Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Greetings, readers! Happy Thursday and thanks for stopping by Fiction Fairies. Today I'll be reviewing the novel Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...
(Summary from

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Reviewed by: Cassie

Anywho, let's begin!

The story, at first glance, is very intriguing. Not to mention that there was SO MUCH HYPE surrounding this book and its release. Of course I was curious! A girl with a newly discovered power? Stuck in a palace with people she hates? Rebellion? Sounds marvelous.
But as I continued reading Red Queen I soon became bored. There are so many plot faults! Coincidences should stay coincidences, you know? Royalty doesn't just magically visit your town when you're in the middle of a crisis. Even if they do, what are the chances that they offer you a very valuable job the next day? And it just so happens that the first day of your new job you discover you have unheard-of powers? So instead of killing you, a very large threat, the King and Queen decide to engage you to a very important person? It doesn't end there. I mean... Goodness. Mare goes from one event to the next so quickly it's dizzying. It doesn't make sense, is very loosely connected, and all serves to drive the plot. It got old quick. The huge plot twist at the end... Come on people. Was it seriously that shocking?

And the characters?
As you can tell, there were problems here as well.
At first I was optimistic. No one bothered me, I liked a few... And then stuff happened.
To start with: love triangles usually suck. This was proven yet again in this book. Mare was annoying and continuously wavered between the two guys.
Women instantly hated her. Men were charmed by her.

How boring is that? And cliche? Basically the three main characters are bothersome.

I REALLY wish I could have liked the villain of the bunch. I mean, I admit to being partial to the dark ones... the "monsters"... the ones who leave a path of destruction in their wake. They're interesting.

As you probably know, my boy the Darkling is my favorite. I will include a visual below to make myself less grumpy as I write this post. Perhaps you will enjoy it as well.

The Darkling

But the monster in Red Queen did nothing for me. I tried really hard to find a glimpse of depth, of brilliance, of anything! - but all I could see was a 2D, cliche, static character.


Then we have the side characters: Kilorn, Julian, Elara, the queen, more people I forgot about... They're brushed to the side and never examined closely. Julian (her tutor) had potential... until he lost his integrity and logic, becoming out-of-character and reckless. Apparently, Mare inspired him to action. Also, she ruined his life.

 What's new?

The romance was so horrifying and unsatisfying that I won't even go there.

That bad.

I've also heard many people complain about how similar this is to Red Rising. I haven't read this book, but from what they tell me, it's basically the same. Only Red Queen is a shoddy imitation.

To conclude: I know people liked this. People really enjoyed it, in fact.

I was not one of these people. And I can't even come up with a reasonable excuse, like "it wasn't my cup of tea"... because this is usually right up my alley.
I just detested the book. Maybe it was the writing style?

If you have any comments to share, I'd love to hear them!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Reviewed by: Cassie
Summary (from

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction-if they don't kill each other first.

Greetings, readers! Welcome to Fiction Fairies and thank you for stopping by.

Today I'll be reviewing the much anticipated book Six of Crows by the fabulous Leigh Bardugo. Yes, that's right, you heard me. The one and only woman who brought us the Darkling in all his glory, the one who wrecked my heart and destroyed all other male characters.

So yes, I was ECSTATIC when I saw she had a new series coming out. Did I dare hope for another Darkling?

With caution and apprehension, I secretly longed for another masterpiece of male speciman. I knew the chances were slim, but I STILL HOPED.

Let's get to it.

The story is, as many other people will inform you, EPIC. Like, literally epic. Long, complicated, and intense. It is action packed in every sense, and the plot is kind of confusing. Not my cup of tea, I'll let you know that right now, but somehow I still kept coming back to this behemoth of a book. Perhaps that says something about Bardugo's talent as a writer; even though I would never normally read a book like this, I felt compelled for continue... I was quite enraptured.
Fair warning: there is a cliff hanger.
(Can we admire Johnny Depp for a minute?)

Yes. In all the many, MANY pages Bardugo conjures, she felt it necessary to draw things out and then cut it all short with a cliffy.

As for the characters, I enjoyed them. I thought I wouldn't ... After all, you've got 6 main characters and therefore 6 times the possibility of me despising any which one of them... But I didn't?
That's a confusing thing for me to admit.

Because how is that possible?
The 2 females are fantastic, strong, and both possess a complicated backstory.
Inej, the Wraith... The silent girl who vanishes into the shadows, collector of secrets
Nina... A girl who fell in love with the wrong boy and made a mistake she can never take back

The 4 males are all different and somewhat lovable in their own ways.
Matthias... Honestly he reminded me of a hot viking. I have a weakness for said vikings. Even though Matthias was (for a long time) an annoying jerk who refused to give up his absurd beliefs, I couldn't stop picturing a hot viking.
Suffice to say, I forgave him for all the blasphemy spouting from his mouth.

Side note: his relationship with Nina was AMAZING. Gave me tingles, made me swoon every now and then...

Jesper... Honestly I expected him to be funnier. He was the light-hearted, wild-card, gambler of the group.
Wylan... Not much to say except I ship him and Jesper and I don't even understand why.
Perhaps because Jesper jokingly (or not so jokingly) flirted with him? There were moments, I tell you.

The demon. The monster. The one closest to the Darkling... But not nearly close enough.
He's ruthless, murderous, secretive, ingenious, mad. Crippled...

Second side note: his relationship with Inej was ALSO to-die-for. Much quieter than Nina/Matthias with less drama but just as striking. Two twisted, haunted people coming together beautifully.

I SHIP THEM ALL!!!!! Refer to this gem I found online to understand my fangirling.
Inej x Kaz

Jesper x Wylan
Nina x Matthias

But... I do have one complaint.
The romance was lacking.
I must say one thing though!!! There were some very, VERY provocative snippets interspersed in the text. Sometimes a fleeting thought just got my heart racing or a vivid image seared itself in my mind.
Very subtle, very classy, very teasing. I wanted more!

The sound of her voice, pleading with him. He'd dreamed of this. Sometimes she pleaded for mercy. Sometimes there were other thing she begged for. 

She knew she shouldn't speak, but she couldn't help herself. "And what did you do, Matthias? What did you do to me in your dreams?" ... His eyes were blue fire. "Everything," he said 
Well then.

To conclude:
I'm not sure I'll continue the series (not my cup of tea) but I do recommend you read a chapter or two and see if you enjoy this sort of book.
Six of Crows is not at all like the Grisha trilogy; it's a very different story line and writing style.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Reviewed by: Cassie

Summary (from

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend- who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California-where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

Greetings, readers! Thanks for stopping by. We hope our ever-present sarcasm and blunt nature do not scare you off. 
Today I present to thee a review for the book Walk on Earth a Stranger.

Let me tell you something.
I don't do historical. I just can't.
It just REALLY bores me. 
So you may be asking yourself, then why did you read this book, you idiot?

Because I WAS DISTRACTED. By the gold. And the magic. And the dangerous people who want her powers.
Poor me.

I actually ended up enjoying Walk on Earth a Stranger. Weirdly, I had no urge to give up on it. 
Gasp. I know, shocking, right? Lately I've just been giving up on loads of books.

The plot!
It's a bit slow, I'll admit. It may not sound slow, but reading it was dull. Maybe that's just my aversion to historical stories though? I just wasn't interested in the long haul across America to California. I didn't particularly care for the details prevalent in the trek, like the constant struggles and pains of the times. Horses and campfires and petticoats and gender stereotypes and blah blah blah.
I'm sure it's well-written and well-done (after all, I kept reading it even though I despise the genre) but it just wasn't for me.

The characters:
Oh, how misled I was!
Cue dramatic swoon.

I was led to believe Lee would be magical and gifted and SPESHUL and all that jazz, but alas, I was betrayed. How could you, Rae Carson????
Lee Westfall hardly ever uses her "powers". This may may appeal to some readers. However, I enjoy myself a cliche, SPESHUL protagonist because I think it makes the book interesting and entertaining. When they're advertised as being incredibly rare and intriguing, I expect results.
When books don't deliver on said characters, I get cranky.
Don't get me wrong, Lee is a solid character. Was I a wee bit disappointed she wasn't as witchy as I wanted? Sure. But she's also super feminist and strong and admirable and cool.
Jefferson was a strange one. I understood (I guess) the appeal, but I just didn't FEEL it. I wasn't entranced by him, I didn't find myself falling for him as Lee did. 
The rest of the characters were meh. As in, I understood their purpose but I wasn't particularly attached to them. No real emotional reaction to any of them.

The romance!
Ah, how tricky this one was, too. I kept waiting and waiting, hoping and praying... And yet it STILL didn't appear.
Can you call what went down "Romance"? I think not.
At least, not with my high-standards.
Don't get me wrong- I like slow builds. I find them scintillating and thoroughly enjoyable. But there has to be SOMETHING. Otherwise I get more cranky, and confused, and grumpy too.

So, what I'm trying to say is:
The book is unique. It's interesting. It's very well-written and strangely compelling.
Just not my cup of tea, you see. By all means, try it!

Side note: I did not enjoy the ending. I wanted at least a demonstration of her awe-inspiring powers (like a LEGIT demonstration not just some shoddy river voodoo where she crouches down and digs up a nugget).
Suffice to say, I did not get that demonstration.