“Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)(Author: Sarah J. Maas) + (Year: 2012) + (Goodreads)


If you have been following my blog for some time, you would know that I have a special place in my heart for YA novels. If you haven’t, there it is. If I have a reader’s block, or I just want to read something that I expect to like, I will choose YA.

After I got fed up with Atlas Shrugged, I decided to take a break and read something light and nice. Even more so, I chose a series that has received a lot of positive reviews in the last few years.

I would say that Throne of Glass is largely overhyped. I would not put it at the bottom of the YA books I’ve read, but it’s definitely not good enough, in my opinion, to be placed so high up, either. With 378 339 ratings and an average of 4.23, it stands as overhyped through and through.

My biggest issue with this book was the main character. Celaena is the single most self-involved character that I’ve read about. What is worse is that unlike other similar characters, in which that is a bad quality and is supposed to be noticed and disliked, I don’t have a drop of doubt that Sarah J. Maas thinks that Celaena is perfect as she is. Well… don’t be fooled.

The first 30% of Throne of Glass are Celaena talking about herself and bragging to no one in particular. She is beautiful, she’s strong, she’s the best, she’s the fastest, the deadliest, the smartest, the most clever, etc. etc. etc. Celaena literally takes everything every other character says and in her head argues that she’s better in it. “Oh, that lady is beautiful!” – “No, I’m more beautiful”. “You are beautiful.” – “Not only that, but I’m also the deadliest assassin, beat that!”. “You are the deadliest assassin!” – “And I’m also super beautiful, you loser.” She was really hard to stand, honestly.


And coming back to the fact that she’s the deadliest assassin in the world yadda-yadda, she talks a lot, but she kills just once in the entire book and the rest is just bragging. Every character in the book has heard of her and she is super scary, yet she has the chance to kill an evil monster and she doesn’t.

While we are at it, Celaena also happens to spend her days reading, play the piano masterfully and be just 18 years old! Because you can learn how to kill a person in 12804 different ways, while also reading and playing the piano.


The other characters that are more prominent in the book are prince Dorian and Chaol, the chief of the royal guard. One is pretty and likes Celaena and the other one is strong and likes Celaena. You get where I’m going? Both of them severely lack personality, so that’s about what we know about the two of them. There are very minor details revealed, because, after all, who cares what kind of people they really are, Celaena is beautiful and deadly, right?!?

The things that I did like about the book were the general setting and the magical elements. If the author starts paying more attention to those, I can see a pretty interesting story forming. The Wyrdmarks plot was by far the best story of in the book and I was actually interested to read more about it.


“Impossible Views of the World” by Lucy Ives

Impossible Views of the World(Author: Lucy Ives) + (Year: 2017) + (Goodreads)


This was the first book I received from Penguin Books on NetGalley and I was very happy about it. Add to that the interesting premise of a museum and a mysterious map of a magical settlement, as well as the beautiful cover, which reminded me of The Grand Budapest Hotel movie cover, and I was hooked.

Unfortunately, the book is anything but exciting. For starters, the main character was a strange, self-contradictory woman, who was as hard to like for me, as she was for all the rest of the characters. She seemed to possess mainly negative qualities, and most of all, she was rude and judgmental to the other characters, yet extremely gullible when it came to the museum heartthrob who managed to get her interest, despite being a very obvious sleazebag.

Also, story-wise, there were two separate stories which had nothing to do with each other, aside from being connected to the main character, Stella, and they kept pulling the main story in different directions, making it scattered and unbalanced.

The map story was very naive, childish and not really interesting to follow, and the story of Stella’s private life was just so out of place in terms of the book, that while finding it somewhat more interesting, I felt awkward reading about it, because it so obviously did not belong in the book, at all.

The writing itself was not to my liking either. To some it might have been clever, but to me it seemed very pretentious. There’s nothing bad about using a rich vocabulary, but it just seemed very forced and ostentatious, like a teenager trying to sound smart at a college party.

“Mythic, Vol. 1” by Phil Hester

Mythic, Volume 1(Author: Phil Hester) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)


Unfortunately, this year’s Image comics Humble Bundle was a bit of a let down. I mean… if you haven’t read most of these, the prize is definitely worth it. However, they have been including the same volumes for the last two years, so there was almost nothing for me there.

Aaand this is where Mythic comes in. This was the only volume from the bundle that actually interested me, so I read it separately hoping for something fresh and groovy.

It didn’t live up to the expectations.

A group of mythical heroes, deities and gods gets together as a supernatural SWAT team. What could go wrong? A lot, apparently. The characters were rather flat and way too many. There wasn’t really much space for us to get to know them. Some of the characters got barely any introduction and the ones that did have a more detailed back story were just a few. At the end of issue #7, for example, it was mentioned that we will learn more about Asha. What we actually got in issue #8 were a few self-introductory sentences of the type of “I am powerful! I am life! You can’t kill me.” Dr. Baranski was an equally as underdeveloped character. It was entirely too convenient how she was and how her story went. And her entire personality was so over-exaggerated, that I couldn’t buy her motives at all.

The art was okay, nothing too spectacular or out of the box, but still pretty and detailed. The characters looked kind of old-school, but it was tolerable for the most part. I didn’t particularly like the depictions of human faces, because a lot of the time it was hard to distinguish certain characters.


On the other hand, the logo on the cover is really cool!


“Wonder Woman: Warbringer” by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)(Author: Leigh Bardugo) + (Year: 2017) + (Goodreads)


Let’s start off with me admitting that I was prejudiced about this book. After so much Wonder Woman over-saturation, I expected to be bored by Warbringer. Also, as I didn’t really read the summary, I thought this will be a usual take on the story which is already familiar to us thanks to the movie.

Color me surprised!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer does start with Diana on Themyscira, but she is not lured away from the island by the prospect of saving Steve and the world, but by the idea of her first-ever quest, which involves a young girl – the descendant of Helen of Troy, the original Warbringer, and the possible end of the world by the hands of the vengeful war gods and the humans.


At first I was not sure where the entire Alia story was going, but it turned out to be a very charming twist of traditional mythology. I quite enjoyed the fact that Bardugo took the Greek myths so seriously and embedded them in the story far beyond the mere origin of the Amazons. In fact, this book reminded me more of the Percy Jackson books than it did of the traditional Wonder Woman lore and I say that with all of my affection. I felt a pang of nostalgia remembering the feeling of being excited by the ancient gods and myths and monsters – something I haven’t felt for a really long time.

The part of the story I didn’t enjoy as much was the plot twist itself. While I expected something similar, because it was obviously bound to happen from the start, I didn’t see that particular ending happening. It was logical, about that I have nothing contrary to say, however, it just seemed a bit… unnecessarily naive. The character who turned out to be the villain seemed to stand no real chance to win and so the stakes seemed so low that I didn’t even break a sweat worrying about the well-being of the heroes. Yeah, certain bad things that I cannot mention because of spoilers did happen, but nothing less than the ending was expected.

This kind of also made me consider how much more interesting it would be if we had a darker, more somber version of Wonder Woman out there. I did enjoy this book, as mentioned above, but isn’t it true that The Dark Knight, a much broodier and scary version of the previous Batman movies, is also the best one?


Bonus round: Diana speaks so much in Bulgarian. I couldn’t not be amused. But even more so by the fact that the Bulgarian guy she speaks to doesn’t really react much, he’s just “Eh”. A real Bulgarian would set up a table, bring rakia, make a salad and call all of the other Bulgarians in the region to meet the new person.

“After You” by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)(Author: Jojo Moyes) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)


So… here’s the thing: at the time I read Me Before You, I did not like it. Mostly because of the choices the characters made. Because I thought Will was selfish, because I thought this can’t be it for his life and their relationship, etc. etc.

However, I think my view of the world has changed since then. Maybe I have become somewhat bitter about relationships? Or less trusting of the complete dedication of people to each other? Well, anyway, now I think I would have liked Me Before You more in my current mindset.

So eventually, I decided to read the sequel and see what will happen.

The thing is… Louisa can’t carry the weight of the book for me. She is not really a full character. She lacks her own incentive, her own opinions and her own purpose. What she has the most of are emotions. Outside of that, she really needs other people to push her story forward.

That’s what After You was all about, as well. Without spoiling it, I would say that the young girl Louisa takes care of is basically the thing that makes the story of this book. This story though… It was a bit out there. To me, it felt very strange and off-putting to read about Lily’s past and her as a person and all of that.

And then there was the fact that although Will died, this story was all about him, too. At some point, I started thinking about how briefly Louisa knew him and how deeply he impacted her life. Of course, I think that it’s possible someone you knew for a short time to change your life, but the thing is, whomever she knew, it was not even Will as he was for the biggest part of his life. It was some version of him that existed only for a short period of time and only because it had to, and not because Will actually wanted to change. Time and again Louisa thinks and talks about how much she could talk to Will about, how much she could share with him and so on, but that’s a rather exaggerated version of what actually went on in Me Before You.

Basically, this entire book felt off. It felt wrong and awkward and forced. I don’t think I will be reading the next installment unless a couple of years pass and I start re-thinking my life choices again.