This week, I promised myself a week of reading only ARCs / proofs and catching up on my Netgalley requests.
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
What else did you think I was going to pick up after finishing Nevernight? Godsgrave‘s opening line “Nothing stinks quite like a corpse” shows us we’re in for more of the writing that gave Nevernight it’s dark excellence; it is just as graphic and gory as its predecessor.
Jay Kristoff uses the same technique of telling the story in the present with flashes to the past, so we start with Mia in an unexpected situation and it is some time before we discover how she found herself there. Jay’s world building is epic. We learn a lot more of the history and the customs and it is so detailed that it feels like a real world as you read. The battle scenes are so well written that my nerves were shot to pieces and I was physically nervous for Mia’s safety.
There are some familiar characters, friendships and rivalries and some new ones. We see Mercurio and Mia’s almost father-daughter relationship in a lot more details and the relationship between Mister Kindly and Eclipse which is hilarious. One of the characters (who we are familiar with from Nevernight) gives Mia some information that forces her to question everything that she has been living for, but it comes from someone she isn’t sure she can trust and this storyline keeps us on our toes for most of the novel.
Mia herself is at times familiar and at other times makes decisions that seem unfathomable. We get to see more of her compassionate side and her morality as she finds herself living alongside slaves, then she makes decisions that seem heartless, but also not entirely unexpected. Mia remains unpredictable to the end.
Godsgrave has some serious shocks for readers. The one at the end floored me. I cannot wait for the next installment.
The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner
I read this one this week and am due to be on the blog tour for it in a few months, so I’m going to keep today’s review short and sweet. James Dashner has written a great book with wonderful characters and a unique adventure that is perfect for the intended age group. Tick is a character that many readers will be able to identify with and the story is a giant puzzle they can really sink their teeth into. I wanted to work out the riddles but I am just not that clever, and I envy all the readers who will be!
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
I loved Our Chemical Hearts from the start, so much so that I read it in one sitting. It starts as thought it is going to be a typical love story and turns into anything but.
Henry doesn’t fall for Grace instantly: she is nothing like the sort of girl he pictured himself falling for, and his feelings are nothing like he thought they would be. Hi family are wonderful. His parents seem like the perfect team; his sister was a teenage rebel who turned her life around and became a responsible adult. They are total family goals, but as the story progresses, we learn that everyone has a story they are hiding. Henry’s friends are fabulous, if a little stereotypical. I loved that they had a folder of acceptable pictures to use in the event that that they go missing, get arrested or die.
Grace took a while to grow on me. She wasn’t instantly likeable. She has a really tragic backstory that is revealed slowly and explains a lot of her behaviour.
Their love story is a complicated one. All the love stories in this novel are complicated. It is full of teen angst. Henry obviously cares deeply for Grace but he wants to fix her. He is attracted to broken people and chasing a dream that may not exist. Grace is broken but she is also cruel in her treatment of Henry. I think she does love him in her own way, but she’s so obviously in love with someone else. they both are: the Grace Henry loves is not the real Grace.
Our Chemical Hearts is a wonderful, thought-provoking story of what it means to really love someone. I cannot wait to read more of Krystal Sutherland’s work.
That’s my reads for the week. What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @charlotteswhere
My thanks to Netgalley, Sweet Cherry and Reader’s First who provided copies of each of these books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions in any way.