BOOK REVIEW: Empire Of Storms – by Sarah J. Maas

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Title: Empire Of Storms
(Throne Of Glass #5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: September 6th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Finished reading: October 7th 2016
Pages: 704
Rating 3qqq

“The fear of loss . . . it can destroy you as much as the loss itself.”

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WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead. Those who follow my blog will probably already know that I really enjoyed the first four books of the Throne Of Glass series in the past. The first book had it flaws, but the other three definitely made up for those little things that bothered me. And then I read Empire Of Storms, and I’m not sure what to think about this series anymore. I kept asking myself what on earth happened to the awesomeness I had grown used to… Because this fifth book has turned out to be a mayor disappointment. The story is overlong and most characters are basically a bunch of horny teenagers that want to sleep with each other all the time. What’s with all the romance?!?! It’s almost like Empire Of Storms is written by a different person, because the change is pretty drastic. I used to love Aelin and Manon as a character, but especially Aelin has lost my respect with all the blah romance scenes and Manon was absent for way too long. Sure, there are some pretty mindblowing action scenes and the general plot is interesting enough, but I felt like it missed the spark of the previous books. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that book 6 will be a huge improvement and that it will make up for Empire Of Storms; less romance and more epic battles and magic please! It’s going to be a long wait though, especially after that cliffhanger ending… Sigh.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first four books yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius… The kingdoms of Erilea are fracturing around her and enemies will have to become allies if Aelin is to protect those she loves from the dark forces that want to claim her world. War is looming everywhere and the only chance for survival lies in a desperate quest that might just destory it all. Will Aelin and her friends be able to find a way to stop the dark power on time?

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I’m not lying: I was expecting another mindblowing sequel when I picked up my copy of Empire Of Storms. Instead, I was faced with an overlong and romance-infested story that just didn’t meet the high standard of the previous sequels. The many many cliche romance scenes made me want to vomit and were basically a huge distraction from the otherwise quite interesting plot. I don’t mind long descriptions (especially since Sarah J. Maas always has excellent prose), but I kept having the feeling the story could have been a lot shorter. I will definitely still read the book 6 when it comes out next year, but I will be keeping my expectations low just to be safe…

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WWW Wednesdays #106 – October 12th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m almost finished with Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green, which is about time since it’s been too long since I first started it. I also decided to read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, because I have been seriously neglecting my classics this year and somehow I have never read the original Tom Sawyer story?! Or at least I don’t remember. I’ve also started The Best Friend by Shalini Boland, a very fast-paced and intriguing thriller so far.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finished reading The Bitter Side Of Sweet by Tara Sullivan first, which turned out to be a brilliant read. Even though it’s a fictional story, it’s based on actual facts and the descriptions are really well done. Two young brothers forced to work at a cacao farm under difficult conditions and without pay… It definitely gives you something to think about.
* I then finally finished Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, which has turned out to be a mayor disappointment. The story is overlong and most characters are basically horny teenagers that want to sleep with each other all the time. What’s with all the romance?!!!! I seriously hope book 6 will be better, and that cliffhanger ending made the wait for the next book even more painful. Sigh.
* The last book I read is Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer, a book I requested on a whim from Netgalley. I’m normally not really into drama, but the blurb sounded interesting enough and I’m glad I gave it a go. The ‘present/Paris’ chapters weren’t as strong as the ones set in the past, and maybe not as believable either. Still, it was interesting to learn more about how the two main characters met and how it all started to go wrong… Poor little kid.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have two thriller ARCs up next: Dark Water by Robert Bryndza and Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell. I can’t wait to start reading both; Bookouture is quickly turning into my favorite Netgalley publisher! I also still want to read The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black to get into the Halloween mood. And since I have decided to not read ACOMAF until the third book is published (there is NO way Sarah J. Maas will have me pining over TWO unpublished sequels), I have a new TBR jar pick: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I was originally going to read Since You’ve Been Gone first, but the TBR jar has spoken…

WWW Wednesdays #105 – October 5th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Basically, I’m still reading the same books from last week plus a new one. Oops?! I guess it shows I was away for the weekend… My main focus is The Bitter Side Of Sweet by Tara Sullivan, which is turning out to be a really interesting and fast-paced read. As soon as I have finished that one, I will continue with Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. I’m only a few pages into that one, so not much to tell so far. I also still need to finish Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I’m enjoying it better than I thought I would, but the whole Aelin-Rowan romance is really starting to get on my nerves.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished is actually a cookbook that caught my eye at Netgalley: But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan! by Kristy Turner. Although I could never give up meat (or cheese!) completely, I always try to prepare vegetarian/vegan meals at least two or three times a week… And this cookbook is a little goldmine! The descriptions and introductions to the recipes are hilarious as well, and there is a lot of extra information ‘special’ ingredients and how to prepare them.
* The other title I managed to finish is Safe With Me by K.L. Slater. I’m having mixed thoughts about this one. When I first started reading it, I was sure I was going to give it the highest possible rating… But as the plot twists and unlikeable characters evolved, I started having second thoughts. Everything is almost too absurd (especially during the final part of the book) and it just didn’t seem believable at all. It didn’t help that I couldn’t connect to the main character either. The ending was supposed to be a mayor plot twist, but I kind of already saw part of it coming?

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’m waaay behind with my ARCs, and next up are two books I’m looking forward to: The Best Friend by Shalini Boland and Dark Water by Robert Bryndza. I’ve really enjoyed reading the work of both authors in the past, so I can’t wait to start reading these new titles! I also want to read The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black to get into the Halloween mood, and A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas is still my latest TBR jar pick (and will be for a while longer I’m afraid).

WWW Wednesdays #104 – September 28th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started reading Empire Of Storms by Sarah J. Maas a few days ago despite the mixed reviews, and I think the warnings have paid off because I’m enjoying this fifth book better than I thought I would so far. I’m also about to start another pending ARC: Ivy Feckett Is Looking For Love by Jay Spencer Green. So many pending books, so little time!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I’m not going to mention all the books I’ve finished since my last WWW post because that would be a looooong list haha. I’m glad to be back!

* The first book I finished since last week is Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. This book was recommended to me in the past and while the whole plot and story was a bit too absurd and unbelievable, somehow I still managed to enjoy reading it. I’m not sure if I actually like the main characters though…
* I then read one of my ARCs: Engaged By Danger by Barbara Venkataraman. It’s the fourth book of a cozy mystery series and definitely just what I needed. The perfect easy and entertaining read for fans of the genre!
* I also finished We’re All Mad Here by Claire Eastham, which I requested on Netgalley on a whim. It turned out to be a really interesting read that is both easy to read, funny and has some interesting pointers for those who want to learn more about social anxiety. (As an introvert, I could really relate to some of the author’s stories.)

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I need to tackle my ARC pile ASAP, so I’m going to try and read both Faithful by Alice Hoffman and Lemon Sting by Collin Henderson next. I also want to read Ink And Bone by Rachel Caine; a series that has been on my wishlist for quite some time now. A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas is still my latest TBR jar pick… I know, I know: I should have read that one ages ago, but somehow I haven’t been feeling like rereading ACOTAR first even though I loved it the first time around.

Teaser Tuesdays #107 – September 27th: Empire Of Storms

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Books And A Beat. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I have to admit I was going to read ACOMAF first… But since that ment I had to reread ACOTAR first and ACOMAF is supposedly better than the fifth Throne Of Glass book, I decided to pick up Empire Of Storms first. I was warned by several reviews that there was going to be a high dose of romance and that’s definitely the most irritating part of the sequel so far, but I’m enjoying it better than I thought I would. Then again, I’m only about a third into the book, so things might change later on?!

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My teaser (31%):

“This was bad. Undeniably bad. Rowan’s magic frayed apart as he worked to keep the shields around him and Dorian intact.”

What are you reading right now?