It seems that the sub-genre of “past life romances” within paranormal YA is on the rise, and “Spellbound” is another to add t...more3.5/5 stars for this one.
It seems that the sub-genre of “past life romances” within paranormal YA is on the rise, and “Spellbound” is another to add to the list. “Spellbound” is beautifully written, but unfortunately, fails to break the mold. This isn’t to say that the book isn’t good – it is good, and it held my interest. But it does not revolutionize the genre.
I really did like this story. I should make that clear. But lately, I’ve just been noticing the severe increase in volume in terms of paranormal romance within YA, and maybe it’s just me getting fatigue, but it’s getting harder and harder to find those gems that remind us how spectacular the genre can be.
I was hoping that “Spellbound” would be one of those gems, and until about halfway into the book, it was. And then it just kind of trailed off into the same “stay away from him or he’ll ruin in you” plot trap that has been used so many times within YA and its sub-genres.
The prose, it must be said, was absolutely GORGEOUS. I would love to read more by Schultz in the future, make no mistake. She really has a way with words, and a way with rhythm and imagery that makes you feel immediately there with the protagonist, experiencing their story. In the end, it was just the plot that dragged down my review to 3.5 stars.
BUT. If you would like a good, solid, and fun summer read, try out “Spellbound”. It doesn’t break the mold, but it ain’t too shabby, neither.
(crossposted to librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
When I saw this book at the library, I knew I just had to read it. I love fiction that’s written in free verse (“Sharp Teeth” would be the best exampl...moreWhen I saw this book at the library, I knew I just had to read it. I love fiction that’s written in free verse (“Sharp Teeth” would be the best example of this that I’ve encountered so far) – it’s rare to find, but even rarer to find within the confines of YA fiction alone. “Sharp Teeth”, meet your new rival, “Orchards”.
This book deals with several issues all at once – being bicultural, bullying, suicide, and death. And I usually try to avoid books like these because there is rarely a new voices strong enough to attention to these issues long enough for people to notice.
But this book is very different. Thompson took a huge risk by writing this in free verse instead of traditional fiction structure. She took a double risk with creating a character based on friends and family and her own experiences in Japan – a bicultural teenage girl – when she herself is not ethnically mixed (or so it seems – correct me if I’m wrong on this one). But you know what? Because she has thorough knowledge of both cultures, these risks pay off, big time. Because she did research and has experience with her subject, it makes Kanako that more alive, that more real. She could be your neighbor or acquaintance at school, talking on Facebook about her experiences over the summer at her matrilininal ancestral home.
And at the same time, her friends could also be the kids you know down the street. The grief she experiences could be the subject of gossip you discuss in whispers with your own friends. And Thompson is not afraid to impress this on her audience. She says it best in this scene with Baachan and Kanako:
“suicide can spread Baachan finally says utsuru she adds like a virus
you have to stop it put up barriers (page 285, hardcover edition)”
The idea of suicide virii in Japan is nothing new (tons of pieces of popular culture can back this up), and I thought it was particularly skilled of Thompson to extend this idea to her audience – an American YA audience with little to no knowledge of this urban legend outside of movies like “The Ring” or anime. Thompson really helps her audience understand the idea that suicide IS a virus but moreover, it’s a virus vectored by bullying and guilt among the ignorant. This is a masterful work and only through this idea in Japanese culture, I think I can safely say, can really convey the vicious cycle of bullying and suicide within a particular group of people that know each other.
This book NEEDS to be made mandatory reading for all American middle and high schools. The bullying epidemic is out of control (though in Japan, it’s just as bad, if not worse), and we need to put up barriers, strengthen our immune systems against this vector and the result, the suicide virus.
If you want a book that doesn’t sugarcoat this subject yet brings it to the table in a fresh, new, and unforgettable way, this is the book for you. Arguably one of my top ten of 2011 so far.
(crossposted to librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
Guys. GUYS. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It deserves ALL THE AWARDS (should it get nominated for any), and Summit Entertainment bette...moreGuys. GUYS. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It deserves ALL THE AWARDS (should it get nominated for any), and Summit Entertainment better hurry the hell up and make the film. This is a gorgeous, lush story with prose that just kind of makes you drool and sigh over every page. This is the kind of book that both makes me feel inferior as a writer and want to be a better writer all at once. Yeah. It’s that good.
I literally did sigh in wonder over every single page. There is not one bit of this book that isn’t amazing, fabulous, or wonderful. None. Zero. Zip. And that’s a lot coming from me, seeing as how picky I am.
And the best part? It leaves room for the reader to see how things will go from the ending onward, also leaving room for a sequel (though I’m not sure I’d want one, as the story felt more or less pretty complete by the last page). But it leaves room for the reader, period. It invites you in. It wants you to share in its unfolding. And that’s so very rare in any genre right now, which made me appreciate it all the more.
The rhythm, the timing, the organization – all of this, too, was so well done it’s really a wonder that this is a debut book at all. It feels like something that’s been really labored over, really fine-tuned by someone that’s not just starting out in the writing craft. Morgenstern is definitely a new voice to watch out for.
It has something for everyone – the romance isn’t totally overbearing, there’s mystery and wonder and it really made me feel as if I were a child at a classy circus like Cirque du Soleil seeing everything for the first time all over again. It’s also pretty correct in the historical arena, as the last decade of the 1800s brought the whole “phantasmagoria” and spiritualist fad with it the most out of the latter half of that century. This was well-researched and carefully planned.
So you could say that I too am a reveur now, too. I just need to buy a red scarf and travel back in time to catch the circus while I can. READ THIS BOOK. You won’t be disappointed – if anything, you’ll just be begging for more.
(posted to goodreads, librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
This is possibly one of the most fun paranormal-genre books of the year! Just for the sheer “fun” factor, a high rating. I don’t think I’v...more4.5/5 stars.
This is possibly one of the most fun paranormal-genre books of the year! Just for the sheer “fun” factor, a high rating. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much marveled at such creativity when trying to pump new life (no pun intended) into the rather tired vampire sub-genre. What would happen if a sparkly sparkly unicorn were to “accidentally” stake a vampire? Now we know. And it’s glorious.
The best part about this book is just how unafraid Durst is to make fun of her characters, her genre, and yet at the same time gives them such life that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pearl walking down the street. She gives them heart and respects them, but at the same time, knows how absolutely ridiculous this entire storyline/plot is, too. And Pearl knows it. She makes fun of herself, makes fun of the unicorn, yet is hurting when she discovers how her position within her family changes. Durst makes Pearl very real with her budding soul and conscience, with all of her confusion about what she should do versus how it feels to do what she should do, and how it feels to not do what she should do. We all have those moments, and Durst really plays them up to the extreme with the idea of taking life in order to live, and on the other hand, being able to live without taking life.
Regardless of the various morality plays within this book, this book does not necessarily have a moral, but it does have a message: that you choose your family, you choose your life, and nothing is decided for you. You can always escape, because there is always a choice to be made. I wouldn’t say that’s a moral, but a message of hope, and a message of determination for those in bad situations, and challenging those in good ones. Should you keep doing good things? Or should you do something bad in order to keep doing good things? Should you do something good in order to not do bad things? Nothing is black or white in life, and this book marvelously plays on that through the paranormal genre and forces the reader to think about that long after the story is done. Durst did this fabulously.
The ending wraps things up nicely, leaving it open for a possible companion or sequel story, but at the same time, ending it so that there’s enough closure for the reader to move on. It’s kind of rare to find a non-series book in YA that’s not contemporary YA as of late, so it was nice to read a paranormal YA book that you can digest in one book instead of three or seven. It wasn’t mindblowingly amazing, but I think it definitely deserves a read. I had an enormously fun time with this one, and I hope you guys do, too.
I wouldn’t mind another story with Pearl and the gang, though. Unicorns and vampires together? Definitely a combination I could get used to.
(posted to librarything, goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
This trilogy, you guys. I've been keeping score since book one, and the way that Aguirre has grown in her writing for YA has grown in such measure tha...moreThis trilogy, you guys. I've been keeping score since book one, and the way that Aguirre has grown in her writing for YA has grown in such measure that I can't even. Really. Seriously. This book is the best possible ending, and yet, the most the most painful, as I've really grown to love Deuce and the boys. In this final book in the "Razorland" trilogy, we see a major tribute paid to the US Civil War, almost re-enacted, and prairie life come back to life in a hell of a future created by humanity itself. If there's a final book in a trilogy you've got to read this year, or better yet, start, it has to be "Horde".
I feel like Aguirre really finally filled out the entire world of "Razorland" - in this future populated by "muties" and humans, both fighting to survive. It finally feels like a very real, very full, very rich world where everyone and everything, even down to the smallest detail and the smallest character, feel 3D. It's taken two books for Aguirre to do that, and though she improved greatly with book two, it's nothing close to how she's improved in all technical areas for book three. Comparing a pond to a sea, basically, is how I'd compare the technical details of books two and three. She's done a lot of research for this book on the US Civil War and has re-enacted it for us (though in which way, I won't say because that'd be a huge spoiler) in such a vivid way that there were times (especially post-battle) where I had to put the book down and breathe, because the details were so gruesome, and yet so true to what we know in the US had happened at the time of our Civil War.
Prairie/frontier life is also re-enacted with brave humans trying to create outposts (the title of the previous book really starts to have meaning in this one), trying to survive in this vicious world filled with the muties, those that we originally thought were just zombies, but in fact are something else entirely. By bringing in all of this actual historical research into this futuristic world, I feel like the worldbuilding for this series just kind of exploded (and in a good way). It felt so lush, so real, and at times, so horrific in the sensory arena of things that I knew that Aguirre had really done her job, and had done it well. We get a lot of backstory as well - what led to the creation of the muties, as well as a rough sketch of how much time has passed since that happened. I was asking for that rough sketch of time since the end of book one, and though I kind of wish we'd gotten it in book two, I'm glad we got it at all.
The characters: we finally get that nasty love triangle with Deuce, Fade, and Stalker more or less resolved for good here, though it's extremely painful to read, as I've gotten pretty attached to all of these characters and their feels (though not the love triangle itself). We also get more time with Tegan (yay!) and she really becomes part of the main cast, at last, in this final book. I love how these characters, true to life, are living in horrid conditions, but just refuse to give up. They make decisions that show that this not only is a coming of age trilogy, but also shows them willing to sacrifice everything in order for the rest of humanity to live. They really kind of become adults here, through the most brutal ways possible, but also the most satisfying ways. If humanity has been thrown back to mid 19th century technology and living conditions in this book, then the way that Aguirre carried out how she was going to execute (pardon the pun) the rest of this book was extremely appropriate when it came to the characters and how/when they were considered adults as well.
Just a warning: if you've been reading the trilogy like I have, you will cry. Maja from the Nocturnal Library said I'd cry in her shelf description on GR. And I was like "Nope. Not gonna happen, self." But I did. And it was ugly crying too, not gonna lie.
Final verdict? An absolutely amazing finish to a fun series, and one that will definitely leave a mark on you long after you've finished the final page. "Horde" is out October 29, 2013 from Macmillan Children's in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance! Definitely makes the best of 2013 list. And be sure to check back on the blog in October for a guest post from Aguirre on the blog tour!
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)(less)
Can I just say how much I love Carrie Ryan’s zombie-filled world? I LOVE IT. And she finally granted my wish of having some backstory to the Forest Vi...moreCan I just say how much I love Carrie Ryan’s zombie-filled world? I LOVE IT. And she finally granted my wish of having some backstory to the Forest Village before the first book! YAY!
So here with have Sister Tabitha (who makes her appearance in the first book) and her own little backstory – and surprise! One of the reasons she’s so hard on Mary is because she herself was like Mary in that she wanted out of the Village and wanted to go out in the Forest to find freedom, and when she meets the boy on the other side, love. Only to be betrayed by his little Infected brother, of course.
Now, at least, we know where the last entry in the Village Records came from.
Anyway, at 27 pages, this was a delicious bite of what would be a wonderful prequel, if there’s one scheduled or being written. I really hope there is, because I just love this world far too much to give it up for one trilogy and a novella. Ryan’s really sharpened things up in this novella – you can almost smell the dead flesh that’s haunting the forest, hear the wind in the leaves, and feel the rattle of the fence in your bones. The sensory input is stunning, and Ryan’s at her best in this novella (and in the final novel in the trilogy – I have the feeling that both were written at or around the same time due to how well the sensory language has been sharpened from the previous two novels. It’s lush, horrifying, and gorgeous all at the same time. We become Tabitha like we become Mary in the first book, longing for the wild Forest beyond the fence – so surreal that I had to shake myself back to this reality after reading it.
Anyway, I’m not one for novellas, usually – but this one takes the cake. I still demand more, though!
(crossposted to shelfari, librarything, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
I have to say, I really enjoyed the spin that Jenkins put on the old myth of the sirens in this book. It starts out kind of slow, but once it picks up...moreI have to say, I really enjoyed the spin that Jenkins put on the old myth of the sirens in this book. It starts out kind of slow, but once it picks up pace, you're on the edge of your seat, wondering what's going to happen next. I really had fun with this book, and it's a great summer read.
The idea of Sirens guiding the sea-drowned dead is something I hadn't even considered (and I think a lot on mythology, especially recently), and Jenkins completely surprised me with this idea of having to make up for their sin of luring men to their deaths with their voices, and the guilt that they carried around because of it. I loved this, and it drew me in immediately.
I also liked the new origin myth about the Sirens (at least, I think it's new, because not only can I not remember there being anything related to Persephone, but I can't find it on wikipedia or other somewhat scholarly sources saying so) - it gave even more gravity to the guilt of the Sirens, and their new mission to guide the dead.
The only things that I'm not sure were needed was the romance element - if anything, the romance between Wyatt and Charlotte felt more than a little forced, and I think that the novel would have done fine without it. Had she just had her own family to look after/save from the hunter, I think it would have been just fine. Hence, one less star. But I do like the way that Jenkins handled the romance, since it was there - after the relationship started, it did start to feel more natural and slowed down a bit, and I felt a bit more at ease in that world.
Jenkins is definitely talented in the sensory language arena - whenever Charlotte was underwater, I felt as if I were underwater too. It was as if I were right by her side, and that's difficult to really properly do in any novel, much less a YA paranormal novel. So I applaud her on that one, and I really look forward to more of it in book 2, which is supposed to be out sometime soon.
Bottom line? I love me some mermaid/siren myths, and this one is a wonderful new addition to the YA canon. So if you want a new spin on an old tale, I urge you to try out "Lure". You won't be disappointed.
(posted to librarything, goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
I can’t really vouch for authenticity for the pieces of Russian history used within the book, so I won’t be able to judge fairly on that count. Even w...moreI can’t really vouch for authenticity for the pieces of Russian history used within the book, so I won’t be able to judge fairly on that count. Even without being able to vouch for authenticity (this is a slightly alternate history, after all), this was a fun little adventure, though I don’t think it needs three books to tell the whole story. If anything, I think that all of Katiya’s story could have been told within this one book and things would have been better off. Or, it could have been split into a companion about the Montenegrins, Dark Court, etc. But three books is definitely unnecessary here, it feels like, and there were parts that dragged. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this little foray into the Russian Court of the 1880s.
What was really excellent was that Bridges makes it very explicitly known that there is no love triangle here – Danilo is a master at manipulation, spellwork, and charming to boot, which makes it hard for Katiya to get away from his charms. On the other hand, her relationship with the archduke is one that is more like a second grader’s – you tease them because you like them, and that seemed mutual, and very natural when it becomes a romance (and okay, it might be a little because he has some faerie magic going on, but you get my drift). The insta-romance that was thrown into motion because of Danilo’s manipulation was made clear that it was magic and lust at work, not love, and with the archduke, it was partially out of desperation to get out of Katiya’s marriage to the Montenegrin crown prince and partially because they’d practically grown up with each other at court. So overall, it did have a natural feel, even with magic involved. All of this is made explicitly clear to the reader and that was really refreshing.
I will admit that I had a bit of a hard time getting into this one – the first few chapters dragged a bit, and didn’t get really exciting until Katiya started to figure out that she was indeed a necromancer, and what this might mean for her and her family’s future. I felt like this could have been chopped up a bit with more information of this alternate history of the Faerie Courts and other supernatural happenings within the Russian Court to make it less draggy, but, alas, that’s not my choice to make. I’m hoping that my questions about how and why the Faerie Courts got involved in Russian human politics will be addressed in the next two books. I’m also hoping that the mixed royal bloodline containing necromancer blood that’s in Katiya will also be addressed, since it was hinted at so heavily, especially near the end of the book. We know it has something to do with her aunt, but other than that, nothing. I was ridiculously curious about this aspect, precisely because it was teased so much.
Katiya, for the most part, is a really strong heroine for her time period. She wants to be a doctor, and, for the part of European/Eurasian history I do know, women going into medicine around the 1880s is accurate. I was very pleased with that part and was glad the author did her homework. It wasn’t so outrageous that it made no sense, even with this alternate history in play. Katiya is fun to play with, especially when she faces off with the Montenegrins, and her character was pretty rounded out as far as YA heroines go. Not as much as I would have liked, but this is just the first book in three, so I think that Bridges left a lot of room for Katiya to take her journey so that her character grows by the end. As for the rest of the historical characters that do appear in the book, they do seem/feel like real people, so I think that Bridges managed to hit that nail on the head, too. Again, there are gaps, but I think that’s to leave enough room to grow.
Final verdict? Give this one a read, especially if you’re into European or alternate history. I had a lot of fun with it once the ball really started rolling within the second, and I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series. “The Gathering Storm” hits bookshelves next week here in the States, so be sure to check it out then!
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)
Okay, so, this one's another hard one for me to nail down in order to review. There was a lot I liked about it, and on the other hand, there were a fe...moreOkay, so, this one's another hard one for me to nail down in order to review. There was a lot I liked about it, and on the other hand, there were a few bits that just didn't quite ring true. However, I did find it compulsively readable, and by the end, I knew I was going to be reading that second book. "Innocent Darkness" is a fun look at alternate history, and will probably be great to get younger readers started on the steampunk subgenre.
"Innocent Darkness" is pseudo-Steampunk, or maybe proto-Steampunk, since we don't really get to see much of the steam-powered technology (aside from the dangers of aether and flying cars, which was awesome). Granted, we do spend a lot of time in the Otherworld (Faery), but we also spend a lot of time at the reform school Noli is dragged to in order to crush her spirit (Spark) and make her a proper lady. But I thought that even at the reform school they'd have more gears and steam-related technology, instead of Noli in the garden constantly, when she wasn't, doing chores with the aid of steam-powered devices. In this area, I was pretty disappointed, because the glimpse of alternate history 1901 Los Angeles we were given in the opening chapter was pretty awesome - but that was the only appearance of that alternate history/steampunk material. Hopefully this will be remedied in book 2.
What I did like were the images Lazear painted of the Otherworld - and the faeries there kind of reminded me of the cute little buggers you see in "Humanity Has Declined (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita)" - except a little less talkative/intelligent. Lazear definitely shows some major talent in the sensory language department - I LOVED pretty much all of the time we spent in the Otherworld in terms of locales. The sensory input Lazear gives us with details of the Otherworld shine so brightly that it's hard not to get excited about it, and, to be honest, it saved a large part of the book for me because I was starting to get a bit frustrated. However, I found the sensory arena more than a bit unbalanced with the sensory language we get on Earth - while we do get some, it feels like the Otherworld got more showing instead of telling.
The plot was great - combining the notion of Holly Black's "Tithe" in order to save the Otherworld with proto-steampunk and an alternate history, I really enjoyed it. However, I questioned the need of the love triangle, which felt more than a bit forced in certain parts of the book. Now while Lazear does make this work with emphasizing that Kevighn is the huntsman and he'll do anything to get his quarry for the tithe, there's the insta-love factor where he kind of more or less instantly falls for Noli after a few short days/weeks of knowing her (and keeping her captive). Had Lazear kept it so that he just would do anything for his queen and the tithe, I think it would have worked MUCH better, and would have flowed easier. V's end of the triangle worked well, because he was genuinely conflicted as Noli's childhood friend and exile of the Faery court. I just wish it'd been limited to that.
Many have compared this to Melissa Marr's "Tattoo Faeries" series, "Wicked Lovely". It's a fair comparison, except Marr's tales are far darker, far more delicious and dangerous in comparison with Lazear's first book. Another big problem I had with this book is that blood tithes, when depicted in faepunk lit, are rarely so tame. I felt this book played it way too safe, and while clean and accessible for the younger end of the YA spectrum, it just didn't ring true to the actual bloodier, darker part of trying to save the Otherworld. While there are some steamy make-out scenes, that also felt a bit forced, and just kind of didn't flow well. I'm hoping in future volumes we'll get closer to the true, dark side of blood tithing and its consequences.
Final verdict? This would be a great way to get younger YA readers into the steampunk genre, and it's a good, clean read for them. But for me, it just wasn't enough, though I will be reading the next volume anyway. For older readers, I'd stick to Marr's "Wicked Lovely" series or Holly Black's "Tithe" trilogy for the more dark and delicious tales of Faery. But this is just my take on things. "Innocent Darkness" will be out on August 8th from Flux in North America, so be sure to check it out then!
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)(less)
This one was great – but unfortunately, I was a little let down. From the blurb, I was expecting something totally over the top amazing, and didn’t qu...moreThis one was great – but unfortunately, I was a little let down. From the blurb, I was expecting something totally over the top amazing, and didn’t quite get that with my reading experience. I guess my expectations were too high. Oh well. Nevertheless, I found “Something Strange and Deadly” to be a fun read, and I’ll definitely be reading the second book. “Something Strange and Deadly” dives into an alternate history of the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, where there are alarms to alert the public of the walking Dead, necromancers running around with evil spirits, and a far more sinister plan to control the middle and lower-classes by the local government all in one explosive story.
I will give it to Dennard – she definitely knows how to interweave all of her sub-arcs into the main arc into something I didn’t expect at all in the end (in terms of the arc becoming the total of its sum parts). With the middle class rising at the time and the wealthy starting to struggle, it was very interesting how Dennard interwove all of that into the main plot of Eleanor trying to find her brother Elijah. While I saw his part of the character arc coming pretty far away from when it actually happens, the conspiracy theorist in me was overjoyed in how Dennard brought together the death of Mr. Fitt, the Necromancer, the Gas Ring, the city council elections into one delicious and yet utterly believable alternate history steampunk soup that would make Fox Mulder and The Lone Gunmen drool. The end was awesome, explosive, and definitely my favorite part of the book.
There were a few parts that dragged – namely, the kind-of romance between Daniel and Eleanor and the having to keep up the pretense of still appearing to be wealthy on Mrs. Fitt’s part by entertaining. Until the end of the first third of the book I was interested, but things weren’t quite popping along like they should have been (even with an awesome in media res opening). It’s only until we meet the Spirit-Hunters (who felt like a bit of a pale imitation of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters, except without the angelic origins) that things get really exciting as the threat of the Dead increases. It did hook me lightly in the beginning, but the real hook didn’t sink in until the start of the second third of the book. But when that first third ends, the book really takes off – and unfortunately, as much as I enjoyed it, it shouldn’t take an entire third of a book to really hook me.
Let’s move onto characters – I LOVED Jie, and I can’t wait to see her again (hopefully?) in book 2. It was ballsy to bring in a genderqueer character like her (or at least, that’s how I felt like she was represented) to such a story. There aren’t too many genderqueer characters in YA, period – and if they are, they’re usually couched in contemporary stories where it’s all about discovering (and then despairing over) one’s self-identity. There was none of that here, I’m happy to say, and while Jie knows she’s physically a girl, she was raised as (and continues to act as) a boy. She definitely made the book more awesome for me and made up for some of its more flatter parts. I LOVED how she knew who and what she was, and where her loyalties lay. I also love how she gave Eleanor more strength to crossdress when she needed to when joining up with the Spirit-Hunters. I really hope we get more of Jie in book 2, as well as more of her backstory. Jie as a genderqueer character made the book for me in quite a few ways, so I have to say, well done, Dennard!
In terms of the characters, I wish that we’d had more development of the other Spirit-Hunters than what we did get, but I suppose that’s coming in the next two books. Otherwise, I was satisfied with how the characters were constructed, though Elijah’s Big Reveal did feel a little rushed at the end. I did want to see more of the world and was hoping for something a little stronger in the worldbuilding department but again, I’m hoping that will be coming in the next books. In the end and overall, I’m quite satisfied with what I got.
Final verdict? I enjoyed this one, and I hope you do too. Definitely give it a read. “Something Strange and Deadly” is out from HarperTeen on July 24th, 2012 in North America, so be sure to check it out then.
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)(less)
Oh, guys. THIS BOOK. It was just...ugh, I almost have no words for how much I loved "A Temptation of Angels". Even though I also loved the "Prophecy o...moreOh, guys. THIS BOOK. It was just...ugh, I almost have no words for how much I loved "A Temptation of Angels". Even though I also loved the "Prophecy of the Sisters" trilogy, "Angels" just shows how far Zink has come as an author since her debut in 2009. This story is one tight, fast-paced thrill ride of a book, with angels, demons, romance, awesome technology, and mystery that will keep you reading until the end.
I get the feeling that this book is a standalone (though this hasn't been confirmed yet), because it reads like one. That alone is really refreshing. The story feels finished by the last page, and pretty much nothing is lacking throughout the entire story - the characters are entirely developed, there were no characters that were useless or made me question why they were there in the first place, and there was tension on more or less every single page. That's incredibly hard to do (all of that) on individual terms when writing a book, but to manage to get all of that right in one book is pretty awesome. It only shows how far Zink has come as a writer, both in world-building and in technical areas, since her debut.
The only question lingering I had was about the full development of Raum's character, but the backstory given later in the book, though not quite enough to my taste, along with the action on pretty much every single page more than made up for that, as he wasn't really a huge part of the plot until the very end. Even then, he was more woven into the ending than stood out as an individual character. More of a means to an end rather than a separate person. Which totally fine with me -- the approach taken to character building this way, whether conscious or not on Zink's part -- was new and awesome, and I can only hope other authors can be as brave when trying this out.
Otherwise? Loved it. All of it. It's that awesome. If I could give this more than five stars, I would. Definitely on my brand shiny new best of 2012 list. If you're a fan of historical paranormal fiction or just want something new to try, period, go for "A Temptation of Angels". It hits bookshelves in North America in March, 2012 (other places, ask your local bookseller). It'll be worth the wait, guys. I promise.
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, librarything, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)(less)