Twilight has become a phenomenon, a dream of Stephanie Meyer's transformed into a bestseller. After every man, woman and dog (okay, slight exaggeratio...moreTwilight has become a phenomenon, a dream of Stephanie Meyer's transformed into a bestseller. After every man, woman and dog (okay, slight exaggeration) had been sucked into the twilight vortex, I finally surrendered to peer pressure (from my over 40 Aunt) and devoured "a vampire story for people who don’t like vampire stories." I must admit, the plot of hot vampire Edward Cullen, falling for ordinary girl Bella Swan, was extremely appealing. The book is marketed at Young Adult readers but as a 'mature' adult myself, I think Twilight has the ability to transcend age barriers and satisfy teenagers and adults alike. A thoroughly enjoyable read which had me almost longing to be a vampire; obviously only of the 'good' vampire variety, strictly non-human consuming.(less)
I got the 'happy ever after' I was wishing for and I wasn't the least bit disappointed. Predicting (or hoping for) much of wh...more*Warning - Spoiler alert*
I got the 'happy ever after' I was wishing for and I wasn't the least bit disappointed. Predicting (or hoping for) much of what happened before I started the book did not in anyway lessen the riveting read. I didn't find it disappointing or contrived or fluffy, the tearing pace & excitement made it easy to overlook the odd spelling error and cheesy cliché. Breaking Dawn was my favourite of the series, obviously it wouldn't be my favourite without the others in the series, (they were essential building blocks to create suspense and enhance the storyline) but for me, Breaking Dawn had everything I could have wished for and more! Bella joins the Cullens in immortality and comes into her own as a vampire with the ultimate gift - the ability to shield and protect her loved ones. Reading about vampire 'gifts'; those from visiting covens and the vampires of the Volturi was fascinating. Bella's pregnancy was the curve ball that I didn't see, the impossible physiology of this really didn't bother me, after all we are reading a paranormal love story. I loved the whole graphic, indepth view of Bella's pregnancy and the vampire C-section birth of Renesmee human/immortal/hybrid. Jacob imprinting with Nessie made sense to me, in a bizarre way and explained Jacob & Bella's odd dependence & infatuation with each other. I loved the themes of 'vegetarian' vampires becoming more family less coven orientated, enemies becoming allies & friends and I would have been severely peeved if the happy ending had not eventuated. I think after the saga & angst of 2500 pages the Cullen family deserved their HAPPY EVER AFTER and so did I. (less)
Without doubt, another page turner! After reading a lot of reviews it appears that readers either love or hate Eclipse. I thought Stephanie Meyer ampe...moreWithout doubt, another page turner! After reading a lot of reviews it appears that readers either love or hate Eclipse. I thought Stephanie Meyer amped up the passion and the action in this book. I loved reading more about the Cullen 'family' dynamics, the stories of how Rosalie and Jasper became vampires and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey into werewolf folklore. I bought the whole love triangle scenario; Bella torn between her love for Edward and her friendship and love for Jacob and her fleeting vision of a more 'normal' life with Jake. Yes, Bella is at times selfish, hurtful and irritating, but what teenager isn't? Yes, the romantic angst is prolonged but even in my 'mature' years I remember my late teens revolving around this, albeit without the vamp/wolf bonus. Who of us have never had the choice of two paths and been riddled with indecision or wanted both at the same time. I have loved the series to this point and I now have a date with 'Breaking Dawn', please let it have the ending I am wishing for. (less)
Totally Addicted...what can I say. I was prepared to be disappointed, prepared to point out that I couldn't see what all the hoo haa was about but I a...moreTotally Addicted...what can I say. I was prepared to be disappointed, prepared to point out that I couldn't see what all the hoo haa was about but I am hopelessly addicted to Bella & Edward's story. I must admit I was just a tad devastated that Edward featured so little in this book but I also understand that New Moon was a building block for what was to come. A bridge if you like, to Eclipse. As someone who has felt broken from loss, I felt a kindred spirit in Bella and found her climb out of depression very relatable. While disappointed over the absence of one hot vampire there was plenty in New Moon to keep the heart rate up and the pages turning. Bella finds strength in her friendship with Jacob Black and pulls together a semblance of her life while Jacob phases into a werewolf bringing the Quileute legends to the fore. New Moon has a very different edge to the suspense & passion, one that leaves you wanting more, wishing for things to happen while hoping that the story drags on, to draw out and savour every moment.(less)
I've been a bit undecided how to review this book. Don't get me wrong, I did like it, a lot, but I didn't love it and it did take me a while to read,...moreI've been a bit undecided how to review this book. Don't get me wrong, I did like it, a lot, but I didn't love it and it did take me a while to read, I put it down and picked it up a number of times. It could be just me (so much going on in my life, that I found it hard to concentrate on the storyline) but parts of the novel seemed a bit slow, or something... I just can't put my finger on a specific concern. Maybe it was just that it was an involved read with quite a few new and different concepts for me. I do want to know more so I will read Lirael, the next in the Abhorsen Trilogy and err on the side of caution.
'Sabriel' moves from Ancelstierre to the Old Kingdom and 18 year old Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom for many years. When Sabriel's father goes missing she returns to the Old Kingdom, to the world of free magic and the undead to try and find him. Sabriel's father is a Charter Mage, from the powerful Abhorsen family. Sabriel becomes the next Abhorsen when her father is trapped in death by a powerful, evil opponent.
I really enjoyed the magic system - free magic; unbound, chaotic, dangerous magic & charter magic; used by Charter Mages, all those bearing a baptismal charter mark on their forehead. This was also my first involved reading about necromancers (usually free magic sorcerers who summon and control the dead with seven bells.) However the Abhorsen family necromancers use the bells to defeat the dead who won't stay dead and force them to return to 'Death' beyond the 9th gate, the point of no return. The Abhorsen's difficult job is to protect the living from the dead.
I loved the description of the seven bells & their powers and the nine gates & precincts of death. I also loved the ending; it wasn't a 'get out of jail free' ending. You might think from all the mentions of death, dead, undead, raising dead, defeating the dead, that this is a dark, horror read but it isn't like that at all. Yes there are a few bits that are not for the squeamish and there are some concepts that are a little confronting but I didnt find it a dark, depressing read, the magic more than negated any nasties(less)
I listened to The Graveyard Book on audio and oh what a treat! It's narrated by the author, Neil Gaiman, who reads brilliantly, does different charact...moreI listened to The Graveyard Book on audio and oh what a treat! It's narrated by the author, Neil Gaiman, who reads brilliantly, does different character voices making each totally believable, & I found his reading style & voice quite mesmerising. I really did become completely immersed in the world of the graveyard. A truly "ageless" read.
Gaiman is delightful on podcast, with trademark self depreciating humour he informs of the origins of The Graveyard Book & how he made a start on it many years ago & put it aside quite a few times, believing he wasn't a good enough writer to pull it off. Of the first chapter he states "it's the scariest thing I've ever written."
It begins with the murder of a toddler's family, (violent but not graphic) by the man Jack. A midnight toddle, to a nearby graveyard means the little boy narrowly avoids the fate of his entire family. Saved by the residents of the graveyard, Nobody Owens (Bod) is adopted by the long dead, Mr & Mrs Owens & granted the Freedom of the Graveyard. His guardian Silas, neither dead nor alive, brings him food and ensures he is educated in the ways of the living & the dead. We follow Bod as he travels through ghoul gates, attends public school, makes friends of the dead & undead variety & learns to fade & haunt.
While a little scary, & definitely creepy, this story also has a sweetness & goodness that I found very touching. The Jack of All Trades plot is quite bizarre but ultimately this is a tale about family, friendship & growing up, albeit a little strangely, but hey this is fantasy. Chapters are structured as short stories moving through Bod's life & by the ending I had tears in my eyes. It's not a bad ending but an emotional one, it reminded me of The House At Pooh Corner, when Christopher Robin comes of age.
3.5 stars Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir is a Moroi princess, a member of the vampire royalty and her best friend Rose is Dhampir, Lissa's guardian and narr...more3.5 stars Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir is a Moroi princess, a member of the vampire royalty and her best friend Rose is Dhampir, Lissa's guardian and narrator of this story. Rose is fiesty, fiercely loyal, a bit of a flirt & 'shadow kissed.' This proves to be an interesting narrative tool, the rare gift allows Rose to experience Lissa's emotions and also allows the reader to follow Lissa's story.
Richelle Mead likes to write about things based in folklore & Moroi and Strigoi are vampires from Romanian mythology. The vamps in Vampire Academy are of three types; Moroi, mortal, well-versed in elemental magic, Dhampirs are half human/half vampire trained to protect Moroi from Strigoi, and Strigoi are the immortal, 'evil undead'.
This novel blends paranormal fantasy with the contemporary setting of St. Vladimir’s Academy, a boarding school that teaches Moroi to develop their magic and trains Dhampirs in guardian skills. Lissa & Rose ran away from school two years ago for reasons which are revealed later in the book & upon capture by school guardians the two resume life at St. Vladimir's Academy. For me, learning about magic appeared to be a poor second to the trials and tribulations of teen-relevant issues; gossip, bitchy cliques, rumours, parties, drinking and teenage angst. Having teenagers myself, it seemed an accurate portrayal of many older teenagers. There are references to sex (non explicit) underage drinking, cutting, drugs and the bad language seems fairly typical.
I realise this book is meant for teens & I can see why many would enjoy the edgy elements to this story but after enjoying the Twilight series I guess I was hoping for more. I enjoyed Mead's take on vampire society, there was certainly enough action to keep the pages turning but the book was riddled with spelling errors which I found extremely annoying and it just left me feeling a bit hmmm ... (less)
4.5 stars I made the choice to listen to Frostbite rather than read it after the issues I had with spelling errors in Vampire Academy I'm so glad I did...more4.5 stars I made the choice to listen to Frostbite rather than read it after the issues I had with spelling errors in Vampire Academy I'm so glad I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Frostbite picks up where Vampire Academy finishes; Rose Hathaway is in her senior year at St. Vladimir's & in a few months she'll be a qualified guardian to her best friend, Lissa, a Moroi Royal & last surviving member of the Dragomir family.
Rose accompanied by her instructor Dimitri leaves the academy to take her Qualifier exam with legendary guardian, Arthur Schoenberg. On arrival for her test, Rose & Dimitri are instead faced with the massacre of a royal family & their guardians & the evidence that Strigoi have banded together for the attack. On high alert St. Vladimir's organise a holiday break in an exclusive Moroi ski resort in an attempt to keep the students and their families safe. After yet another attack on a Royal house a horrifying and undeniable realisation occurs that Strigoi are teaming up with humans to destroy Royal Moroi.
As we follow Lissa & Christian's flourishing relationship, we are entertained with the romantic tension, & angst between Rose & Dimitri, Rose & Mason, and Dimitri & Tasha (Christian's aunt.) I really enjoyed seeing the growth in Rose's character over the two books & learning more about her strained relationship with Janine Hathaway, Rose's absent guardian mother. Rose's trademark smart mouth, sarcasm & impulsiveness remain in evidence which I found both believable & entertaining but tthere is also evidence of a growing maturity, giving the reader moments that are touching & sensitive. I thought Adrian Ivashkov & Tasha were an interesting & enjoyable addition to the cast of characters. Adrian another Moroi Royal is one of the rare Moroi, like Lissa, who use the element of Spirit.
Once again I found Mead's take on Moroi/Dhampir/Strigoi vampire society fascinating & I loved the whole exploration of elitism in the Moroi/Dhampir class structure. I hope Tasha's discussion regarding the defence of the two species will bring about some significant changes for the survival of Moroi & Dhampir & I have my fingers crossed we see these changes in Shadow Kiss.
When I discovered the Vampire Academy series earlier this year, and read the first book, I have to confess I wasn't sure I was going to continue with...moreWhen I discovered the Vampire Academy series earlier this year, and read the first book, I have to confess I wasn't sure I was going to continue with the series because I had an issue with spelling errors and typos. Months passed but Rose and Lissa's story kept popping into my mind so I picked up Frostbite which I loved and straight after, Shadow Kiss. What was I thinking ... not continuing with the series is no longer an option, I am completely hooked.
I can't say much about the plot without giving away major spoilers for those of you who haven't started this series, so I'll just say ... get a move on ... you are so missing out.
Once again Richelle Mead does a brilliant job with character development. Rose's growth, as a teenager on the cusp of adulthood with some very real physical and emotional challenges experienced, feels true and appealing. The love between Rose and Dimitri blossoms but once again 'the path of true love never runs smooth.' I enjoyed Lissa's involvement in the book and we get to know Christian and Adrian more, both of whom I really like. We were introduced to Adrian in Frostbite, as a rebellious and cocky, 'spirit-user' but we see a slightly more vulnerable side of him in Shadow Kiss.
You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can
This book has a lot of heart and emotion, I was completely absorbed in Richelle Mead's writing and I'm definitely emotionally invested in the characters and the outcome. I take my hat off to Richelle Mead for maintaining the emotion, the suspense, and the pace throughout Shadow Kiss but most of all for the unpredictability that has me waiting for Blood Promise with bated breath!(less)