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3 Star Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raasch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh "big reveal" why you got be so obvious, man. Seriously, the little "clues"? Too damn obvious. I read you. I loved you. But then things started to fall into a big bulbous mess. I love your words. I love your quiet romance. I love your main character. I love your story. But dude: you suck with the world building. Then, there's that whole surprise surprise, bet you didn't see that coming! I did. Not an epic fail, but still a fail.

 

 

 

The main character became my favorite part. She made the novel for me. She reminds me of Eowyn from Lord of Rings. Warrior.Princess. Queen. Disguises herself during a battle as a man. Swords. Armor. Romantic times with hunky prince. Plus, love triangle cough cough Aragorn and Faramir. Yep. All there. Which, by the way, I TOTALLY LOVED!

Running in a dress is hard enough, but running in a ball gown is like trying to run while wrapped in a tent, so eventually I concede to defeat and heft the whole mess of silk into the air. A few passing courtiers raise their eyebrows, but I hurry past them, too glad to move my legs freely to really care about their shocked looks.

Oh gosh. The sass. I love it when the main character has a mouth on her. Boy oh boy do I love this. She’s sarcastic and witty and I love her. She’s a warrior. She’s a fighter. She’s also a teen. So, yeah, she says things. Things I like. But guys: She’s got feelings. But guess what? As I said, she’s a teen. No shit, Brigid? She's a teen. NO WAY. A Young Adult novel has a teen? And sometimes every teen has moments of immaturity. Is she immature? No. But she has her moments of immaturity. However they do not dominate her character.

 

Meira's a tomboy. When she’s told stories of court intrigue and the fashion of the court it bores her. Yeah. I feel you, girl. She loves the old tales past wars. But just because she’s a tomboy doesn’t mean she shies away from being a girl. When she’s told to dress up for a ball, she’s like “yeah, sure. Whatever. I’m cool with that.” Which is great, because she realizes the bigger picture. She knows it's important. She’s rational about things. She’s not a dick or a selfish brat when it comes to doing things for her country. She’s a rare case of heroine who is not TSTL (Too Stupid To Live).

 

 

Meira wants to do what’s best for her country. She puts her people's needs in front of her own feelings and desires. She wants to fight. But she listen’s to what Sir (her father figure) tells her to. Because, hey he’s got more experience. So, she doesn’t rush into things trying to get her head cut off. He knows his shit, him being a general. While she wants to save her country by fighting, Sir wants her to fight for her country in a different manner. She’s accepts it. While she’s not happy about it, she’s rational about it.

 

As you've already probably read in the blurb Meira goes on a bit of a mission. Well, once she arrives to said mission spot, the people don't like her. She's lower than they are. Too "barbaric" or peasant like they say. Not good enough for our type of people. She's like whatever. I don't know you. You don't know me, so up yours assholes.

I drop a curtsy and turn away from their assessments, making for the terrace doors. Let them think whatever they like. Let them conspire and say horrible things about me. This isn't my kingdom.

There's a love triangle. I know. I know. Major shocker. I like to make fun of love triangles. What’s not funny about a love triangle? Oh, you fool. Watching two guys pull their shirts off and swing their “swords” about is the most hilarity of hilarious things about love triangles of Young Adult fiction. Oh, dear. I can’t decide! Which dude has the bigger pecks? Hmmmm…..the guy who might bite my neck or the guy who might hump me like a dog? Oh dear. Choices. Choices. But, here’s the thing dear reader: The love triangle did not feel like a love triangle. I wasn’t smirking or huffing and puffing about it. I wasn’t dropping the book to get my snorts under control. I wasn’t rolling my eyes until this red stuff came out. It didn’t bother me. How did that happen? I’m thinking because the romance was quite quiet and not the main focus of the novel. The writing is very well done. I love it when the romance is hushed.

 

So both guys are nice. But, I found one to be much more whiny and emo than the other. Mather. Why are you so damn moody? I get that you’re the king and you just got to get your feelings out about it: But grow a pair. Face reality. Take the reins. Stop the sobbing, man. You are ruining my good experience with this stellar book. SHUSH!

 

But dude, saying a girl's success is due to a rock? NO. I can't even explain how degrading that is.

 

I find it odd that I like Theron. He’s a prince. Usually princes are spoiled little brats who could care a rats ass about their people. Theron wants to be a good king. He wants to be a better king than his father. If anyone is the brat, it’s his father. Theron is smokin’ hot, likes books, a writer, a soldier, and he’s smart. He’s also nice. Check, check, and check.

 

Things that made me like him:

 

Theron cocks up a corner of his mouth, studying me in a way that doesn't feel possessive or condescending. It feels equal.

 

Then, this:

 

"I want to be someone worthy of my kingdom. I want to be someone worthy of you."

 

I'm a fan, guys.

 

You’ve probably already come across season themed world building, if you’re a frequent reader of fantasy. Even though it’s already something that’s been done before, it was still very cool to come across once again. Each nation has it’s own season: Winter (the poor destroyed nation), Spring (the damn enemy), Autumn, and Summer. Then there are the rhythms, the nations outside of the Season Kingdoms. The most important being Cordell, since that’s where our sassy lass travels to. I’m always in bliss when a book features fall or winter. I love descriptions that center around Autumn. Gasp. Sigh. Oh, look at the purty!

Oktuber was a maze of rickety barns and tents in maroon, azure, and sunshine orange, with the crystalline blue sky gleaming above, a sharp and beautiful contrast to the kingdom's earth tones.

For real, I love this type of shit.

 

I have some opinions on the not so good stuff. And I’m not too happy about it. I may come off a little…annoyed. The world building had basic and formulaic written all over it. At times, it didn’t make sense. Rings or objects with powerful magic can be directed all the way back to Tolkien’s tales of fantasy and the shenanigans that ensue. But objects that have power that connect a ruler to their kingdom, which you can talk to, makes little sense to me. How are you able to talk to a conduit, whether it’s a locket or a knife? Yeah, I get it. Magic isn’t real. Unexplainable they say, but world building includes making sure the reader understands how things work. I don’t understand what the deal is with the object talking and the mysterious premonition happenings. What is the deal here? Half assed explanations, if you ask me. Show me. There’s detail with the world building, sometimes to the extent of info dumping, but I need my explanations. Rant over. Sorry, people.

 

But, I lied. Rant not over!!! The last 60% of the novel is so much less exciting than I had wanted. The first part of the novel is, as Borat would say “VERY NICE!” Excuse my American accent. Sword fighting. Conduit wielding. Sassy flirting. Dresses. Blood. Murder. All the things happen. Then, after that dreaded sixty percent mark it dies down. It becomes blah blah blah slave camp. Blah blah blah evil guy. Blah blah blah I shall save you. Maybe I’m the only reader who has this opinion, but the pacing seemed to change. Not in a good way. In an “I’m bored” kind of way. I get annoyed when I’m bored.

 

I'm not going to even talk about that "big reveal" because WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? That was supposed to be the "WOW. WHAT? I would have never guessed. Ya-da ya-da ya-da." No. That did not happen. If you read high fantasy often, it will be very clear to you.

 

To those who think this book is like Throne of Glass: I don't understand this comparison. I mean, I guess there are certain elements. Like both heroines have white-blond hair. But, think about it. A lot of high fantasy heroines have that color of hair, mostly famously Dany (the chick from Game of Thrones). There's also this thing with a slave camp. Then, there's a love-interest prince. A love-interest warrior. But really? These two books aren't all that similar. The MC in this book is so much more badass and proves her badass-ery. She's sarcastic without being annoying. You actually get to see her kill people.

 

To reiterate, Celaena:

 

 

 

Meira:

 

 

Should I pick it up?

 

YES!!! Yes. You should. Do not be scared of the issues. Because, while they exist, they can be overlooked. Plus, a lot of critical reviewers have loved this book despite its faults.

Source: http://fictionismagic.wordpress.com
Yes. Yes.Yes. A thousand times yes!
The back description reminds me so much of Save The Last Dance. So excited!



The Chapel Wars

The Chapel Wars - Lindsey Leavitt This looks freakin' adorable.

Rocannon's World / The Kar-Chee Reign

Rocannon's World - Ursula K. Le Guin The only book I ever read in this series was the Dispossessed. I realized that I should really read the rest in the series as well. I love all of the science fiction and fantasy old-fashioned '70s covers. They're so crazy.



SEE? CRAZY!!!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor Best re-read ever! I learned so many more things about Laini's world than I realized before. So good. I'll write a review for this one.

Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches

Maplecroft - Cherie Priest Lizzie Borden as the MC?! YESSSSS!!!!

i want all of these things!

Plus that cover is gorgeous! i love it.


I can't wait for the creepy.

Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die - Danielle  Paige I think I'll probably be borrowing this from the library, since I don't want to give Full Fathom Five any of my money.

Splintered

Splintered - A.G. Howard DNF

Might pick it up later, but I have no interest to finish it at the moment.

Fair Game (Alpha And Omega)

Fair Game  - Patricia Briggs

Anna and Charles are easily one of the best and sweetest couples I've ever read about. Charles defines an alpha hero without being an asshole. I love that. I hate the asshole hero. It can be interesting at times, but that concept gets really old.

Charles bent his head down and touched his nose to hers, closing his eyes to hide the effect of the knowledge of what he'd been doing to her-and the effect of feeling her, skin on skin, once more

I like that Briggs made a hero who respects and admires the heroine. He listens to her, he doesn't try to get in her face, he doesn't overrule her. I see this way to often in urban fantasy and paranormal romance. This series is a nice change from all that SHIT! Anna, an omega werewolf, experienced great trauma and pain in her past. She dealt with it in the only way she could. She knew how to protect herself, and still does. Charles helped her to understand how to protect herself. But, he also pulled her from the traumatic after effects of that experience. Anna had much to deal with in regards to how she reacts to others. Anna and Charles have been together for a couple years now. Their relationship has grown so much since her life in Chicago.
Charles has been seeing Ghosts. His father was a shaman, who would see ghosts if he was out of balance.





Charles father relies on him to take care of any business where a wolf needs to be put down because of madness or injustice. He's the marrok's son and killer. He does it because its necessary. Even though he knows its necessary, he hates it. In this book, Charles starts to feel the guilt for the people he had to kill. He's starting to drift away from Anna. He hasn't touched in her in three months or shared their pack bond. He's becomes increasingly distant and Anna worries his job is destroying him. Bran sends Charles and Anna on a case in Boston to help the FBI with a mass murder, whose killed werewolves. Bran wants people to see werewolves as the good guys, so this is why he sends Anna and Charles. Anna, an omega werewolf, has the ability to calm people down which is why Bran makes it her assignment.



The serial killer, the FBI has been searching for many decades, tortures his victims. They believe this killer may be related to fae, but Charles and Anna also believe he may not be alone.

Briggs' plots don't work for everybody. When I first read Moon Called, I was turned off by her plotting. She goes slow with the pacing at first. Then it builds until it becomes a very fast and action-packed story. In Fair Game, she really gets the reader used to the characters we already know again. She slowly builds the plot by introducing new characters and plot lines. Every scene in this book has its purpose. She plants clues along the way to make the reader surprised when they figure out.






In this book, we see Anna and Charles as a couple at odds with each other. Charles struggles with his ghosts. Anna worries she's losing him. To their relationship and to his wolf. She's very frightened and wants to help him. Only, he won't let her help him. He fears his ghosts will attack his mate, so what does he do? he keeps her from the mate bond, his emotions, the truth, and what's really going on. Asshole, right? I understand why he did it. I just think the way he handled it idiotic. You had to lie to your mate to protect her? DUDE! SHE'S AN OMEGA WEREWOLF! she can protect herself. While I understand you want her to protect herself, then why are you protecting her? She's a strong, confident, and grown woman. She can handle it. I love Charles, but he can be an ignorant douche sometimes. I love his sweetness and generosity towards others. He's not one to dominate his mate, only when he's stupid. Cue the secret-keeping ridiculousness.

There's very few problems I had with this book. Unfortunately, the last is sorta questionable and ginormous. It's also a little bit of a spoiler. Anna and Charles go to an island with the team looking for the serial killer. Black magic has a presence on this island. Meaning the magic can influence the people on it. It manipulates them in various ways. Anna starts become manipulated by this black magic by telling Charles that she thinks the problem is that he doesn't want her anymore. He recognizes this as the magic influencing Anna. He pleads with her to change to her wolf. She's resistant and so he shows her how he feels. They both consensually have sex while looking for a killer, who could pop up at ANY MOMENT. fuck, I couldn't believe that happened when I read it. I...couldn't .....form....any......fucking.....WORDS!

"That was really dumb....my fault. I'm sorry. We could have been attacked by the killers." She threw up her hands. "We might as well have set up camera and invited everyone to watch. And now we're going to have to go meet up with our audience and explain ourselves."
"If you think that it was dumb, unnecessary, and your fault," he said in a husky voice, "then you weren't paying attention."

While I would like to agree with Charles, I have to say I'm kinda siding with Anna on this one. It was fucking stupid, guys. DO NOT HAVE SEX WHEN THERE COULD BE A KILLER NEARBY! I get that you guys were all hot and bothered and what not, but yeah......not smart. The circumstances don't override your actions in this case scenario. At least, it wasn't enough to convince me.

Even though that huge ass issue bothered the shit out me, I enjoyed it. What can I say? It was a good book. There weren't as many werewolf beasties in this one for me to really give it my certified cold hearted star. But, I still got all gooey inside when Charles and Anna would sweet talk.



Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele, Book 1)

Tiger Eye - Marjorie M. Liu Apparently this is set in China....I have no other words. WANT TO READ IT! I love books set in Asian countries.

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements)

Stone Cold Touch  - Jennifer L. Armentrout Not sure if this is a good idea.......probably stupid.

Madeline (Picture Books)

Madeline (Picture Books) - Ludwig Bemelmans This is one of my childhood favorites. This may be strange. Even as a child, I had a sense there was something going on between Madeline and Pepito. I felt they had a thing going on. You know, "Romantically". What the hell is wrong with me! Is that just me? They were kids and yet I could sense something. I loved the French story and the all the girls and their quirks. It's a cute story. I used to adore the cartoon too. Yeah. Sometimes I just want to take my head off, I'm so fucked up.

PLUS SHE'S TOTALLY BAD-ASS! see:

Disorderly

Disorderly - Jayme K. Jayme K.'s Disorderly definition: sexist, racist, and misogynistic. Yeah. I'm shameless, so if you hate this review. I'm glad you liked it. But, I don't fucking care. This is MY opinion. I won't apologize for my one star.

I want to make it clear, that the book is sexist and racist. The idea that this book is presented through the point of view of someone with those sexist thoughts, instead of being an actual offensive piece of work is complete crap. Please DON'T buy into that. I'm a strong feminist and I'm completely against ulterior motives with the cover up that "it's not really misoynistic, it's through the POV of someone who is." No. I'm not buying that argument. It makes no sense. If you think of all the centuries of sexism and racism, it's a steep mountain. So, rating a book that could potentially influence that is not a smart move. Am I an idiot because I don't buy into the idea that this work is just a juxtaposition? Fuck no! I'm smart, intelligent, an English Major, and a feminist who is completely against anything that portrays a character as sexist and racist. I want the world to improve, change, and become a place where there isn't racism or sexism. Just because I'm a feminist, doesn't mean I hate men. My boyfriend would seriously disagree that I hate men. I think women or men can be sexist or feminist because feminism focuses on gender equality. I don't like the type of people who think men are putting them down. Yeah. That's not true at all. You can't base something on the ENTIRE gender or race, it's ridiculous. One person may be sexist. Not everyone within his or her gender. That, my friends, is my rant. Please, don't pick up this book. Do yourself a favor.

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements)

White Hot Kiss  - Jennifer L. Armentrout Review sometime soon. After midterms because I have no fucking time right now.

The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, Book 6)

The Outlaw Demon Wails  - Kim Harrison I'll probably write a review for this when I have time. I just have to figure out how to write a review. SOOOO good!

Up From the Grave: A Night Huntress Novel

Up From the Grave - Jeaniene Frost All I have to say is SPATULAS, more than just kitchen utensils.
NEXT

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