the iron trial

Top Ten Tuesday

top ten tuesdayI’m officially slacking but I promise a day late won’t make me a dollar short so here’s the topic:

November 18: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get

Where do I even begin?¬† Not all of these are first books, some of them are series I can’t wait to continue. The first five are beginnings of new series and the others are ones that I’ve read more than one of and have new books coming out soon!

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch – I just finished this (and will have a review up tomorrow) and it is very well done. I loved the idea of a land of eternal winter (but not that bad kind like Narnia) and the twists and action kept me up reading at night.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu – Wow, wow, wow. If you haven’t read this yet, what are you waiting for? It’s dark and intriguing and sucks you in from the first page. Lu is superb and if you would like to know more check out my review.

Reviver by Seth Patrick – This is also a dark tale, similar in feel to Odd Thomas if you read those, about a guy who can communicate with the recently deceased and what means for his life. Fantastically done, for more info see my review.

The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black – Clare teams up with a writing partner to bring a Harry Potter-esque book to life in a book way. It has magic and war and family ties. Want to know more? See my review.

The Rook (The Checquy Files) by Daniel O’Malley – What if you woke up and didn’t know who you were but your old self had left clues behind? In a world of magic, mystery, and intensity, Myfanwy isn’t a hero or a villain but desperately need to pretend everything is fine while hunting down whoever betrayed her at the ultra top secret government agency called Chequy. It’s a big long but worth getting into.

Capture The Flag by Kate Messner – I stumbled onto this book one day in the library and was unable to put it down. Three kids trapped in a snowstorm and the Star-Spangled Banner has gone missing, so what are they to do? Well have a romping adventure through the airport, obviously. It will make you laugh and jump and enjoy the ups and downs. Read it.

The Mortality Doctrine by James Dashner – If you have yet to read anything by Dashner or The Maze Runner just didn’t interest you, then try this series on for a try. It’s the future, not dystopia, and virtual reality. There are mysterious killings in the Sleep that happen in the Wake and one man might be behind it all. But in a fake world, how do you tell what’s real? Absolutely brilliant, see her for my review of the first book.

Finishing School by Gail Carriger – A finishing school where they teach you more than just how to drink tea and curtsey properly, that sounds like the place for Sophronia who is more interesting in climbing into dumbwaiters than coaches. The first book takes you on the whirlwind adventure in discovering her new school and place in society. After all, Mademoiselle Geraldine’s girls can’t marry (or kill) just anyone.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – If you haven’t heard of Cinder then you must be living under a rock. Everyone is revamping the classics, especially the fairy tales but few of them are doing it as well as Meyer. Her characters have depth and history and are interlocked in ways that you don’t expect. It is beautifully written, a real page-turner, and only slightly dystopian.

Chronicles of Nick by Sherrilyn Kenyon – If you haven’t met Nick Gautier and you’ve been following my blog, we have serious issues. I don’t care if you start with this series or The Dark Hunters (which is actually the preferred starting point) but get reading some Kenyon. There is sex and mythology, New Orleans, hot guys who are badasses fighting on the side of good and mouthy Nick. This is the story of his youth which is why it’s better to start with The Dark Hunters so you understand a lot of it but this series is so amazing that I slam through them as fast as I can read and then regardless of how large they are, go back and reread.

Book Review: The Iron Trial

the iron trialMagic, madness, and malignancy: it’s tough to be a Mage. Especially when you’re Callum Hunt. Cassandra Clare (author of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series) comes together with star Holly Black to build a magical world alongside our own that is definitely more than meets the eye. If you liked Harry Potter (or anything by Clare) then this is a must-read. It’s about the same length as the first HP and written for the same age group and I personally think it has lots of potential.

The Iron Trial¬†follows Callum Hunt and his journey to…well something above mediocrity. His dad doesn’t want him to go to the Magisterium, despite having gone himself, and is always railing on the fact that magic killed Call’s mom. So Call goes to the testing knowing as the “iron trial” to get into the school with the intention of purposely failing to keep away from the school. Unfortunately for him, things don’t go as planned.

Call arrives at the school bitter, confused, and unhappy, and things don’t get much better from there. His teammates are two high-powered, intelligent, likable people that Call has no idea how to interact with. Between getting made fun of and fearing that he isn’t learning as quickly as his classmates, Call just wants to go home.

Little by little, he adjusts to life at the Magisterium but fears that what his dad said about the Masters and their goals might be true. Call walks the tightrope between enjoying himself and being miserable. A situation that isn’t helped when he begins unraveling the secrets of both the Magisterium and his own family’s past.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I was afraid it would be a Harry Potter knock-off or something equally as unimportant but I was absolutely sucked in to the plot. It was complex but not overly so, there were undertones of depth and a twist that isn’t quite what you expect. There is darkness lurking and it pops up in unexpected places, most delightful.

I did have one point of annoyance and that was the spelling of Callum’s nickname. Seeing “Call” on the page instead of “Cal” bothered me to no end. Every single time I read it, I wanted to pronounce it as it looked instead of how I knew it was pronounced and it became very distracting. But other than that, I loved the way this was written, very nice flow, easy language.

The major “love story” plot here was between Call and his dad which was great and the main emotions that were invoked were fear, frustration, and some sadness. The book was gripping but not overly intense, though I still had to pry my fingers from the page on occasion. Some strong personalities came into play which made for an even better read and I’m glad the Goodreads synopsis was as short and sweet as it was.

Goodreads rating: 4 stars

My personal rating: 88

  • Writing style – 8
  • Plot – 9
  • Dialogue – 10
  • Personality of Main Character(s) – 10
  • Love story – 8
  • Invokes emotion – 7
  • Synopsis accuracy – 8
  • Consistent level of interest – 9
  • Stays on topic – 9
  • Accuracy of genre/genre blending – 10

What I’m Reading

currently reading 10.11.14

The Grand Escape has been on my re-read list for awhile. I remembered this book while going through some of my childhood things and have wanted to read it again ever since. I ordered it from Amazon and it’s now sitting next to my bed all pretty and new and waiting to be cracked open.

Styxx has also been on my list for awhile now and I promised myself I would read this side of the Acheron debacle before the end of the year but I’ve been so distracted by all the shiny, new books coming out that I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hopefully that changes soon!

The Whispering Skull is the second book in a series that I have been itching to get my hands on since I read the first. And it’s perfect for this time of year. Young people who hunt ghosts for a living? Yes, please!

The Iron Trial and The Young Elites are both new publishing by old favorites (well, not that old). The Iron Trial is co-written by fan-loved Cassandra Clare and so far, it’s pretty interesting, the 20 pages I’ve read at least. And The Young Elites is, of course, the new release from Marie Lu, author of the Legend series that I loved so much. She is fantastic and I hope this one lives up to expectation.

The final book up to bat is Outlander. After seeing it everywhere, and now it’s on TV, I needed to read it. It was calling to me. It’s a love story lost in time zones and I couldn’t resist it, even if the paperback is about twice the size of every other book I’m currently tackling. I’ve heard great things and so far, it’s reeling me in.

So that’s what I’m reading. What are you reading?