I won a copy of this book in a giveaway contest hosted by the publisher.
After reading the first installment of this series, Poison Princess, I was eagI won a copy of this book in a giveaway contest hosted by the publisher.
After reading the first installment of this series, Poison Princess, I was eager to continue along with these characters to see where their adventure would lead next. The story is about a Southern teen named Evie Green who discovers that she has supernatural powers after an apocalyptic event called the Flash has wiped out most of modern civilization. Evie is actually an Arcana called the Empress, based on the characters represented on Tarot cards. She discovers that she will have to literally fight for her life in a battle to the death with all of the other Arcana cards. In her quest to find her grandmother, an Arcana chronicler, in an attempt to learn more about her alter-ego, Evie teams up with Jackson Deaveaux, a handsome, non-Arcana, Cajun bad-boy. Along the way Evie and Jackson form an alliance with other Arcana teens in hopes of surviving these deadly games. Not only do they have to contend with extreme conditions, such as the fact that there are Bagmen (zombie-like creatures) and cannibals just lying in wait to kill them, but Evie is being actively pursued by Death, the reigning champion of these games. While her feelings for Jackson grow stronger by the day, Evie cannot helped but be confused by Death's threats and his thinly-veiled desire for her.
While I have really enjoyed this series so far, I struggle to give it a higher rating than 3*. I like the characters and I like the action, especially when Evie goes into Empress-mode, but the writing and the dialogue is just okay. I have to keep in mind that this is a YA book, but I have a hard time stomaching words like "dafuq" and all the talk about Death staring at her rear when she is in a life-or-death situation. That said, I think it is a fun series and I have enjoyed the story so far. I will most likely read the next book in the series to find out how the games end...and who Evie chooses to be with. ...more
Once again Graham Joyce has managed to completely captivate me and draw me in! Dark Sister is a tale of a marriage torn apart by dark, unseen forces.Once again Graham Joyce has managed to completely captivate me and draw me in! Dark Sister is a tale of a marriage torn apart by dark, unseen forces. What seems at first to be an innocent discovery of an ancient book hidden in the fireplace, turns out to be the beginning of a mystical, and at times nightmarish journey for Maggie and her family. The book seems to beckon to Maggie to read its pages and unlock its hidden secrets. What begins as a hobby, quickly takes a turn towards a darker, more malevolent force that seeks to use Maggie as a vessel for a long dormant magic.
I was intrigued throughout by the magical forces of the ancient book and Maggie's newfound "talents," but the characters themselves were less than endearing. Maggie and her husband, Alex, were incredibly selfish - only caring about their own desires and agendas - and their poor children were treated as pawns in a game of strategy. I suppose this is not unlikely in many troubled marriages, but it was difficult to read about what those children endured as a direct result of their mother's misguided foray into the dark arts and their father's quest to get revenge on their mother. Despite the crass and selfish, behavior of Maggie and Alex, I still couldn't blame them entirely for their behavior because I believe so much of that was a result of the dark forces that Maggie unknowingly unleashed into their world.
As I've come to expect, Graham Joyce is a master storyteller with an uncanny ability to unlock the Pandora's box of his readers' imaginations!...more
Wow! Definitely my favorite of the series so far! There were times I wanted to throw the book across the room, and other times that I literally shouteWow! Definitely my favorite of the series so far! There were times I wanted to throw the book across the room, and other times that I literally shouted in horror or glee. I really enjoyed the plot twists in the lives of Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Sansa in this book. I can't wait to read the next one in this series!...more
The magical visual imagery of the circus and the love story between dueling magicians pitted against one another in a fateful test of skill set the stThe magical visual imagery of the circus and the love story between dueling magicians pitted against one another in a fateful test of skill set the stage for a dreamy and memorable read! Morgenstern's descriptions of the circus ran through my head as though I were watching the story unfold on a movie screen. I could picture the elegant white, black, and grey hues of the circus and its performers, as well as the splashes of red in the scarves of the reveurs. The descriptions were so vivid that I could picture myself walking amongst the black-and-white striped tents on a crisp fall night, anticipating each new and unimaginable sight that awaited me around the bend. I could smell the sweetness of caramel apples mingling with the smoky fragrance of the ever-burning bonfire. I was swept away by the star-crossed romance between Marco and Celia, and was left yearning to know more about their fates. I would highly reccommend this book to anyone who enjoys books that sweep you off your feet and transport you to a magical place that exceeds the realm of possibility.
I'm really enjoying this series! These books are fun and perfect for light summer reading. This series is like an edgier version of Twilight with a heI'm really enjoying this series! These books are fun and perfect for light summer reading. This series is like an edgier version of Twilight with a headstrong female character who makes Bella look like a snivelling wuss. Can't wait to read more of this series!...more
I was completely surprised at how quickly and deeply I fell in love with this story and the characters within. The author's delicious descriptions ofI was completely surprised at how quickly and deeply I fell in love with this story and the characters within. The author's delicious descriptions of Vianne's chocolate concoctions enveloped me in a dreamy, sugar-coated haze through which I became acquainted with the townspeople of Lansquenet, France and their need to break free from the stiff confines of religious tradition and hypocrisy. Armed with only chocolate and generosity, Vianne and her daughter Anouk become the catalysts of long-overdue change and reconciliation that the little town so desperately needs. The imagery of sweets and the touches of magical realism in this story reminded me very much of a Sarah Addison Allen novel. I became so fond of the characters within this story that it felt as though I were saying goodbye to my dear friends as I read the final words of the bittersweet ending of this book. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who has a penchant for all things sweet and endearing....more
**spoiler alert** This book was a breath-taking, sweeping family saga that gripped my heart from the very beginning and did not let go until the very**spoiler alert** This book was a breath-taking, sweeping family saga that gripped my heart from the very beginning and did not let go until the very last page! This is definitely going on my list of all-time favorite books! The story starts off with young Lakshmi who grows up poor with a hard-working mother and an absent father. In hopes for securing a brighter future for her daughter, Lakshmi's mother promises her hand in marriage to a man whom she is told is incredibly wealthy and respected. Lakshmi quickly finds out that her mother was duped, but she makes the decision to accept her lot in life and do her best to assure that her children will not have to live a life of poverty and hardship. Her best efforts are laid waste however by the Japanese invasion that claims the life of her precious daughter, Mohini. From that point on, the lives of Lakshmi, her husband, her children, and grandchildren are forever lived in the shadow of this horrendous tragedy. It is not until Lakshmi's great-granddaughter Nisha begins to uncover the shocking truths of her family do the shadows of the past finally begin to recede. I am simply amazed that this beautifully crafted story of family ties, deceit, and betrayal is the debut novel of the author Rani Manicka. I have not read any of her other books, but I can imagine that she struggled to reach the high expectations that this book must have set for all of her future writings. ...more
This book definitely exceeded my expectations! I hadn't planned on reading it, but when I came across a hardcover copy of it for $3.99 at Borders I coThis book definitely exceeded my expectations! I hadn't planned on reading it, but when I came across a hardcover copy of it for $3.99 at Borders I couldn't resist. This was a very charming and easy read!...more
I was so sad that this book had to come to an end! The Gargoyle is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. The book starts off with a veI was so sad that this book had to come to an end! The Gargoyle is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. The book starts off with a very graphic description of the narrator's car accident. It was so graphic that I actually cringed and even thought about quitting the book entirely. I decided not to put the book aside, and I'm so glad that I didn't. What follows is an intense and moving story of self-discovery and endless love that will leave you yearning for more. The modern-day story of the narrator's struggles with his burn treatments and recovery, and his growing addiction with morphine, is interwoven with Marianne's story of thier lives together as lovers in 14th century Germany. Throughout his recovery, Marianne also tells him haunting stories about true love and loss that take place in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England. This book was a beautifully and skillfully written work of art, and well-deserving of the five-star rating I gave it. ...more
I have had this sitting on my shelf for a while now, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. When I heard the movie was coming to theaters next month,I have had this sitting on my shelf for a while now, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. When I heard the movie was coming to theaters next month, I knew I shouldn't put it off any longer. So glad I finally read it! Beautiful Creatures is told from the perspective of Ethan Wate, a teenage boy living in a small town in Gatlin County, SC. Having recently lost his mother, and living with an emotionally detached father, Ethan desperately wants to leave his small town and painful memories behind - until a new girl moves into the house of the town recluse. Lena Duchannes is the niece of Macon Ravenwood, the town's own Boo Radley, whom many have heard of but few have seen. Needless to say, Lena is shunned by everyone at her new school - everyone except Ethan, who feels an inexplicable connection with her. As hostility towards Lena grows, so do Ethan's feelings for this mysterious new girl whose emotions can stir up a torrential downpour or implode windows seemingly out of nowhere. As Ethan and Lena become closer, Ethan finds out that Lena's family is not like other families, and she is counting down the days to her sixteenth birthday when her life will be changed forever. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the relationship between Ethan and Lena. I thought theirs was a sweet and innocent love story. I am most looking forward to seeing how their relationship evolves throughout the rest of the series. I liked the parallel of the love story of Genevieve and Ethan Carter Wate during the Civil War and Lena and Ethan in the present. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Ravenwood Manor and how the house changed to fit the mood. I am anxious to see how the house's magical qualities are manifested in the movie adaptation....more