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The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
Julie Kagawa
First Frost (Mythos Academy, #0.5) - Jennifer Estep So many screwups in so few pages.ALERT: I'm in a ranting mode, and so I'm going to rant. A lot.My mom sounded tired, so I decided not to bother her tonight.“Love you, too,” I said, and hung up.I didn’t know then that this would be the last time I ever talked to her.And that is the first major mistake: hindsights. Too many of them (read: more than zero).Hindsights are not allowed.And here we go with the second huge mistake:I’d already swapped my gym clothes for my usual sneakers and jeans. I’d also unzipped my purple hoodie and put it on over my T-shirt of Karma Girl, one of my favorite superheroines.Oh no, you didn't. Tell me you just didn't.That's a SELF-QUOTE. What were you thinking when you wrote this!? Self-quotation is the lamest of all the lame things an author can do to sneakily force a good opinion of himself/herself on the reader. And it's one of the things that get me majorly mad. If you want your readers to have a good opinion of your work, just do a good work. Having one of your characters praise you (even in an underhanded way) is just... well, lame.To my surprise, two people sat at the kitchen table—Grandma Frost and the woman she was drinking tea with. [...]“Hello, Gwen,” she said. “I’m Professor Metis.”[...]“Professor Metis is here to tell you about your new school, pumpkin.”Is it just me or the scene with a teacher coming to your house and announcing your imminent subscription to a new special school sounds a little Harry Potter-like?That's the third mistake, by the way.There could be hundreds of other ways to introduce the protagonist to his/her new school. That one is just unoriginal.“Because Mythos isn’t just any school, Gwen,” Metis said. “It’s for kids like you. Kids with magic.”Crap, crap, crap.If that didn't sound like a Potter replica, I'm a pink fuzzy kitten.“What kinds of kids go there?” I asked. “What kind of magic do they have? Are they Gypsies like me?”Metis looked at my grandma again. “It varies, depending on the student and her background. But the Vikings and Valkyries are very strong, while the Romans and Amazons are very quick.”Let me rephrase that:“Zebras are striped and ducks walk on two legs.”As obviousnesses go, these are better. Much better.Shelves and shelves and shelves of books stretched out into the farthest reaches of the domed room, along with a series of glass cases [...]. I squinted at the closest case, trying to figure out what was inside it. Was that a… sword? Yes. And in case you were wondering, that's Godric Gryffindor's sword.A man with ink-black hair, blue eyes, and pale skin sat in the largest office [...].He smiled at Metis, but then his eyes flicked to me, and his expression completely changed. His eyes darkened, and his mouth pinched into a frown. If there was such a thing as hate at first sight, it seemed like Nickamedes had it for me, and I had no idea why.And here's Severus Snape.For God's sake, Jennifer!The liquid noise you're hearing is my brain spilling out from my ears and dripping to the floor.He noticed me staring at him, and our eyes locked, his a brilliant blue and mine a confused violet.I'm trying to imagine how does a "confused violet" look like. I must be short on imagination, because I just can't.Let's not point out that the two kids stay at about 20 meters from each other, so how she could distinguish his eye color is anyone's guess.I have to throw something. Unfortunately, I can't trow this book because I paid nice money for my ebook reader and I'm not particularly fond of the idea of smashing it against a wall (that's the downside of ebooks, you can't really let out your violence on them).I liked the Elemental Assassin series. I've never read the Bigtime series, and due to screwup #2 mentioned above, now I never will. But judging from what I've read so far of Jennifer Estep, I have to suppose that she usually can write decently.So what happened here!?I'm just hoping that she never meant for this short story to actually be published. Because let's say it plainly, you must be ashamed to have your name on its cover. I'd prefer to give away my grocery list rather than a manuscript like this.Well, bottom-line time.If you like Harry Potter, just read Harry Potter. And if you've already read it, just read it again. It was good the first time and it's going to remain good the next ones.If you want to read a good series about a school of "gifted" kids, try the Dark Elite series by Chloe Neill.If you think that Jennifer Estep should never have laid hands on a keyboard, try her Elemental Assassin series, maybe you will change your mind (or maybe not, at this point I'm not sure of anything).This is going straight to my blacklist of bad books.