Book Review: The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine

The Shadow Queen by C. J Redwine
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)
Published: February 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Paperback
Pages: 390
ISBN: 1407170600 (ISBN13: 9781407170602)

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

My Thoughts:

I’m going to be honest straight away, my rating for this book is somewhere in between 3 and 5 stars.  I really, really do not know what to rate it.

My reasoning for not knowing is for many reasons.  To start with, making me want to rate it highly is that I loved the fast-paced action, even the romance, which wasn’t a great deal, added to the book.  I liked the writing style, and I liked the characters – shame a good one died though, and I enjoyed the setting, which was described perfectly and has left me wanting to know more about both Kingdoms.
Lorelai is a great heroine, along with the help of Kol and the rest it makes a great story.  I even really enjoyed the fact that it’s a retelling, or extremely similar, to Snow White.  Lorelai is a great Snow White, with Irina as the Evil Queen and Kol makes an even better Huntsman.  Also, the fact that apples have a huge role within the book as well! The were a few parts that actually made me chuckle to myself as well!

My reasons for wanting to give it a low rating.  How many stories are there now about a girl who is trying to reclaim her throne from the evil hands of a relative are there now? I get the genre is for Teenagers/Young Adults but for once I’d like a late 20 something fighting for her place!! (Sorry I’m going off track here)
Anyway – I didn’t like the fact that one of the best characters gets killed off, just devastating!!  I think that they would have made the book that little bit more enjoyable if they were in it all the way through.
There were parts that dragged, a lot.  The ‘conversations’ between Lorelai and Kol were a tad awkward in places and I skimmed over them.

So, I’m in a bit of a predicament.  I honestly don’t know where I should put the rating.  It’s 3-5/5.

I will add, I understand why it’s been giving a lot of terrible reviews.  If I didn’t actually enjoy it as much as I did, it would have gotten a worse review from me.  And I know I’ve sort of contradicted myself by saying about the romance between Lorelai and Kol was great, and then the next I’m saying it’s awkward.  I just feel that there could have been some better interaction between them in places.  I loved the fact that he was there right at the end, as a surprise.  It did surprise me, and I really, really want to read about them again!!


Book Review: The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Published: June 2013
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 454
ISBN: 1780870094 (ISBN13: 9781780870090)

Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets.

When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London’s ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most. An ancient enemy has returned to the darkness under St Paul’s Cathedral, bent on reigniting a centuries-old war, and Beth and Fil find themselves in a desperate race through a bizarre urban wonderland, searching for a way to save the city they both love

My Thoughts:

I was determined to like this, really determined… I’m so disappointed that it didn’t live up to my expectations. Very disappointed. Still, I stuck with it. And got confused, baffled, discombobulated and everything else in between.
I didn’t feel any connection to the characters, nor any sort of emotions whilst reading it. They came across as a bit… Stiff? And Beth was just a pain in the backside. Filius needed a bit more work, but was by far the best character, and any other characters who made a random appearance were forgettable. And don’t even get me started on her Dad!!! Christ, that was a bit weird!! Oh, and what the hell?? Why did that even happen???  Not going into details but I don’t get why the thing I’m going on about even happened.. Was another disappointment right there!!

 For me, it was a brilliant idea for a story but was poorly executed.  There was a lot of promise, and the storyline may have improved immensely with the next 2 books but I keep debating if I even want to bother with them?

I can’t even decide if it was written well enough for it to flow, or just shifted along groggily. I’m very undecided. It was quick paced, I’ll give it that. There was some quiet action scenes, but not enough to even get me excited about it!

So, along with only saying it was quick paced, had promise but poorly executed and annoying stiff characters my rating: 3/5