REVIEW: A Torch Against the Night – Sabaa Tahir

25558608Title: A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2)
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Rating: ★★★★

A Torch Against the Night was probably my most anticipated release of 2016, and while it was still a great book, I didn’t think it was as good as its predecessor. Maybe it was because my expectations were so high, maybe it was because I had just reread An Ember in the Ashes in preparation for the sequel, maybe it was because I read a good chunk of it on a plane and my mind wasn’t really in it. It could be a combination of all three, but all I know is I felt unsatisfied when I finished, despite loving most of it. 

To start, this book picks up right where the first one left off and I absolutely love that in a sequel. To be thrust back in the middle of the action really helped draw me into the book and the atmosphere of the story. As the book moves along, the pace becomes much slower which I wasn’t a big fan of. The middle portion of the book, especially, I struggled to get through although this could be due to the fact that I was reading it while on a plane and I can never really focus or become fully immersed in a story in that kind of environment. To that extent, it was my fault, but I was so excited for this book that I didn’t want to stop reading! Perhaps if I reread it later on my opinions will change. 

In An Ember in the Ashes, I loved Helene as a character. I thought she was a fantastic secondary character and was excited to read a few chapters from her POV. However, I found myself, sadly, mostly bored by her storyline. I think I was too invested in Laia and Elias rescuing Darin that I didn’t enjoy being drawn away from their chapters. By the end of the book, I started to skim her parts, which is a shame because as I said, I really like her character. 

Speaking of Helene, I really like the dynamic between her and Harper and whatever is simmering there beneath the surface. I found Harper’s character interesting as well, and although I guessed what the twist was with him pretty early on, it didn’t make it any less intriguing. I’m interested to see where it’s going to lead later on. Elias continues to be my favorite character in the series and his story line with the Soul Catcher, which I was pretty hesitant about at first, has me itching for the next book. As a big Laia/Elias shipper, I have to comment on the romance. Slow burn is one of my favorite things but it is almost TOO SLOW here. Come on, Tahir! The tension between them is killing me and the almost-but-not-really romance is leaving me both unsatisfied and begging for more.

A Torch Against the Night may not have been as amazing as the first book, I enjoyed it a lot and it was still a great sequel that has me not-so-patiently waiting for the next one!

Life Update: Vacation, Graduation, & Upcoming Blog Posts

Hey everyone! I haven’t posted anything in a while so I figured I should at least write a post updating you all on why I’ve been absent recently.


I left for vacation last Wednesday and won’t be back until the 13th! This actually couldn’t have come at a better time: we’re really short staffed at work so I’ve been very stressed out and exhausted in the weeks leading up to this vacation. While I’m away, I’ll be able to relax and have more time to read and write reviews.


This past weekend, my brother finished his basic military training and graduated from the Air Force! We were in Texas for his ceremonies and were able to spend time with him, both on and off base. It was his first time in eight weeks being off base and around civilians so he was pretty excited as well! I’m so proud of him and all of his hard work and I can’t wait to find out where he’ll be stationed after he finishes his tech school.img_5770


Upcoming Posts:

  • REVIEW: A Torch Against the Night – This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and I have lots of thoughts to share. I’m also excited to see what everyone else thought of the second book in Sabaa Tahir’s series. 
  • August Wrap-Up
  • REVIEW: Gilded Cage – I was approved for an eARC through NetGalley and from the other early reviews I’ve read, this looks very promising!
  • REVIEW: The Thousandth Floor – First of all, that cover is gorgeous. From the excerpt I read earlier in the year, it seems like a pretty interesting read as well.
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Historical Fiction – I’m really looking forward to this post! I can’t wait to share and gush about all my favorite books in this genre.

 

REVIEW: Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

27833670Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Rating: ★★★★

“No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’r standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, by how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.”

This was an absolute thrill to read. Dark Matter was unputdownable and gripping. The plot was fast-paced and intriguing, pulling me in straight from the beginning, and didn’t let go until the very end. It was the kind of book that had me thinking, “what the f*ck is happening?” over and over until the pieces started to fit together, but even when I did pretty much figure out what happened, the book takes a few more unexpected and twisting turns. 

The situations Jason finds himself in are unprecedented and terrifying. I kept picturing myself in his shoes and trying to figure out what I would have done if I was in his place. Even with all the science jargon, the wording and explanations were easy to read and follow along with, which made the book that much more enjoyable. In all honestly, I would love to see a movie adaptation of this, because if done correctly, I think it would be a big hit. An exciting thriller from start to finish!

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND: Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we were asked to go back and pick a previous topic from over the years. I decided to do my favorite childhood books! 

Childhood Favorites

1. MAGIC TREE HOUSE by Mary Pope Osborne

2. LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE by Laura Ingalls Wilder

3. MADELINE by Ludwig Bemelmans

4. WINNIE-THE-POOH by A.A. Milne

5. HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling

6. DR. SEUSS

7. JUNIE B. JONES by Barbara Park

8. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN by Gertrude Chandler Warner

9. WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein

10. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG by Norman Bridwell

What were your favorite books to read when you were younger? Comment and tell me!

REVIEW: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

23395680Title: Iluminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Rating: ★★★

Well, I did it. I made it through this. This book had a lot of potential for me, but sadly it fell short. Had it not been written the way it did I probably would have really like it, but unfortunately I have never been a fan of epistolary novels and Illuminae was no exception.

I’m a huge fan of science fiction/space opera books so no one is more disappointed than me that I didn’t like this as much as I wished I did. While I don’t mind the inclusion of documents in stories, I don’t enjoy reading entire books comprised of only documents. It was too hard in the beginning to get used to the format and to try to figure out the plot and what was happening. I also never really connected with any of the characters, which was a shame, because I think if it had been written differently I would have really liked Kady. She seemed strong, brave, and intelligent and I would have liked to have read parts of the story told from her perspective. The storyline, while confusing at first, got easier to follow and more interesting as the book went on, but I still couldn’t get over the formatting. I wish the book had been written with the documentation bits interspersed between chapters of standard narration. It would have been easier to read and follow, I would have been able to connect with and care about the characters more, and I the book would have been a bigger hit with me.