Tag «Author: Cynthia Hand»

Fresh Fridays: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:

Other books in the series:
book3

Synopsis for My Lady Jane (from Goodreads):
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

breakdown

Series: My Ladies Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
# of Books: 3 (My Lady Jane, My Plain Jane, My Calamity Jane)
Book Order: Standalone Retellings
Complete?: No
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Humour, Parody, Romance, Magic
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 – ongoing
Source & Format: Public Library–Hardcover

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

This novel was everywhere in 2016! And I’ll admit, I didn’t know much else about it other than it was a retelling of Lady Jane Grey who was somehow connected to the British throne and it was supposed to be funny. I’ve also read series by all three of these authors in the past and enjoyed them. Sounded like a winning combination to me!

So I went in without reading any other reviews in order to not raise my expectations too high. I was hoping for a fun and entertaining read–and if I learned something about the British Monarchy, bonus!

The Concept / The World:

Years ago, I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and really enjoyed it. So I am completely open to magic/supernatural changes to a classic story or history. But I really wasn’t expecting the animal shifter storyline we got here. It took me a long to time get comfortable with it.

I also think part of the problem was that I’m not entirely familiar with English History. It was a similar problem to when I picked up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer–I don’t know American history and so I couldn’t make the little connections between the parody and actual history and that diminished my reading experience.

I really didn’t know who Jane Grey was before I picked this up.  So I read Wikipedia a lot to find out who all the players were and what actually happened in history just so I knew what the authors were trying to do.

Once I made the connections between history and this fictitious story, I started to appreciate it a lot more. The writing here is smart. The conflict between shifters and nonshifters here and its parallel to the religious conflicts of Jane Grey’s time (for example) is fantastic. It’s those little things that make this story interesting to read overall.

The Plot:

I really found the first half of this book to be slow–so slow that I almost contemplated DNFing. Yes, I did love the humour but the animal shifting really threw me off and I wasn’t sure if I liked how the story was progressing. But once I got familiar with the history and got comfortable with the world, I started to enjoy it a lot more.

Plus, I really wanted to know how it was going to end!

And I have to say, that once I got to the halfway point, it really started to pick up. It got a hell of a lot more exciting and I started to get won over by the characters and the plot.

The Characters:

What I liked about this story was that it was told from Edward, Jane and Gifford’s POVs. Not only do you get to learn more about these characters through their POVs, but I find multiple POVs help keep the story moving even when it doesn’t feel like it is.

All of these characters have their little quirks which makes the narration a lot of fun to read. So even when the plot was slow to get somewhere, the characters kept me entertained.

The Romance:

It isn’t a huge part of the story but it is pretty cute. The romantic in me was happy with the little spurts we got throughout the novel.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m curious to see what will happen next and what these ladies have in store.

 

concSLOW

My Rating: 4/5

My Lady Jane 4/5  |  My Plain Jane TBR  |  My Calamity Jane TBR

overall

I’m in the minority with this book I think because I know a lot of people who LOVE this novel. If you go into it knowing that it doesn’t take itself seriously and has magical elements to it, you’ll enjoy this a lot more.

Read if You Like: humour, historical novels, retellings
Avoid if You: dislike parodies, want a serious retelling

similarreads

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Bookstr Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly Trilogy
Author: Cynthia Hand
# of Books: 3 (Unearthly, Hallowed, Boundless)

There is a also a novella that takes place between books 2 & 3 called Radiant

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Angels, Romance
Heat Rating: cold

Thoughts:

When I started reading Unearthly, it seemed that the trend for Young Adult books was now angels instead of vampires and it was a trend I had been enjoying immensely. But what drew me to this book was that the lead was the angel herself, not a human girl falling for a fallen angel. I also won’t lie and I will admit the cover also drew me in 😉

I really did enjoy Unearthly. It was different from other books of the genre and there were a few things I didn’t see coming so that was great. The little surprises along the way throughout the series made me really enjoy reading the books because it wasn’t predictable and I was interested to see what would happen next. Overall, Unearthly was a great start to a series and hit all the right marks (romance, suspense, little cliff-hangers, etc) so I was excited to read Hallowed when it was released.

Hallowed disappointed me. I think the best way to describe it is “depressing”–and by this I mean the storyline that Clara is put through is a really sad one. She deals with some pretty tough stuff and I do remember shedding a tear or two while I read it. I also started to get a little annoyed with Clara, Christian, Tucker, and pretty much every other character I think, in how they act in this book. I don’t think I ever really connected to the characters which made reading the third one extremely hard.

It took me a long time to get into Boundless. I think I took it out from the library 3 times before I actually managed to read past chapter 1. As I said before, I don’t think I really liked the characters all that much (plus, 1 year is a long time to wait for another book in a series so I think I lost a bit of my like for this series in that time). I was also expecting there to be more action in the book; especially with how the plot develops in Hallowed and what Clara keeps predicting is going to happen. But for the most part the book was slow and it often dragged. I think I read most of it by skimming through it though some parts captured my attention and made me want to continue reading.

I should note that I never read Radiant, book 2.5, in the series. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything that affected my reading by doing so. I will probably read it if my library gets a copy, but otherwise I think I am going to pass.

Conclusion:

I think if I had read all 3 books within a one week span, I would have enjoyed the series more. I didn’t hate the characters unlike some stories, I think I was just indifferent to them so that made it hard to get into the series. But, this series is unlike any of the other angel books I have read and there are always a few plot surprises hidden within that makes the books interesting to read. If you are looking for a slower paced, angel story, this is for you!

Rating: 3.5/5

Similar Reads: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire, #1); A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (A Beautiful Dark Trilogy #1) and Angel (Burn) by L.A. Weatherly (Angel Trilogy, #1)

Synopsis for Unearthly (from Goodreads):
In the beginning, there’s a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart