hardship. It was one that I found to be full of action – and a lot more devastating action than before. There were heartbreaks and upsets, but there was also hidden joys and bits of happiness that could also be found.

So let’s take a look into the characters, shall we?

Aelin continues to grow stronger in her magic in this book, which I highly appreciate given I wanted more after the last two books from when she really started to hone her skills into the Fire Wielder she is now. Holy crap, she’s powerful, and at times I felt like she was too powerful, but I was also glad to see that even her magic has limits, that even she is susceptible to burnouts, and that she needs to replenish her magic just like all of the others who have magic have to, too. I found Aelin to be more arrogant in this book, even if it was a front sometimes, but I also found her to be more unwilling to share any sort of plans with her comrades. I felt that that was where her downfall was, because then maybe some certain events could have been prevented more, but at the same time, probably not.

Despite having so much arrogance, it’s not that Aelin doesn’t trust her friends with things (she does tell Lysandra some things), but it’s that she feels that if her plans fail that her friends will hate her for it – again, another character flaw, but one that was well done, in my opinion, because her friends got that and understood it (even if they did get a bit mad afterward). She was such a strong, kickass version of herself in this installment, and I need to know what happens to her next because she just got into a lot of shit at the end there. Oh man.

Rowan was ever the protective Fae male warrior who definitely lusted after Aelin a lot, but as those scenes between then grew and grew until they practically burst, I found that I was growing to like it more and more. Even if it was a bit much sometimes. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy what went on between them, but I feel like we lost a bit of the warrior Rowan we saw in Heir of Fire in these last two books. I mean, he still kicks ass and he’s still fierce, and willing to take down a whole arming of ilking if the need arose, but I wanted more of that stern, snarky warrior we once had before.

Manon. Oh, my ever loving heart, Manon. She was phenomenal. She was still cool and calculating, ready to rip peoples’ throats out, but I saw that humanity in her, the one she thought didn’t exist, especially when it came to a brutal decision that was forced upon her and her Thirteen. When she stood up to her grandmother, you bet I was cheering for her. She’s powerful and strong, and cunning, and I love that even though she says she doesn’t need anyone, she really does. I don’t know if she’s truly realized that yet, but she’s definitely a powerful force to be reckoned with and I’m really interested to see how she goes about accepting her bloodline, what will happen next, and if there will be any resolve as a result of it.

ELIDE. FREAKING. LOCHAN. Where the hell were you hiding, girl!? Elide definitely grew on me in the last book, but in this one? Oh, she has my whole heart now, because she just showed so much growth and strength and heart, and I thought that she was just incredible in this book. Not only did she set out on her journey to find Aelin, to do what she could for her queen, but she also showed that she’s not this frail little thing, but she has a fighting spirit. I loved her time spent with Lorcan, strained though it was, and I thought that the two were two sides of the same coin in ways. We got to learn more about her, how she uses her cunning to get through many situations, and that she’s willing to risk a lot for those she cares about. I need more of her in my life. Now.

Speaking of Lorcan, I love him. And yes, I’m totally 100% shipping him and Elide together. Even though he was kind of a jerk at the end and all of that, I want them to be together. He was very hard to crack at the beginning, very serious and hellbent on completing whatever mission he had set out to complete, but as time progressed alongside Elide, I thought that he softened a bit and slowly came to realize that there is more to life than fighting and death and destruction. I think he’ll really try to atone for his mistakes in the next book for sure.

Dorian was so cool in this book (no pun intended). He really got a hold over his magic and I thought that he did really well in learning just what that magic held. He was still kind of a lost puppy at the beginning, but he still proved that he was worth something as the book progressed, and that he was still hurting when a certain scene happened that I feel didn’t really need to happen, but there it was because ohmygodthatsexualtension. Anyway, I thought that Dorian was strong in ways even he didn’t realize, and I really appreciated that.

Aedion and Lysandra just need to get together already. Both of them proved how strong they are in different ways and how far they’re both willing to go for their companions. I found that Aedion was just as protective and hot headed as ever, and that Lysandra was really a cool calm before the storm. They really mixed well and balance each other out nicely, that’s for sure. I love how much potential each of them holds and am anxious to see more of what they’ll have to show in the next book.

As for the rest that happened? Oh, where do I even begin? There was so much more added to the story, and bits and pieces of the story from before we even knew certain characters that was shown and unfurled as the plot progressed. I loved seeing a lot of it and felt that it wasn’t too much or overbearing, but just what the characters needed in that time.

Also, can we talk about Erawan and Maeve? I seriously feel like they’re conspiring together, but both of them are so good at hiding things from everyone around them, I can’t be sure that that’s actually true. And I really don’t like Maeve. At all.

ALSO, all of those characters that came back from the novellas!? I loved that! Seeing Rolfe, Ansel, and the others was just so, so awesome and I hope that they play a bigger role in the next book.

There were just a few things that nagged me and bugged me that happened in the book that is┬ácausing this to not be a full five star read for me, and that is the amount of sex scenes in the book. I mean, I’m all for a good sex scene and it being a positive experience for the characters and all that, but I felt like there was just too much of it going on amidst the chaos of the rest of the book. Maybe it was to break up the tension, but maybe it could have been done in different ways. Like, every other character pairing wanted to get into each other’s pants. Chill your hormones.

I’m very interested to see what happens in the last book *insert sobbing here* because there is going to be a LOT of action, a LOT of heartbreak, and I can already feel my heart sobbing in many different ways.

I rate this book 4.75/5 stars and highly recommend it if you’ve read the rest of the series.

Divergent Series Review + Movie Review

Titles: Divergent; Insurgent; Allegiant; Four
Author: Veronica Roth
Series: Books 1-3 + Novella bind up of the Divergent series
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Dates: April 25, 2011; May 1, 2012; October 22, 2013; July 8, 2014
Genres: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 487; 525; 526; 208
Formats: Purchased Paperback + Hardcovers

Hello all! Today I’m going to be reviewing the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I’ve already done the various videos about each book in depth, so if you want to take a look, I’ll link them at the bottom of each review section.

Just so you know, any review I do on this blog will be spoiler free unless otherwise stated. Sometimes my videos will include spoilers, so fair warning now!

divergentDivergent Review

I thought that this book was very enticing. I will admit that I did see the movie before I read the book, and though I’m not a fan of doing that, I was still able to make comparisons and pick out my favorite parts from both book and movie.

So, when I read Divergent I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had first heard of it. I thought the premise of the story was a good one, and when I started to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fun, epic adventure that follows the journey of a 16 year old girl named Tris as she leaves her faction behind to seek the thrilling life of her new faction. She meets some interesting people along the way who help mold her into the person she becomes, including Four, who is a mysterious, and oftentimes harsh, guy who is not only her initiation instructor, but someone Tris becomes very close to.

As the story progressed I was surprised with how much time was spent talking about the Dauntless training and the various things that happened in Dauntless. It’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but it was different from the movie, in my opinion. I actually enjoyed the book more because of it and felt that I got a really good feel of what living in Dauntless would be like.

The antagonist of the book, Jeannine Matthews, is a good villain. She has a goal she wants to reach and will get rid of anyone standing in her way, literally, including the Divergent – people like Tris. Jeannine is manipulative and cunning, making for a good villain that you can’t help but be mad at.

And then there’s Eric. I don’t like him.

The book is well written and the content can pull you in. As Veronica Roth stated in a Q&A in the book, she wanted to create a character that would cause the plot to keep driving forward. I believe Tris did just that.

The story left off with a cliffhanger and there was definitely room for a sequel to come into the mix, which I will talk about… now.

I give this a 4.75/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review

insurgentInsurgent Review

As far as sequels go, I wasn’t completely disappointed with Insurgent. Some sequels are often lack-luster and can leave the reader feeling like it was just filler and didn’t need to be there, but Roth did a good job in presenting a sequel that followed the story line and didn’t disappoint.

It starts off with Tris dealing with a lot of emotional damage after the last book and it makes for a tough beginning for her as she and some of her friends have to lie in hiding from Jeannine Matthews and those that follow her. Though this doesn’t work out and the group┬áhas to run for their lives, they still manage to escape Jeannine’s clutches – for now.

The premise of this book focuses mainly on how much Jeannine wants to get rid of the Divergent. There’s a big secret surrounding them that isn’t discovered until the end of the book, but leading up to it there is a lot more action, bloodshed, and loss, but also a lot more budding romance between Four and Tris.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I will tell you that I do recommend this book and I give it a 4.5/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Insurgent Review

allegiantAllegiant Review

The third installment in the Divergent series let me down a little. I was expecting a different story, a different ending, and though the ending itself was heart-wrenching, it still made for a good ending. The premise of the story, though, felt off for the series as a whole. Let me explain why.

The premise of this book was following Tris, Four, and various other members of different factions outside of the fence lines. The point of view of this book changes, though, and is told from both Tris’s view and Four’s view. It surprised me and I questioned why Roth did it that way, but as I continued reading it did make sense for the story itself.

But that’s where it started to fall short.

The main plot to this last book was about genetic damage and how a corporation outside of the fence, known as the Bureau, was conducting experiments and watching them the whole time from outside the city limits. Our main heroes discover what they were really up to and try to stop them.

Now, this book had a lot of potential. I think if this were written for a different series, a different set of characters, it would have worked. But it didn’t seem to flow as well as Insurgent had from Divergent in terms of plot. In terms of story line, there was a continuous flow that occurred.

I give this book a 3.5/5 stars, but if you’ve read the first two books, you may as well read this one, too.

Corresponding video: Allegiant Review

fourFour Review

This was a novella collection of the Divergent series told from Four’s perspective. I enjoyed the collection and it was a fast and easy read as it told about Tobias’s past and how he joined Dauntless, flew through the ranks, and discovered a few secrets.

There were a few major continuity issues, though, and the parts that were included that made it that way really didn’t need to be and it took away from his stories overall.

I give this novella collection a 4/5 stars.

Corresponding video: Four Review

Divergent Movie Review

As stated above, I saw the movie before I read the book, but when I did see it I was hooked from beginning to end. I was rooting for Tris, I was rooting for her relationship with Four, I was captivated by the world of it, and I wanted Jeannine Matthews to pay for what she did so bad. The action scenes were enticing, the script was good, and the acting was well done.

Yes, there was one cheesy line at the end that really didn’t need to be there. Yes, the actor who plays Four, Theo James, is obviously not 18, but that’s okay. Yes, it was different from the book in the end.

If they had stuck with the original premise of the book at the end, I think it would have made for a much better lead into the next movie, but it’s obviously too late to change that. Overall, this was a well done book-to-movie adaptation and I rate it 4/5 stars.

So, there you have it! A bunch of reviews in one giant post. I probably won’t do this again unless it’s another series that I finish, but I will try to keep up with this blog, as well as my vlog, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Corresponding video: Divergent Book & Movie Review