Farley Hope is still dealing with the fallout of her mother's disappearance when Daniel, a mysteriously sexy guy, and the Reavers turn her world upside down. There is an entirely different world of super humans living beneath the city? Farley is a part of some ancient prophecy? What's a girl to do when all she wants is to find out what happened to her mother and get back to her normal life?
Sovereign Hope is definitely one of the best indies I've read this year and truthfully one of the best in the genre I've read in awhile. Mainstream YA has really let me down the past few years and it is a relief to read something where the characters and their reactions feel realistic and where the heroine doesn't play the damsel in distress. Farley may not be a sneaky ninja, an irresistible vamp, or an all-powerful slayer, but she still manages to contribute to the group. She doesn't just suddenly find out she has supernatural roots and become insta-cool. Her character arc shows that she has worked at and earned her badassery. And the best part is she remains relatable.
I'm not gonna lie, Daniel was what got me to start reading this and although I enjoyed the book for its many other assets, he really made the book for me. He's snarky, and sexy, and tries to keep his distance from Farley and not because, "he is no good for her," but because he can't let himself get to close without risking blowing things for himself. I guess what I'm trying to say here is it's not all about Farley. Too often the heroine dominates the book as far as importance. No other character could possibly be as important as her, she's a super special snowflake, blah blah blah. In Sovereign Hope Farley knows her worth and the worth of her comrades and doesn't take that for granted.
This was a nice start to a new series that has a lot of potential. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Eternal Hope to see what happens to Farley, Daniel, and their companions!
I was provided a review copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views stated above. All opinions are my own. ...more
Calder is enjoying himself in the Caribbean when he is abruptly called back to the shores of chilly Lake Superior by his sisters. Their blood calls them to avenge their mother, and it just so happens they finally found the man who can satisfy their blood lust. Calder is recruited to seduce Jason Hancock's daughter Lily in an attempt to gain his trust and get him alone on the water so his sisters can strike. Everything is going fine until Calder develops feelings for Lily and must fight between his emotions and his animal instincts, or risk losing the only warmth he has ever felt.
Murderous mermaids indeed! This dark take on possibly one of the most fanciful mythical creatures is breathtaking in its morbidity. Lies Beneath was a first for me in a couple of ways. First, it was my very first paranormal romance about mermaids. I hadn't yet taken the plunge into mermaid fiction as it seems to have been met with mixed reactions, but when I saw the cover for this one and read the blurb, I had to give it a go. As a friend recently pointed out to me, I tend to lean towards darker fantasy as opposed to fluffy fairy stories. With that in mind, this really was the perfect introduction to mermaids in popular fiction for me.
The other first that Lies Beneath presented me with was a first-person perspective, starring the male lead. I have read fathoms of paranormal romance from the perspective of the naive, human girl, but never have I come across a YA story told by the seductive otherworldly guy. A tale told by the predator has an entirely different tone. Had the narrative been more traditional, Calder's initial murderous intentions would have been unrelatable and could have very well made this more disturbing than darkly delightful. Thanks to Brown's foresight on this, you get to see their violently beautiful existence through his eyes, rather than discovering a completely alien way of life as experienced by another clueless teen.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Lies Beneath was that the author stayed away from the Disney incarnation of mermaids and even poked a bit of fun at Ariel. Brown seems to have molded her merpeople around the dangerous sirens found in Homer's The Odyssey; those tantalizing, yet vicious creatures who lured sailors to their deaths in the murky depths. Calder and his sisters thrive off of absorbed energy from humans they drag beneath the waves. Creepy? Oh yes, but the author's well developed mythology and vivid writing style make this a tale about how truly transformative love can be for the soul.
The only issue I had with this fantastic first title in the new YA series was that there were some continuity problems. Especially near the end of the novel when the hectic climax was in full-tilt, I found that certain events weren't explained enough or were just dropped entirely. I don't know whether this was because they will be expanded on in the coming sequel, or if the author lost sight of them during the frenzy and hoped readers wouldn't notice. Regardless Brown's writing style, while wonderfully depictive, reveals that it is still in need of development.
The Final Verdict An impressive debut that fans of dark fantasy will delight in.
FTC Disclosure I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for the views expressed above. All opinions are my own. ...more
Henry VIII is at the height of his reign and he's hungry like the wolf...
King Henry VIII is infamous for his ability to go through wives like dirty underwear with his fickle attentions and desire for a male heir. This book tells a tale untold until now.Henry's Europe is characterized as a land balancing precariously between human and demon kind. The Vatican acknowledges the existence of demons and even promotes their existence because, "..frightened people are more likely to attend church." Seriously, that's what they're going with. The Protektorate is an organization overseen by the Vatican that attempts to keep the demons in check to an extent, but in all honesty is pretty useless. Henry contracts lycanthropy and spends most of the book loping through England at night tearing into peasants with his great big teeth and hiding random body parts in his closet.
The title says it all, really I think readers will find an enormous lack of direction and misplaced humor. There are definitely some funny parts, but there are fairly few truly laughable moments. It is easy to see where the author tries to get a twisted laugh out of his reader and fails completely leading to much head shaking and exasperated sighing. I am a huge fan of dark humor, horror, and novel ideas. However in this case I just didn't like it. I think it is mostly because I have been incredibly spoiled by Christopher Moore and his fantastic books that mix dark humor, horror, and quirkiness superbly while still offering the reader an emotionally charged plot. His stories make you question just how fucked up your sense of humor actually is one minute and then show you that no matter how dark it gets, there is always heart at the center of it. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a method to Mr. Moore's madness, whereas Henry VIII: Wolfman is just mad.
The pages of this book are soaked with blood and guts. I can get into that for zombies and the like, but when it comes to cracking jokes during the graphic slaughtering of children, I tend to be revolted. At one point, wolfman Henry digs up the grave of a recently deceased child, pulls of its head and limbs, and buries his snout in the gaping neck hole to feast. This is all after sinking his teeth into the ample breasts of the dead child's mother and ripping them off of her while she screams in agony. I am in no way debating morals here, I have read and enjoyed many a blood fest with novels like Z.A. Recht's Plague of the Dead and darkly humorous tales like Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. If you can write your gore and humor with a satisfying storyline I commend you, it just doesn't happen here.
I won't lie though, the reading experience wasn't entirely unenjoyable. The text is well written and for all its sillyness keeps your reading at a brisk pace. I was brought to tears laughing at two different parts because of how absolutely ridiculous they were. That was honestly the thing that kept me reading, the twisted desire to see what crazy thing the author would come up with next. After all my criticisms for this book I did have the pleasure of reading the best irreverent death scene ever. I almost feel like bearing with the rest of the book is worth it just to read the death by fat ass scene. Don't have a cushion to smother your poor suffering patient with? Have the fattest man in the room sit on his face. Genius. I honestly mean that.
So Wicked reader, are you confused? Are you wondering right now "Did she like it or not?" The only answer I can give you is this. I didn't enjoy the story so much as I enjoyed the way it fucked with my head. I'm giving it 2.5 stars because of the butt death scene and because this book made me really think about what I liked in a book and how far someone can mess with historical accuracy before I stop taking it seriously. And that brings me to my final advice about this book. Don't take it seriously, enjoy the insane, twisted ride it takes you on. If you are not into the darker side of fiction, this is probably not the book for you. However if you enjoy a good mind fuck now and then, I suggest you give Henry VIII: Wolfman a read. And then tell me what you thought because I am dying to discuss this book with someone. ...more
Allison Sekemoto has spent her life surviving day to day in the Fringe of New Covington, a sprawling vampire city. When she is ravaged by rabids, Kagawa's version of zombies, she is given a choice between death and becoming what she hates most.
This first book in the Blood of Eden series was a likeable read that fell a bit short of my expectations. The idea of mixing dsytopia with vampires caught my interest right away, but while The Immortal Rules is set in the future, it's dystopian aspects mirror another popular series a bit too closely. The beginning of this book is very similar to The Morgainville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. Vampires have contracted with humans to provide them with protection, food, and work in their cities in exchange for keeping the vamps supplied with blood. The exact same statement can be made for Caine's YA vampire series, except the vampires' power extends to the boundaries of the city of Morganville. There is also another key element to Kagawa's vampire lore that is also exactly the same in Caine's series, but it is a spoiler for both so I won't discuss it here. The likenesses between The Immortal Rules and The Morganville Vampires series will be painfully obvious to fans of the latter. This could have ruined the book for me, but thankfully the core structure of the dystopian element isn't the focus of the novel. The story Kagawa tells once Allison leaves the city is one worth reading.
Once Allison gets past New Covington, the story becomes more unique and enjoyable. She spends some time surviving in the outside world alone for a time, but it isn't long before Allison meets up with a wayward group looking for the legendary Eden, a sanctuary for humans devoid of vampires and the threats they bring. This was by far my favorite part of the book. Allison is constantly covering up her vampire nature as she tries to maintain her tenuous alliance with the people and their formidable "man of God" leader. I definitely bonded with these characters and experienced some heart-wrenching moments throughout their journey.
Allison is a breath of fresh air in the YA heroine category. She isn't your average sweet, but misunderstood, pretty princess. Allison begins her journey by becoming what she most hates and proceeds on a progressive and satisfying character arc. This girl is tough and often times stoic in her need to disguise her nature. The best part about her is there is not once an instance of whiny, pathetic damsel in distress syndrome! She is hardly perfect, but she soldiers on and doesn't rely on others to save the day. I'm looking forward to future books staring this badass, lone wolf heroine.
My only complaint about Allison? There is a scene at the beginning of the book that was so cliche I cringed. Allison's vampire sire asks her to pick a weapon from an abandoned museum and what does she pick without fail? Of course! the Asian girl picks a katana as her weapon of choice even though she has no identification with or knowledge of her Japanese heritage. Given, a katana is a generally perfect weapon of choice for any situation, I thought this was just way too obvious and was left shaking my head.
Finally, the book's version of zombies suffer from an unfortunate title. Rabids and rabidism remind me too much of Raving Rabbids.
I couldn't help but imagine a bunch of these crazy cute little guys every time the "rabids" appeared in the book, regardless of their vicious and frightening natures. This is obviously hardly the author's fault, it was just something that messed with my overall enjoyment.
The Final Verdict
The Immortal Rules is a decent start to a new and exciting dystopian series. While the painful similarities to The Morgainville Vampires series are unfortunate and a bit off-putting, the characters, running plot, and lethal heroine will keep readers coming back for more. This could be the start of something beautiful if Kagawa keeps up the excellent character writing and puts a more unique spin on her dystopian world.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for stating any of the above views. All opinions are my own. ...more
I need to clear something up in response to all the negative reviews.
This is not a book you can read without having read the first one! The world is intricate and fantastic just like any other deep fantasy book. The Ice Song books are also very dark and at times strange, but no less beautiful for these elements' existence. If that is not something you are into, and you are not a fan of deep fantasy then you probably won't like this book. So before you make a harsh 2 star or lower judgment on it, I suggest you take the time to read book 1, it is only fair to this amazing author's hard work.
With that out of the way,Tattoo is a beautiful follow up book. The characters and the morbidly beautiful world are just as wonderful and developed as you remember them. My only complaint is that the plot wasn't as well fleshed out as Ice Song. I felt like book one had a solid plot. We knew what the objective was and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. In book two, it is less clear what exactly is the objective. Soryk wants his own life free from his primary Sorykah who just wants to live a quiet life with her children.
Readers get a better understanding of some of the supporting characters like Sidra the Lovely and Dunya the dog-faced girl. We also get lessons in some of the more concrete mythology of the world. I found these aspects very enjoyable and a nice distraction from the uncertainty of the major plot line.
Overall, it is worth a read for those who have read the first book. Laying the groundwork for other prospective installments, Tattoo will continue your journey through this vividly strange world. ...more
I figure I will just have to explain my feelings about this book without including anything that actually happened. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't yet read A Clash of Kings. It is better just to experience it for yourselves. Actually I would even recommend not reading the descriptions of the books in this series you are not immediately about to read, otherwise you won't be able to sleep until you find out exactly what happened.
This series pulls me in deeper and deeper with ever page. The characters have become as real to me as my own friends and the need to find out what happens to each and everyone of them is overwhelmingly intense. George R.R. Martin has indeed set a new standard for epic fantasy.
When I began reading this series, it was out of an almost obsessive need to find out more about the world I was viewing in the HBO adaptation. Now, as I move on to book 3, this obsession has become a full on love affair. I hold my least favorite characters close to me in pure hatred just as much as I hold my favorite characters to me in deep adoration. Even the slowest parts of these books hold interest for me as they are an opportunity for deeper insight. Honestly I'm almost convinced George R.R. Martin fell into a portal one day that shot him out into the land of Westeros. I can't see how he would be able to come up with a world this intricate with characters as complex any other way. ...more
I started reading this book because I wanted to have more information on the characters and events of the HBO series, Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the show and felt it stayed pretty true to the book all for a few inconsequential scenes. While reading the book, I got a look into what the characters were thinking and feeling when they made their big decisions and went through their coming of age trials. I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
Now, setting aside the HBO series altogether. This is the start of what I can only refer to as Epic Fantasy. I have many good memories of my childhood days of adventuring in Narnia, accompanying a hobbit to the dragon's lair, and racing across icy battlefields on polar bears with a brave young girl. All these wonderful experiences reading brought me as a child came rushing back as I read through A Game of Thrones. The characters are so real you can't help but love certain ones entirely and hate others bitterly. You can't help but hold your breath in fear at their trials and cry out in victory for their triumphs.
Each chapter is told from a different point of view, focusing on one main character or another, giving us deep insights into their inner workings. This style brings the reader so much closer to the story, connecting them to the characters and making them as real as their loved ones.
This first book can be slow at times, but I believe that is mostly due to the fact that this is the first book, and the author is trying to establish a relationship between reader and character. He is trying to pull us into this lush, wonderful world before he truly shows us the big guns.
The next installment, A Clash of Kings, promises to be insanely epic. This is one girl who has fallen for fantasy all over again. ...more
A stunning conclusion to an overall completely enthralling series.
Mac's story is the most impressive example of character development I have come across to date.I began the series utterly disgusted with her selfish, narcissistic attitude and ended it cheering for the strong, and capable woman she had become. I will always have my issues with her, e.g. her insistence that southern woman are better than woman from any other region of the U.S., however I have accepted that, that particular quirk is just part of who she is.
I think the Fever series is the perfect example of why a series should be concise and limited to a reasonable number of volumes. There was an excellent set-up and each book had its individual tale to tell that contributed to the larger underlying plot. I like having the series wrap up nicely in one 5 book package. Some of these series that go on for ten, twenty, or even thirty plus books are wearing on me with each volume contributing little to nothing to the overall value of the series. Moning and Richelle Mead seem to understand what I need in a series, and that is a foreseeable, epic conclusion. ...more
Bloodfever, is the continuing story of MacKayla Lane and her search for revenge against the one who murdered her beloved older sister Alina. Teamed with Jericho Barrons, Mac has become an OOP (object of power) detector with the ultimate goal of finding the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient faery Hallow that Alina requested Mac find in a frantic voicemail that would be her final message.
Most of the story takes place in Dublin, Ireland, but there is also an OOP seeking trip to Wales and a surprising siesta in the world of Faery. The very sexy Seelie prince V'lane returns for this fast paced, dark urban fantasy.
To be perfectly honest, when I began the series I was not a fan of the lead female character Mac. She was a spoiled, shallow, self-absorbed person that made me think, "Do I really want to read something where the main character is so vain?" I almost didn't finish Darkfever because I was so put off, but her character progresses throughout the first book enough to keep me interested in the second. The second book is where Mac makes some real change. I was really impressed with how she has taken her frightening situation and made the most out of it. The responsibility of handling the Spear, another Hallow, and taking over Barrons's store has really given her a chance to blossom.
I enjoyed reading this installment in the series and barely noticed flipping pages. When the end came I was so surprised I had finished it as fast as I did. I guess it just takes a great book to make you forget the time. ...more
Oh Eugenie how I've missed you! After some disappointment from the last installment Thorn Queen, which tended to be a bit slow and not quite as compelling as the first, Iron Crowned really delivers the magic of the first book.
Shaman to the human world and Otherworldly heir of Storm King, Eugenie Markham returns with this epic quest for the Iron Crown. In an attempt to end the war begun by Dorian's punishment of Eugenie's rapist, Eugenie and Kiyo set out on a journey to claim the crown her father failed to reach. The crown's reputation will supposedly make the rival Rowan Land bow down before her, however there is more to it than she originally thinks.
Iron Crowned is definitely worth the year long wait. Packed full of action, sex, and intense plot twists, this installment of the Dark Swan series does not disappoint. The only real complaint I have is that the love triangle is really getting to me. Eugenie really hops between Dorian and Kiyo like nobody's business! Nearing the end, I just wanted to throw in the towel on both of them, but Dorian seems to redeem himself a tad towards the end. Can't wait for the next one! This is one series I need closure on and enjoy following immensely. ...more
A decent follow up to the first, but not quite as good. Maybe it's just because one of my Goodreads buddies spoiled it completely for me so there wereA decent follow up to the first, but not quite as good. Maybe it's just because one of my Goodreads buddies spoiled it completely for me so there were no surprises. I still enjoyed it very much, but I didn't feel like it deserved a fourth star. I was still irritated throughout the entire book with Rose's attitude and childishness. I am very glad that Mead added the events she did to mature Rose, so hopefully I will be happier with the next book. ...more
Not the best installment in the series, but it certainly didn't put me off of the series. Ink Exchange was definitely sexier than Wicked Lovely but thNot the best installment in the series, but it certainly didn't put me off of the series. Ink Exchange was definitely sexier than Wicked Lovely but the former's character lacked the same depth of the latter's. Seth and Aislinn were portrayed like people I would know and love, but I didn't feel the same for Leslie and her beaus even though Leslie was dealing with some really dark stuff. I will move on to the next in the series, but this one follows the old trend of the 2nd in the series is always the weakest. ...more
Really great. Cassandra Clare creates a very believable, almost tangiable Victorian London. The connections and parralles betweeSpectacular Steampunk!
Really great. Cassandra Clare creates a very believable, almost tangiable Victorian London. The connections and parralles between this series and TMI are apparant and help the reader to familiarize themselves with the revamped, (or is it devamped...) Shadowhunter world. Tessa is a little flat for me, but I think that is because she isn't really sure who she is yet
I loved Jem, but had a little trouble liking Will. Not because of any character develpment issues, but he is just so confusing! Really interested to see where the chracter goes.
I do have to say after reading this first book I prefer her Mortal Instruments series which I didn't expect due to my love for Steampunk. However I believe that future installments will help me love this series. We shall see......more