Kel is one of the most kick-ass heroines I've ever read about. "Determination" is her middle name. Unlike more than half of Tamora Pierce's main femal...moreKel is one of the most kick-ass heroines I've ever read about. "Determination" is her middle name. Unlike more than half of Tamora Pierce's main female characters, Kel is left without the Gift. It is because of this that she tops all other heroines. She makes do with quick wits, rock hard determination and a stubborn nature that could rally a mule's. There's nothing this girl can't do...except shrink herself.(less)
Another FANTASTIC delivery from Sarah Dessen! She is, beyond a doubt, my favorite realistic fiction author. And this novel might just be my favorite o...moreAnother FANTASTIC delivery from Sarah Dessen! She is, beyond a doubt, my favorite realistic fiction author. And this novel might just be my favorite of all of them but it's so hard to choose between "This Lullaby", "The Truth About Forever" and now, "Along for the Ride". But I was laughing up a storm with this one! Not that the others aren't funny, 'cause they're hilarious. But the heartening feeling you get as you read through Auden's adventure...man.
I won't deny that I would've done a few things differently than Auden but she's come so close to what I'm like--except I'm far from as academically driven as she was. But there are a lot of things that struck a chord.
Another great novel by Sarah Dessen. I hope the mood strikes her again to write soon. 'Cause it's so hard to wait for one novel every two years. So hard. I stayed up much longer than my parents would ever condone. I felt like I connected with her better, since I read it in the middle of the night, with the house completely quiet, with this lovely tale spreading out in front of me. It was nearly impossible to put it down to go to bed before I collapsed.(less)
This book holds a powerful thought process. It makes you think about what each object in this book symbolizes in this world. And how exquisite, the en...moreThis book holds a powerful thought process. It makes you think about what each object in this book symbolizes in this world. And how exquisite, the ending, the death, and yet the beginning of the Time of the Eagle. The sacrifice, the love, the charming way this novel weaves the tale of Gabriel. The richness and the quality of the cultures and ways of life; the amazing characters who steal your hearts.
This book is entirely worthy of five stars. It will forever be amongst my list of the Greatest Books Ever.(less)
For years, I've never been able to pick my favorite book of all time (outside the HP books, I mean), but when I read Graceling, it shot to the top lik...moreFor years, I've never been able to pick my favorite book of all time (outside the HP books, I mean), but when I read Graceling, it shot to the top like a comet. Whenever I was asked my favorite book, Graceling popped into my head. Kristen Cashore's writing style is captivating and her characters believable and a joy to follow. I highly recommend this book to any fantasy reader.(less)
"Fire" was just as captivating as "Graceling". The romance has that same unattainable feel at first, where you really, really want them to be together...more"Fire" was just as captivating as "Graceling". The romance has that same unattainable feel at first, where you really, really want them to be together but there's something huge in the way.
I like how the same aspect of an outcast is put into this novel like in Graceling. In Graceling, everyone feared Katsa for her Grace of "killing". In Fire, everyone fears her because she's a monster: someone with telepathy, beauty and wild colored hair.
I love the romance. Kristin Cashore is just brilliant at what she does. She creates a clear, concise story with characters that you wanna hang out with.
Kristin Cashore will forever be on of my favorite authors. I can't wait for Bitterblue. :)
Okay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this a...moreOkay, first off, the whole story, with the exception of a SMALL part near the end, is in Ethan's point of view. Weird, no? Usually stories like this are told in the GIRL'S point of view but the fact that it was in ETHAN'S was...actually sort of fascinating. For two female authors, they portrayed Ethan's character remarkably well.
I absolutely love good books that are good and LONG. If you're looking for something to hold you over for a few days, Beautiful Creatures is your book of choice. The mystery is well-developed and thorough.
The characters were enjoyable and the whole setup of the Gatlin town was intriguing. As the plot went on and when it came to the part where the story unfolds and you finally find out whodunnit, I was stunned by what was revealed--NOT something that happens very often, mind you. And at the end, I was like, "Oh god!" in anticipation. Also by the events, of which I cannot describe here. *wink*
Beautiful Creatures is now resting on my bookshelf, having bought it without reading it first! But I thought, this looks like a good book. And hey, I didn't bring it back to the bookstore, although two books had that unfortunate fate today.
Don't you just love the cover? I was fascinated with the font and I was constantly following the curves and where they met up.
I have deemed Hush, Hush as my #2 Highly Recommended Book for Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
I must say the real strength of this novel comes from t...moreI have deemed Hush, Hush as my #2 Highly Recommended Book for Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.
I must say the real strength of this novel comes from the author's superb ability for sarcasm and her building up of characters. For example, Patch. A real pain in the butt sometimes but Becca Fitzpatrick does a good job layering her characters. This makes them believable.
The only thing that I think this book needs improvement on is the building of suspense at the end. While the action sequence was pretty well done, there was something that lacked.
This is one of those novels where you don't have a lot of information but you've got a lot of creepy stuff going on. There aren't really a lot of clues, at least none that I saw.
One other thing that bugged me was that the main character, Nora, sure does a lot of running in this book. Not like cross country running, but a holy crap this is scary kind of run. She's not a true wimp though. Not like Bella. In fact, Nora is pissed off at Patch in the beginning. Even throughout the story she's resistant.
A truly good read.
I bought this book without reading it (something I've only done once before) and I was not disappointed. It's sitting on my desk beside me right now and I'm not planning on returning it anytime soon. It's definitely a keeper.
Definitely buy it or request it at your library. See for yourself. :)(less)
My god! This was such an AWESOME book. It was such an adrenaline-pumping experience! I'm not even kidding. As I was reading, I could feel my heart beating faster and my breath speeding up...Oh man, John Flanagan really knows how to write! And the best part is, he does this every single one of his books. I hope he continues on with the Ranger's Apprentice books. He's already up to nine, but I love these characters so much and the whole setup--I hope he keeps going.
One thing I've noticed is that great books do not come from a few months of thinking. Oh no. This is the product of years. Why do you think books like the Lord of the Rings and Eragon are so good? Because the authors took their time. They were meticulous in their planning and paid attention to detail and the result was a world rich with believability and details that sustain the imagination. So think about the thought that went into this whole world to keep it going for nine books...Yeah. It's mind-boggling, isn't it? Not something put together in three months then called done.
Wow. There was this one moment in the middle of the book that just had me going--Oh crap. Just pause and catch your breath for a moment, Amelia! I was sitting in my chair, squealing, going, "Oh no! Oh no! Holy crap!" And then! (Oh yeah, it gets better.) At the end--if you've read John Flanagan, you know that the climaxes are always heart stopping--the end was fantastic! John Flanagan knows how to balance out "happily ever after" with reality. Most authors get flimsy and go SUPER easy on their characters. Whoa, not this dude! And that's what makes the characters so awesome to read about! They seem so real because they've suffered losses the same way we do and they live through them and change and mature.
For those who say nay--if you're going, meh, not my thing--think again! There is plenty of action in this book! And okay, so not that kind of action. There is romance but it isn't the center of the book. (If you've been looking for a break from the depths of drama you get from teenage romance novels, look no farther!) Tracking a band of murdering cutthroats across a barren desert? Planning to infiltrate a town to rescue your friends? Nearly dying attempting to rescue your horse? There is more than plenty of action to go around. (And I really had to choose carefully from the wide array of events so I don't give anything away.)
A note on the characters:
I think, above all, Will is still my favorite character. In many ways, he reminds me of Harry Potter--honorable heart, brave but unsure of himself before he finds his place; a natural leader and skilled at what he does.
But GOD! I freaking love Evanlyn's (Cassandra's) character! That girl really knows how it's done! Nowadays, you often expect the princess to be an independent figure, fighting for a place outside of the crown, but have you noticed how most times, the princess is still whiny and incapable? Not in this case! Cassandra knows a) how to use a weapon effectively; b) has a good sense of humor and wit; and c) can hold her own not only on the battlefield, but in delicate negotiations. What's there NOT to admire?
You know who would play a FANTASTIC Halt?! Jeremy Irons! He played Brom in Eragon and has a boatload of acting experience. He has this gruffy, serious by mysterious appearance that covers a soft heart--it would fit Halt perfectly! He doesn't fit ONE characteristic though: Halt's supposed to be a small figure, yes? Well, Jeremy Irons isn't small. :( But that is a mere technicality. If Ranger's Apprentice were to be made into a movie, Jeremy Irons NEEDS to be Halt. :)
If you're a fan of the previous books, you won't be disappointed with this new installment. It carries every aspect of John Flanagan's signature. The characters mature, are given new tests, discover new feelings, have new experiences. A purely fantastic adventure! I loved it!(less)
The Ranger's Apprentice series has been apart of my life since I was, say, ten- or eleven-years-old. It's one of those series racked right up there with Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl in terms of staying with a person for their entire lives. Even though I picked it up so long ago, the story still captivates me. Starting a Ranger's Apprentice book is like settling down at a campfire with a bunch of friends you've known forever and sharing really good stories.
Really, once a person gets to book 8 in any series, they have a little more than a preconceived notion about how they're going to feel about the book, already having known the history of the characters and knowing how the given world works. So I was already going into this book knowing that it was going to be awesome. My only concern being that if anyone died, I was going to flip #%$!.
The one negative I have on John Flanagan is his writing style. There is way too much telling and very little tact involved. There's also this consistent habit of switching POVs without indication, the reader just knows that the only way a particular sentence makes sense is if it was told in another character's POV. But John Flanagan really makes up for this through his characters and story and world.
I flipping love Will, the main character. And Halt. And Horace. And Will's horse, Tug. This particular installment really focused on the three -- I mean four (sorry, Tug) -- of them. Even though Horace got [spoiler redacted].
I also liked how there was very little romance. That's not to say that all the rest of his stories are full of doe-eyed, sappy-lipped lovers. I was really attracted to the idea that all of that was over by the first few chapters and the ladies bid goodbye to their men with a "okay, honey, have a good time" and let the menfolk go off on their adventure.
And these are legit adventures. Since I grew up on a healthy diet of Harry Potter, I really grew up loving hero stories. And really, this is a hero's story since I've always considered Will to be the main character, and therefore the hero. The good thing about John Flanagan is, though, that he pokes at stereotypes, so all his main characters are heroes in their own way and they all get a bit of the hero's limelight throughout the series. For example, Horace was really the man in this one. By the end of it, given John Flanagan's talent for storytelling, I was left biting my nails and growling, "If he dies..." under my breath while mentally planning all the ways I'd get revenge for any of the character's deaths.
Ranger's Apprentice has always captured me, and this installment was no different. I'm gripped with a terrified anticipation to read the sequel, Halt's Peril because nothing good can come of a title like that.
If you haven't picked up this series, you should get on that. Sit back and indulge on a bit of a hero's journey.(less)
It took me six weeks to read this book. Why? Well, I realize what an obscene amount of time that is, and I fear it's only seconded by the years it'll take me to finish Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. The thing is, I've been with this series since I was twelve-years-old and there's only one. more. book. left. And then that's it for any new Ranger's Apprentice books. And while I can't honestly say John Flanagan blows me away with his writing style, the writing isn't the fun part of it. I didn't read nine Ranger's Apprentice novels over six years because of the writing. It was because of the characters. John Flanagan writes such lovable characters that they are the reason I keep coming back.
The thing about John Flanagan's writing style is that, while it's effective, it's pretty amateurish. Almost everything is told, not shown, and there's also an interesting phenomenon afoot: one line, the reader would be in Will's head and the next, it would be in Halt's. With no indication of switching POVs. He just writes his scenes in a kind of round robin style that is unique, if a bit disconcerting at times. Disconcerting in the way many nonconformist things tend to be. Meaning, it doesn't distract from the story -- I still kept up with the plot and it was exciting -- but I think that, along with the tell and no show dilemma, it loses the impact that it could've had if the writing had been brushed up a bit.
Despite this fact, the characters have been and always will be in my heart. I love how Will has grown so much from the scrawny, fifteen-year-old apprentice to a Ranger within his own right. (He's still scrawny, though.) There's still that connection that runs deep between him and Halt. Their relationship of surrogate father and son is so charming, and one that is seen in stark relief in this installment. Will and Halt aside, I am still a huge Horace fan. I love how the giant-like knight is still a huge goof and can joke around with the best of them, but knows when to knock off the humor. I also liked the reappearance of a few characters from the fifth and sixth books. Being able to craft such excellent characters is what makes John Flanagan such a good storyteller.
Because even with the debatable writing style, John Flanagan knows how to spin a good story. I loved how high the stakes were in this book, and how well they were built up and presented. I felt my fingers start to hurt from gripping the book too hard once or twice from the awesome suspense that had built up. Not only endangering the characters lives, but making it seem inevitable that one will die well before his time? I was on tenterhooks throughout most of the book.
Which, weirdly enough, is why it took me so long to read it. A bit switched around, I agree: usually, the more suspenseful a book is, the faster you want to read it. In this case, the fact that I only have one more Ranger's Apprentice novel after this kept me from burning through it. I read it in bits and pieces so I could spread it out as long as possible, shoving in other books before it on my reading queue so it would stay on my pile a little longer. I'm just as attached to these characters and this world as I am to JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. I remember how it felt to finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2007 and I'm not looking forward to an encore performance.(less)
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy....moreOriginally posted on The Authoress.
Here's the thing about this book: I've owned it for years. (Upon reflection, I'm not sure how I came to own a copy.) I've tried over the years to read this book because I knew it had had a strong run on the fame strip. But I was bored with it. I couldn't get more than thirty pages in. But it was such a cool premise! Why wasn't it working for me? Well I wish I could go back in time because I would've put myself back several years and given my then-self a very swift kick in the pants.
Inkheart was a highly entertaining read, in the way that only good middle grade novels can be. It possessed a diverse cast of well-developed characters, an exciting plot (that did pick up, I swear), and a writing style that is distinctive and enchanting. And there was no romance to send everything to hell in a hand basket.
Meggie was a great main character: smart and inquisitive, but still a child and so had a sense of naiveté that did not, in any way, make her seem immature or childish. She had the never-ending imagination and patience that only a younger person could possess. I found myself instantly liking her. Every character in Inkheart was painted with the same care, so that each was distinctive and memorable.
The plot was exciting because of these well-developed characters. But I was shocked to see how violent and crass some of the more unsavory characters were. Quite honestly, I was expecting it to be more benign, with a lot of smoke-blowing rather than detailed threats that the reader knew the bad guys could and would carry out. But, as an older reader, these things only deepened my enjoyment of the story because it meant the author was pulling out all the stops.
Cornelia Funke didn't bog down the story by illuminating every word. Her style was enchanting, but not flowery, which gave it a charming flexibility, able to switch between a touching scene between father and daughter to the sinister, death-filled thoughts of the featured assassin.
All in all, Inkheart was a brilliant opening to what I am sure will be an even more brilliant series. Before I had even finished Inkheart I had gone out to my local bargain bookstore to pick up the sequel, Inkspell. For the lovers of the Artemis Fowl series, the Ranger's Apprentice series, or any series of the Percy Jackson universe, I say this is a good next series to delve into.(less)
I was told during a recommendation for this book that, "[I] will hate her in the beginning, but push through it; it's worth it in the end." Me? I'm a skeptic. I thought, "Psh. Translation: I will hate it. Plain and simple."
So not true.
My critique partner (who recommended this so heartily to me) was right 100%. I did hate the main character, Sam, in the beginning. She was shallow, petty, a bully... Her entitlement drove me insane. I wanted to slap her or throw the book across the room or something. But I kept my critique partner's words in mind. I had to push through. So I did. And it was so worth it.
Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job pulling off Sam's character and, specifically, her development throughout the story. To convincingly tell the story of a girl who goes from being the uber-bitch to the complete opposite takes skill. I knew Lauren Oliver had a gift when I read her book Delirium, but this blew me away.
There was a lot of dimension to Before I Fall. Lauren Oliver took her time and built up the world and the characters. She didn't pussyfoot around with the other, uglier, bitter side of the characters. The four of them (Sam, Lindsay, Elody and Ally) really redefined the meaning of bully. But they were 3D and each of them had their own role. All of them came alive to me. I loved watching each of their stories unfold.
I was most impressed by the way Lauren Oliver unfolded each day: if done wrong, it could get ugly real fast. It was masterfully done--very gut wrenching.
But it was such a heartbreaking story. I am not a fan of tragic endings, but you still have to love this book. It was powerfully alluring, almost magnetic.
If you are a fan of Lauren Oliver's Delirium, or if you're new to Lauren Oliver, I highly recommend this. Anyone can get into this story and fall in love with it.(less)
She's is constantly surprising with the depth and charming morbid tone of her books. But this isn't about h...moreMaggie Stiefvater must be one crazy woman.
She's is constantly surprising with the depth and charming morbid tone of her books. But this isn't about her, it's about the book, right?
I've been holding my breath for this book ever since I finished reading "Shiver," and discovered that there was going to be a sequel. Maggie Stiefvater captured me in "Shiver," with her writing style but mostly, the characters that she had created. I'm usually not one for romance-oriented book, because it's difficult to lay hands on one that is as well written as I'd like it. But Sam and Grace have come to life over and over again.
As I was reading, I was trying to discover what it was--exactly--that Maggie Stiefvater did to make it so...good. Just within a few paragraphs, you've got the main foundation of the character and you feel almost like you know them. Something hard-pressed for writers to do, I know. How can you convey your characters, make them seem as real to everyone else as they are to you?
One thing...I would love to spend an hour in Maggie Stiefvater's head. Preferably when she's writing.
In "Linger," you're presented with a new character: Cole. Strange thing is, I never really thought of him as a jerk. Maybe because I was reading from his point of view sometimes? But something about the characters made them seem in harmony. All of them had their distinctive point of view and voice. You could tell the difference between Sam's POV and Grace's POV...Isabel's POV and Cole's.
Another thing I love is the quiet humor. Isabel is, beyond a doubt, my favorite character. She's so open and honest and sarcastic. Grace has her moments, too, but with Isabel, it's all the time. I loved that. She seems like a cool chica. I don't really think of her as a cold or unkind person. Just blunt and with her priorities in order.
Now in "Linger," the characters we've all come to love are deepened. I get the feeling that Maggie Stiefvater was exploring the depths of her character's emotions, reactions, and minds. The slowly building tension started from page one and I nearly felt like crying at the end--not something I feel often, grant you.
Overall, "Linger" joins the ranks of my all-time favorite books. But not something I will reread in full. It's almost as if you've got to take in the first time. I know that this is just me being me, but it feels almost like a topic too delicate to touch again. Eh. Just saying.
If you loved "Shiver," you'll love "Linger".
If you haven't read "Shiver" yet, you should probably give it a shot. But be warned, if you're wanting for action-packed adventure, don't go with "Shiver". This is a romance with a slow, moody tone. Just so you know.
I heard from one of my blogger buddies that there are a lot of varied reviews of this book. (I wouldn't know, as I don't read reviews of books that I'm looking forward to reading—spoilers, you know.) I can see clearly why there would be a lot of variation, but I know that I'm settling into the side of "I-freaking-love-this-series-and-book-so-freaking-much".
I love it because it's written beautifully, the characters stay true to form—not conforming to what the public would want most to read—and the atmosphere is deepened with each chapter.
Maggie Stiefvater has a way with words. There's no other way to say it and no way to explain it so you're just gonna have to go pick up one of her books to see for yourself. She hasn't just written this werewolf series. She's also written a fae series, which is awesome if you're into that kind of thing.
I love characters that are challenged by their own inner demons. In most books I read, internal conflict is something simple and therefore easily resolved. I can always pick out that "resolution" scene where the character comes to terms with what's eating them up inside. Something that sums up to "It wasn't really my fault" etc. Maggie Stiefvater works her characters differently, making their transformation much more believable and easier to swallow. I think the personal battle I enjoyed the most—not exactly the right word, more like appreciated—was Sam's. I cheered for that kid all the way. Cole was also a favorite. But each of them did have something to deal with, and I liked that. Gave them each their own dimension.
I love the setting that Maggie Stiefvater has created. Mercy Falls carries this certain nuance in my head that I can easily identify and pull on when I'm reading.
I'm really sad now that this series is over. (I actually had to walk into my dad's room and lay down on the dog to feel better after I'd finished reading.) I only picked Shiver up last year, but I'm still sad to see it go.
Now us fans get to look forward to watching literary-challenged directors screw up the movie. XD(less)
I've been waiting forever for this book to come in at my library. With no offense to the author, I wasn't expecting it to be popular enough to where I...moreI've been waiting forever for this book to come in at my library. With no offense to the author, I wasn't expecting it to be popular enough to where I'd have to wait a long time for it to come in. But no! I was waiting for several weeks (probably carrying over into a month and a half) until I got it.
I don't really have anything negative to say about this book. Like, at all. The characters are enjoyable and well developed (not to mention sharp at their spying techniques). Ally Carter has a fabulous imagination. I love reading about spies and I can imagine how hard it would be to scrape up the material to write a book like this. I definitely admire Ally Carter.
I love the humor accompanied in her books. I've only ever read her Gallagher Girl books but there hasn't been a book yet that has lacked her signature humor.
Though it has "Disney" on it, it's suited for both younger and older teens. There's no language but plenty of in depth romance AND action that older teens want in a book.
Wow. So this is the long anticipated sequel to the famous "Hush, Hush". Well, I wasn't disappointed. It was a great story that continued nicely from the first book, bringing up the summaries when needed so you weren't left going, "Oh crap, I totally forgot who that is." There were a few things that I had issues with, but I liked some of the newer facets shown of the characters.
There was way too much repetition. Since I'm a self-designated spoiler free blogger, I can't divulge precisely what I mean, but let me put it this way. When you tell yourself you shouldn't do something, you'll generally only do it once and go, "Okay, so I'm an idiot," and move on with life. But going "Crap, my bad" and going out and doing the same thing again is NOT a cool move. So I lost a lot of respect for Nora's character. I found it far too easy to predict what she was going to say--way too stock (generic) for my taste.
I liked the different side. I expected Patch's character to remain mostly the same--a cocky, arrogant, manipulative bastard who delighted in making people uncomfortable. But I liked how there was a different kind of intensity there that wasn't present as much in the first book. So kudos to Patch--everyone's favorite fictional husband. Vee, however, I was hoping for some more of her character. She didn't seem any different to me.
Different and same. Any Star Wars fans out there? I remember watching some footage about how fans of the first Star Wars movie (fourth chronologically) were afraid that the sequel would be a rehashing of the first movie. That's why they were pleasantly surprised when George Lucas explored entirely new dimensions of the Star Wars world. Ever since seeing that, I've been more critical of sequels. "Crescendo" was new in a lot of ways--bringing more of the characters out into the open--but when I stepped back and got a look at the Big Picture, I was disappointed. It followed along too closely to the first book in almost all the wrong places. So when it came to the end, I wasn't very shocked. The last scene got me though. That was beautifully done.
Good mystery. So there were plenty of parts where I went, "Hooollly fudge!" and others I went, "Oh, come on". But I love Becca Fitzpatrick's ability to tell a good story. I just wish that Nora had more of a backbone as well as some more common sense.
Always the humor. Wow. If I want a good laugh, "Hush, Hush" and "Crescendo" are two of the books I'd go to. Fantastic writing and good laugh-out-loud scenes. I'm glad that continued from the first book.
If you liked "Hush, Hush" you won't be disappointed.(less)
Ever had that feeling that a book gives you—where you know for sure that you’re totally in love with it, yet your head is so jumbled with its brilliance that even the day after you’ve finished reading it, you still can’t pinpoint the exact thing that made you love it? I feel like I can’t do it justice, even if I tried.
First, the main character. Completely awesome gal. Seriously. Worthy of a country girl. She must be from Kentucky. (Except this is a fantasy book, so she’ll have to settle from being from somewhere like Kentucky.) She’s a fighter and a kick-ass mother figure. She’s not only fiery and fierce, but kind and gentle. The way she worries over North is endearing and I can totally relate to her. She does have a few girly-girl moments, but please, don’t we all? This is a character I can get behind, a girl I can cheer for 100%. Always helps that she’s freaking hilarious.
“Syd, Syd, Syd,” he said, shaking his head.
"What?” I asked flatly. “Can we go up to our rooms yet?”
”Rooms!” He laughed. “What makes you think I got more than one? I’m not a money bag, you know.”
I sucked in a sharp breath. “That is completely inappropriate! It’s—It’s not proper, but apparently you wouldn’t know that. You wouldn’t know a moral if it slapped you in the face.”
You see the perfect blend of smart ass and chaste mother figure? And she carries this same attitude all throughout the book. I love her consistency, her believability, and cleverness. Sydelle has joined the ranks of my favorite heroines.
As for Mr. North. He could really be a scuzball sometimes but he’s really very sweet and the jerk-factor only makes for a more believable character. And the wizard thing is sexy. ;)
Overall, I loved the romance (even though the love triangle was a little too weakly represented for the impact it had on Sydelle). It wasn’t done too quickly, which is always an important aspect to me. (I really hate it when romances advance too quickly. It makes it harder to believe.) Alexandra Bracken handled it perfectly, not stretching it out too far (almost—the suspense was killing me) and not launching into it too quickly.
But let’s talk about the writing: It was fantastic. Can’t put it any other way. Well, I could go on and on about how awesome it was, how it was so simple and elegant that it painted perfect little scenes in my head. It wasn’t hard to understand and it wasn’t so over saturated with fluffiness that it was distracting.
In combination with the characters, the romance and the writing, it made for an excellent plot. It was engaging and exciting. I was watching for the cliché parts that are pitfalls for authors but I didn’t find any. It wasn’t overly cliché (always a plus) and Alexandra Bracken didn’t spare her characters any of life’s heartaches.
It really sucks that there isn’t a sequel, though. :( I just know that I’m going out to buy this book first chance I get. I need a copy of this stash of awesomeness for my bookshelf.
In conclusion, Alexandra Bracken has not only become one my favorite authors, but her characters have become a favorite as well. If you like authors like Cinda Williams Chima, Maria V. Snyder, or Kristin Cashore, you’ll love to add Alexandra Bracken to your list.(less)