Friday, 11 March 2016

Recommendation Friday: Six of Crows (The Dregs #1) – Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA High Fantasy
Publication: 2015
Pages: 465

Plot: The story starts in the city of Ketterdam with Kaz Brekker, a young and talented criminal. He gets an offer he can’t refuse: getting a prisoner out of one of the most well secured prisons in the world.
He assembles a team of very different people: Jesper, a sharpshooter from Kaz’ gang. Inej, an acrobat who is also a very skilled spy. Nina, a Grisha hartrender. Matthias, a Fjerdan who hunts Grisha and was imprisoned in Kerch. And Wylan, a specialist in destruction and son of their client. Together this unlikely team has to accomplish the impossible.

Three reasons why you should read this book:
1. A unique and diverse cast! Leigh Bardugo has really made an art out of writing morally grey characters.
2. An exciting plot! It’s unpredictable until the very end.
3. Some references to the Grisha trilogy! Which you’ll love if you read the previous books (but it’s not necessary to read them first).

My opinion: The main characters are amazing! All very different and flawed, but that’s what makes them believable.
I love a good world building and this is a perfect example. We get to see a lot more of the "Grishaverse". While the Grisha trilogy was set in Ravka (which was inspired by Russia), Six of Crows starts in Ketterdam (inspired by Amsterdam) and then goes on to Fjerda (inspired by Scandinavia). Leigh Bardugo also uses the languages spoken there in a creative way, which gives it a special touch (that might only be interesting to me since I speak two Scandinavian languages and Dutch).

Conclusion: If you liked the Grisha trilogy, you will love this book! I dare to say that it’s even better than the original series. There is not a single thing that I didn’t like and I can’t wait for the sequel!

My rating: 5/5 buttons

Friday, 4 March 2016

Reccomendation Friday: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) – Victoria Aveyard

Genre: YA Fantasy/Post-apocalyptic
Publication: 2015
Pages: 382 (hardcover)

Plot: Mare Barrows lives in a world that is divided by blood. Those with silver blood have supernatural powers and rule over those with red blood. Mare is one of the Reds and is worried that she might get conscripted for the war between her country Norta and the Lakelands. Then a stranger offers her a job at the palace, where Queenstrial is held, a competition to find a wife for the crown prince and Nortas future queen. Through an accident Mare discovers that she has an ability only a Silver should have – she can make lightning.

Three reasons why you should read this book:
1. The world building! It’s very different from other post-apocalyptic or dystopian books. It has a rather roman influence, mixed with modern technology.
2. People with all different kinds of supernatural abilities! I don’t think I have to add more to this.
3. A major plot twist! I’m not going to tell you what it is, but I definitely didn’t see that coming.

My opinion: I was curious about this book, because it had gotten a lot of attention online. I wanted to know what the fuss was all about, but wasn’t expecting much. But, oh, was I wrong!
To be honest, it didn’t convince me right from the start. It’s well written and makes you want to go on. Then it gets more and more exciting and I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with the characters and although I was worried in the beginning that Mare could be one of those boring and annoying protagonists, she’s definitely not! She is strong, a fighter, but also has her flaws and that’s what makes her character believable.

Conclusion: The story is somewhat unpredictable, I had no idea what I was getting into and I gasped out loud in shock more than once on the train (note: this is not a book you should read in public). Definitely a great and strong start to a new series!

My rating: 4,5/5 Buttons