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Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unfulfilled

“I am a slow-growing creature!” Artemus wailed. “I cannot adapt so quickly!” (My best line in The Raven King)

“I love this tree,” Blue said finally, in English . “You don’t have any claim to it. If anyone could live inside it, it should be me. I’ve loved it way longer than you could have.” (My second best line in The Raven King)

 

The Raven King brings to a close the The Raven Cycle series a friend suggested I read close to half a year ago. And read and I have, but not without my reservations. I could have stopped any time at the first book; frankly I am not gushing about the plot or the characters. I wasn’t pulled into this series as normally I would.
The plot tangent from book one is a long-winding arc which I lost sight of and thereby forgot about altogether. In book 4, where there’s supposed to be some awesome reveal, the bait petters out and dies. In the interim, we have been chasing small fires, and by some trick of the eye, we thought them bonfires when in truth they are just that – small fires. Continue reading “Book Review: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4)”

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Our Favorite Books of 2016

BookReview: We Are All Blue, two plays by Donald Molosi

We Are All BlueWe Are All Blue by Donald Molosi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Motswana Playwright/Actor/Writer Donald Molosi has fascinated me for a while now, with his awe-inspiring one-man act. Molosi is so highly acclaimed, I doubt he has any more lapel real-estate to adorn any more accolades, and unsurprisingly, he keeps breaking new ground with his riveting plays. If only he knew he’d already won me over when he did Today It’s Me, a play about Uganda’s celebrated musician who became the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Uganda in the 80’s. It had not occurred me before that Philly Bongole Lutaaya was as much an African gem as he was Ugandan.

Blue, Black and White

We Are All Blue is a collection of two plays; Blue, Black and White, and Motswana: Africa, Dream Again. The first and more lengthy of the two, Blue, Black and White is a play about the turbulent start of the interracial romance between Sir Seretse Khama, a Prince of Bangwato and Lady Ruth Williams Khama, an English lady and formerly a clerk Sir Seretse met during his studies in London. This was way back in 1948. Life was still black and white back then, much like the TVs at the time and as such, their blossoming love which ended in an unsanctioned marriage was pigeonholed by all sides from the get-go. Continue reading “BookReview: We Are All Blue, two plays by Donald Molosi”

BookReview: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #3)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am lying on the floor, hours after reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue, wondering when enough is enough. Surely, why do we need a book 4! I expected the series to be over and done with already but it turns out, we’re just getting started. I am suffering from a serious bout of diminishing returns in the enjoyment department. The author opted for the scenic route to the climax with a lot of fillers in between.

A number of things were quite off:

Gwenllian
I honestly didn’t understand what Gwenllian was all about. Granted she’s batshit crazy, but I didn’t see much of her since she was rescued from her eternal grave and disappeared in the attic at Blue’s place. She’s there and yet she’s not, she gets it and then she doesn’t or plays coy. And suddenly bursts into song. Then she’s not in the picture at all. I don’t know, her character didn’t do it for me. Continue reading “BookReview: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle #3)”

Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Raven Boys (#1) ended with Ronan confessing to his buddies Gansey, Adam, Blue and Noah that Chainsaw, his pet raven was in fact a construct of his dreams brought to life when he awoke. And yet there it was alive and kicking as any living creature ought to. The second book in the series, The Dream Thieves, is centered around Ronan’s terrifying magical dreams where ancient trees speak to him in latin (and another strange language). He also talks to a strange girl and battles nightmarish creatures intent on killing him in his sleep. Continue reading “Book Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #2)”

Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up The Raven Boys on the advice of a new friend I’d made, who swore by the series. Coming off a shaky start, Maggie Stiefvater soon realises that this whole teenage YA rulebook just won’t do. Matter of fact, the first few chapters of The Raven Boys were nauseatingly cliche, I seriously wondered if there was any benefit to continuing. An excerpt:

“My socially inhibited friend Adam thinks you’re cute, but he’s unwilling to make a move. Over there. Not the smudgy one. Not the sulky one.” Blue, largely against her will, glanced to the booth he pointed to. Three boys sat at it: one was smudgy, just as he said, with a rumpled, faded look about his person, like his body had been laundered too many times. The one who’d hit the light was handsome and his head was shaved; a soldier in a war where the enemy was everyone else. And the third was — elegant. It was not the right word for him, but it was close. He was fine boned and a little fragile looking, with blue eyes pretty enough for a girl…”
(Chapter 6)

Continue reading “Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater”

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper TownsPaper Towns by John Green

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Methinks John Green might as well have hacked away the first two thirds of Paper Towns. The story had no rhythm. It was tired. And Clumsy. And so Cliche. You want a Magical Negro who’s only role is to help the white kid? You got him. You want your Jock? You got him. You want your issued girl who’s the center of attention? You got her. Name it and check, check check: You got it.
Also, Paper Towns is eerily familiar to Finding Alaska. Only not as awesome for the most part. I only perked up when Quentin and his buddies hopped into the minivan for the ride of their lives. The last bit of Paper Towns should have worked nicely for Finding Alaska instead.
I know John Green writes a mean story when he means to. I don’t care that lots of people have loved Paper Towns. As for me, John Green GO HOME!

View all my reviews

Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here’s a little confession: I had no idea Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children even existed until I watched the spellbinding trailer for the movie adaptation. I knew I had to read the books before I could settle down for the movie (saving the best for the last). And what I have discovered is that the movie takes certain liberties and in a way, you would say, the general theme in the book is divergent from what the movie shows. Which is a good thing.

I found Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a morbid read at times and the feeling stayed with me throughout. I couldn’t shake this foreboding in the pit of my stomach. This starts when Jacob’s Grandpa shows him the black-and-white pictures of the circus freakshow that made up his childhood friends. The pictures were quite depressing and horror-inducing, not with the creepy children in outdated attire. Jacob follows his Grandpa’s direction to this supposedly magical place where Jacob will be safe. Continue reading “Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs”

Book Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Checquy Files #1)

The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First things first. Kudos to the author for casting a female character in the lead. Myfanwy Thomas kicks some serious ass! She’s not some masculine male wannabe on steroids and neither is she a shying doe-eyed damsel in distress. No, not her. Maybe that used to be the Myfanwy Thomas of old, you know, before the sinister amnesia that would eventually wipe out her entire personality. When her mind reboots, she’s someone completely different and not so shy about preserving her new existence. She hits the ground running and never stops until she feels safe. Imagine waking up one day and my mind is a clean slate with no memories whatsoever. Of course the motor functions remain otherwise it would be awkward to learn how to walk and wipe your butt afresh.

Dear You,
The body you are wearing used to be mine. The scar on the inner left thigh is there because I fell out of a tree and impaled my leg at the age of nine, The filling in the far left tooth on the top is a result of my avoiding the dentist for four years. But you probably care little about this body’s past. After all, I’m writing this letter for you to read in the future.

How’s that for an intro? The Rook is like a hybrid of Kinsman: The Secret Service and X-Men all rolled into one ensemble. The Checquy’s organisational structure is based on the chessboard pieces with two exceptions: The King and Queen are named Lord and Lady so as not to affront the actual British royalty. Continue reading “Book Review: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Checquy Files #1)”

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