Book reviews of I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, and War Storm by Victoria Aveyard.
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak || 5/5
protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.
That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
This is a very unique book that I highly recommend. The writing style is beautiful, as it is with The Book Thief. It reads like poetry. The main character’s development is done well and he grows significantly over the course of the novel. The plot is different from any other book I’ve read and it is amazing and intricate. I love the message behind the book and how it encourages the readers to care more about others. The pacing was slow at times, but good overall. The conclusion was somewhat confusing, but after it sinks in, it’s breathtaking.
Read 7/8/18 – 7/12/18
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab || 5/5
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
This is an amazing book. While I usually don’t like school settings for YA fantasy, it worked well for This Savage Song. Like in A Darker Shade of Magic, Schwab has created a magically unique world. I adore the concept behind it and I can’t wait to see what she does with it in the sequel. The characters are well-developed and they feel real. They were likable and relatable. The plot was thrilling and kept me turning the pages, but it’s the characters that drive this book.
Read 7/12/18 – 7/15/2018
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard || 4.5/5
Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.
But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.
War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?
In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.
So, first, let’s talk about the good parts. The characterizations are exponentially better than those of the previous books. The characters are more fleshed out and they feel human, especially the minor characters. It’s like putting on glasses for the first time. The characters were fuzzy before, but now they’re clear.
I love the way the different moving pieces fit together and the plot is fast-paced. War Storm is as action-packed as King’s Cage was slow.
The writing is beautiful and the descriptions are amazing. We are introduced to new settings in this book that came alive in my mind. The action scenes are nicely done and they don’t feel repetitive.
The Non-Spoilery Relationships
- Evangeline and Elane
- The relationship is sweet. I love how much Evangeline cares for Elane and it brings a new depth to her character. However, Elane isn’t developed at all. She doesn’t speak much over the course of the novel. I’d like a novella about Evangeline and Elane because Elane is really an intriguing character and I’d like to learn more about her.
- Maven and Thomas.
- So we don’t know much about this mystery Thomas dude except that Maven loved him. I would love a novella about them from before Maven was totally corrupted by his mother. GIVE ME PLEASE.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
I’m going to discuss the ending, so if you haven’t seen the warning above, I am warning you again. EXTREME SPOILERS AHEAD.
The ending was vague and inconclusive. There’s an air of “it’s safe for now, but it’ll be dangerous again soon and the story isn’t over yet, even though the series is over”. Maven’s death didn’t feel conclusive. Cal and Mare’s relationship didn’t feel conclusive. Are they together? Are they not together? The war’s end was inconclusive. It ended with a ceasefire! I would like details of Norta’s new government. Who’s ruling? I’m left with questions, which begs the question, “Is this a set-up for a spin-off series?”.
- Kilorn and Cameron
- I don’t feel the chemistry.
- Gisa and Mystery Girl
- Details, please.
In the previous books, he was an intriguing and developed antagonist, but with his instability and descent into madness in this book, he is seeming to regress into the mold of “crazy and dangerous, but under-developed, villain cackling in the shadows”. He’s always been a favorite character of mine, but it’s sad to see him be like this.
Which is why I would love a Maven and Thomas novella. I’d like to see him B.E. (Before Elara). Maybe he can be redeemed.
Read 7/16/18 – 7/21/18
Currently Reading: The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (reread)
- Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
- Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
- When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
- Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
- Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
- Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
- Vicious by V.E. Schwab