Featured reader reviews: Page 1

Listed below are the latest featured reader reviews on the site. Some are positive in praise, some are negative in criticism, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are well written and explain their reasoning. We can never have enough reader reviews as they add to the quality of the site, making it ever more useful for visitors.

The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons

9 stars

The book is incredible. The world building is so creative and in depth that you feel like you could walk out of your front door into their world. The characters are also incredibly real, with deep emotions and drives. The only complaints I have with the story is that, like the second book the ending feels strangely rushed. Along with that, the prophecy aspect of the story does not seem to have been fleshed out enough. Lastly, I would warn that it is less Harry Potter and more LOTR in terms of certain parts of the pacing, not bad but keep that in mind. To go along with the last point, the timeline is a little bit non-linear and the cast is so big and diverse that you do have keep your wits about you, but over all this book is simply genus.

An Onymous
United States

The Stand by Stephen King

10 stars

I eventually started to believe that Stephen King was cranking books out too quickly, which meant, at least to my eyes, a drop in quality, but I read "The Stand" when I was a teenager and was completely blown away by the sheer scope of the thing. To me, there are three true Stephen King masterpieces -- "The Stand," for which the subsequent miniseries was wonderful, "Carrie," the movie for which I saw when I was 16 and which scared the Bejesus out of me in the final scene, and "Salem's Lot," which made me sleep with the lights on for about two weeks. Thank you for the author's very interesting review of "The Stand." I guess I'll have to read the book again.

Karlis
Latvia

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

10 stars

I have just finished this during our current lock down and couldn’t have picked a better read. Normally I am left feeling disoriented and wanting more after an intense read but I was whole heartedly satisfied when I came to the end (I could easily read about this world again and again though) I fell in love with every character and their rich history. The imagery and descriptive senses enabled me to place myself with in the ever moving story. Mythology, love, deception, adventure, conflict, peace, it has everything i could have wanted.

Hayley
United Kingdom

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

10 stars

Yhe Throne of Glass series is a thrilling, engaging, page-turning and adventurous novel. I highly recommend this series as it not only has amazing characters and an overall engaging plot, the series also portrays a realistic perspective on love and friendship. The main protagonist 'Celaena Sardothien' is an engaging, loveable, relatable character who (even though being an assassin) is often fond of relating and teaching readers on the hardships of life. I read the series when I was around 13 and fell in love with it, I am 15 and this series is still my clear favourite and I highly recommend to people who love fantasy, action and adventure and reading about strong female characters.

Taneisha
Australia

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

8 stars

I first read the series when I was 10 and have decided to reread the series now at 15 and was extremely impressed with the underlying message to readers the book conveyed. The book is page-turning, absorbing, fast-paced, and adventurous whilst also giving readers a warning on how dark society can be. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who love the movie as it (as most book-based movies) was quite misleading and left out some beautiful moments highlighted in the book.

Taneisha
Australia

The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft

10 stars

The Hod King is the best installment so far for Bancroft and here is why, you as the reader do not know what to believe anymore about all these characters that you love. What do they truly want? What characteristics make them, them? Who is the Hod King? As someone new to fantasy novels, I started the Tower of Babel series late, with The Hod King just releasing when I purchased Senlin Ascends. However, I fell in love with the series, and The Hod King truly affirmed my affection. Senlin's character now is so vastly far from his original character traits that the reader will continue to debate if this now is his true character, or if the Tower is changing him. The ending of The Hod King officially stamps that question into our minds. Violetta and Iren's character growth erupted in this installment, and for their own reasons, the reader will be cheering, and crying for both of their own happiness and success. Finally, the three sub-plots all during the same timeline, along with how Bancroft chooses to divulge more information about the story or the Tower itself is mind-blowing amazing. You will truly see this trait in The Hod King, because you will continue reading to find out more about the previous sub-plot, but then forget the first sub-plot and put full interest into the current sub-plot you are reading. Then when more information regarding the first sub-plot comes to light, it is not a "finally" it is an "oh, I forgot about that." Everyone is working in the same timeframe, but Bancroft separates everything by sections of the novel, he can share little tibbits of information about either Pelphia, the Tower, or Luc Marat's plans sporadically throughout the whole work. The funny part is when you get one fact, you want another but you may not get it for awhile. The writing of Bancroft is truly masterful and the best I have ever seen. Usually you read books and your characters grow into more of the person you thought they would become. Here, everyone is always changing, debating their own actions, leading the reader to be just as unsure of the characters identity as the characters themselves. The reader feels like they truly are on the journey with them and I will be finishing the journey with them hand in hand in the final installment of the series.

Shane
USA

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

10 stars

I will start by saying I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, and have read hundreds of series, from Tolkien to Martin, Sanderson, Jordan, Butcher, Brett, Eddings, Brooks, Goodkind, etc... I'm also an avid reader of science fiction and general thrillers. But to put it simply, this is my favorite book of all time. I have never had so much of an emotional connection to a book. Not even reading LotR for the first time as a kid, nor even the finale of the Wheel of Time years later, had as much of an impact on me as this book. I cried multiple times, and I'm not much of a crier. The writing is so beautiful, and Kvothe is so relatable to me, being a musician and gifted student who also made a mess of life. The magic system is very unique and well thought out. The characters feel real, the prose is incredible, and the story is brilliant. This book is not for everyone, as a few of the reviews below me can attest. If you want huge battles and lots of action, fighting, and powerful magic spells, this isn't that book. Its a coming of age story, a story of love, loss, regret, and irony. Its a story that takes the powerful hero archetype and turns it on its head, and adds in a sobering (but ultimately beautiful) dose of reality. Its a tragedy of a gifted boy who becomes a legend but loses too much on the way. The second book was just as good, and I still hope the 3rd book will be released someday, because the biggest tragedy is not being able to read more of this story.

Jacob
United States

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

4 stars

I tend to agree with Joan from Canada (no connection!). The idea for the book is very original, and the book itself well written - but I am now at page 280 (Shadow has just arrived at Lakeside) and am finding it to be a rather aimless slog. The plot is thin (man meets gods who are frayed around the edges, then zig-zags across the US for no particular reason other than his employer tells him to - nothing much happens except that he meets a few interesting characters, then moves on): as a reader I am left in the dark about almost everything. So, nice try, but can't understand what all the hype is about.

Richard
Canada

Animal Farm by George Orwell

10 stars

The book Animal Farm an engaging and educational must read. I thought it was very interesting how he portrayed the the cycle of revolution turning into tyranny. He describes how easily good intentions can be subverted into tyranny. This book indirectly describes communism and the government and how you can never make everyone happy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Orwell's writing is pessimistic and visual. I recommend this book.

Junaid
England

Fluke by James Herbert

10 stars

There are certain books that must be read as a passage of time. I first read ‘Fluke’ when I was an 11 year old, it held me captive: the beauty, hilarity and the thoughts of a whole different world. I adored Fluke as the dog, human and book. It’s a mesmerising book - a truly wonderful read.

Ruth
England

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