literaryweaponry's reviews
242 reviews

Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard

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(Review taken from Literary Weaponry)

~*~I am going to tell you all right now that I am not going to withhold spoilers in this review. It is also garbage so run while you can. You have been warned.~*~

I have fallen in love with this utter piece of magnificent trash fire. It is everything I theoretically say I hate in a book but I just loved it. I can’t help it. I just followed my heart. And, let me tell you, my heart was just as wandering as Mare’s.

SPEAKING OF MARE. Oh, my precious flower, I both adore you and want to beat you to a bloody pulp. How DARE you have such a wandering a fickle heart when we both know that Cal is the shit? You knew better! Maven had ALL OF THE BAD VIBES. All of them. And you just walked into that when it was obvious he was using you? I know, I know. She is supposed to be a teenaged girl. Mistakes are made, but DAMN!

Oh, yeah, there was a plot outside of that wacky love triangle/rhombus mojo that was going on. And, you know, it was one I could get on board with. Overthrow the monarchy, stop the war, save the world. Yup, lets do that. Oh, and most of the major players have really awesome magical powers? Sold! Our dear, sweet, simple little Mare could control lightening. You know, if I could control lightening I would not have been nearly as restrained as she was. I would have been lighting up everything. Someone irritate me? Lightening to the bum. Someone take the last slice of cheesecake? Lightening to the skull. Someone give me that no good side eye? Yup, you guessed it. Light. Them. Up.

Probably a good thing I can’t control lightening.

Lets face it, the middle of this book was a little tough to get through, as much as I loved this ridiculous romantic rhombus. It crept along at a snails pace when all I was waiting for was for Mare to come to her senses and start using her cracklecracklepow powers for good. Instead, we suffered through chapter after chapter of some girl on girl hate and the essential, if predictable, wizened old mentor.

Now, I’m all in for murder stabby stabs in books. In fact, I love it. But don’t hurt kids. Come on. It is not that hard. Kids and animals are off limits. Yeah, yeah, the deaths served a purpose in plot progression but man did they upset me. I was not there for that. Actually closed the book and walked away for a while.

All in all, I loved this book even if the middle did get a little draggy. I’m rooting for Cal as I open Glass Sword and hope that Mare grows as a character and learns from her past mistakes.

In the meantime, I leave you with this trashfire review as I am already reaching for the next book so that I can once more get devoured by all of this utter nonsense. The thing is, I can acknowledge it is nonsense and still love it. I’m good with that. Cliches are cliches because they work and they sure dug their nails into me good and proper with this book.
The Crown of Gilded Bones, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


“You will bow before your Queen.” Casteel eyed the Atlantian coolly. “Or you will bleed before her. It is your choice.”

Minor spoilers 

Prior to the release of The Crown of Gilded Bones I made it no secret that it was my most anticipated book of 2021. The first two books in the series, From Blood and Ashand A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, were my favorite reads of 2020 and as of this writing (April 2021) I have now read them both four times. Yes, I love them that much. So, it was logical to assume that I would continue with that feeling, or at least come close to it, in The Crown of Gilded Bones. 

Instead I found myself annoyed with this story more often then not. 

First off, let’s start with something I did enjoy. Poppy has had quite the journey in her life and much of it has been full of hardships and sacrifices. With her newfound freedom, which was annoyingly provided to her by a man, she has become a strong willed and intelligent woman. Discovering that she has amazing powers and learning how to wield them, help them grow is absolutely the best part of this book. Watching Poppy become more confident in herself even as she learns some hard truths is fantastic and I feel like Armentrout is doing a wonderful job with Poppy’s character. 

Everyone else on the other hand? Well, that is another story. 

Casteel/Hawke was a brilliant character in both Blood and Ash and Flesh and Fire. As a physically skilled warrior willing to go to great lengths to help his kingdom and those he loves it was impossible not to adore him. Add in his tortured soul back story and I was sunk. However, and there is always a however, it seemed as if all of the hard edges that made him an interesting character had flown the coup in Crown of Gilded Bones. He talks a big game but does little more than be a big softy which made him disgustingly dull. Where was the warrior we had come to know? I’m hoping he shows back up in the fourth book because this version of Casteel left much to be desired. 

While we are at it, we can’t forget Kieran. Kieran, the sharp tongued Wolven and bonded to Casteel, seemed to have dropped his personality entirely somewhere along the way. Gone were the snarky comments and robust attitude that drew readers to him. What we were left with was a sack of docile flesh and bones that just simply trotted around obeying anything Poppy had to say and being a good boy. His personality downfall probably hurt the most. 

Overall, I just wasn’t impressed with this book. I found the plot points too jumpy, the characters washed out, and even the sex scenes had become ho-hum. Will I read the next book in the series? Yes, absolutely. I enjoyed the first two books in the series too much to not give it another go but I do hope the male characters find a little of the feisty, fiery attitudes they had before.

A Study in Charlotte, by Brittany Cavallaro

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This review and others can be found at Literary Weaponry

The other night I was watching the newest episode of Sherlock. You know, the one that was released in 2017. Yup, I’m behind. I kept waiting to watch it knowing that it would be along time until the next one but I finally gave in. While it was an excellent episode, it left me hungering for more Sherlockian fun. So, I thought, why not see if I could find a Sherlock/Holmes retelling? Lo and behold, Meltotheany had recommended A Study in Charlotte so I decided to give it a try.

I admit, I don’t usually read books set in a modern setting. I’m much more of a SFF or historical fiction kind of reader. But, I figured I would pick it up from the library and see how it was.

I’m glad I did.

There were certainly no characters in this story I’d say I would truly root for, but that is part of the fun. Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson are at a prep school in Connecticut which was a little odd to wrap my head around. The New England coastline is certainly not where I expected to find an iconic dynamic duo.

The story, as expected, is told from Watson’s perspective which was a nice hold over from the originals. Watson is the more relatable character, the one more mirroring the common person unlike Holmes who, no matter their iteration, is extraordinary. Watson wasn’t particular fascinating but his character served the traditional purpose. Without Watson, Holmes would diminished.

You know what? I’m not really sure what to say. I enjoyed this book, it was a fun little romp that filled my need for a Holmes/Watson retelling. There were great details, a good story buildup, and even though I guessed the big baddy I could easily have seen it being four or five other people. It tackled themes like drug addiction and rape which, for a YA novel, seems to be very rare so it was nice that those things were addressed in a more appropriate manner.

Overall, this was a good book and a fast, simple read. In fact, I enjoyed it enough I may see if the library has the next book of the series. /endofbadlywrittenreview
This Savage Song, by Victoria Schwab

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(Review taken from

Let me just start off by saying that I love Schwab. Her Darker Shade of Magic books are some of the most amazing things I have ever had the privilege of reading. So, you can imagine, that when I decided to pick up This Savage Song as an audio book that I was expecting the same pull that I had found from her before. In this case, I didn’t. I wanted to point out that while the story didn’t exactly tick my boxes, it was still very easy to recognize it as a good story.

We had a strong female lead, a diverse and vast cast of characters that were well developed, and a story that flowed easily from one point to the next. For me it just lacked something. There wasn’t that zing I was hoping for, you know? So, while it was a good book by all of the tick box points, it wasn’t as engaging as I had hoped and it won’t be making my re-read list.

“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”
Legendborn, by Tracy Deonn

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Did not finish book. Stopped at 10%.
Do not enjoy stories with a contemporary setting. 
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow

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  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


“May she wander but always return home, may all her words be written true, may every door lie open before her.”

I find it especially difficult to find the words to review a book I only felt “meh” about. When you love a book it is easy to gush over the parts of it that brought you joy. When you particularly dislike something you read it is simple to put to words the why’s and reasons you didn’t like it. But when you find something neither particularly good or particularly bad what is there to say?

I will say that for large chunks of this book I was frightfully bored.

January is an interesting enough character. As a small child she is willful and bold, constantly getting herself into trouble that her wealthy benefactor gets herself out of. Then comes the emotional child abuse where he tells her she must behave only as he sees fit or so help him…well, you get the picture. The book gives you a very clear glimpse early on as to this man’s character and it is severely wanting.

Honestly, for the most part of this book you are just watching January grow up and cater to the whims of this man who employs her father. There are bits about her strained relationship with said father but for the most part he is a non-entity. What kind of decent father abandons their child with an eccentric old man in a mansion?

You know, the more I type the more I want to change something. I had initially given this book a 3 star. I am currently changing it to a 2 because I’m having trouble finding anything positive to say about this book. The only positive coming to mind is that it is atmospheric. The settings are clear and easy to picture and they always seem to have a bit of mystery and strangeness to them.

There, I said something nice. Aren’t we proud?

Look, this story was just boring. It dragged on and on and on for chapters that felt completely unnecessary. There is a whole bit that takes place in a mental institute that just made me want to bang my head on the wall. The plot is slow moving, the characters are all relatively cookie cutter and dull, and the over arching story objective is based on family and, I’m sure you didn’t know this about me but now you do, I hate stories that revolve wholly around family ties and found family. I find them exceedingly dull.

Was the general concept of this book good? Sure, absolutely. But then it drug on for 100 pages more than it needed. If this had been a novella I think I could have been on board but as is I can’t be bothered to care for it. Do you like slow moving, atmospheric, pseudo fantasy that centers around family? Then you might like The Ten Thousand Doors of January but I won’t be returning to this story at any point.
The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


“If there’s one thing the Hawthorne family isn’t, it’s fine. They were a twisted, broken mess before you got here, and they’ll be a twisted, broken mess once you’re gone.” 

Here we are, once again, with a hyped book giving me the “meh” feels. When I picked this up I was very much in the mood for a good mystery. This book sounded fun and had a lot of very positive reviews so I figured it would be a slam dunk. Instead as I sit here over a day since having finished it I’m still a little confused. Not confused about the story, no, it was relatively straight forward, but as to why it is so loved. 

Our main character, Avery, is mildly interesting in the way ya females have unfortunately been written for years. Intelligent but also selfish and single-minded and letting hormones lead the way when they would be better off ignored. She was interesting enough, I suppose, but her willingness to be lead and herded ground on my nerves. Her intelligence was her most interesting character trait, outside of that she was any other ya female you’ve stumbled across in mid ranked novels throughout the 2000s. 

The mystery itself was very much built up to be a huge reveal as you would expect. The clues kept nudging our characters along, pushing them in the desired direction with a bit of gun fire and peril to spice things up when the plot started to drag. I won’t it spoil here but I will say that after all of that build up I really expected a lot bigger reveal at the end. It felt mundane and expected and left me with a very unsatisfied feeling. 

The third core focus of this book are the four grandsons of Tobias Hawthorne’s family. Honestly, they were vaguely interesting but each of them were walking tropes in their own right. We had the good hearted rebel, the quirky and awkward yet brilliant one, the brooding sophisticated one, and the also brilliant yet obsessive one meant as a love interest with a drinking problem. They each had their roll to play (besides the good hearted rebel, I still don’t know what his purpose was besides a place holder) and they did so predictably. 

Overall, the book was pretty much what I would expect from a ya mystery. It didn’t blow my mind or set any new standards for the genre but it also wasn’t bad. The book just sat squarely in that middle ground where you really don’t have anything amazing to say about it but at the same time there were no glaring complaints. Is it worth a read? Sure, but even if you don’t you aren’t really missing out on anything.