Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

Trigger warnings for: physical and sexual abuse, pedophilia, and voyeurism.

1/5

Disclaimer (because I feel it’s needed): If you enjoyed this book, then great – good for you. I personally didn’t, these opinions are my own. I mean no ill intent by the snide remarks I made reading this book, and I mean none in this review. Let me know why you loved it if you did, I would love to see things from your perspective.

I went into this book fairly blind, big mistake (Oh, hindsight you son a of a bitch). All I knew before heading in to this book was that: the relationship was an angsty hate-to-love romance between two men, and that it was hyped in the book community with an abundance of five-star-reviews. If I had known that this book took place in a society full of sex slaves, I would have never read it. I could overlook that (refer to the second body paragraph) but that’s not the only reason I disliked it. The writing was average, the world felt undeveloped, and I gave no fucks about the utterly forgettable characters (I genuinely can’t remember the names).

It baffles me that this book is marketed as a romance, I am shooketh (yeah, I hate myself for using that as well). The “romance” vaguely resembles a non-consensual BDSM type relationship. I’m not kink shaming (you do you boo), I know non-consent is a kink to some, but that has an agreement to act as if consent hasn’t been given – there are usually safe words in place, so at the end of the day: it’s consensually non-consensual. At its core, BDSM is built on trust, this mess isn’t. Things could change in future books, but I have no interest in the rest of this series. The romantic interest is a spoiled arsehole with collection of stereotypical new adult bad boy traits. GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL.

I can understand how what I’m about to say could be misconstrued into one thing, so I want to make it very clear. In no way, shape, or form do I support rape. I hate when it’s used in books (TV and film) as plot twist. I get a foul taste in my mouth when it’s mentioned in books, but I can differentiate the difference between a plot device and a means to explore the values of a society or culture. Rape happens often in this book, but that’s something that comes with the territory of sex slaves (I’m not excusing it). I have seen people say the protagonist is never raped, but that’s not true. His “entrance” was prepared and he was given a blow job without consent, this is sexual assault.

Quick recap of the rape for those considering the series:

  • Rape is entertainment – literally, not figuratively. Think UFC but where they try to rape each other, and the audience jerks off.
  • Pedophilia is a thing. Thirteen-year olds are old enough to be “pets”
  • Threats of rape are common, so is the mention of it with side characters where it happens off screen.

The writing really wasn’t anything special. It read well enough, but I found myself skimming over parts just to get through it, instead of falling in love and absorbing all the words (If I knew how to add gifs I’d put one of SpongeBob here). I wasn’t completely sold on the world. The only element that looks developed is the differences with sex slaves between the two different societies (I genuinely can’t even remember them, which speaks volumes of the 10/10 world building). This book is character driven, which I usually don’t mind – but when you don’t care about the characters it’s hard to give a shit.

One positive thing I will say about this book, is that it highlights the issue of men also being abused (physically and sexually). It’s something that isn’t talked about, but needs to be. This book could have had so much more potential. Betrayal, political intrigue, a web of lies, narcotics, come on?!

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Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used against you”

4.5/5

I’m  sure I don’t need to explain the premise of this famously adapted novel, so I’m just going to list off a few reasons to read it if you haven’t already:

  1. The gory detail: Proceed with caution if you’re squeamish. I don’t particularly consider myself a squeamish person but I fell nauseous reading certain scenes, twice. (It takes a lot to make me lose my appetite or physically react to a book so you’re in for a treat if you like gory detail, if not – ignore this and continue reading)
  2. The intricate world building: The world building is done in a way that gives you the necessary information when you need it, but it’s not done in a way that you feel like you’re being spoonfed. He laces information and reasoning perfectly throughout the story, so you’re not expected to catch every ounce of history and alliance in one go. The world is vast and rich with culture and varying religions, it was interesting to see how it shaped the people of that kingdom.
  3. The incredibly well written characters: There are a lot of characters sprinkled into this tome, but they all have their own voices and reasoning behind their actions or thoughts. Sometimes, when it comes to multiple pov you’ll find some voices blur together, these characters don’t. You always know exactly who’s pov you’re reading.
  4. The strong females: I love the women in this series because they’re written realistically, they’re just as important as the lads. We have brave women that want to learn to fight, women that choose to look after their family, women that have a deep thirst for power, conniving women, women that want to marry for love, and women that won’t take shit from anyone.
  5. The characters that aren’t the chosen ones: I’ll just gloss over this one because I’ve been going on about characters for a bit now, but I am sick and tired of reading books solely focused on the chosen ones and how they can do no wrong. This book has outcasts which give a fresh perspective. We have an imp and a bastard that are fighting for what they want instead of being handed it. We also have flawed and morallly questionable characters.
  6. The pacing: The length of this series is intimidating, it’s a huge commitment. But this book flew by, it was fast paced and thrilling. You’ll be surprised how fast it goes.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: 2017

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: Fanasy, New Adult.

Rating: 2.5/5

Maybe I should’ve gone in to this book with lower expectations. Maybe I shouldn’t have spent an entire year anticipating and theorizing over the events in this book. Maybe I should’ve learned my lesson from my disappointment with Empire of Storms, but I didn’t. This book was incredibly disappointing; the writing was average, the pacing slow, the smut gross, and the emotional roller coaster absent.

As of this release, Sarah has nine published books under her belt, her writing hasn’t grown. It’s full of tell don’t show, and arduous inner monologue. I don’t know if Sarah just feels the need to spoon feed or doesn’t know how to allude to things but every time any side character glanced at their romantic interest, Feyre was all over it along with describing every growl, sneer, and facials of the characters anytime they did anything.

The pacing of this book was slow, especially with the first few chapters which was what I was most excited for. At the end of A Court of Mist and Fury, Feyre is ready to wreak hell and burn the spring court to the ground. At the beginning of this book, she constantly talks about how badly she wants to skin Ianthe and how much of a dick Tamlin is. This became old fast, I know she had a plan in place (so she couldn’t actually), but listening to a character bitch about another without doing anything until she was about to leave was annoying as hell.

This book got interesting during the meeting (when Tamlin walked in and fucked shit up) and during the last one hundred pages. The only reasons I made it through the other chapters were: bribing motivating myself with chocolate and Netflix, the occasional times Nesta, Amren, Azriel, and Lucien came on, and the hope that I would see why this book was getting so many five-star-reviews.

The romance between Feyre and Rhysand wasn’t as alluring to me as it was in A Court of Mist and Fury, I loved their tension and constant push and pull. This book didn’t have that, they’re together and happy, and feel the need to describe their sex in vivid detail repeatedly throughout the book. I don’t mind reading sex in books, but there are certain authors I don’t like reading them from and Maas is at the very top of that list. *thinks of velvet wrapped steel and shudders*

*Spoilers, kind of. Don’t continue reading if you haven’t read it*

The “redemption arc” I heard Tamlin was receiving had me intrigued for this book, but that fell incredibly flat, boring, and underwhelming. I had hoped we would get to see more reasons for his actions, to see why he was so possessive and controlling, why he resorted to abusing Feyre, and seeing him come to terms with the overall effects of his actions.  But no, SURPRISE! Tamlin comes to help save the day.

The climax of this book was underwhelming, there were moments where I was nervous about some of the characters, but of course – this is a Sarah J. Maas book.  None of the core characters are going to die, everyone shall live and bone their romantic interests for the rest of eternity. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue this series, if they’re short novellas – sure, if one of them is about Nesta – HELL YES, if they’re going to be super romance heavy, which they probably will be – meh. I’m placing bets that at least two of the Novellas will be Lucien and Nesta.

Things that I don’t have the energy to discuss that also annoyed me:

  • How Mor was treated throughout this book. SCREW YOU RHYS.
  • The fact that Cassian’s wings were fully healed (I like him, but I liked the idea of a character with a disability learning to deal with it and maybe turning it into a strength. I’m just Kaz Brekker trash)
  • Lucien disappearing for the rest of the book and Feyre’s dad coming to save the day, it was sweet but felt a little off.
  • The fact that everyone is paired up,
  • The overuse of the words: primal, mate, and mine.
  • The dumps of world building.
  • Rhysand not being the same sassy, witty, and almost challenging Rhys
  • This series and these characters feeling incredibly similar to Throne of Glass.
  • Sarah constantly bringing up that Calanmai happened in acomaf during interviews/other places I can’t remember, AND DOING NOTHING WITH IT AFTER THE REVEAL WITH LUCIEN.
  • The characters always being described as beautiful and handsome, I just need more characters like Kelsea Glynn.