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Series Reviews: The Callahans by Monica Murphy

Fresh Fridays: Close to Me (The Callahans #1) by Monica Murphy

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

The Callahans Series

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Close to Me (from Goodreads):

Asher Davis. My first crush.

My first kiss.

The boy who ripped my heart out of my chest again and again. Over and over. I let him have it every single time.

Willingly.

We are that toxic high school couple you hear about, the one you witness in the hallway avoiding each other. You laugh at them in class when they’re forced to work together, their gazes full of hatred. We are the couple you gossip about when they win homecoming prince and princess their sophomore year…

The back and forth is what kills me the most. I’m not his princess, I’m the girl he toys with when he’s bored. And he’s definitely not my prince, no matter how badly I want him to be.

Our senior year and we’re months away from never having to see each other again when disaster strikes—and brings us closer together. All it takes is one touch, and I’m burning for Ash. Hotter than I ever have.

But will that burn turn into a devastating fire? Or can we actually make it work this time?

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Series: The Callahans

This is a spinoff of the One Week Girlfriend Series.

It has its own spinoff: The College Years Series

Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected (#1-2, #5-7) + Direct Sequel (#3 & #4)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2020 – May 2022
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook; Author–ARC (#3, #5, #6, #7 only)

Books #3, #5, #6 & #7 only

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WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, this review may have spoilers!

**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Drew and Fable (One Week Girlfriend) hold a special place in my heart. Their novel was one of the first New Adult Romances I ever read and therefore helped set a standard for what I look for in a NA read. I love their relationship and their story.

So getting to watch their kids fall in love? YES PLEASE!

How Does It Compare To The Original?

Just like the original series, I was sucked right in by these two. The back and forth moments from their past had me hooked to see what would happen next. Monica Murphy can write great tension between her leads, making the slow burn all that sweeter.

Another thing I really loved–that we don’t often see in YA–is great supportive parents. Part of Drew and Fable’s issues in their respective stories is their shitty parents so it was great to see them break from that cycle and be great, supportive parents. It was amazing to see what an impact parental relationships can have on a YA story.

Anything I Didn’t Like?

I do think I could have done without the few chapters from Ash’s perspective. Because most of the book is told by Autumn, I had built up this idea of Ash and his feelings so sometimes his POV chapters seemed to contradict what I have perceived earlier.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Very excited to see who will fall in love next!

updates

–October 26, 2020– Book #2: Falling for Her

While I thought his novel was super cute, I struggled a lot with the pacing. In some ways, it felt longer than it needed to be but it also allowed for the romance to have a slow burn to it that I rather enjoyed when all is said an done. Developing their friendship and having Jake work on himself a bit allowed the romance to be deeper than I initially thought it would be presented as.

–October 26, 2020– Book #3: Addicted to Him

Disclaimer: I stopped reading Addicted to Him at 13% (Start of Chapter 14).

So when I discovered who Ava would fall in love with, I was very excited. We got little tidbits in the previous novel and that just stoked the flames a little higher for me so I couldn’t wait.

OH BOY, this was a mess from the start for me. It’s such a shame too! But our hero turned me off by the end of Chapter 1 with his behaviour and I had a hard time seeing how the Ava I had come to know in the other books would fall for his shit.

I did give it a few more chapters to work itself out. After all, I love a good redemption story. But alas, he did not redeem himself and I found their romance to be problematic as a result. My Goodreads review explains it better here. And knowing that their story continues in another book, I bowed out.

–October 26, 2020– Book #4: Meant to Be

Because this is a direct sequel to book #3, Addicted to Him, I did not read this installment

–July 12, 2021– Book #5: Fighting For You

I didn’t read the book where these two are introduced but I was immediately sucked into their story. Normally I don’t like being thrown into a book where it’s assumed you know something about the characters because they were in a previous book. So I didn’t need to be overly familiar with their past because I wanted to see their future.

I thought both characters really matured throughout the story and went about their circumstances in a healthy way. It was positive and heartwarming but also had a good dose of reality along the way.

–January 14, 2022– Book #6: Making Her Mine

I’ve been looking forward to Beck’s book since the start of the series. He is so sweet and has a great heart. I think he is the perfect combination of his parents’ personalities so I wanted to see that all come together and for him to find his perfect match.

I haven’t read the prequel stuff, When Bae, about these two and maybe I should have. They move at a fast pace because of their shared past and I wish I had that background experience (even though you definitely get the gist within this book). But these two reinforce the idea that when you are with the right person, things come easily and feel natural. It was so obvious that they liked each other but kept missing their shot for one reason or another so it was so sweet seeing things finally align for them!

It’s bittersweet that this is the last book of the Callahan clan. I know we are getting a wedding book to wrap everything up but this is the last time we see one of the kids fall in love for the first time so I’m going to miss that aspect and spending that time with this family.

–May 15, 2022– Book #7: A Callahan Wedding

In a way this is a love letter to fans of the Drew and Fable Series, The Callahans and the College Years Series. You get the glimpses of where everyone is in their lives years later. Everyone loves a happily ever after and I’m one of those readers who needs to know every single detail of characters’ lives once their story ends. To me, a story isn’t complete without an epilogue and this novella series as the last extended epilogue to so many great romances.

My Series Rating: 4/5

Close to Me 4/5 | Falling for Her 3/5 | Addicted to Him DNF | Meant to Be N/A | Fighting for You 4/5 | Making Her Mine 4/5 | A Callahan Wedding 5/5

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While it was angsty and the drama does get a little over the top at times, this is an addicting romance for new and returning fans–if you read the first two books. I didn’t like the content of the 3rd book nor how it continued into a duet. But Book #5 reminded me how great Monica Murphy’s romances can be.

Read if You Like: angsty YA romance, supportive parents
Avoid if You: dislike YA contemporary romance

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Series Review: Cruel by K A Linde

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Synopsis for Cruel Money (from Goodreads):

She was supposed to be a one night stand.

A way to sate my sexual appetite.

I let her glimpse the man I am. The face that I hide behind my carefully cultivated life. But she ripped open that divide—and there’s no going back.

Now, she’s here. In my city.

I don’t care that I’m Manhattan royalty and she’s the help.

Only that she’s living in my summer home. With me.

And I want more.

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SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Cruel, The Seasons (#4-#7)

This crosses over with the Wright Love Duet Series.

Author: K A Linde
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There multiple bonus novellas (Full Reading Order Here)

Book Order: Chronological (#1-3); Connected (#4-7)
Complete?: No
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: January 22, 2019 – ongoing
Source & Format: Inkslinger PR–eARC (#1-3); Library–eBook (#4-6)

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

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**This post was originally published as a Blog Tour Stop review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I want a romance with a wicked twist along the way, K A Linde is my go-to author. She never fails to surprise me when it comes to the drama of her romances. The romance is steamy and the drama is high–just what I like!

I was excited for this new series because it seemed like something I would love. Forbidden romance. NYC. Paris. I couldn’t wait to dive in!

What I Liked:

–Natalie–

I’ll be the first to say that I had to slowly warm up to Natalie a bit. I think her anger at the start made her seem abrupt and perhaps a little rude? But as the story progressed I really loved how she grew a backbone and become confident in herself. She doesn’t become this dependent heroine, rather she really does achieve independence so I was definitely on board with that!

–The Side Characters–

As I often am with these types of stories, I immediately got sucked into the lives of the side characters. I really hope we can elaborate more on their romances and shared histories in future novels.

Cruel Intentions meets Gossip Girl

Without a doubt, Cruel Intentions has one of my all time favourite romance tropes at the heart of it (playboy falls hard for his target) but I also adore (weird I know) the manipulation of the characters. Which is where the Gossip Girl comparisons come in. I associate the Upper East Side with high drama and backstabbing frenemies and a whole lot of angst. That’s all definitely here.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Wish-Washy Penn–

Don’t get me wrong, I had a major crush on Penn. He’s charming and everything I like in my playboy heroes so I was a fan. But I had the hardest time getting a read on him. Just when I think I had him figured out, he’d do something that just seemed out of character for me. I suppose part of that is the point of the story (you don’t really know his true intentions) but it just made his character lack some stability as a character (if you get what I’m saying).

–It Seemed a Little Tame?–

I came in expecting a lot of drama and I don’t think I got as much as I wanted. Sure, the story is super angsty and there is lots of Upper East Side Drama like you expect. But everything just seemed a little more toned down than I’m used to. But I could definitely sense that things were building by the end of the novel so I’m thinking bigger things are to come!

When to Read #0.5 One Cruel Night:

I would highly recommend that you read the novella before you read #1 Cruel Money. I found that novella really highlighted Natalie and Penn’s relationship and gave me a foundation that was lacking at the start of the novel for me when it comes to the romance. It gives you their history but doesn’t give any of the big secrets away either. Plus, the novella is super great; I wish it was longer!

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

Things are ramping up and I can’t wait to see how all this will unfold!

How it Crosses Over with the Wright Brothers Series:

My understanding since that is one of the few K A Linde series I haven’t read (yet), that Penn and Katherine are featured as the friends of the leads in that series. You can definitely read one series without the other.

updates

–May 1, 2019– Book #2: Cruel Fortune

You can read my full review of book 2 here!

–June 14, 2019– Book #3: Cruel Legacy

You can read my full review of book 3 here!

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–March 12, 2022– Book #3.5: Cruel Promise & Book #4: Cruel Truth

Originally, Books #4 to #7 were going to be their own spinoff series (The Seasons) but now they are lumped together under the Cruel Series. Which works for me and makes sense: all these characters have their lives intertwined with each other.
I read Cruel Promise before I read Cruel Truth and that is definitely the way to do it. It provides much more background between our leads in the full novel–information that I felt was lacking in the actual novel. It provides a lot of context and I think the novella does a much better job of showing how these two work romantically.

–March 27, 2022– Book #5: Cruel Desire

I really loved watching these two move from hate to love as they slowly peeled back each other’s layers. It was sweet to watch them slowly realize their misconceptions of the other were wrong and slowly fall in love, not just lust. I got a little bored by the end though with the back and forth drama that just seemed to be a little too much.

–April 7, 2022– Book #5: Cruel Marriage

I feel like this book has been building since the very first Cruel story–and I think it was my most anticipated. I really enjoyed the many layers to this novel. From the hate-to-admit-I-love-you moments to the complex leads, I was captivated by the journey these two take. Would I have liked to have had more flashbacks to key events in the past? Yes — and I think readers who pick this up as a standalone will miss out by not knowing those past moments because they are mentioned as if you should already know. Overall though, I enjoyed this!

My Rating: 3.5/5

[One Cruel Night 4/5] | Cruel Money 3.5/5 | Cruel Fortune 3.5/5 | Cruel Legacy 3/5 | [Cruel Promise 4/5] | Cruel Truth 3/5 | Cruel Desire 3.5/5 | Cruel Marriage 5/5 | [Cruel Kiss TBA] | Cruel King TBA

overall
This is perfect for fans of Cruel Intentions and angsty romance reads!

Read if You Like: Cruel Intentions, the Upper East Side
Avoid if You: dislike angsty, billionaire romances

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K A Linde

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding Series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon

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Series Review: Gentry Boys by Cora Brent

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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Synopsis for Draw (from Goodreads):
“All my life I’d always known what the Gentry boys were. A set of fraternal triplets born to a depraved family, they were rough, sexy and wild as wolves.”

SAYLOR…
I don’t even know if love is real. After running from the bastard who brutalized me, I limped back to Arizona, choosing a vibrant college town in the hopes of starting over. I never expected to find him there. Cord Gentry. He and his brothers were tough, lusty forces of nature I’d known since childhood. Years ago, Cord seduced me as a sick game. I’ve hated him ever since. Now here he is again, a man who beats other men bloody for money.
Cord has always been heartless, dangerous, not to be trusted.
And I want him so much I can’t think.

CORD…
They called us ‘those white trash Gentry boys’ until we believed that’s what we were. Our people squatted at the edge of a hellhole prison town for generations. The childhood we endured was the stuff of nightmares. I’d learned early on that my brothers, Chase and Creed, were the only people on earth worth my time.
They all told us we were bad, that we’d always be bad.
The horrors of the past have scarred my soul.
But now I need to be better. For her.

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Series: Gentry Boys Series

Fall (#4) is a crossover between the Gentry Boys Series and the Defiant MC Series.

There is a spin-off series: Gentry Generations

Author: Cora Brent
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order)

There is a novella: #5.5 Cross

Book Order: Connected but chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama, Bad Boys
Heat Rating: Toasty (it’s more crude than other series in terms of language)
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: July 2014 – August 2016
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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Disclaimer: I never picked up Fall (#4). Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

For some reason I was really looking forward to Draw. I think it was because the two leads had a not so nice past involving some sort of “sick game” and I love stories like that. There is just so much sexual tension and drama with those types of books so I was really looking forward to it. Plus, the whole series focuses on a set of bad boy triplets so that’s a bonus point in and of itself.

My Review:

However, Draw wasn’t what I was really expecting. I was expecting Saylor and Cord to have to work on their relationship given their past and her current situation but instead it was a love at first sight situation and ya’ll know how I feel about those (FYI: I hate them!). So while I loved them together I did not love the fact that things happened so fast between them. It just made me feel like the romance part of the book was lacking and because the last half of the book focuses more on a dramatic event the is important for the next two books it emphasized that thought even more. It’s a shame really and I think if the execution was a little different it would have made the book more enjoyable.

So I was happen when I was reading Risk because the execution was much better. I loved watching the leads work on their relationship and the balance between the romance and nonromantic elements of the was great. I also liked how it gave little tidbits about the leads in the next book Game which made me really excited to read it.

But when it came to reading Game it was a bit of a disappointment. Again, I felt like the romance part was shortened more than I wanted it to be. So while I liked it, I didn’t love it like I was expecting.

There will be a fourth book about the triplet’s cousin Delcan which will be published in early 2015. I’m looking forward to it based on the little we know about him and will more than likely pick it up.

Why I Won’t Be Picking Up the Rest (February 5, 2017):

I’ve just lost interest in the series. I liked it but not enough to invest in the next 4 books. I’m just so out of touch with this series now.

Series Rating: DNF

Draw 3/5 | Risk 4/5 | Game 3/5 | Fall  N/A | Hold  N/A | Walk  N/A | Edge  N/A

overall

Not the greatest series ever but I enjoyed watching these bad boys fall in love. If you like watching manly brothers falling in love and changing their ways, this is a cute series to pick up.

Read if You Like: reforming bad boys, quick love, overarching plots
Avoid if You: want stronger romances, dislike alpha males
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Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Series Review: Lorien Legacies by Pittacus Lore

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for I am Number Four (from Goodreads):
In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now. The Nine had to separate and go into hiding.

The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I AM NUMBER FOUR is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth.

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SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Science Fiction Series, Top Series #17
Series: Lorien Legacies or I am Number Four Series

There is a spin-off series: Lorien Legacies Reborn

Author: Pittacus Lore (Fun Fact: This is actually the name of a character in the book!)
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There is an entire set of novellas that provide background info and other stories. The complete list can be found here Lorien Legacies: The Lost Files

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Action, Aliens, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person (I am Number Four); Multiple (Power of Six onwards)
Publication Dates: August 2010 – June 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook; Hardcover
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

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Like most people, I only read I am Number Four because it was about to be released as a movie. I tried my best to finish before the movie but I wasn’t able to read it fast enough before it was out of the theatres. I still haven’t seen the movie but once I find a copy of it, you’ll be the first to read my review on it!

I know the movie bombed at the box office and this book isn’t particularly a hit with readers either. And that’s a damn shame because the rest of the series is far superior and so fantastic that lots of people who probably would enjoy reading it probably dropped it after reading I am Number Four.

I am Number Four isn’t anything special. It’s actually pretty mediocre and follows the typical Young Adult Science Fiction plot line: boy is in hiding, discovers his special powers and falls in love with a human girl. It’s very formulaic. It also doesn’t help that Four/John isn’t the easiest person to like. He’s kinda whinny and has a bit of righteous attitude that rubbed me the wrong way. But I loved Sam (his sidekick) and I loved the concept of the story. And by the end of the book, we get a bigger and better plotline that makes reading the next book so awesome.

The Power of Six was absolutely fantastic! After I finished reading the book, I even said so to myself. I really really enjoyed it. There is a lot more action and more about the purpose of John & company is revealed. I think it helps that we get a few more characters to read about so you don’t get John-overload. It was just a lot of fun to read about and had everything I love in a good series novel.

The Rise of Nine picks up right where The Power of Six leaves us (and thank goodness for that!) and it keeps going with the faster-pace action and has lots of twists and turns. It was hard to put this one down as well.

The Fall of Five is much slower than The Rise of Nine action wise in the middle of the book but I also devoured it. This was more a book about plot development but I never found it dull because of the multiple perspectives and the twists always had me thinking. I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see where the next two books go in the series because the building up of the story has been fantastic in the last two novels. The wait until August is probably going to kill me 😛

As for the novellas, I’ve only read one or two. You don’t really need them to appreciate the world and I find that Pittacus Lore is good at reiterating the little facts about each character as you go between the books so things are always fresh on your mind. But they do make for a good way to pass the time while waiting for the next novel 😉

updates

–October 9, 2014– Book 5: Revenge of Seven

Words cannot describe how excited I was to read to read the Revenge of Seven. August has become synonymous with the release of these novels to me so I was absolutely dying to get my copy from the library. While Revenge of Seven wasn’t what I was entirely expected (I thought we were going to get a certain character’s perspective but we didn’t) I loved every minute of it. This book was really about building up to the final climax so I found it wasn’t focused on the physical action so much, though don’t get me wrong there was plenty of action just not as much as previous books. I really loved how everything is coming together and I can’t wait to read the final novel!

–November 19, 2015– Book 6: Fate of Ten

I was probably halfway through Fate of Ten when I realized that it was NOT the final book of the series. That irked me a little because I had opted to pay a late fine at the library in order to finish it thinking I was getting the grande finale.

Despite that, this book was good. Again, not as action packed as the previous novels though it does increase as you reach the end. It helps link up all of your questions and has some interesting developments that have me on edge to see how everything is going to wrap up. Solid book overall.

–August 22, 2016– Book 7: United as One

I loved and hated every moment of this book. Loved it because it was everything I wanted the ending to be but hated it because I am seriously going to miss this cast of characters!

I thought this book started slow–then again, it’s been so long since I read the previous novel. Everything started to come back to me the further I got and I found myself once again drawn into the struggles of these characters.

I really, really liked this ending! The journey is finally at a close and what a wild adventure it has been!

Series Rating: 4.5/5

I am Number Four 3/5 | The Power of Six 4/5 | The Rise of Nine 5/5  |  The Fall of Five 5/5  |  The Revenge of Seven 4/5  |  The Fate of Ten 4/5  |  United as One 5/5

overall

Don’t judge the series by I am Number Four. I like to think of I am Number Four as one big prequel novella for the rest of the series. Those who love science fiction and stories with lots of kickass action, you will enjoy the rest of the faster paced books in the series! So while it is important to read I am Number Four, don’t let it dissuade you from reading The Power of Six. But if you don’t enjoy The Power of Six, then you won’t like the rest of the series because that is what the rest of the series is like.

Read if You Like: slower starts, world-building, aliens, YA Science Fiction
Avoid if You: want more romance, dislike science fiction

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Series Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for Throne of Glass (from Goodreads):

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined

breakdown

Series: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)

There are five prequel novellas in the series. Find out more here.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Romance, Fantasy, Magic
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: August 2012 – October 2018
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook & Hardcover

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up:

I find that it is really hard to find a book with a strong female lead nowadays. And by strong, I mean a girl who doesn’t need a man to complete her, who can fight for herself and it helps if she can kick some literal butt. After completing the Vampire Academy Series, I have been on the search to find said leading lady. So when I read the promise of a female assassin in these books, I jumped at the chance and I am happy to say I think I found the girl for the job (or should I say “hit”? ;)).

Initial Impressions:

These books aren’t just straight action though. There is also a dangerous game of politics afoot as well as romance, mystery and drama so there is rarely a dull moment. There were also some plot twists along the way but I think a few were a little predictable (at least in Throne of Glass) so that is disappointing.

I only have two “peeves” about Throne of Glass. One “peeve” would be the lack of a particular character from the novellas in the novel–I just felt like said character played such an important role that they should have been mentioned more than they were in the book. My second “peeve” is the love triangle. I am not a fan of this “plot twist” so I would rather do without it; though I didn’t find it as “consuming” like it is in some novels. Basically, it isn’t the main focus of the book so bonus points there. I also want to say that Throne of Glass started a little slow and it did take me a while to get into it. Unlike the novellas that jump right into the action, this one takes a while to build so just be prepared.

I’m not sure where the next 5 books are planning on going, but I am excited to have another long-running, action packed series on my to-read list now. If only they could be released sooner!

updates

–December 7, 2013– Book #2: Crown of Midnight

I finished Crown of Midnight about a week ago and it’s taken me that whole week to grasp what just happened. When I said I wasn’t sure where the next few books were going I wasn’t lying. I didn’t see what happens coming and I am SUPER excited for the next book!

First, I have to say that the two peeves I commented on before are no longer an issue. Said character is mentioned more than enough to satisfy my requests and the love triangle is “resolved” for a lack of a better term. Unlike Throne of Glass that focuses on Celaena becoming the champion and kicking butt, this book focuses on the magic present in the kingdom and what is happening in their world. While there is still plenty of action, we learn a lot about all the major players and learn what game is truly afoot in this kingdom. Celaena especially has some great character development but still retains her kick-ass heroine status.

This book also hits the ground running. Lots of plot twists and developments that kept me guessing and putting off other aspects of my life just to read the next chapter. Definitely a strong sequel and the best book of the series so far!

–May 23, 2015– Book #3: Heir of Fire

I’ve never anticipated a book as much as I had Heir of Fire. So you can imagine my disappointment when Heir of Fire turned out to be…well…a slight disappointment. After waiting forever on my library’s waiting list, I tried to read this book in November 2014 and just couldn’t get into it. I got halfway through before I gave up in defeat and had to return it, vowing to try again later.

Well, the 2nd time was the charm! Despite getting halfway through the last time, I started Heir of Fire right from the start. This one starts slow and it’s been so long since I read Crown of Midnight that despite my killer book summary (I write down what happens in each book), it took me a while to get back into the groove of things.

I guess I expected it to be like Crown of Midnight which had me from the first word. This one was just a lot of wallowing and it was a tough time for Celaena, so it was a little depressing to read. The critic/analyst in me understands the need to slow things down and let things develop in this book but it just bored me; especially when I was expecting high action given the ending of the last book. But once I got past the halfway mark, it really was non-stop and I had a hard time putting it down.

Overall, I liked how things developed and I am SUPER SUPER excited to see what happens next. I feel like this book was the little speed bump that usually happens in book 2 of trilogies and I don’t discount the need for it in the grand scheme of things: it just wasn’t what I was expecting initially but it definitely improved as I read!

Catch my spoiler filled rant on Heir of Fire Here!

–October 9, 2015– Book #4: Queen of Shadows

I was terrified the hype monster was going to kill this one for me so I dutifully ignored all reviews of this book before I read it. I’m glad I did because I went in with a fresh mind and was really able to enjoy it.

Queen of Shadows has much better pacing than its predecessor, though the page length really got to me. I was in it right from the start, felt a little drag in the middle but really felt like it pulled it socks up at the end. It still doesn’t beat Crown of Midnight for me in terms of a favourite, but it’s pretty close.

I really liked the plot twists and LOVED the character development. I also really liked that characters who were prominent in the novellas finally were brought in. More so than in the previous novels, the plot was really tied to the prequel novellas. It almost makes me wish I had read them more recently than when they were first published because all these characters would have been fresher in my mind.

Can’t wait to see where this story goes next! My faith has been officially restored in this series!

–October 25, 2016– Book #5: Empire of Storms

So I went from having my faith restored to being more than a little bored with this instalment…

I felt like the first 60% was filler–which makes for a slightly dull read when this book is 576 eBook pages long. While the plot does move forward in that time, it definitely dragged while doing so. It’s been a long time since I read the previous instalment so trying to get all those details page in my head (despite the killer notes I took when reading Queen of Shadows), specially the family trees (I swear everyone’s name starts with a G or an A or an E), didn’t make this enjoyable for me.

The last 30% was great! We get more action; the greater plot schemes get revealed and we finally get some drama! And I’m glad to see how the prequel novellas tie into this novel! Made me glad I read them all those years ago.

I’m excited to see how everything wraps up!

–March 23, 2019– Book #6: Tower of Dawn

It wasn’t that this book was bad per say: I just wonder about the necessity of it. I think we can all agree that the lead needed some major redemption after the last few books so it was nice to get that. However, could we have achieved that in half the amount of pages? You betcha! This could have been condensed considerably and still made an impact in the series.

I skimmed most of it, especially in the first half when it was so repetitive. Maas does have a beautiful flow to her writing (it’s not a hard book to read by any means) but she adds far to much detail and monotony to her work. Honestly, if I hadn’t invested so much time in this series over the years, I would have just skipped this.

–May 16, 2020– Book #7: Kingdom of Ash

I have never had a book take me this long to read. I think I took it out 4 separate times over the last 8 months and finally pushed my way through to finish it over the last 3 months.

I think I just outgrew this series. As the books got longer, I stopped caring about the characters. This story has come so far from what the inaugural title was and I’m not sure I really loved its progression in the end (I think its points for originality waned when you look at the similarities to Court of Thorns and Roses).

Maybe if I read the books closer together I would have enjoyed the last few better. But as more characters got introduced, I found it harder and harder to keep up. And the writing just felt repetitive at times (if I never see the word “mate” again it’ll be too soon).

I can appreciate the world and vision but at the end of the day, I think I outgrew this series and that was why I struggled to get through this final novel.

When to Read the Novellas:

I am of the camp that recommends you read the novellas before you pick up the first book in the series. By doing so, I feel like you get a get a better understanding of the world and why Celaena acts and thinks the way she does. I think if you don’t, you might think her character is a little too jaded (which can be irksome) and you won’t understand why she does the things she does. Sometimes that little bit of a background story makes all the difference in your impression of a character.

But I most definitely recommend you read the novellas prior to Queen of Shadows–because there are a lot of allusions there that you won’t understand until you read the novellas.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Throne of Glass 5/5 | Crown of Midnight 5/5 | Heir of Fire 3/5 | Queen of Shadows 4.5/5 | Empire of Storms 3/5 | Tower of Dawn 2/5 | Kingdom of Ash 2/5

overall

If you enjoy convoluted worlds with lots of characters and even longer novels, try this series out!

Read if You Like: strong heroines, ruthless characters, fantasy
Avoid if You: don’t like long series or long books

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