Mini Review Swarm: Winter is Coming

Posted 27 December, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 17 Comments

YA Paranormal
419 pages, hardcover
Available now (September 2013)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

This was one book I was absolutely dying to get my hands on in BEA. I think if I hadn’t gotten any others, I might have been happy (well, maybe not completely happy but pretty darned pleased). And, yahoo, it more than lived up to its promise (and its incredibly awesome cover). The world is beyond scary and amazing — I loved the use of “cold” throughout the story to represent death, vampires and the choices that are sometimes necessary for survival. The main character, Tana, might have been a teenager but she was wise beyond her years, realized the necessity of what she had to do and how to survive once she reached one of those “Coldtowns”. Brilliantly written. This is one of those rare cases where I’m sad we (most likely) won’t be revisiting this world.

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

SIEGE AND STORM (The Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
YA Fantasy
432 pages, hardcover
Available now (June 2013)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Yet another gorgeous story in a gorgeous cover. I think I liked the first one a bit better, just because there seemed to be an awful lot of wandering going on in this one. I wanted to return immediately to the world of the Grisha and be immersed in it but instead, for a while, we followed Alina and Mal as they struggled to survive while on the run. However, once I got over my initial disappointment, I sank deep into the beauty and savagery of the world Bardugo created and wound up enjoying every minute of it. This series reads almost like an old-style fairy tale, filled with action and adventure, magic, costuming and a truly awesome bad guy (Oh, Darkling. You’re so bad, you’re fabulous.).

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

FROZEN (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
YA Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia
336 pages, hardcover
Available now (September 2013)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

Just…no. While I did push through to the end of this one (curiosity killed the cat and all), I will not be picking up the second in this series. Why? Absolutely overloaded world when put altogether, was blindingly ridiculous. Boring characters (despite magical powers), no scientists but every kind of paranormal creature under the sun (well, except for vamps or weres. Because we wouldn’t want them.) no books (seriously? People have been telling stories since the beginning of human time and suddenly, because the world freezes over, there are no books? Kill me now.) and, in a FROZEN FREAKIN’ WORLD, no water and very little salt. *throws up hands* There’s too much more that I can’t even…I just…no. 

Available on Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes and Noble

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17 Responses to “Mini Review Swarm: Winter is Coming”

  1. Hmmm I was definitely interested in Frozen, but it sounds like one of those books that will most definitely NOT work for me now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me from certain, inevitable misery. Lovely mini reviews, Mary!

  2. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was one of my must haves at BEA as well, but for some inexplicable reason, I have yet to read it. I fail at life. I’ve reading some fantastic reviews for it, so I can’t wait to finally get to it. Which I will. Soon. I swear. Glad you enjoyed Siege and Storm after the wandering tapered off a bit, I just love that series. I missed the Darkling in this one, so I’m hoping we get lots of him in the next book!

  3. You were at BEA? So was I! If you go next year we’ll have to meet up (or wait in a ridiculously long line together lol)

    I haven’t heard to many good things about The Coldest Girl in Coldtown so I’ve been putting off reading it.

    I absolutely agree with you about Frozen. I pushed myself to finish it but I wasn’t even sure what the heck I read. What a mess – on so many levels.

  4. Coldest Girl is on my shelf. I have heard good and bad so I’m glad you enjoyed. Loved Siege and Storm too. Haven’t had a desire to read Frozen and I guess that’s a good thing I haven’t!

  5. Oh I enjoyed Coldest Girl too. It did leave a tiny bit of room for a sequel but I don’t think we will get one either. I also want to read Siege and Storm. I love those kind of baddies.

    I do think I’ll skip Frozen though. Sounds like I would have the same probs. 🙂

  6. At least you liked more books than you didn’t, right? 2 out of three?
    I gave up on Melissa de la Cruz a long time ago, her books always turn out boring and she thins down her stories to unnecessarily stretch them over several books as cash cows. 🙁

  7. I loved The Coldest Girl in Coldtown too, Mary! *high fives* Holly Black has a unique way of storytelling and it speaks to me! I still need to read The Grisha series. I’m waiting until the last book is out. I’m seriously trying to avoid trilogies until they’re all out. I hate the wait, the time in between makes the story lose steam and I can’t remember details sometimes! I’ll avoid Frozen. Great reviews! 🙂

  8. 1) I’m so so happy to hear you liked Coldest Girl! That one has mixed reviews but I agree with everything you said about it. Such a unique creepy world, a swoony guy and an interesting end. I like that it’s a standalone. 2) LOVED this book more than the first. Glad you finally read this one. Love how you describe the ” beauty and savagery of the world” and call it an “old-style fairytale.” TRUE. 3) I avoided this book and I feel good about that.