An easy read with lots of magic and adventure, and my new favourite mythical creature - dragons! I will write a full review soon.
My official review: I...moreAn easy read with lots of magic and adventure, and my new favourite mythical creature - dragons! I will write a full review soon.
My official review: I had a lot of fun with this book. It's fantasy (not our own world) and has lots of adventure. It's also the kind of fantasy that I'm finding I like the best - an underdog who gains powers and is up against a pretty big opponent. In this case, Elias is also running away from his opponent because he really isn't good at using his powers yet. There's the thrill of wondering if he is going to get caught, and some pretty close calls too. So much fun!
The world created here feels a bit like the stereotypical high fantasy world with mages, dragons, dwarves, elves, etc. but the thing I liked about it was that it wasn't too complicated, as many fantasy worlds tend to be. The author introduces the world slowly and lets it build so that the reader (in this case, me) is able to enjoy the story and get to know the characters first. I did find I had a little trouble figuring out that the emperor and the king was not the same person, mostly because I just assume the two don't belong in the same country. However, after it finally dawned on me that the two were separate people, this made the story so much more interesting because then two leaders were trying to be the first to find Elias. Kind of like the underdog story had two underdogs which was of course better for me!
I am actually a little wishy washy about some of the characterization here though. First, I thought Elias' character spoke and was treated a little young for his age. I kept picturing him as an 11 or 12 year old even though he is supposed to be 16. On the other hand, I really loved Thorin the dwarf, and in general I could do without dwarves so this is saying a lot. I thought he was really great and made the story feel a little lighter when it could have felt too dark. There are quite a few times when Thorin really looks on the brighter side of things. He is also very bold at times and is a very kind character. I liked the dragons but I had a hard time getting used to them communicating with each other and with their riders. And I LOVED the necromancers but I didn't feel there were enough of them in the story. Nonetheless, even though I had issues with some of the characters I couldn't help but like them all and the contributions they made to the story.
Overall, I really liked this story and can't wait to see what happens next in book two. I give it a 4/5 because it was a great book that I was really excited about after reading it. I just wish I didn't have some of the issues that I did. (less)
After reading the third book in L.K. Rigel’s Apocalypto series, I think it’s pretty safe to say, I’m in this for the long haul. I love, love, love the...moreAfter reading the third book in L.K. Rigel’s Apocalypto series, I think it’s pretty safe to say, I’m in this for the long haul. I love, love, love the world that has been created here. In Blue Amber, the third installment of the series, we finally get a glimpse into the world Char and Durga’s generation had such a huge influence in creating. It’s 80 years after Spiderwork and the story focuses on a young girl named Mal (short for Mallory) who is chosen to go to the “Red City” to become a chalice. She finds out all sorts of secrets along the way, meets a handsome young man named Edmund, learns more about her society, about how the two different gods fit into that society, and most of all, she learns about the power that she herself has been given as a human being.
The world building in this series is absolutely fantastic. Every time I pick up a new installment, I feel like I’ve not only learned something new but like a whole new world has just been opened to me. Blue Amber is no exception. Although I knew mostly what to expect of the world given the previous two books, telling this story from the point of view of Mal who is very young compared to the characters in the previous books, but just old enough to be thrown into that world of the previous generation and start learning about “chalices” and “souls” and everything else here, was just genius. What I really loved most about this story was the idea that Mal wasn’t high born or well known enough to matter much in society. Some of the people openly despise her. And in a world where women set their own price for surrogacy (for this is what Mal is essentially going to Red City to be a part of), reputation matters. Not a good start for a young woman to get off to when she is only on her way to the city to be trained and not even close to setting prices yet. In this extremely confusing time for Mal, there is Edmund who befriends her and shows her that no matter what others say, as long as she matters to herself, she does indeed matter. What a wonderful coming of age moral to learn along the way!
I’m really impressed. I connected to these characters probably the most out of all three of the books. I planned to read Blue Amber over the course of a few days but once I got started I just could not put it down. I finished it in just a few hours and despite my enthusiasm, ended on a frowny note, because there wasn’t any more for me to read! If you haven’t read any of the Apocalypto series yet and love to read about smart, mature, women then I recommend you try them out. Don’t let the “paranormal romance” label fool you. The series is definitely easy to read like most PNR, but this is by no means “fluff” or a light stroll at the beach. They are adult and mature, with a little sexiness thrown in and a lot to think through about this world. (less)
I have reached the point of this book where I just have to give up. A word that gets thrown around a lot on GoodReads when a book is less than perfect...moreI have reached the point of this book where I just have to give up. A word that gets thrown around a lot on GoodReads when a book is less than perfect is “dissappointing”. But honestly, this is not how I felt at all. A more accurate thing to say is that I just didn’t enjoy this. It is a thin line but there is a big difference for me in this case. You see I really appreciated this book. The world building is incredible. The illustrations are wonderful. The descriptions of characters and creatures are either genious or the ramblings of a mad man (I’m still deciding on this one). I really appreciated all these things. They were not dissapointing. But I did not enjoy them per say. Part of my problem may have been that I have been “under the weather” for quite a while and the momentum of the story never really got to me. But then I also wonder if part of the problem is that the whole plotline of Bluebear’s story is just too subtle. There wasn’t enough for me to grab onto to get excited and want to read what was coming next. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to see myself picking up this book any more now or in the future and so I will be returning it to the library where other people may be able to do much more than just appreciate the writing here.(less)
I'm 50% through and just can't frustrate myself anymore with trying to understand Austen's writing. The story doesn't thrill me either, although I do...moreI'm 50% through and just can't frustrate myself anymore with trying to understand Austen's writing. The story doesn't thrill me either, although I do really like the characters Elizabeth, Mr & Mrs Bennett, Mr Fitzwilliam, and Mr Darcy. I am determined to finish this somehow so I'll be trying to read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. The writing does seem more accessible and the zombies fun based on the samples I've read.
And just to note, one star is what I give ALL books I tried SO hard to finish but couldn't. I'm just trying to be fair here. *goes to cower in a corner from her GR friends who ALL gave P&P five stars*(less)
First off, this is the second book in the Rabbit series and I recommend reading the first, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider before this one. It is a continuation of the first story but takes place seven years after book #1 ends.
I should probably say that when I finished Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider I had no idea there was going to be two more. And so while reading I wasn’t searching for any clues about what might come next. That’s why when I started Rabbit Legacy it was really like starting out fresh again. About a third through I was really happy with what was going on here. First I was happy with it taking place seven years in the future. This meant that we got to skip all the gritty details of the in-between years. And let’s face it, not everyone has a big adventure twice (or three times) in a row. It was a lot more realistic to me that these in-between years occurred but I was glad that as readers we got to pick up again when all the action was starting up for a second time. And then I was really happy with all the back-story between two of the characters – Roman and Javier – and the addition of some fresh new faces to spruce things up a bit. And speaking of sprucing things up, the rules have changed, the Rakuum understand the power of “Beth’s God”, and there are all sorts of interesting things happening here.
In terms of spiritual lessons, this book is an abundance of them. I really never even thought the term “vampire Christian book” was possible in this sense but I can see from reading this book (in my case, even more so than the first one) that the pairing of vampires and spiritual lessons is just perfect. My favourite line, spoken by Rakuum leader Rufus is “I know the plans I have for you and they are all about me.” My jaw literally dropped and I had to blink away my shock. This is God’s assurance to us but twisted in a selfish way. God says that he has plans for us and they are not to harm us. Considering the way these creatures think of themselves as gods, this line is really something to ponder. Yet Ellen Maze also makes it clear that if they are willing to acknowledge and come to Him, God will allow it. There is ‘salvation’ for all. But my biggest eureka moments in this book, and this is what I held on to in the last book as well, was just what makes people do things they know are bad for them. Why do people have such a hard time with temptation and lust that they are not living the way they want to. Or that it has so completely taken over their lives that they don’t see reason for any other way of living. Really, it made me think of my own attitude towards certain things in my life. And I think that’s what makes a great book. This is such an amazing book for that and I haven’t even scratched the surface here. There really is an abundance of thought-provoking questions (and answers) that it seems like there is something for everyone.
I really loved this book and recommend readers of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider to keep on reading. Don’t be scared of sequels. This was just as great as the first! If you haven’t started the series yet, I recommend you do. And if you are Christian and already a Paranormal Fantasy reader what is stopping you? I can’t wait to get my hands on Rabbit Redemption and am just really grateful that there will be other books by Ellen Maze until then.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dec 13th temporary review: I will write a review sometime this week. For now I leave you with...
What a great book! It’s a thrilling tale of one night of hostage-taking at K-I-L-L FM 100 – a local music station. Disc jockey Carter was a great char...moreWhat a great book! It’s a thrilling tale of one night of hostage-taking at K-I-L-L FM 100 – a local music station. Disc jockey Carter was a great character to have an “insider’s” look into. Not only his love for music and how he uses it to get through his situation, but also the risks he takes, and how his perspectives on “Killer Queen” (the hostage-taker) changes throughout the story were all just perfect. I really enjoyed the pace of this book. It’s short (only 89 pages) but nothing feels missing or dragged out and being labeled a “thriller” – well…it sure was! The only thing I could say is that the ending does seem a tad bit “cheesy”. I do see why Teric included what he did (and that’s because it also hits a little bit close to home) but I can see how some who’ve had much different experiences might see it that way. That and I really wanted a list of all the songs mentioned in the book so I could listen along (if this was available I couldn’t find it anywhere) mainly because I didn’t grow up with the songs listed and I’m terrible with song names in general. However, having not grown up with this music I really appreciated all the subtle music lessons Teric threw into the story. This is an excellent start to Mr. Darken’s writing career and I’m looking forward to counting him among my favourites.
Note: I posted this review on my blog, 100 Stars or Less and can be seen here.(less)
Jeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls is the strangest book I have read this year. It's probably the strangest book I've read in the past 5 years. I don'...moreJeremy Chikalto and the Hazy Souls is the strangest book I have read this year. It's probably the strangest book I've read in the past 5 years. I don't even know how to describe what it's about so I'll just let the summary speak for itself. I like odd and strange, so believe me, this is not a downer when I say this. If odd is not your thing though, it might not be for you. This book was incredibly entertaining and thought provoking, although I'm sure I have no idea what half of the stuff in it was supposed to mean. It surprised me that it was so spiritual as well and I thought the idea of Mantel, a rival to God and Lucifer, was great (like I said, incredibly thought provoking). I can't wait until the next one. I actually caught myself with a real frowny face when I read it wasn't coming out until spring 2012.
Err...I have no idea if this book is supposed to be young adult or not, but since Jeremy and Maren are teens I'm going to put it there.(less)
For a volume in the series that is supposed to be predominantly mystery, this was entirely too predictable. At the same time, Gaia's "fearless" genes...moreFor a volume in the series that is supposed to be predominantly mystery, this was entirely too predictable. At the same time, Gaia's "fearless" genes and let's just say the plot and the way a lot of the characters act are becoming much too unbelievable. This was dissapointing. (less)
Elemental Reality was a wonderful, fun read. For a book about fae, it had a unique perspective that I really quite appreciated. Instead of dealing with evil faeries or summer court vs winter court, etc., the author here has decided to pit the fae against demons.
Another thing that made this book unique was the bond that Callie shared with her sister. They felt so much like friends, sometimes even more so than Callie and her two BFF's Ady and Emery. It was so refreshing to not have sibling rivalry. Okay, there's a little bit of that but it's more of a teasing relationship than a jealous hatred kind of rivalry. On the same note, Callie and Lola, although different ages also get to share the discovery that they are faeries as well as the training. Some of my favourite scenes from the book are when they are learning together, and working together to show the older adults what they are capable of. Also, I just have to say, Lola may be my favourite character. She is so loveable!
Then there is Oli, who Callie immediately falls in love with because,of their dazelling faerie bond! I will let you discover what that means for yourself. Oli is totally stunning and cute and has all these funny little Aussie terms he uses throughout the book. And Callie and Oli are totally right for each other.
The elemental powers that the faeries have are great too. I loved the way Cesya described them in detail and how they work. It was fascinating to see all the powers in action and made all the battles that happen between the demons and Callie's family all the more interesting.
My only dissappointment is that this book kept going in different directions and none in the directions I was expecting. Usually, that's a good thing because I like a surprise. However, I was already pretty won over by how unique all the faerie elements felt that I kind of just wanted the plot to stay the course instead of having more twists.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great blend of action, romance, sisterly love, and fantasy. It won me over on faeries, which I have been avoiding due to some terrible picks in the past. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installments.
My short review of the moment: This book was extremely predictable. Only one thing about it surprised me. Still, it was very entertaining and I r...more3.75/5
My short review of the moment: This book was extremely predictable. Only one thing about it surprised me. Still, it was very entertaining and I read it in no time at all. And I can really see the heart that went into what was written here. I've already requested Demonglass from the library.(less)
Seriously. Every moment of this book was pure momentum. It made me want more and more from...moreThis book was 486 pages long.
This book was NOT long enough.
Seriously. Every moment of this book was pure momentum. It made me want more and more from the very first page. And from the first page, Roth kept dishing it out. I couldn't stop and I didn't want to.
I am completely and utterly in love with Veronica Roth's dystopian society. Not just the writing of it, but what it is. Everyone lives in one of five factions, or segments, of society. Each of these factions having their own way of life based on a character trait that they feel is the most important one to live by. It is virtue in its most extreme manifestation. A virtue, that at age 16, a member of society must figure out where they belong.
The whole premise of it is so fascinating to me. The idea that what you believe and how you are able to process life is where you belong. It sounds comforting in a way. It also sounds scary in a way. Whatever faction you choose - that is where you belong and you should never have to question your place in society after you join them. They are supposed to take care of you, you are supposed to be given a role to contribute to society. It makes life sound easy. The society even goes so far as to have the motto "Faction over blood." You belong in a faction even more than you belong in a family - afterall, your family may not agree with the same lifestyle as you.
But as much as the ideals of the factions - of giving everyone a place in society, of making everyone feel like they fit in somewhere - appealed to me at first, Veronica Roth's main character "Tris" kept showing me how the society doesn't work. Because Tris is Divergent she could fit into more than one faction. It's a dangerous thing. Tris must find out why it's dangerous but the more she finds out, the more we realise why the society doesn't work.
This is just the beginning. Throughout the book Roth keeps throwing more and more at us. A scary leader, a possible love interest for Tris, tryouts and training, friends, enemies, lots of jumping off tall buildings and walking around dangerous places, characters that need to face their fears, conspiracies, tattoos everywhere, backstabbing, amazing technology, and probably a hundred other things I'm forgetting at the moment.
The world may be "dystopian" but it's a complicated one. Not just a break down of society, but beyond that, a whole new society. I loved having the insiders look at The Dauntless faction from Beatrice's fresh new eyes and hope to see much more of the other factions in the next two series books.
My enthusiasm for this book tops almost every other young adult book I've read this year - matching only Matched by Ally Condie and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It's fast paced, had me from the beginning, there was something magical about it from the first page, and is filled to the brim with discussion worthy, thought provoking ideas.
Way to go Veronica! Now, please magically insert Insurgent into my hands - I'm waiting...:)(less)
I saw this posted up on the Kindle group over at GoodReads. Science fiction isn’t normally something I am excited about and therefore is not something I am normally curious about when I come across suggestions or postings on little-known books within the genre. So it was a different experience for me to have this catch my eye. First, it’s title was something I was very curious about. What exactly is a Space Junque? What does it mean? And a paranormal space opera? What does that mean? For some reason there was something inside of me that just had to know. This little novella (or novelette) was cheap enough that I decided to take my chances.
Well I took my chances and believe I did alright with them. The story is intriguing. It follows a woman named Char and her journey from Earth into outer space on what turns out to be a grand adventure. The world is futuristic and much has changed from our current times. We get to see glimpses of the people (mutants, “ghosts”, DOGs, even gods and other spirit creatures) and politics (one world government) along the way and hear Char’s take on the way things are. The world is certainly a very interesting place and adds a lot to the story.
My little quibble with the world building here is that we don’t really get to hear enough these aspects. The author mentions them, we come into contact with characters that either are or know more about these things but they aren’t really explained. For example, Char mentions the “ghosts” quite frequently at the beginning of the story. She sees them and explains what they are doing. She is afraid of coming into contact with them. But if you asked me to tell you what the “ghosts” are after reading this story, I could not tell you. It’s never explained. As for the DOGs, we learn that they are terrorists, we come into contact with them, see how they operate, but the author either leaves out or forgets to explain what the acronym stands for.
Then there is the strong aspect of the story – the one that really kept me reading. Here’s Char’s social life, an unexpected romance, the mystery of what happened to Char’s twin sister Sky, and what appears to be the coming apocalypse on Earth. I’m not sure if it was the scandalous mysteries surrounding these aspects or the unfolding events which really brought them to life but this part of the story was just great. It is filled with action, twists, and turns that will keep you on your toes, flipping pages furiously until the very end.
As a few readers have said over on GoodReads, I wish this story was longer to make it more flushed out. But I also wish this story was longer just so I could keep reading. Despite my reservations about the world building I really did enjoy this little tale. Surely, I will be reading any sequels that come up in this series.(less)
Oh my. It seems like I'm giving up on books more and more lately. But after picking this up a second time from the library to see if I could finish it...moreOh my. It seems like I'm giving up on books more and more lately. But after picking this up a second time from the library to see if I could finish it, I have to admit to myself. I just don't get it. Not that I don't understand. I just don't see the point - for me, anyways. Most of the plot is nonexistent and any 'lesson' the book is trying to teach - well, I already learned those lessons in my four years majoring in anthropology. So what's left? I finally learned what people mean when they say 'life's too short to read books you don't like'. Now this seems kind of harsh. But seriously, it's just not for me. There's no getting around it this time. It didn't take me six weeks to read 100 pages for no reason!