NetGalley Reads – 3 Books

The Bone Witch – 3 stars: Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

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Goodreads Synopsis: Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.

Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.

I really wanted to fall in love with this book, I have heard a lot of good things about it!

So the writing of this book is amazing, there were times when I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of everything. Rin Chupeco has created one of the most beautiful worlds that I have ever come across. It felt inspired by Asian culture, so that was really cool as well. But beautiful worlds alone aren’t enough to make this book a five star, and for the first half of the book I enjoyed it immensely.

The Bone Witch is also really long, and sort of slow. It takes awhile for anything to happen.  You’re caught between loving all the words on paper, and then realizing you’ve been reading for two hours and very little has happened.

As far as the characters go I enjoyed Tea (pronouced Tay-uh), her powers to raise dead beasts were badass, her life was interesting.  The book is told in flashbacks and present time. In present time Tea is telling her story to a bard, and I had a hard time seeing how Tea from the past became Tea in the present.  It was confusing, but I also wanted to know more.

Things I wasn’t quite as happy about were just some minor details, and a lot of confusion in the second half.  I felt like the bond between Tea and her brother wasn’t explained until way into the book, and it should have come a bit sooner.   I also felt like the romance between Tea and the prince was a little weird because it just sort of was, but Tea hardly ever spent time thinking about him or even really seeing him. Maybe it was supposed to be more of a crush on her part, but then the book compared it to her teacher’s love and so I wasn’t sure.

And then the end. What happened in the end? I’m not sure, I felt like it was a mixture of not explaining clearly what was going on and making a few things too easy.
That said, I do want to read the next book in the series because I feel invested in the world and in Tea.  I want to see her burn the world down. 😀

I give this book 3.5 stars.

Waste of Space – 1 star: Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

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Goodreads Synopsis: Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show. And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.

Okay…Wow. I was expecting this book to be silly, I mean, just read the synopsis! But I wasn’t expecting it to be so stupid that I could barely finish reading it. I wanted satire! Not this.

Sigh. I don’t even know where to start with this book so I’ll keep it short. Nothing in this book is worth your time. The characters are idiotic, the plot even worse and the writing. Huh, don’t even get me started on the writing!

In short I hated this book, I would give it .5 stars on Goodreads if  I could.

Hour of Mischief – 3 stars: Find on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Goodreads Synopsis: Born in a whorehouse in the slums of Fortuna and burdened with a prosthetic arm, seventeen-year-old JANET REDSTONE doesn’t think she owes the Clockwork Gods anything—which is why she makes a living stealing from their temples. But when she lands her team in prison, making a pact with the God of Mischief, ITAZURA, is the only way to right her wrongs and free her friends.

Janet doesn’t trust Itazura as far as she can punch him, but with her soul in his hands, she has no choice but to do what he says. The clockwork gods and the bad-tempered elder gods of the ancient past are locked in a game of cat and mouse and the human realms are caught in the middle. If Janet can’t somehow convince the gods to step in a save the world, humanity is in an abyss of trouble.

Well this was an interesting read. I just finished it last night and I still don’t know how to feel.

Hour of Mischief is funny, it’s fast paced and it has decently interesting characters. At times the writing felt like the book could have been for a younger audience, even the character’s and their reactions felt like this too. Janet would say things like ” Why did my cheeks get warm? I did not give them permission to do that.”And though I laughed, the writing felt more middle grade than YA. Save for the few uses of the word “fuck” and the PG13 mentioning of Janet’s mom being a prostitute.
Also the plot was pretty predictable, which that’s the other reason I found it sounded like a younger book.

Janet herself was a good character. Strong, sarcastic, and a great thief. Everything I needed to be interested in her. Sadly the author threw in some problematic ideas that made me take off a full star. Janet, in response to a question about having relationships says she’s never had any, and then says she’s probably “broken” because of this. Unfortunately nothing was ever said to contradict this and I felt very uncomfortable with this. It would have been one thing if this was just her own musings, but it felt like the tone of the book said it was a bad thing that she hadn’t had relationships yet. It was sort of one of those “when she finds the right guy she’ll good.”

The rest of the characters were good. There’s an unnecessary romance between Janet and Itzura, but besides that I enjoyed reading the two’s interaction.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars, I wish I could have given it more.

 

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