I've heard so many good things about the various series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I decided it was about...moreOriginally published on Once Upon a Bookcase
I've heard so many good things about the various series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I decided it was about time I gave her a go myself. I picked Obsidian because it had been raved about, it had a hot alien, and it the main character is a book blogger. Sold! And wow, this book is awesome!
Katy has moved to West Virginia with her Mum. It's the last place she wanted to go; she's not too keen on being the new girl in such a small town. She tries to make friends with her next door neighbours before school starts, and that's when she meets him. Daemon. The most arrogant, insulting - not to mention smoking hot - guy she has ever met. His sister, Dee, is adorable, and they become close friends. But Katy can't stand Daemon - yet can't help being drawn to him. When he stops time to save her life, she discovers a secret: he and Dee are aliens. Aliens with enemies. And he's just put a trace on her, alien mojo making her shine brighter than Times Square. Now the Arum are after her. So Katy now has to spend a whole lot more time around Daemon. What a bummer...
SO GOOD! Oh my god, it's ridiculous how good this book is! It's the first YA book I've read with actual aliens, and so it was quite a new idea for me. The fact that Katy - Kat - is a book blogger was just awesome! When she first starts questioning what's going on with Daemon and Dee, being a fan of paranormal novels, she goes to what she knows. It's hilarious when she asks Daemon if he's a vampire, and he replies with such derision that he is definitely not a vampire. But it's awesome, because she's thinking about what she's read, and what could possibly be happening, and it just makes the book feel so much more real. As a book blogger, you can't help thinking as you read, "She's like me! She reads! She blogs! SHE'S GOT AN ALIEN LIVING NEXT DOOR!" Of course, it's fiction, but it makes it all the more believable that maybe... just maybe us normal people could have something exciting waiting for us round the corner. I must be honest and say that sometimes, she does make book blogging sound a little ridiculous. Her obsession with her blog just seems over done to me. I love my blog, and I work hard at it. But I don't compare huge, terrible events to that time when I couldn't go to that book event. Nor do I act like an addict needing a hit when I'm unable to blog for a while. It was just a bit much sometimes. There isn't too much focus on the blogging though, overall, so I could forgive those moments for the general awesomeness of the book.
Daemon is just so awesome. I swear, when it comes to bad boys, I've not read a character that is as rude or insulting as Daemon. And yet... although he's a flirty guy and quite arrogant, you can tell his rudeness is all an act. He's fighting what he feels, and you can tell. Some of the things he does are really quite out of order, and there were times when I was thinking, "Oh my god, you did not just do that!" But really, underneath it all, he's a guy who loves his sister, and wants more than anything to keep her safe. Because those Arum will stop at nothing to steal their abilities and kill them, and Kat is putting them all in danger. And this has also got to be the steamiest YA novel I've read, and I'm not just talking sexual tension, although there is a lot of that! It doesn't go too far, but further than I was expecting.Seriously though, how a girl is supposed to resist Daemon Black, I just do not know.
The action in this book is phenomenal. Normally, when there are abilities involved, there's not much proper fighting that you're aware of, and some of the time, it's like that in this book. But there are other times when it does get really physical, and god, you wonder how on earth there could possibly be a sequel! Those Arum are quite a violent bunch. They're kind of scary.
There were times, at first, when Obsidian reminded me of Twilight. The hot guy who is aloof and rude, who tells you you shouldn't be near him, and yet is always there. The sister who is bubbly and friendly. The girl who hates your guts as soon as she lays eyes on you. And all of them sitting together in the cafeteria, in a school where they are held in awe, and yet avoided. Sound similar? At first I wondered if it was going to be a kind of Twilight spoof. Yet, as the story really gets going, they just seem like minor coincidences, because it ends up being really quite different. There is even a references to Twilight at one point, when Kat asks Daemon if he's all sparkly, and the disdain in his voice is just awesome!
Such an incredible book! I'm already reading Onyx, the second book in the Lux series, and it's awesome! I will definitely be reading more of Armentrout in the future. Unbelievably good!(less)
As I said in my review of Obsidian, I bought this book when I was not far from the end of the previous book,...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
As I said in my review of Obsidian, I bought this book when I was not far from the end of the previous book, so I could dive right in when I was done. And dive I did. I have to say, Onyx is probably better than the last.
Starting a few days after Obsidian ends, Daemon has had a change of heart when it comes to Kat. He has decided he doesn't hate her, but wants to be with her. Kat isn't convinced what he feels is real, putting it down to the strange connection that was formed between them when he healed her. She fights his every attempt, and fights her own feelings, but Daemon won't be put off. Kat can't stay away from him though; with the strange connection came uncontrollable abilities, and she's moving things without thought.
Then Blake arrives at school and causes friction, sparking jealousy in Daemon when he shows an interest in Kat. But Blake is aware of her new abilities and can explain what's been happening. His help becomes paramount when people from the Department of Defense arrive and start poking their nose into things. She needs to be able to control her powers, so as not to draw the DOD's attention. To keep everyone safe.
But not everyone is safe. Because Kat has seen someone who is supposed to be dead. Being alive is scary news for them all. People have been lying, and danger is creeping nearer.
Oh my god, I love this series! Daemon can be a bit of an idiot, but for the most part, he's really trying in Onyx. He's finally succumbed to his feelings for Kat, and wants to be with her, but she simply doesn't believe it's real. He tries so hard to convince her, but she's so stubborn and just won't listen. Despite the few times control slips and they end up in each other's arms. Oh yes, the heat gets hotter! With the arrival of Blake, tension rises. Daemon doesn't trust him, and it's more than just jealousy. Seeing him so protective of Kat is just the most awesome thing; it's so sweet, and it's so obvious how he feels for her is genuine. He's like an avenging angel, exuding anger, on the edge of immense violence. It's perfect!
The action in this book is cranked right up. There are several times in this book when lives are at risk, and I can't count the number of times I was sitting on the edge of my seat, thinking, "ohmygodohmygodohmygod!" This is not a series where everyone is automatically safe, just because they're one of the predominant characters. Things go seriously bad in more than one occasion, and it hits you like a fist in the gut. It's fast paced and exhilarating. And yet, very emotional.
This is a very emotional book, and all emotions are heightened, because the danger is so real. It's not that people could potentially die, but if certain people find out about secrets that should stay hidden, then people will die. It won't be just the romance and the sexual tension that will keep you gripped, but the thriller aspect. You really don't know what's going to happen. The DOD are not predictable. Right along with the other characters, your fear, your hope, your sadness are all desperate. There are moments that are absolutely heartbreaking, and I was so full of overwhelming shock and anguish. And then there was the end, where adrenaline was running through me as I was reading the last few pages, unable to read fast enough, but so freaking scared and excited about what was to come. It was huge. There was so many huge moments in this book. And no-one, literally no-one is safe - you can't take it for granted that those you love will be there at the end of the series.
An absolutely incredible book! I am absolutely itching to get my hands on the third book and carry on with this story. Armentrout has definitely found herself a huge fan in me, and I am desperate to read everything she writes!(less)
Having loved everything I've read previously that has Levithan's name attached to it, I dived in to Invisibi...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
Having loved everything I've read previously that has Levithan's name attached to it, I dived in to Invisibility expecting to feel my usual awe and amazement. However, I have to say Invisibility disappointed me.
At first, before Stephen and Elizabeth start trying to find out the cause of Stephen's invisibility, the story wasn't too bad. There was some romance, there were the looks and some of the beautiful sentences from Levithan on love. It wasn't brilliant, but I could feel the potential. I wasn't as emotionally invested in the characters as much as I normally am. I guess I was expecting things more along the lines of Every Day, but once Millie showed up, the whole feel of the story changed and I enjoyed it a whole lot less.
I can't say exactly why, but once the story started digging into curses, discovering cursecasters and spellseekers, and Stephen's magical family history, the story lost me. Fantasy is usually my thing, but it all seemed a little over the top, and unbelievable to me. For example, some of the "terrible" things that curses can do, despite causing death, didn't seem that terrible. And it simply didn't interest me. And considering this is a stand alone novel, the way it ended was baffling.
I was expecting Levithan's awesome style, that tends to get me thinking and having minor epiphanies, to shine through. There are glimpses of it around the beginning of the book, but I think this particular plot hides it. There's so much going on, there isn't as much introspection as I'm used to in Levithan's novels.
Sadly, Invisibility wasn't really my cup of tea, which is a shame. However, please read other reviews before deciding not to read it. It may not have been for me, but you still might really enjoy it.
This edition was published in 2013, but I'm saying I read it in 2012 so it doesn't count towards the total of books I read this year, as I'm not rerea...moreThis edition was published in 2013, but I'm saying I read it in 2012 so it doesn't count towards the total of books I read this year, as I'm not rereading it.
To read my review of the book here, of the UK hardback edition.(less)
You should all know by now that I am a huge fan of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, but I was even more e...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
You should all know by now that I am a huge fan of Brigid Kemmerer's Elemental series, but I was even more eager to read Secret, especially after the revelation in Breathless about Nick's sexuality - and Kemmerer's guest post for my LGBTQ YA Month about Nick. I am so happy to say it's just as awesome as the others in the series, but also extremely powerful!
Nick has difficulty dealing with his sexuality. He is so worried that his brothers would turn against him if they found out, it stresses him out so much. He spends most of the book dreading them finding out anything, when he takes a break from thinking about Adam. Nick's relationship with Adam is cute, but in some ways, both guys are tentative. Adam is confident and completely comfortable with his sexuality, but he's had bad experiences with relationships in the past, and so he's a little wary. With Nick, he's never been with a guy in any way before Adam, and despite how much he likes him, it throws him off balance. What is he supposed to do? I wanted to give him a hug so much; he has such a lot going on in his head, and he just seems a completely different Nick from who we see in all the other books. He's insecure, and fear and doubt cloud him.
I have to say, I didn't like Adam as much as I did when reading Breathless. I can't say exactly what it is, he's not a bad guy, I just didn't really warm to him. It's kind of like having a friend who gets a boyfriend, and he's nice and all, and you're happy your friend is happy, but the guy just isn't your kind of person. It felt like that. So, romance wise, despite the intense and personal conversations they had together, I preferred reading about Quinn's romance.
Quinn has it tough. She has an unloving family with an alcoholic mother and druggie brother, both of whom are unbelievably abusive, physically as well as verbally. Quinn hasn't told anyone just how bad it gets, and is shouldering all her sorrow by herself, trying to protect herself and her younger brother from ending up in care. Instead she has to deal with what her family treats her, and it really affects how she sees herself. Her self-esteem is at zero. She practically think she's nothing, and clings to guys - when she's with them - for the attention they show her, but feels she has to "pay" for the help she gets when Tyler Morgan - yes, that Tyler - when he gives her a temporary opportunity to escape. You can't help but feel so sorry for Quinn, and so thankful for Tyler. He's just what she needs.
Though I did have such mixed feelings about Tyler. He really has a huge issue with the Merricks, and has done terrible things in the past to hurt them, to lead to the Guides turning up to kill them. There is hate there. And yet, with Quinn, he's just awesome. He won't take her crap, but forces her to take a look at herself and what's behind her constant attempts to get him in to bed. He's respectful, and really pretty sweet. Tyler is lovely, actually. It's a real struggle to sort your feelings out about him for most of the book. But he maks for interesting reading, he himself is a little complicated, and the romance is awesome!
After what happened in Spirit, when danger comes a-knocking in Secret, in the form of a Guide, well, my heart was in my mouth. Kemmerer really stepped it up in this book, and I had absolutely no idea what the outcome would be! Would they all survive? It was ridiculous how bad things got, in the best way! Pretty much thinking the whole time, "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod, what's going to happen?!" So good, so scary, so awesome! And what it all means for the fifth book, Sacrifice... oooh, I so can't wait!
Kemmerer wrote an Afterword for Secret, speaking to her readers, to those who might be going through similar experiences as her characters, whether it's to do with sexuality, drugs, alcohol, or abuse. It was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. With her Afterword, it really hit home to me that Kemmerer is not just writing entertaining fiction, she's writing fiction that matters. Sure, there's some paranormal stuff going on, but there are real issues in these books, and you can feel how much she cares about such things. The Afterward is amazing, and even though I love the story, I feel like people should read this book simply for the Afterward, because I truly think that if her Afterward reaches the right person, then Kemmerer will have helped change someone's life. It's incredible to read how much she cares!
Kemmerer states in her guest post that she wasn't sure if she could pull off writing a gay character - well, she most definitely pulled it off! Secret is an absolutely fantastic book, and I cannot wait for Sacrifice! It's going to be awesome!
Thank you to Kensington Teen, via NetGalley, for the eProof.(less)
Having loved the Fallen Series over all, despite being disappointed with the last book, I just had to read T...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
Having loved the Fallen Series over all, despite being disappointed with the last book, I just had to read Teardrop. However, my overall feelings are pretty "meh".
I've never read anything about Atlantis before, and apart from playing the computer game India Jones and the Fate of Atlantis so many years ago that I don't remember much about it, I know nothing about the legend. So I was coming to Teardrop blind, with no expectations. What the book did is whet my appetite for the actual legend, which I'll probably look up at some point, but otherwise, it's a lot like Fallen. By which I mean, you don't really get any answers in this book at all.
There's the ancient tale mentioned above, which Eureka reads in The Book of Love, the story of how Atlantis was flooded, which was left to Eureka in her mother's will. And you discover that Eureka is somehow related to the story. But by the end of the book... we know a few things, that I won't give spoilers about, but they seem hardly worth the length of the book. Seriously, with what we discovered, I don't know why Teardrop is as long as it is. It takes so long for Eureka to ask the right questions, or suspect much of anything. And some of the answers are really quite predictable; you might not know exactly what's happened, but you have an idea. When you know something 200 pages before Eureka does, her cluelessness can cause many an eye-roll. Sure, Kate has a talent for writing a gripping tale you can't put down, desperate to find out the answers to all your why's, but when you get to the end and you're still none the wiser, it's damn frustrating!
It was ok with the Fallen series, because it was her first series, and it seemed exciting and original. But if Kate is going to continue the same formula of revealing nothing for several books, then I'm not sure I see the point in reading them. I am intrigued by the story of Atlantis, and I'm intrigued to see where the story will go after the ending of Teardrop, but if the next book in the series continues to reveal nothing, I think I'm going to give up. I can't be doing with being kept hanging on for years on end. Give us something in the sequel, Kate, please! Otherwise, what's the point in me continuing?
Thank you to Random House Children's Publisher's for the review copy.(less)
I was so excited to read this book when it arrived. The finalbook in the series! I was eager to see how Rach...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I was so excited to read this book when it arrived. The final book in the series! I was eager to see how Rachel Vincent would finish the story, how she would wrap everything up, but she completely blew my mind with exactly how she did it! Something I wasn't expecting at all!
Kaylee has had enough. Her best friend's soul is in another body - because of hellions. Her friend Alec is dead - because of hellions. Various other people are dead, and her friends and family are in constant danger - because of hellions. More specifically, because of Avari's obsession with her. This time, Kaylee's taking the fight to the hellions rather than waiting for them to hurt someone she loves, and she is raging. She wants hellion blood, and she wants it to pour. Kaylee will do whatever it takes to keep the her loved ones safe. But the stakes are raised when Avari abducts her father. The only question is, what price is she willing to pay?
Oh my god, I don't even know where to start! Kaylee is driven by pure rage throughout this novel, and we have have never seen her so angry! The Kaylee we have come to love is a girl who puts everyone else's safety before her own, will do all she can to save those who need rescuing, and put her life on the line in order to do it. She's still the same girl, but this time, she doesn't want to wait until somebody else gets hurt, she wants to take action before danger strikes. Unfortunately, Avari makes a move before Kaylee's plan can really be put into action, and danger creeps ever closer.
This book is really hard to review, because it's all so important, and I don't want to spoil anything for you. We are introduced to a new hellion, Ira, the hellion of wrath, and I'd say he is possibly even more creepier than Avari. Oh my god, the things he does and suggests are so bloody disturbing. It's visceral and graphic, and god, it made my stomach turn. I am not his biggest fan. No, I do not like him at all.
Kaylee is at her most strongest in this book. I know she's a character of fiction, and the world she lives in is a complete fantasy, but my god, Kaylee has to be the most admirable character I have ever read - especially in With All My Soul. She has so much love for those around her, and she makes the hardest decisions for them. This girl has so much courage and strength, both of which are fueled by the love she feels for her friends and family, and the love she receives from them. It's because of this she is able to make the decisions she does, but I was still completely gobsmacked. I swear, no matter what you think will happen in this book, it's not going to be what you expect! As well as being so loving, strong and courageous, Kaylee is also incredibly smart! Seriously smart. I don't know whether I admire her more for her courage or her intelligence. I truly feel all girls should read this series, not just because it's awesome, but also so they can get to this book and be as awe-inspired by Kaylee's heroism, just like I am. Despite being fictional, Kaylee is such an inspiration, and I would love to be as strong, courageous and smart as she is in my own world; in my own life.
I am not going to say either way whether With All My Soul ends happily or sadly. All I'm going to say is that Vincent really knows how to put her characters through hell, and as anyone has read her Shifters series will know, she doesn't wave a magic wand for her characters to make everything turn out wonderful and sparkly. However, it is the most incredible ending, the best ending for this series, and it had me in tears. And despite the fact that this series has ended, and I will never get to read a new book about them again, I don't feel my usual sadness, simply because there is no room for sadness as I am so filled with awe. I just want to give Vincent the biggest hug in thanks for this series; for Kaylee; and for blowing me away.
People, this is not a series to be missed. If you've yet to start, pick up book one now and read. If you started and gave up, start again. I myself wasn't the biggest fan of the first two books in the series, but I am so, so glad I continued, because the Soul Screamers is one of the most incredible YA urban fantasy/paranormal series I have ever read! Rachel Vincent, thank you.
It will be no surprise to regular readers that I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Fiery Heart, being...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
It will be no surprise to regular readers that I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Fiery Heart, being such a huge fan of the series. And with Mead teasing fans months before the release, saying, "you guys, it is SMOKIN' HOT", I simply Could. Not. Wait. Now I've read it, I have to admit I was a little disappointed.
The main focus of this book is the relationship between Sydney and Adrian. Yes, I love these two together, and I love Adrian, but these books... so much more happens in them than just a romance. I was expecting a ton more action and danger than I got. It was pretty much all about them. It was awesome having Adrian's point of view too, seeing how he really feels about Sydney, what she means to him, but... I like these books because their romance and awesome urban fantasy action. I was a little let down. And with regards to it being "smokin' hot", that was unfair. Sure, things get steamier than they have been previously, but it's so, so tame. Even for YA, in my opinion. I think things were hotter in the Vampire Academy series, really. It's such an emotional book with these two, the emotion clouds the sexual tension, so when things do start happening, they don't really sizzle. Even with tame books, it's the sexual tension that keeps me gripped, and it wasn't turned up enough in this book for me. Which is sad, because, hello, Adrian! It really bothered me.
Which was awesome was, with Adrian's point of view, we got to see exactly what Spirit is like. The down sides of Spirit really are a downer. In a big way, medically. We see in the Vampire Academy series that Lissa takes anti-depressants at one point, and with Adrian, we see why. Spirit is merciless with it's side-effects; as awesome it is when savings people's lives, etc, how debilitated it leaves Adrian when it drags him into depression is so painful to watch. Adrian has to step up in the Spirit stakes in this book and do some incredible things (and boy, he may play at seeming stupid, but god is this boy smart!), and so the side-effects are so much worse. It's really heart-breaking to see him suffer so much.
Sydney takes further steps into her magic learning, going so far as to working on magic Mrs. Terwilliger hasn't, so she can only help in an advisory capacity. And with this work, she takes further steps away from the Alchemists. Ok, you couldn't get much further away than having a vampire boyfriend, but with this, she actually starts taking steps to work against them. It's so awesome to see her come into her own like this, out from under the rules of the Alchemists, and making decisions that are based on the greater good, rather than just her friends. Sydney is awesome.
So, obviously, this book isn't all bad. I still really enjoyed it, I was just let down a bit. Saying that, all of this book had to happen just as it did for us to have the ending we got. And that ending! WHAT an ending! Now we're talking! God knows what's going to happen in the next book, so I'm so desperate for it, you don't even know. It's going to be huge, and I'm positive it will make up for the disappointment I felt in The Fiery Heart. I am excited! Things just got real.
I love this series. Everyone who knows me as a blogger knows. So it will be no surprise to anyone to hear th...moreOriginally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase.
I love this series. Everyone who knows me as a blogger knows. So it will be no surprise to anyone to hear that I was SO excited when I received The Indigo Spell, the third book in the Bloodlines series, that I started reading it the very same day. And wow.
Sydney isn't having the best winter. Adrian, gorgeous Moroi vampire who refuses to believe she has no feelings for him, and won't back down. With his constant flirting and getting far too close, Sydney is having a hard time believing herself, too. She is also searching for Marcus Finch, a possible ex-Alchemist who left the fold after finding out some of their secrets. Suspecting that the Alchemists have lied to her, she wants to find out what Marcus knows. But when Marcus tells her what the Alchemists are really up to, and asks her to help him find proof, Sydney is disbelieving; has she really been lied to her whole life? Can she really go against everything she knows? But Adrian and Marcus are the least of her troubles; Ms. Terwilliger, her history teacher and sometimes magic instructor, has discovered a witch has come to town who is after the lives of young, untrained witches. Sydney must immerse herself in the magic she hates so much in order to try to save lives - and her own.
On the whole, compared to the other books in the series, The Indigo Spell feels a lot less busy when it comes to action. Despite this, it's still an incredible book. There a lot more working things out, learning, discovering and searching - and of course huge amounts of sexual tension - rather than a lot of danger. The things discovered and learned are fantastic when it comes to how this series is going to progress. I can't see where things are going to go, but there's a definite feeling of no-where good.
Although they're still about, we see a whole lot less of Jill, Eddie and Angeline than you would expect; for the moment, there is no major threat to Jill's life, and so Sydney is finding out all she can about the possibly corrupt Alchemists. She has a hard time stepping away from all she knows and loves, but her logical brain can't deny the inconsistencies, nor the facts laid out to her by Marcus Finch. However, those three do have their own lives going on while Sydney is dealing with everything on her plate, and there are some rather interesting developments there! Sydney shows how clueless she can be yet again, not catching on to what was glaringly obvious to me.
The Indigo Spell is a much more magical book than the others, with a lot of Sydney's time spent learning new spells and how to defend herself against the evil sorceress, and the tension surrounding trying to find her and keep safe is hugely exciting! I personally would have preferred more details in these spells - what's said? What are the different things she used? What are the hand gestures? But, I suppose, if we were told this for every single spell she learns, The Indigo Spell would be a hell of a lot longer than it's 401 pages!
The Indigo Spell is also the hottest of the series! There is no denying the affect Adrian has on girls, and as much as she would like to be, Sydney is not immune. Her body will tell her one thing, while her Alchemist brain is screaming at her something else. And Adrian doesn't play fair; he might say he'll stay away, but he finds loopholes, and to say his feelings for Sydney are obvious in the understatement of the year, as he takes every opportunity to tell her exactly how he feels. We all know Adrian is hot, and has his adorable moments, but in The Indigo Spell we see just how sweet and vulnerable this guy can really be. He is just incredible! God, I wanted to shake Sydney so many times, though! Come on, just face the facts, woman! Or if you're going to continue to deny everything, just point him in my direction.
But then we come to the ending, and oh my god! My jaw literally dropped, and I was internally screaming "Nooooo!" I can't believe Mead did this to us! How long do I have to wait to pick up The Fiery Heart, the fourth book in the series?! Not only do I need to know now how things are going to pan out because there are So. Many. Problems., but also because it's going to be told from both Sydney and Adrian's points of view! I have no idea how anything can happen next, but I know one thing for sure - it's nothing good. So excited! Fans of Mead need to get this book ASAP!
Thank you to Penguin for sending me a review copy.(less)