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The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4) - Julie Kagawa First, let me say that I really enjoyed the previous installments of this series; so I'm not happy to squash this one down. Maybe I'm in a bad mood lately, or maybe my standards have suddently become impossibly high, but I didn't like this novel.Brief recap of what this story is about: to be with girl, boy has to acquire a soul. To do so, boy must pass an unspecified test. Girl has to do absolutely nothing in the meantime.For the first 2/3 I was so bored that I wanted to gouge my eyes off with a spoon.The book is written in first person, from Ash's POV. Given that now he's kind of depressed, sad, tired, indecisive and generally behaves like an emo, that's not conductive for a lively read.If you don't know what an "emo" is:And then he discovers that his ex girlfriend is not dead, but is still pining for him. She's almost as depressed and sad and all-of-the-above as he is.What a huge pile of depression and sadness. Shall we throw an emo party? (Or is that an oxymoron?)From that point on, I trudged on just to see her die. Because it was obvious that sooner or later she would, possibly in a coherently sad and depressing way.(Here I was thinking "if I'm lucky, she's going to cut herself or something")Well, our depressed and sad characters face a series of pointless and wholly inconsequential challenges. I'm sure there's every sort of metaphorical significance in those, but all the philosophizing is lost on me. I just found these parts unnecessary. Maybe they were needed to give some thickness to the book.And then Ash comes to the End of the World where he'll prove himself worthy of a soul. We are on chapter 15 out of 24, and you could delete all that's already happened without losing anyhing of the plot's backbone (as detailed in my nice recap).The trial consists in three rather stupid tests. Sorry, but I'll have to need some spoilers here.- The first test is survive a pretended attack of monstrous birds without using glamour (fey magic); and no one has ever done that before!? Please.- The second test is to relive all the bad actions he has committed; same comment as above.- The third test is to grow old, while your immortal companion never ages. As this require some insight in the future, it can be confused with the normal course of events. For me, this part was a continuous string of WTFs.Finally, we are freed from the burdensome presence of the ex girlfriend, who kindly sacrifices herself for the happiness of her boyfriend with his new girlfriend....WHAT!?So, our boy can live happily-ever-after with the new girlfriend, carrying around the soul of his ex. Because it's not like this is creepy or bothersome in the least. In fact, I'd love to know my boyfriend lives with the soul of his ex. Absolutely.Bottom line: don't bother with the actual book, just hit all the spoilers above and call it a day.In the meantime, I'm going to pull a certain author down from a very high pedestal.