Mary Shelley Black is a 16 year old girl living in the year 1918. She's stuck in between an epic war and an epic pandemic, trying to remain positive and care-free. She is sent to live with her 26 year old aunt due to family issues you will discover. During her time in a new city, Mary Shelley reminisces about Stephen, her first love, who recently enlisted in WWI. During her time with her aunt, many supernatural events occur and Mary Shelley finds herself fighting for her loved ones in ways she never thought possible. She experiences a lot of trauma and heartache, but fights like a cornered cat. And trust me, that is some serious fightin'.
This book was pretty dang fascinating. It started out good and got increasingly more interesting and exciting. The last 100 pages were the best, and the last 50 had me on the edge of my seat! The build-up of tension, mystery and fear is well done. The old early 20th century photographs were a great addition to this book and really helped to set the dark, dreary and ghastly tone of the story. Also, the author's notes at the end of the book let us know that a lot of her story comes from real events and information from 1918. While it is a work of fiction, a lot of the information is based on reality. And that, my bookish folk, is what brings the serious creep factor to this story. There's nothing quite like a whiff of the rotting corpses lining the streets of your neighborhood and horrific dreams of blackbirds pecking out your eyes to put life into perspective. #JustSayin
I had a little bird, Its name was Enza, I opened the window, And in-flew-Enza.
Wars do bad things to a person's psychological health, as does a serious illness. I loved that it was difficult to figure out exactly which character was suffering from psychosis, or if psychosis was even part of the equation at all. We get great and terrible insight into the toll war and disease takes on humanity in 1918. Mary Shelley visits a Red Cross hospital to volunteer with physically damaged war veterans and we get a firsthand look into how the Spanish influenza brutally tortured people before they died. Cat Winters throws us some serious ugly in this novel, and she does not hold back the reality of the events in 1918. It's a great historical account of the era and it really piqued my interest in finding more books set during this time period. That might sound morbid, but I'm a lover of epidemiology, so reading about microscopic killers is fascinating to me.
In Time was a nice addition to The Darkest Minds universe, which was a treat in the YA Fantasy world. The Darkest Minds was exciting and interesting,...moreIn Time was a nice addition to The Darkest Minds universe, which was a treat in the YA Fantasy world. The Darkest Minds was exciting and interesting, with incredible characters and an ugly plot. The characters are ones that will stay with you after the book is closed, and a few reenter our lives briefly during In Time.
This novella is not happy times. We get a glimpse of life outside the concentration camps from the perspective of a young adult. Gabe is an average young man who is struggling to survive the post-Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration U.S. and the resulting “abnormal” children it produced. Gabe leaves home, which is not saying much, in search of a good future for himself. He decides to become a skip tracer, a group of adults who seek out children that have escaped the concentration camps. They bring them back to the government for $10K a pop, and that’s a nice living in this new nation. Unfortunately, Gabe must bag and tag a child first before he is given access to all the nifty skip tracer gadgets and intel.
Gabe gets lucky, in more ways than I can describe, when he comes across a group of kids who are fleeing some skip tracers. After some risky maneuvering and near-death moments, Gabe flees the scene with a small girl who doesn’t speak. From this point on, Gabe’s world is changed, in a big way. I loved Gabe’s development throughout the story. His realization about who he really is was a beautiful thing, and I enjoyed watching his transformation.
This is definitely a separate story from The Darkest Minds, but there are still connections to the characters we love. One connection, in particular, had me gasp. I remember holding my hand to my chest and screaming OMG! It was so satisfying to feel that character, even though they were not a part of this story.(less)
The ending of this series was as EPIC as it could be. Chase, Rayna and cre...more#insixwords: Action. Passion. Determination. Fulfillment. Protection. Chase.
The ending of this series was as EPIC as it could be. Chase, Rayna and crew might be in over their heads, but they are not standing down to the evil that is seeking to destroy their world. They are going to fight until their last breath, and Chase is going to become The Protector, come Hell or high water. This young man has grown leaps and bounds throughout this series. He has become someone who will lay his life and soul on the line to protect the innocent and free the world of evil. He has experienced a lot of tragedy, and with that comes a certain level of unease in his decision-making. However, he has a team of dedicated people who continue to remind him that casualties are a part of war, a fact they are all aware of and accept.
Chase's relationship with Rayna is delicate throughout this series. They are under high amounts of stress and continue to learn about one another. The great thing about Rayna is her honesty and passion, in the form of a slap across the face for dishonoring someone with a simple statement, or an intense look that speaks volumes. She is an incredible woman, who has dealt with a lot of crazy, and she has stood by Chase's side through it all. They started out as enemies, and once they realized they were on the same team, their curiosity and appreciation morphed into love and passion. I just love these two something fierce.
I loved the focus on Tiki in this book. He has been a character that you can't help but love, but we really learned about his past and the things he has endured, and I respect the hell of that demon. I hate to admit this, but I also didn't close this book detesting Vincent as much as I have in past books. He's still a whiny turd, but he has his moments and he's definitely a fierce warrior. I was also happy for the few Grams scenes, because that woman can bring the smiles during the most darkest moments. I love her personality, the way she gives it to you straight and doesn't take shit. She dealt with her own pain in this book, but damn if that didn't fuel her fire even more.
There was a lot of action, I mean...a lot. Shit got real and characters died. The big fight at the end is baffling. It reminded me of a Lord of the Rings epic battle scene, or something similar. It was intense, terrifying and gripping. I don't think I blinked or breathed, and I certainly didn't move from my seat until it was all over. Matt writes great action, and while there was a lot going on, I was able to stay focused and follow Chase through a maze of WTF to stand head to head with Riley and his evil entourage.
THE EPILOGUE! I think those last few pages really closed out this series for me, and I'm so thankful Matt decided to write them. It was perfect, so very perfect, for the characters and their future. Matt's writing has grown just as much as Chase's character. I am very impressed with his talent and creativity, his ability to weave such interesting and epic world-building together, and his strength for writing characters that you, the reader, will fight for.
"My point is, the biggest battle any of us has ever seen is coming, and it isn't going to be won with hunters, and witches, and werecats. Dare I add, 'oh my?'" Grams feigned a grin and lit a cigarette.(less)
OMG! The last half of this book had my blood pressure through the roof. What a wild ride! So fascinated with this world and in love with the character...moreOMG! The last half of this book had my blood pressure through the roof. What a wild ride! So fascinated with this world and in love with the characters! Jackal was a standout in this book. I love a character that keeps you guessing...(less)
I met Rick Yancey at the Decatur Book Festival this past weekend. I’ve definitely heard about this book and read some reviews, but it was not high on...moreI met Rick Yancey at the Decatur Book Festival this past weekend. I’ve definitely heard about this book and read some reviews, but it was not high on my priority list. That is, until I head Rick talk about this book. Let’s just say he hooked me, and hooked me good. I love his intelligent approach to an alien invasion. It seems he combined elements from post-apocalyptic and alien invasion stories and combined them in a way that makes so much sense and is ridiculously scary to think about. The world-building was just fantastic, but it is a world you need to experience firsthand. I will refrain from flailing too much about the waves of destruction the aliens perform to eradicate humans from Earth.
I inhaled this book over the weekend. The characters were interesting and spoke volumes to my heart. Cassie, our main character, has been struggling to survive on her own in a world full of terror and destruction. She cannot trust anyone at this point and appears lost and hopeless. Cassie’s fear never leaves her, but she grows over the course of the story into a young lady determined to keep a promise to her 5 year old brother, Sammy. I loved her determination, will to survive, and fierceness as she fights her way through enemy territory to retrieve her brother.
There are two boys. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave out identifying information. They both have interesting backgrounds and play a large part in Cassie’s life, in very different ways. One of them is sincere, protective and mysterious, which causes some serious anxiety in Cassie. Another has left behind a care-free life to become a hard-core soldier. I have such awesome characteristics to mention about these guys, but it will surely spoil their role in the story. They are both fantastic and I really enjoyed their page time.
All in all, the book was just exciting! Learning about the different waves was terrifying and interesting, and I enjoyed how the background of the attacks was spread through out the book, as Cassie revisits life in memories, both heart-warming and terrifying. I really enjoyed the pacing, the different points of view, and the build-up to the main events at the end. The writing was strong, and I enjoyed every page!(less)
I have to admit, this book took forever for me to get engaged. Frankly, I detested the first half of the book. I was pissed off about certain characte...moreI have to admit, this book took forever for me to get engaged. Frankly, I detested the first half of the book. I was pissed off about certain characters becoming prominent and where it took the story. I hated the plot! Thankfully, a certain event had me smiling and I finally found myself happy with the story. I was back in the arms of old friends. Now, this isn't to say that the book isn't worth reading. Laini Taylor has created one of the most brilliant fantasy worlds I've come across, and that world expands in leaps and bounds in this installment. I was just personally uninterested in the way things panned out in the first half of the story. This has not been the case for other people I've spoken with, who were just as enamored with this book as they were with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Regardless, I am so happy that I did not give up on it because it definitely left me entertained from head to toe. As my Goodreads update states, "This book went from blah to amazeballs."
Karou finds herself in a similar environment, but she has taken over a role that I do not think she ever wanted. Especially because of the asshole who was in charge of things. And because of the people she lost in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. There is a darkness to Karou now where there once was light and joy. She and Akiva are practically enemies in this installment because of the misunderstandings and incredible tragedies of the first book. The journey they take in this installment was tearful and heart-wrenching.
I cannot express my love for Zuzana!!!!!! She is one of the best secondary characters to grace Young Adult Fiction and to experience her at the brilliant hands of narrator Khristine Hvam, was just downright enjoyable. It was Zuzana's presence that saved the story for me, and once she entered into the plot line again, I felt like I was home. I truly love how she and Mick added such light and harmony to dark and treacherous times. What an adorable couple! I adore them so.
This book is all about the war between the Seraphim and Chimera, but it is more than just the physical war that we experience. We see multiple perspectives on the impact of this war on both sides, how the tragedy and loss has become so prevalent that the need for vengeance has completely muddled the entire reason the war was started in the first place. People on both sides are seeking change and want to leave behind the atrocities and carnage. Akiva and Karou both have intense scenes where they attempt to bring down ruthless leaders, and I felt sick to my stomach during those scenes. The psychopathology of these twisted rulers is off the charts.
The ending - that tricky ass ending - was brilliant! I laughed at the devious scheme the characters were able to pull off, and it makes Dreams of Gods and Monstersso intriguing and exciting! I cannot wait to dive in. Favorite Quotes
“She thought of Akiva, the night he had come to her at the river, the crushing pain and shame in his face, and love, still love - sorrow and love and hope - and she remembered the night of the Warlord's ball, how Akiva had always been the right to Thiago's wrong, the heat to the Wolf's chill, the safety to this monster's menace.”
“Let's just get this out of the way so I can relax. Karou, your friends aren't going to eat us, are they?"
No, Karou thought. They are not. She whispered back, "I don't think so. But try not to look delicious, okay?
I am happy that David James decided to write Magda’s story. She is a very interesting character in Light of the Moon, and I was not expecting to get any background on her. I’m glad that I did, and it really added to the richness of her character. She is definitely a character that you won’t soon forget, and her personal story is one that will stay with you. This was a tough story. It was emotional and very personal and reminded me of the tough choices many people have to make on a daily basis. Choosing between love and destiny is one topic that really stands out in books, for me. How much will people fight for who they love? How far will they take it? Who will give in to fate and who will walk through fire and hell for love? Of course, this topic ties in heavily to the series, as a whole.
I read this short very quickly while on a cardio machine. It affected me at some parts, and was a bit difficult to get through while breathing heavily. I couldn’t stop, however, and let the emotion take me away. Hey, it helped me forget about the HELL that is cardio, so YAY for that. David James is a fabulous writer. I truly enjoy his prose and descriptive ways of weaving a story together. I think he has this beautiful, rich quality to his writing and I love his lyrical style.(less)
Fun tidbit: This was a book club pick. We chatted with the author during book club, and she mentioned that the titles of the books were going to be...more
Fun tidbit: This was a book club pick. We chatted with the author during book club, and she mentioned that the titles of the books were going to be a complete sentence. I find that uber cool!
This book made me immediately think of the show Heroes. It was very reminiscent of the tragic experiences those characters endured because of their uniqueness. I think this book would make an excellent action-packed movie and I think Hollywood needs to jump on it. The world is dark, adults have lost their damn minds, and as usual, take extreme measures. Apparently, some crazy disease called Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration, was wreaking havoc on the youth of the world. Many died and the ones that were left behind were becoming...different. The world quickly became frightened of these leftover children and their new abilities, so they did what humans ALWAYS do when they are scared or don't understand something: they locked up the kids in concentration camps or prisons. The children were grouped into colors based on their abilities. Some were able to control elements or objects. The more dangerous children could control minds. These Oranges were sought out via strategic testing and killed due to their lethality.
Ruby is more than what we see on the surface, and when it comes time for her test, she does what any scared, lonely child would: she lies and manipulates her way to safety. After a nerve-racking escape attempt, Ruby finds herself on the outside. She is with people she does not know and is unsure who to trust. She endures a dangerous journey with a group of kids she meets, kids just like her who are searching for the man who can lead them to a safe haven. I liked Ruby's voice. She was easy to connect with and believe, as she was going through many of the motions that teenagers experience. And she had such innocence and fragility, especially when it came to her powers and how they have tragically affected her own personal life.
Liam stood out to me. In fact, I adore him and his intelligence, tenderness, protectiveness and the way he says darlin'. His care and concern for young, lonely, lost Suzume made my heart soar with happiness and joy. He did not have to help her. She likely slowed him down at times, and she had her own uncontrollable power to deal with. But he helped her. He cared for and nurtured her. I cannot forget that. And then he lets Ruby in. Their relationship develops slowly and under the radar, but there are moments that made me sigh. Like page 312. THAT SCENE. ♥ He is so swoon-worthy. *sigh*
The banter between Chubs and Liam is epic. Holy crap, I love these two boys something fierce and they should never, ever be apart. They are so loyal and dedicated. Chubs doesn't let Ruby in easily, and is pretty damn loud and clear about his feelings regarding her intrusion in their lives. However, Chubs being who he is, eventually breaks when he realizes Ruby is the real deal. All Chubs wants is to keep his people safe, at any cost. By the end of the story, Chubs was probably the most incredible character. And Suzume, who will grab your heart in her adorable little rubber-gloved hands and squeeze the love right out of you. What a freakin sweet, scared, wanting nothing more than to be loved and protected, child. I can haz one?
The ending broke my heart. I was totally freaking out and I pray that things get better in the next book. I NEED THINGS TO GET BETTER, plzkthx. Favorite Quote
I went into this book thinking it was the final book, but that was obviously not the case. We get one more! Of course, this me...moreSMASHTASTIC IMPRESSIONS:
I went into this book thinking it was the final book, but that was obviously not the case. We get one more! Of course, this means I now must wait to KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. Ugh. THE ENDING! Oh, the ending will leave you so verrah sad. I was anticipating the event and was extremely touched. I was at lunch in a restaurant, and started getting sobby at the table. Alone. Reading a book. Creepy cat lady? NOT ME! I’m creepy book lady! Oh wait. I’m creepy cat lady too. Boo. Anywho, the ending is a tear-jerker and the events leave you wanting sheer revenge, just like Chase!
WORLD-BUILDING: Holy. Frakin. Hell. Blown away, truly. I think I was most impressed with the settings of the different dimensions that are visited in this installment. The settings defied all logic yet Matt somehow made it all make sense. It was sometimes difficult to follow but I think my mouth was open most of the time by the sheer imagination that went into their creation. AND the action that took place while in these dangerous dimensions was just sheer awesome! Talk about a page-flipper! The creatures were also extremely imaginative and so vivid that I had no issues visualizing them.
CHARACTERS: Oh man, how I love these characters! Grams was a hoot in this installment. That old bat is spicy and doesn’t let the young folk walk all over her. Her banter with the group was so amusing. And we get more Rai time, which is just fine with me. I love this creature! One of my favorite creature sidekicks in a series. She reminds me of some sort of Pokemon with how she morphs into a fiercer form of her self. She is very protective of Chase and saves his ass a few times. Just adore her! ♥ Tiki remains wise and compassionate about the plight of others, even if they are less than savory. I love how fair he is, even though I felt like bitch slapping a few people. Or maybe trout slapping is more appropriate? We get to see Tiki’s demon come out, which was o.O-inducing!
Willy and Chase have some heart-warming talks about their friendship and how they are prepared to fight until the end. Their bond is so beautiful! I loved Willy’s positive traits being pointed out in this book. He’s such a great guy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, we have Vincent. I have never been a fan of Vincent and while he shows some sort of humanity and compassion in this installment, his former actions towards some characters left me really angry and disgusted. Shady bastard is the term that comes to mind. Chase and Vincent are at odds throughout the entire book, but damn if Chase doesn’t man up and help out where he is needed.
Of course, Chase is a standout, as he should be. This guy has changed drastically since Exiled, but he still holds on to some self-doubt and continues to feel guilt over all the events that have and will occur. He has surely matured, however, and uses his new-found confidence to stand up to some serious threats. He is the Protector, after all, and would definitely die saving the innocent. I hope it doesn’t come to that, or Matty boy will have some serious hate mail. And maybe a flaming bag of poo on his doorstep…I kid, of course. *shifty eyes*
Rayna and Chase have come a long way in their relationship. There are constant obstacles in the way of their happiness, but damn if they don’t fight for their right to experience love. They make me feel mushy and I so badly want this to work out for them!
”Wonderful,” I said. “We have Vincent, the day-walking vampire. Blade would be so proud. Can we go now?”
I met David James on Twitter and #RumIsland was soon born. It was right before the release of Light of the Moon, and even though I knew nothing about David or his book, I was excited for him. After seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I decided to read his debut. I'm glad that I did because he has a beautiful, lyrical quality to his writing. It is vivid and intoxicating, and I sometimes felt like I was being rocked to sleep by the pretty words.
Here are some examples:
Night demised in ice. Morning was born in inferno. Sun beat through my window, waking me in an ocean of warm sweat. At once I smelled hints of burnt air, the fragrance raw, influencing my headache like gasoline on fire.
Tiny flecks of what looked like mirrored snowflakes floated through the air like fragmented thoughts from a thousand angels. Each fleck shone a rainbow of whites, not colors, reflecting everything and nothing at all; it was as if they were made of pure light, white as the center of the sun.
Our introduction to Calum, a troubled teen whose father left and never looked back, is somber and morose. Dad left his mother feeling dead inside, and Calum is pretty much parent-less at this point.
The day Dad left was the day mom stopped loving me. I remember the door slamming, screams breaking glass. I remember looking out my window to see him driving away. Mom broken and bleeding on the floor, all tears and pain. I remember reaching down to brush glass from her face, and the look in her eyes said that she would never love me, never see me, again.
Calum is pretty much on autopilot, never feeling like hit fits in but trying hard to hold on to some semblance of normalcy. Kate comes into Calum's life like a hurricane threatening serious destruction. Kate is the opposite of Calum, his antithesis. She's brash and rude and pretty much tells Calum his time is limited. Say what? Who you talkin too, Willis? However, Calum is drawn to Kate, like some lush, evil magnetism that he cannot neutralize.
Both characters were so mysterious and hard to connect with up front. It was easy to feel for Calum's personal struggles, but because he was so closed off to life, it was hard to connect with him. Kate was just a tornado in the beginning, and I was left wondering who the hell she thought she was! Halfway through the story, however, we get more insight and I started to feel more of a connection to them as they struggled with difficult choices. It was when we finally see Kate's personal side that I finally calmed and became invested in her character. I also had a hard time believing their love for one another. I think it happened too fast. Not that this isn't typical of teenagers, but I needed more of a foundation. However, by the end of the story, I was definitely rooting for the two of them as a team. Not only does the lore and history make their seemingly superficial connection make sense, I just plain like them together and I want them to succeed in their hellish mission. I love that there a Love Vs. Destiny theme. It's one of my favorite bookish plot lines.
Other memorable characters: Tyler, Calum's best friend, was truly a good guy, though some of his behavior didn't always fit the typical popular jock. Also, the author wrote some seriously creeptastic characters! The Bloodletter made my skin crawl and his scenes were super sinister. And this particular scene with a certain witch was so vivid and eerie. Did I mention creepy scenes with creepy characters? Good stuff.
We slowly and painfully learn the lore of the Dreamer and Destroyer.
"You see, child, this is the story of an angel who fell in love with the Devil, and the forbidden love that destroyed them both; their child of shadow and light."
I loved the twists with the lore and found it very creative. We get demons, witches and other equally sinister characters. Plus, lots of astrological references and some key players in the constellations are actually characters. WIN!
There was one scene with "The Doors of Judgement" that totally reminded me of the gate scenes in The Neverending Story! You know that scene, right? The scene where the statues shoot lasers out of their eyes? Making me think of that movie in any way wins big points!
There was a crazy scene near the end that made me type WOAH in my Kindle and I still remember how I felt when that piece was revealed. It might not come as a surprise to some, but I loved that it smacked me across the face.
Oh my. I cannot state the love I feel for Roar in words. It just ain't possible, peeps. I loved him something fierce inUnder the Never Sky,but he beca...moreOh my. I cannot state the love I feel for Roar in words. It just ain't possible, peeps. I loved him something fierce in Under the Never Sky, but he became something so much more in this novella. Larger than life, he leaped into my sappy heart and nestled in for the long haul. He is full of life and love and vulnerable at all the right times. He's a great friend, a dedicated partner and an incredible man. I honestly don't think I've swooned so hard over a secondary character in well, ever. I pretty much want an entire series from Roar's POV. Make it happen, Rossi! :Þ
I was so very interested in his personal story with Liv. This snippet into their relationship MOVED me. It was thoughtful and emotional and made me FEEL lots of emotions. Seeing life through Roar's eyes was like being home. It felt right, it felt warm and safe, and most of all, it felt full of love. That Liv, she's a lucky soul and I pray that they have a happy ending!
Ok, so I'll get to Roar in a moment, but just know he was the highlight of this book. Hell, of this series! Now, on to the meat and potatoes of the p...more
Ok, so I'll get to Roar in a moment, but just know he was the highlight of this book. Hell, of this series! Now, on to the meat and potatoes of the plot. This installment was a serious emotional ride, on all levels, with all characters. Aria and Perry are reunited after months apart. She is anything but welcome into the Tides, and it proves difficult for her and Perry's relationship. Perry does his best to see she is treated fairly, but only he can do so much, and he is not in all places at all times. An ugly event occurs that sends Aria and Roar off into the wilderness. Of course, their journey is not aimless. They are headed toward the Rim to seek out the Blood Lord, Sable, and find Liv! If you haven't been paying attention, Liv is Roar's past and he wants her to be his future, too. Unlucky for him, Liv was promised to Sable by her older brother, Vale, in exchange for food and supplies for the Tides, who struggle to survive through the seasons. Quite the predicament, you see? Also, Aria is on a mission to find the location of the Still Blue, the mysterious promised land, free of Aether storms and full of life and prosperity. Ahhh...one can dream....
PERRY! I cannot express the emotions I felt when he was struggling with his new-found responsibilities. He is confident one minute, and then his confidence is torn to shreds the next. He constantly struggles with being the leader his people expect and protecting them at all costs. He makes quick decisions based on emotion, throwing rationality out the window. But...that's Perry! It's ingrained in his nature to protect first and deal with the consequences later. His people want him to be rational and realize he is more important alive, but Perry is all about jumping in head first without thinking the risks through. There is a scene in the book where Perry is brought to his knees by overwhelming emotion, and I was brought to mine, too. Well, I was laying in my bed, but I was on my knees in spirit. (Get your minds out of the gutter!)
Moving on. ARIA! And PERRY! Squee! Sob! Smile! Cry! And many more !!! These two are so off-the-charts special. Fate brought them together, they struggled to understand and even like the other, and their destinies are enmeshed to hell. Throughout their struggles, an intense romance has bloomed and they are now fighting to save the lives of their people and each other. I mean, they have not had a chance to breath since their first meeting, let alone find the time to fall in love. Yet they still manage to FEEL and SHOW their love and affection, even in the smallest of ways. It's like... all beautiful and shit.
“Do you ever miss anything?'
Perry smiled. 'You, all the time.”
Now, collectively..."awwwwwwwwwww!" You know you said it, or thought it. Don't try to lie about it. You feel the same sappy, cheesy feels I do. ;) Now I get to talk about THE MAN OF THE HOUR. Or Book. Or Series, really. Roar, aka Made of Awesome. Aka, My Favorite Secondary Character in YA. As swoon-worthy as this guy is, I don't even have romantic feelings towards him. Yes, we readers have romantic feelings towards our swoony characters. Don't judge. Or else.
Back to THE MAN. Roar. Dear Heavens, this poor guy was put through the ringer in this book, and thus, so was I! Lots of SADS. Lots of cries and whimpers and HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO US, ROSSI! *first of dooms* Roar...it's hard to put into words my thoughts about this character. The ease at which Aria connected with him in book one because of his simple, carefree, love life attitude, the passion and compassion that he possesses that allows him to throw himself into situations, safe or otherwise, with such abandon...the overwhelming feelings I FEEL when I think about what he experienced in this book, and how I would MOVE MOUNTAINS to see this guy happy. He is just one of those people, those rare, rare people, that are almost perfect. Yet, he isn't, and his vulnerability and blind passion are what make him worth loving and fighting for. SO MUCH LOVE.
The world-building expanded, especially near the end, when Cinder become a serious piece of the story! Holy firecracker, Batman! This kid surprised me, not only with his actions, but with his purpose in the overall plot. Into the Still Blue is bound to be a traumatic and treacherous journey for the Tides, and this kid is at the center of it all. Freaking out! Favorite Quote
Love was like the waves in the sea, gentle and good sometimes, rough and terrible at others, but that it was endless and stronger than the sky and earth and everything in between.
I need to state that this series on audio has been SO DAMN GOOD. Rebecca Soler has really elevated the story with her inflections, emotions and accents. I have truly enjoyed listening to the tale of Cinder and Scarlet.
Scarlet is feisty and I loved her strong, independent, protective nature. I found myself much more interested in her page time than Cinder. She was protective of her grandmother, and in the end, of Wolf. Wolf was AWESOME. Just awesome. The story behind him and his brethren is not revealed until very late in the game, and his situation kept me guessing throughout the entire book. I was flabbergasted at the connection between Wolf and other characters in this universe.
Cinder's new friend, Thorne, was a humorous addition to the cast. He was bit of an airhead but he was also useful and loyal. I loved his obsession with "his" spaceship. ICO! Oh, how I adored this android even more in this installment. I don't want to give away her situation in this book, but she really lightened some scenes with her adorable, funny, innocent personality. I am amazed, over and over again, that I adore secondary characters so much more than main characters.
I really, really enjoyed this installment in the series. I found it really creative, engaging and entertaining. There was a LOT of action, a lot of gasping and a lot of cursing. By me. Not the characters. I enjoyed the different story lines of Cinder and Scarlet, and how they merged together in a big way at the end of the book. The plot is moved forward leaps and bounds in this book. There are a lot of dangerous moments for the characters and I was on the edge of my seats during some of the action scenes.
I am WICKED excited to meet Rapunzel in the third book, Cress!
I've been wanting to read this series since I met Veronica Rossi last year in Miami. Seeing her again just recently, I was reminded that this book is soooo up my alley, in terms of genre and world- building. And then Amanda and Cassie decided to do a read-along, and well, it was destiny. I went into it expecting fantastic characters, intense world-building and a simmering, intense romance. I got that and so much more!
The world-building in this book was so great! The world has been burned and mutilated by Aether storms. Aether is some sort of fire/lightning combo that is wild in the sky, uncontrollable and lethal. Humanity built pods to house the populations in, and with that came some interesting and creative uses of technology to keep humans from going stir crazy. SmartEyes whisk people away to virtual reality Realms, and since they are connected to your brain via your...wait for it....eye, they are able to take over your senses and trick your mind into believing that you are truly experiencing whatever you are currently doing. Everything, apparently...
Roar leaned across the table and smiled at her seductively, his dark hair falling into his eyes. "When you say everything happens in the Realms, do you mean everything?'
Aria laughed nervously."Yes. Especially that.There are no risks in the Realms."
Roar's smile widened. "You simply think it and it happens? And it actually feels real?"
"Why are we talking about this?"
"I need a Smarteye," he said.
I think the SmartEyes are hella cool, but as with any crazy futuristic setting where technology is overused, I strongly feel like we can easily lose ourselves to it and eventually, lose our personal connections. Nobody really knows anyone, nobody touches or feels or smells anything real because it does not exist in the pods. So, when Aria finds herself on the outside for the first time ever, her senses are overwhelmed. It makes for an intense and horrifying experience as she struggles to survive in harsh terrain. As with many heroines in these stories, however, Aria gets her shit together eventually and surprises the characters and reader alike. I ended up loving the hell out of this girl by the end of the book.
Peregrine (because I do not like the name Perry) is a beautiful specimen, both inside and out. He encompasses many of the qualities that I look for in a male lead. He has to overcome great odds, he loves with all of his heart and he is a fierce opponent. Growing up on the outside in harsh conditions, Peregrine's life has been anything but easy. He has constantly struggled to feed himself, has an intense connection to his nephew and challenge's his brother's authority at every turn. His honest, protective, vulnerable soul set my heart ablaze. I love this guy! I also absolutely adored his friend, Roar. There I go loving the secondary characters to pieces again! He brightened the pages with his presence. ♥
I loved the world-building, but I think the best part about this book is the connection between Aria and Peregrine. They are enemies, at first, hostile, prejudiced and unwelcoming towards one another. I think most of it stemmed from fear of the unknown, and plain ole ignorance. Aria has been in the dark about reality her entire life, and Peregrine has intense feelings about Dwellers and how they view and treat Outsiders. As with any biases and stereotypes, they can be broken down if the people are open to the idea. I don't think either character was consciously open to it, but curiosity got the best of them, not to mention all the incredible things they learned from one another. The attraction, respect and dignity that grew out of their time together was a beautiful thing to watch unfold, and I am rooting for these two 110%.
"Perry. I want to see your back."
Another surprise, but he nodded and turned away. Dropped his head forward and took the moment to try and calm his breath. He jerked when she traced the shape of the wings on his skin, a groan sliding out of him. Perry silently cursed himself. He couldn't have sounded more savage if he'd tried.
"Sorry," she whispered... "He's magnificent. Like you," she added softly.
My Thoughts: King of Marbury takes places in between The Marbury Lens and Passenger. It is told from the perspective of Conner, Jack’s best friend. It was interesting to be in Conner’s head, though he did not remind me of the Conner in The Marbury Lens. Of course, we saw Conner through Jack’s eyes. I think Conner is more subdued than we originally thought and probably showing off most of the time, as guys often do. In this novella, Conner is seeking out answers to that damn lens that transported them to Marbury, and doing it behind Jack’s back. I think Conner’s intent is to save Jack from more mayhem, but he may have brought on more torturous knowledge for himself.
This story was…interesting. I wanted more, which shows that it definitely entertained me. As with the end of The Marbury Lens, I’m still left wondering if this is all a big, fat, insane ride on the Cuckoo Express or if there is some reality to their experiences. It appears to be leaning one way, but I’m hoping Passenger clears some things up. Or maybe I’m not. I think I love this series so much because it is psychologically off-the-rocker crazy awesome, and maybe I want to be left to figure things out for myself. It’s book like these that I think about for years.
For those interested in read King of Marbury, you can read it for free on Tor.com or buy it for $.99 on ebook.
"I turned my eyes down and stared at my feet. It felt like I was balancing on a surfboard."
Another book club choice. At first, I wasn't completed interested in the plot. The 2nd half of the book was much more interesting and the last 150 pag...moreAnother book club choice. At first, I wasn't completed interested in the plot. The 2nd half of the book was much more interesting and the last 150 pages were the best part. The raven boys were an interesting bunch. The social worker in me wanted to swoop into the pages and save the raven boys for various reasons. And I loved Blue and her quirky family. The ending of the book left me perplexed, however.