Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Mini Reviews: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, and Soundless by Richelle Mead

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The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1)
    by: Rick Riordan

Publication Date: Oct. 6, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion Books
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed
Page Count: 499 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

I absolutely ADORE Rick Riordan's books, so when I heard his next series would be based off Norse mythology, I was over the moon. I confess, I don't know as much about Norse mythology, as I do Greek and Roman, but that's okay, because I LOVED learning! I really enjoyed The Sword of Summer. Magnus was a fun, sarcastic protagonist and I really enjoyed the friends he makes and how they become more like family throughout the novel.
I will say this is nothing incredibly new though. The overarching premise for this one is the same as Riordan's others. A demigod fated to save the world from ruin and destruction, but has to rely on his companions and find the inner strength within to do so. Don't get me wrong- that isn't a huge issue for me, but it is something I've noticed about all of these books. Otherwise, how Riordan executes the situations Magnus finds himself in are completely unique.
I also love that we get to see a crossover character from the Percy Jackson series! I was a little frustrated Magnus didn't completely come clean with them in this book, but I am definitely looking forward to seeing the two interacting and helping one another in future books.
Overall, this was a fun read and I really can't get enough of Riordan's snarky humor, and seeing mythology spun into a more modern light!

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
    by: Susan Dennard

Publication Date: Jan. 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Physical ARC borrowed from Danielle!
Page Count: 416 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.25/5 stars

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Truthwitch was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016, so I was psyched to get my hands on a copy (Thanks Danielle!) I loved the idea of two best friends getting into trouble together! Oh and they are both witches! I adored their friendship and how Dennard created such a balance between them. Iseult is the more level headed of the two, where Safi is all impulse and fire. They end up getting themselves into quite the trouble, thus setting a deadly Bloodwitch after them. The two spend a great deal of time on the run, which is where they meet Prince Merik. Oh boy, do I have a new ship! I adored Merik and I can't wait to see more of him in book two! As well as more romance! This book was more about developing the story and putting events into action, so the romance definitely took a bit of a backburner.
Overall, I did enjoy this one, though I wasn't completely blown away by it. I had a bit of trouble staying focused and engaged, but this tends to happen with quite a few fantasy novels for me. There's so much to set up that sometimes they end up dragging a bit.

   by: Richelle Mead

Publication Date: Nov. 10, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Physical ARC received from Danielle!
Page Count: 272 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...
I was excited to see Richelle Mead was coming out with a standalone novel and I was especially excited that it centered around Chinese folklore. The premise in this one is so unique and I really enjoyed it, but I felt this one was really slow moving. Things didn't really start going until much later in the book, which was a big issue for me. I enjoyed Fei's character, but she isn't someone who especially stood out for me. I admire her tenacity and her determination to save her sister though. I really enjoyed Li though and was glad there was romance woven into this one. I am all for second chance romances, so I liked seeing them reconnect and see Fei realize she never stopped having feelings for the boy she had to give up.
Overall, I just don't think this one will be very memorable for me. (I actually had to look up Li's name because I already couldn't remember it!)

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  1. I've read a lot of 3 star reviews for Soundless. It was on the top of my wishlist before, since I usually love Richelle Mead's books but now...hmm, not sure.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    1. Unfortunately I was really disappointed by Soundless. It just wasn't memorable and definitely didn't live up to its potential!

  2. I just need to read a Rick Riordan book already. It's one of my goals though to get to them this year!

    I'm still not sure about Truthwitch despite all the rave reviews. I was devastated after what the author pulled in Something Strange & Deadly. I'll be waiting until book 4 releases.

    I've heard several similar things about Soundless and it makes me sad. I think I'll be skipping that one too. :/

    Great reviews!

    1. YES! You do! If you're enjoying HP, you'll like Riordan's books. Especially if you're a fan of mythology! I understand your feelings about Truthwitch. I heard what happened at the end of her other series and I am definitely a bit hesitant myself.

      Sadly, I would skip Soundless. It could have been SO GOOD. That's what sucks the most. But it's not memorable and I don't remember much of it.

  3. I felt the same way with Magnus Chase. It may not be anything new, but I just didn't care because it was so much fun! I'm actually listening to Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes right now and it is a total blast.

    1. Right! I don't care either! He still makes the situations unique and the banter and wit of the characters just makes it so perfect. I'm glad you're enjoying the Greek Heroes right now!

  4. I want to finish off the Heroes of Olympus series before jumping into any new Riordan books but I definitely want to read more^^ Like you, I'm not as familiar with Norse Mythology as Greek and Roman but learning will be part of the fun :D

    Soundless seems to be getting a lot of 3-star ratings though which put a bit of a damper in my enthusiasm for it. I'll still check it out though, but I'm not in a huge rush anymore. Oh and I'm glad that you enjoyed Truthwitch more than I did: I gave it a 3-star rating. I enjoyed it, but I had some issues...including the fact that it didn't seem to be able to hold my attention, and being a huge fantasy reader, that was surprising. Awesome reviews Jessica!

    1. Oh yes Micheline! Definitely finish that one first. :) And yes! Learning was so fun. Now I want to read more!

      So I'm not the only one who struggled with Truthwitch keeping my attention? It's a miracle! I seriously thought I was broken because I struggle so much with getting into fantasy. Once I'm in the zone, it's good, but man its always like that for me.

  5. So happy to hear Magnus Chase is good! I cannot wait to read this one. And Truthwitch! I have got to make time for that one soon. I loved Dennards other reads so I'm sure I love this one too. Thats a bummer about Soundless though, the general consensus seems to be that its okay but not memorable. Great reviews!

    1. Yeah, Soundless just wasn't anything to write home about. I really hope The Glittering Court makes up for it! Though, I don't know how I feel about it being the same story in the series just from different POVs. Those books don't work for me.

  6. I really enjoyed Soundless and looooved Truthwitch! I'm looking forward to reading Magnus Chase, because even if it's done on the same premise, it sounds like the humour and adventures will be worth giving it a try!

    Great reviews Jessica!

    1. I'm so glad you liked both of those! I am definitely a huge shipper of Safi and Merik, so I'm nervous to read more! And yes Magnus Chase was alot of fun! I am such a Riordan fangirl. LOL.


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