Tash Reviewing Books

19 yrs old. Australian. Student of the Engineering variety. I like books with words in them, if its Fantasy or YA even better. I write reviews whilst procrastinating. The quality of these reviews are debatable.


Talon - Julie Kagawa

So Julie Kagawa has written a book about dragons...


Review - Red Rising

Red Rising - Pierce Brown

I liked this book. I really did. But I don't like it enough to invest in the rest of the series. Why? Well that's down to one thing really. Our main man Darrow.

Red Rising begins with Darrow, married at the ripe old age of 16, working his ass off as a Helldiver, drilling for resources in underground Mars. It's hard times for all the Reds and times get even harder when his wife is executed. Of course this is where things start kicking off and it isn't long before Darrow finds himself involved with a rebel group seeking to destroy the oppressive rule of the Golds.
After drinking some magic potion and undergoing what I'm going to call "a shit load of plastic surgery" Darrow infiltrates the Gold's command school with the aim of working his way up the ranks of society to destroy them from the inside. It's all edge of your seat exciting and fascinatingly different but here's the thing...
Darrow is a dick.
And I sort of hate him for it. I say 'sort of' since there were times I couldn't help but sit back and nod my head like "Yep. This guy's a badass." These rare and beautiful moments where one liners like this are being delivered:
“They want visionaries. Leaders of men. Not reapers of them. There are limits," she continues. I snap.

"There are no goddamned limits.” 

BAM! However, then there's Darrow's constant monologue describing how very perfect and excellent he is AT EVERYTHING! This guy is the epitome of FIGJAM, as in "Fuck I'm good just ask me!" I couldn't cope. If I read one more description about how good Darrow is with his hands I'm going to spontaneously combust with rage. Maybe I could of forgiven this for the sake of an action packed story but it becomes overbearing. Brilliant scenes like the confrontation with the Jackal (the 'baddy' of the story) are overshadowed - or should I say illuminated - by the giant light shining out Darrow's arse!
I could choose this moment to comment on how poorly the subject of rape is handled in this book but I feel there are plenty of reviews out there by far more eloquent people describing this already. Instead, I'm going to look into the big issues here and comment on the shitfull love story that inevitably unfolds. It was unnecessary and forced and lets be honest, we all saw it happening the moment captain perfect met her anyway.
Final Verdict. An ok book with some moments of brilliance. Really, Pierce Brown knows how to write an action scene, it's just such a shame he couldn't make Darrow more likeable. Read it if your curious.

Review - Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits  - Katie McGarry

A copy of this book is currently available for a FREE on itunes! I saved myself some good mulla reading this baby on the tiny screen of my ipod touch... although my eyes have been doing some crazy things lately.

Pushing the Limits is an alright read. I tend to steer clear of this genre but I have managed to find a couple of really good reads in the form of Easy by Tamarra Webber and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover in the past. Sadly, Pushing the Limits just doesn't have that same spark. I wanted warm and fuzzy and all I really got was a meh. So Noah's a badass hottie with a soft side? Meh. So Echo is popular and has family issues? Meh.
Ok. So I might be downplaying these issues quite a bit, they are as much a part of the story as the love but sadly (and this is just my personal opinion) it didn't resonate with me. There are just so many BIG issues to be dealt with - bipolar disorder, drug use, bullying, body image and insecurities, foster homes and custody battles, sexual relationships - it was like the author grabbed a big jug full of emotions and poured it all over me with the hope something might seep in. I can't even say it was a light-hearted read now without seeming like a heartless bitch.
If your in between books and short on a dollar like me go read it. If not, maybe read Easy or Hopeless. I think I might even go re-read them now myself.

Review - Before They Are Hanged

Before They Are Hanged  - Joe Abercrombie

Rarely is a sequel better then it's original. But then again it's pretty obvious Abercrombie knows how to step things up a notch. The characters i liked before... I love them now. Characters I disliked... well I like them a little better. Characters I overlooked... starting to pick up some sinister vibes. There's a lot of development in this one, especially with a certain selfish prick named Jezal Dan Luthar slowly tugging at the old heart strings. I admit it. I ended up feeling sorry for him. God! Who am I kidding? I ended up feeling sorry for everyone!

It's clear The Blade Itself was only the warm up. There's more action, more intrigue and (dare I say it) more lovin then before. It's amazing how likeable such fucked up characters can become! I don't know how it's possible to happily cheer on a mass murdering bipolar suffering psychopath? But I did. And I liked it.

Review - Written in Red

Written in Red - Anne Bishop
Written in Red begins with Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet, running from something through a crazy ass snow storm.

Annnnd straight into the arms of shape-shifters, vampires and other supernatural creatures whose favourite food source just so happens to be people.

I'm unsure how i feel about this one... There were times I wanted to fall into an endless sleep with the monotonous descriptions of unnecessary things.

What's that Anne?
Meg drank a coffee then ate a sandwich and then packed an extra pair of shoes in her bag and then she locked her apartment door before she walked outside and put a jacket on because it's winter AND THEN she walked to her office door and then she found her keys and then she unlocked the door and went inside AND THEN she took off her boots and put on another pair of shoes for inside the office and then she flipped the 'open' sign and settled in for work.
Let's sum things up in one sentence shall we?
Meg went to work.
That's it! That's all that needed to be said, because the only thing really integral to the story is the fact that Meg went to work. I can understand why Bishop wanted to include some things, the fact that Meg is a bit of an outsider and lacking in the skills department means that these mundane activities are quite the event for her. I get that. But I got it the first time. The continuous descriptions throughout the entire book really grated on me and slowed an otherwise exciting story down. A lot. But perhaps I'm just not used to this sort of writing style. After all this isn't YA.
Of course, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this book. I'd also be lying if i said I wouldn't be purchasing the sequel. The world building and supernatural elements were a unique take on urban fantasy. The characters grew on me and it wasn't long before I found myself itching to turn pages and find out what happens next. Although some parts were a little predictable, all in all it was a good read. Not too sappy in the love story department with the right amount of action and gruesome mauling to make things interesting.

Progress - Written in Red

Written In Red - Anne Bishop

p183 / 496


Anne Bishop enjoys describing mundane things. For example....


"The heavy fabric sack had two sleeves with stiff bottoms that were sized for the insulated travel mugs, plus a zippered compartment that could hold sandwiches or containers of food. There was even a section to hold cutlery."


Why? Why are we describing a lunch bag? Why is there a section to hold cutlery? Will the cutlery be used as a weapon later? Perhaps the insulated travel mugs and zippered compartment will be of vital importance as Monty delivers the lunch?


The answer is no. But now we all know a little bit more about lunch bags in a world filled with supernatural creatures, so this has been worth while... right?


Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch


Will try again later..... or maybe not.

Review - The Emperor's Blades

The Emperor's Blades - Brian Staveley
I'm really struggling to express how much I enjoyed this book. As far as fantasy goes, this book has a certain nerdy, coolness factor to it that I can't quite describe... it's like Staveley went around and asked everyone what their favourite parts of fantasy were, cut the bullshit and created a masterpiece. The three main story lines are based around, political intrigue, a mysterious group of monks and an elite group of assassins who ride giant birds.
Nuff said.
I really want to fan girl about Valyn so Ill try keep this next bit logical. All three main characters are excellent, and develop well throughout the story as they struggle in their respective fields but it was definitely Valyn who really stood out to me. There's a point within his story where Staveley places two paths before him. The typical heroes path, or the darker antihero sort of story. I'm struggling to explain with out giving away too many spoilers here but just as you think you know where everything is heading things aren't so black and white. It's brilliant. Gritty, dark, heartbreaking and full of vengeance.
I cannot recommend this book enough. I can't fault it. I became so invested in the story all I can think about now is reading it again. If you love fantasy, go read this. If you don't like fantasy, go read this cause it just might change your mind.
Favourite. Book. Ever.
Yeah I went there.

Review - The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

I'm going to liken this book to putting your hand in some boiling water. Of course the waters cold at first. Or else you'd just reflexively pull your hand out. So the water's cold, but then it slowly starts to heat up. You don't really notice at first and then next thing you know the water's boiled and your hand's blistered and you've realised all to late and suddenly the damage is done.

Now imagine the water is the violence in this book. We start off with an axe to the head, progress to a fiery explosion and some brutally mauled bodies, divert momentarily to domestic abuse and a spot of violent sport before finishing with an all out bloody rampage.
Mr Abercrombie you are one insidiously evil genius.
The story follows 3 main characters, none of whom are particularly likeable and yet are somehow likeable all the same. Glokta, a member of the Inquisition (think torturer meets investigator) is a slightly sadistic cripple. Jezal dan Luthar is a selfish, elitist brat training for a fencing contest. Logen Ninefingers could almost be the "hero" of the story but then he too is flawed by a bloody past spent earning a bloody reputation. Everyone - even the supporting cast - is dramatically flawed in one way or another, brilliantly fleshed out and so god dam intriguing it's like watching a car crash.
In terms of plot, this book is definitely just the beginning. Each separate storyline slowly weaves it way together and suddenly you've reached the end and some crazy guy has just snatched your half eaten sandwich and you must get it back and now I must buy Before They Are Hanged to find what the other half tastes like.
My money's on delicious.

Progress - The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

It's great when you pick up a book about a brutal barbarian, a selfish rich kid brat and a torturer whose been tortured and things live up to expectations. So so so very good.







Red. Viper.

Progress #3 - Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch

p342 / 630


Ok so, I've been a little booklikes absent of late, girls gotta party and what not.


I really want to finish this book. I really do. My love for The Lies of Locke Lamora means I must finish this book. But it is just such a chore at the moment.



If this was any other series I would have given up weeks ago! Especially when I've got Joe Abercrombie lined up next...


We've finally got some pirates though, things might be looking up?

Review - World After

World After  - Susan Ee

I can't review this one.

I just cant.
Where do I even begin?
I guess a lot of people have been complaining about the lack of Raffe in this one so I'm going to go against popular opinion now and say the Raffe to Penryn time ratio was just right. What really cemented Angelfall as one of my favourite books was the fact the love story took a backseat to the real action. As I picked up World After I did a little silent prayer to the book goddess of Ee that there be no love triangle and no sappy bullshit and plenty of ass kicking and scary mums. And you know what? She listened.
To sum things up...
I laughed. I cried. I fell in love with an inanimate object.
If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favour and go read this now.

Progress #2 - Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch

p201 / 630


Why can't I get into this? And why am I watching Pretty Little Liars instead?


I'm still waiting for some pirates to make an appearance...