July 31, 2012

ARC Review: Glass Throne by Sarah J. Maas

****Official release date August 7th. Review copy provided by Bloomsbury Children's Books through Netgalley****

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, Book 1) by Sarah J. Maas


Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: PDF
Amazon: Hardback | Kindle
Goodreads: Throne of Glass


After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.(


First off, I have a confession. Going into Throne of Glass I had no idea about the following or the history behind it. Honestly I just assumed the book was getting tons of attention because of the many quotes I saw that stated that the Throne of Glass series was “the Young Adult version of A Game of Thrones.” In my mind that’s pretty big praise. Then once I started reading the book I realized that the author had been writing this series for quite a while and that it was now getting “officially published” and that fans where biting at the bit for it.

Thankfully I was unaware of all the crazed fans and how “utterly amazing and flawless” this series/author is.  Boy, would I have been bitterly let down. Like many books before it, it falls prey to the formulistic predictableness that dominates the fantasy sub-genre of YA; making it predictable, slowly plotted, lacking a certain amount of realism, and overall average. If this is the YA version of Game of Thrones, and I had no idea what Game of Thrones was, let’s just say GoT just got knocked off my TPR pile. That said, this wasn’t a bad read. I found myself utterly addicted and I was ravenously reading each page, wishing my Kindle would turn the pages faster!

My biggest problem with Throne of Glass wasn’t the obvious predictability of the book, I’m a Tamara Pierce fan so I’m well used to enjoying books that you can see the plot from the first page. What I couldn’t stand is Celaena. The idea of a YA book with an Assassin as a lead utterly fascinated me, especially since she’s  female. Female assassin’s are a weakness of mine, and the fact that before she even turns 18 she’s the most notorious and feared killer in the lands is too tantalizing to pass up.  Celaena is the worst assassin that I have ever read. She should have died within the first 20 pages of the book. People are constantly sneaking up on her, readers are never given any real proof that she’s a real killing machine, and any time she did “shine” it felt fake. She’s so cocky that she compromises her self left and right, no wonder she got caught! It felt like Maas tried to over compensate to make Celaena “human” so that readers could feel for her and believe the romance, and how people could befriend a killer. (Trust me a good author can make you love a murdering lead by making the contrast between the killer and the human side of the lead.) In Celaena's defense I will say the events leading up to her becoming a killer are very believable and I liked the slow buildup of her past, and the “mystery” the author tries to create about her real identity.

The love triangle is fun and I really enjoyed it. The build up for each man of interest is not equally written or given page time so I felt a little left out since I’m the one that always goes for the underdog. Let’s be honest between a Prince and a Captain of the Guard, readers know who is going to get favored. For once I’d like it if a writer realizes that we the readers are tired of Princes as love interests for YA fantasy. Give us something deeper please, we don’t need Princes on white horses anymore.

Despite all of these annoying problems and I was squealing like a crazy fan and totally fell in love with not only the love triangle, but the other characters. The politics are fun enough that I feel intrigued and hope that a “revolution” is coming soon.  Now that the contest for the “Kingdom’s Champion” is over I’m hoping for more world building and intrigue. The sneak peeks at Maas other realms and lands in this world are beyond tantalizing. The “magic” is also a fun concept and there might be a comeback for the Faye!

This is a title that I love to be annoyed by. The writing is nothing special, and at times I felt like the author was telling me how I should feel instead of showing. Sure I knew the plot from the get go. I know what Celaena's real secret past is, so that plot arc is spoiled. This series is obvious, but it’s still an addiction. I’m already trying to figure out any news about the next ones, and I’m planning on getting the four short stories that come before this one. Any fantasy fan worth their salt should read this title. I know other readers are going to breeze through this and not see anything wrong with it, and think I’m crazy for knit picking it. Other fans (as seen in Goodreads recent updates) are simply going to love to be annoyed because secretly, like me, they’re going to be one of the new additions to Maas hot new series.  (Oh, Team Chaol fans Bs!)

Sexual Content: This is safe for he kiddies. At times it’s mature as it talks about rape (there are slaves and it kind of an inevitability for females in that position), there’s making out, but nothing to overly done. For a killer Celaena is pretty innocent.

3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:

The Assassin & the Pirate Lord (0.1) 
The Assassin & the Desert (0.2)
The Assassin & the Underworld (0.3)
The Assassin & the Empire (0.4)





The Assassin & the Pirate Lord (0.1)
The Assassin & the Desert (0.2)
The Assassin & the Underworld (0.3)
The Assassin & the Empire (0.4)

July 23, 2012

Long time no posting?! BW is coming back!

Wow, I hadn't realized how long it's been since I've posted on Book Whispers! I've gotten a couple of emails from worried readers, and I can reassure you guys that nothing is happening with BW.  (Well obviously.) As promised I was working on the official website for BW and finally launched it. Currently now I'm in more wedding (yeah, again and no not my own) drama as I get ready to go on a "vacation" and will be traveling for a while.

It's been hard ignoring BW. I keep thinking to myself "I've got to post!!" especially since there's been tons of new covers for Cover Coveting! Not to mention all the reviews that need to get posted.

However, it's true what they say. When it rains it pours. So I'll be working on getting back onto "steady" posts again. I can't keep denying my blogging addiction!

Also I've been working on some new concepts for my Youtube channels since I will no longer be participating in the In My Mailbox posts.

So look forward to steady posts again at BW!! Thanks to all my well wishers and loyal readers.

July 3, 2012

Author Interview: Jessica Scott


jsJessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.  (Full bio on Goodreads.)

Shera (Book Whispers): In your own words, introduce yourself.

Jessica Scott: My bio pretty much says it all: I'm a company commander, wife to a first sergeant, mom to 2 kids, 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hamsters and a couple of fish (lost count). I've been told I'm somewhat of an overachiever but I really don't believe that. I'm pretty luck just not to get fired most days.

BW: Your author info states that you're a career army officer, it clearly shows in your work and gives a certain reality that most authors lack when writing this kind of story. We're there any scenes that were particular hard writing for Because of You, that just hit too close to home?

JS: I wouldn't say there are scenes that are hard to write so much as there are scenarios I would really struggle with. I would never be able to write a sympathetic adulterer. One of my beta readers suggested that I have Laura have a man showing interest in her and I simply recoiled from the suggestion. It's too difficult because sadly, so many of our men and women come home to broken homes because their significant other was not faithful, you know?

BW: It shocked me hearing about the wife (err, ex-wife) of our hero Shane Garrison. It was hard for me to understand a woman that could hold it against her husband for missing her birthday when he is fighting a war. It actually spawned a few heated debates with other readers. Is this something that you saw commonly to inspire this part of Garrison's past?

JS: There's no way to answer this question without inspiring a storm of debate between army women and army wives. The short version is I've read far too many books that paint female soldiers as home wreckers and just as many books that paint army wives as adulterers. The truth, as always is somewhere in the middle. But sometimes, life as a company commander can feel like an episode of Jerry Springer and that's really as much visual as I think people need:)

BW: When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"

JS: With my 2nd book UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, I really struggled to find the right opening hook. I picked up several books and tried to figure out what worked for their openings and what made me keep reading. One of my favorite openings was Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire. "It was hell being a hero." I mean how powerful is that?

BW: For me this was my first military romance and I loved it! Is there other books that you would recommend readers to try if they like your work?

JS: There are a ton of Harlequin books featuring soldiers and their families. Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is one I'd recommend with ease, as I would Joann Ross' Shelter Bay series. Both are community driven stories about soldiers coming home from war.

BW: Until There Was You, the second book in the Coming Home series, is due out in October! Are there more books expected to release in the series?

JS: The series is up in the air right not but I can promise this: Laura & Trent will have their own book and I've started working on a spin off from one of the characters from UNTIL THEREUNTIL THERE WAS YOU final WAS YOU. He's a wonderful tragic hero and I'm really enjoying writing him (Reza in case you wanted to check some Facebook posts:)

BW: Can readers expect to see some of the "side characters" in Because of You and Until There Was You in later books? Maybe as leads?

JS: I don't think Nikiki and Vic from Because of You will ever be their own book but they've definitely got a prominent role in Laura & Trent's book as it stands right now. I think as the community expands, I'm going to work really hard to keep the books focused on a single couple but I also never say never! I love Carponti & Shane so I'm pretty sure they'll be coming around again.

BW: Even though this is outside your writing genre, between a vampire love interest and a alcidewerewolf love interest which do you prefer? (What team are you on? Team Vampire or Team Werewolf.)

JS: All right, I have to admit, I kind of like a hairy chest on a man. Werewolf. I've recently started watching True Blood and I'm all about Alcide. Mmmm...

BW: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important

JS: With everything that's going on in publishing, it really does come down to reader engagement. I love interacting with folks on Twitter and Facebook. It's a lot of fun plus I feel like I really get to know folks, you know? I'll admit to being somewhat introverted so sometimes, I need other folks to take the first step. I know my twitter feed doesn't sound like I'm much of an introvert but I really get a kick when people respond, you know? I try my best to always respond to twitter and Facebook but sometimes, life gets in the way so I hope that folks will bear with me and know that I do my best. I only hope it's enough, you know?

BW: A big thanks to Jessica Scott for doing this wonderful interview! (And for having the strongest argument for Team Werewolf we’ve had here on Book Whispers!)

boyBecause of You (Coming Home, book 1) by Jessica Scott

Add it: Goodreads | Amazon
Jessica’s official site

Contemporary Military Romance
From the war-torn streets of Baghdad to the bittersweet comforts of the home front, two wounded hearts navigate the battlefield of coming home from war in this explosive eBook original from newcomer Jessica Scott.

Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.

Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.