**spoiler alert** Melissa Marr hits it out of the park again in this book that took everyone – herself, her publisher, and her fans, as she was not sc...more**spoiler alert** Melissa Marr hits it out of the park again in this book that took everyone – herself, her publisher, and her fans, as she was not scheduled to release this year – by great surprise. What’s not so surprising is that if this book had any amount of graphic sex in it, it would be shelved in the paranormal adult romance section. It doesn’t, making it both appropriate and perhaps a tad disappointing for readers 16+. What it doesn’t have in sex, it makes up for in spades with magic and witchcraft, casual and purposeful violence, harsh emotional realities, and that romantic and sexual tension that can only be created by two people destined to be on opposing teams while being together. When you’re introduced to a centuries-old battle between witches and daimons, what else can you expect?
**Spoiler alert! Plot discussed!**
Mallory is, unknown to her, the missing daughter of Marchosias, ruler of the daimon world. Hidden for 17 years by her birth mother, Selah, a daimon Watcher, and her adopted father, Adam, a very powerful witch, in the Earth realm, Mallory was raised to hate and fight against daimons. Adam has used his magic to keep her from knowing her true daimon self, and that she is why they keep moving so often. He also uses magic to erase her memory of fighting the daimons Marchosias has sent looking for her, and that the new boy, the first boy, she has ever liked, is in fact Kaleb, a cur from the daimon realm, a part-time assassin hired to discover Mallory’s whereabouts, and one of the final contestants in the fight-to-the-death competition held at the Carnival of Souls. Once he does meet Mallory, the game changes, as they are both unprepared for the connection they have.
Kaleb recognizes Mallory as his mate, and when Adam goes missing in the daimon realm, Kaleb will stop at nothing – even aligning himself with Aya, the half-witch, half-daimon child of Evelyn, head of the Council of Witches, and Aya’s familiar, the daimon Belias – to help Mallory travel to the daimon realm, explore her daimon nature, stand up to her birth father Marchosias, and save her adopted father Adam.
I can’t help but be reminded of the machinations of the ruling families during the bloodiest years of European history, and half expect to see these twisted plot lines in a Showtime series like The Tudors someday. Earth vs. daimon realm, witches vs. daimons, parents vs. children, love vs. hate – all face off in Melissa Marr’s newest book, first in what is sure to be a trilogy or series.(less)
The best way to describe this book is The Breakfast Club meets zombie slasher flick - and if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you should read...moreThe best way to describe this book is The Breakfast Club meets zombie slasher flick - and if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you should read it anyway for a surprisingly funny teen romance/adventure. Bobby, formerly of the UK, then the US, now back to the UK, is frustrated, sad, lonely, pissy, and SO very tired of her perky classmates on the pre-school year ski trip. When everyone gets off the bus at a rest stop on the way home, Bobby stays on-board, and unfortunately, so does Smitty, the class "rebel-without-a-cause". This turns out to be a good thing when their entire class turns into a bunch of raving zombies, and it's up to the two of them, plus a few other stragglers, to save both themselves and the rest of the world.
The who-dunnit twist at the end needs a little bit more (lead-up? explanation? context?), but ties up some loose plot points nicely. The writing manages to keep pace throughout the plot, amping up the action and the tension with each short chapter. A relatively breezy read, Bobby & Smitty's banter breaks up the suspense, while Alice (the popular cheerleader) and Pete (the brain) play helpful supporting roles. For a cleverly-written romp through the Scottish countryside, I highly recommend this, dare I say it?, teen zombie adventure.(less)
Irreverent and hysterical, Croak tells the surprisingly believable story of the Grim Reaper. Or Reapers, to be precise, as there’s a whole group of Gr...moreIrreverent and hysterical, Croak tells the surprisingly believable story of the Grim Reaper. Or Reapers, to be precise, as there’s a whole group of Grims, and Lex Bartleby’s Uncle Mort is the head of them all. Shipped off to upstate New York to “milk cows or something,” Lex is surprised to find out she’s actually a Grim apprentice – and more than that, she’s the best Grim apprentice anyone’s ever seen. But when someone starts using the Grim powers to Kill people who haven’t yet died, Lex is torn – they’re killing bad people, like murderers, who Lex secretly wishes were dead, but it’s also an unforgivable use of Grim powers. As Lex and her friends get closer to uncovering who is doing this, she struggles harder with the question of whether to join the rouge Grim or turn them in.(less)