Procurement I won a signed copy from Rachel herself! It was supposed to be an ARC but she accidently signed and shipped finished copies instead. Her miProcurement I won a signed copy from Rachel herself! It was supposed to be an ARC but she accidently signed and shipped finished copies instead. Her mistake was greatly appreciated. :) Thanks Rachel!
My GradePlot: 5
Overall: 28/30 93% Title/Cover Bonus: 4
OverallAn epically twisted plot full of tension, conflict, and action. Rachel Vincent has penned a masterpiece of Urban Fantasy.
First Line Only two-thirty in the morning, and I already had blood on my hands.
Most Memorable Scene The scene with the couch. ;) And of course the scenes when things "clicked in" and there was a lot of clicking.
And also the party scene. I’m glad that was told from Cam’s point of view.
Plot Goodness me! Rachel has out done herself. While this book would and should be classified as an Urban Fantasy it is most definitely a mystery at heart. There are more plot twists than I could count. I don’t know how Rachel thought of them all but they were brilliant. There was only one twist that I figured out before it happened, besides the spoiler that I read in the summary, but I only figured it out shortly before the characters only because I thought for sure that twist would be very cool and only logical.
Setting I don’t recall a town name but it’s a big city that’s divided into three sections like a peace sign, divided by a river. The two sides are the territory of black-market king pins Ruben Cavazos and Jake Tower. The south section is neutral.
Writing Again, Rachel has written a superb book. I liked the switch up in point of views from Olivia (Liv) and Cameron (Cam). Although, it did get confusing at some points to determine who’s POV it was. The switching wasn’t consecutive from the beginning of each chapter but almost. I like it when the chapter header says who’s POV is it but this doesn’t have that. It probably would have helped if it had been there. I did have to back track a few times because I was in the wrong person’s head the first time but that didn’t happen too often.
The plot twists that Rachel puts in this is just genius. I honestly don’t know how a writer figures it all out. It’s almost like she had to write it backwards to get all the dots connected.
Originality Rachel has started an amazing trilogy. The world itself is full of Skilled people, such as Blinders, Jammers, Seers, Binders, Trackers and Travelers. I won’t give any more details to prevent spoilers but know that while some of these attributes have been seen in other Urban Fantasy series Rachel has done a fine job of creating a new exciting world.
Characters Olivia (Liv) Warren is Skilled. She’s a tracker, specifically she tracks with blood, hence Blood Bound. She is joined in cast by Cameron (Cam) Caballero, her ex, Anne, Kori, Liv’s childhood best friends, and of course Ruben Cavazos and Jake Tower, the bad guys.
I loved Liv’s character. I’m always a fan of the ass kicking female lead character. She’s tough as nails because she’s been putting herself through hell ever since her break up with Cam. It was natural that I compare her with Faythe, Rachel’s other leading female character, but I’m happy to say that they are not very much alike, except that they both kick ass. Liv has a potty mouth. Liv is dedicated to her job, and not just because she has to be but because she has a heart.
Cam, oh, Cam. He was a great guy. I loved it when it was his point of view. I felt so bad for him during the first half of the book. I really enjoyed his character and was sad that he didn’t have as big of a starring role like Liv, especially towards the end of the book. It really was all about Liv in the end, even if it switched to Cam’s POV a few times.
I am not a fan of Ruben Cavazos nor his wife but I think that was the point. He may have even out done Calvin Malone as the bad guy.
The only negative thing I think of about the entire book are the last names of Ruben and Cam. I tripped over them every time they came up! I don’t usually have that problem but boy did those two names stump me.
Romance The circumstances involving Liv and Cam’s relationship are way too sad but bloody brilliant of Rachel. I can’t wait to read Shadow Bound to see if their story continues.
Title/Cover Bonus I like the title but I’m not a fan of the cover too much. I mean, it’s ok, but nothing exceptional.
Ending I thought the ending was awesome. I liked how it ended by tying up most of the loose ends. I enjoyed the last scene especially.
Series Shadow Bound is book two and will release next year.
Initial Review: Emotionally strong. Not a fan of the ending though. I'm thrilled to see a sequel is releasing in '11. This book was kind of hard for meInitial Review: Emotionally strong. Not a fan of the ending though. I'm thrilled to see a sequel is releasing in '11. This book was kind of hard for me to get through. It was a weird subject matter: horrible accident causes girl to go into a coma walking around watching her friends, family, nurses, doctors and boyfriend basically fall apart in one form or another. The ending isn't much of an ending. It basically sets up a possible sequel, which I was thrilled to see there would be one, or a really horrible open ended ending that lets the reader interpret as they wish, which in this case isn't a worthy ending at all. I enjoyed the characters but it's such a tragic book that the connection of the reader to characters isn't completely needed because it just happens. Lastly, I'm glad I read this before I became pregnant as I know that my pregnancy hormones would never had let me finish this book without tons of waterworks. Be prepared. The next book in the series, Where She Went, will release in just a few days on 11/04! ...more
Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.
Plus, her rent is due. Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing engagement ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who works upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…
There comes a time in every girl’s life when she realizes her father isn’t perfect.
Heather has an excerpt posted on her site.
What an enjoyable story! I love that this book was a mystery/romantic suspense. I don’t know how Heather can up with the mystery and how it all played out! It was brilliantly done.
Amazingly well written. It’s nearly flawless. I couldn’t put this one down. There’s humor, action, danger, suspense, and “awww” moments. Originality
Match making is new to me. That was something I felt weary on reading about but it was actually pretty cool. Since Lucy wasn’t really a matchmaker the story wasn’t how I was expecting it to go. It was so much fun being in Lucy’s world.
Lucy Valentine is hilarious! Her grandmother, Dovie, and her parents are a trip too. And her best friends Marisol and Em are nice additions to the cast.
Sean is the PI that Lucy drags into the current matchmaking she’s been hired to handle. He’s a genuinely awesome dude.
The love interest in this story is flaming hot but on a down low kind of way. Since it’s written in first person POV by Lucy you get inside her head but not inside Sean’s but it’s cool because you can just tell they are both on the same page. There is no explicit scenes and there didn’t need to be any to make this relationship hot. It just is.
An amazingly, unexpected awesome read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much. I cannot wait to read more from Lucy’s world. Cover/Title Bonus
The cover to this book is too cute! I’m not even sure why because it’s just a door on the cover. The ivy and the colors make this cover perfect to what’s inside. It’s sweet and colorful.
Ballad is the follow up book to Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception. Summary (Amazon.com)
Remember us, so sing the dead, lest we remember you
James Morgan has an almost unearthly gift for music. And it has attracted Nuala, a soul-snatching faerie muse who fosters and then feeds on the creative energies of exceptional humans until they die. James has plenty of reasons to fear the faeries, but as he and Nuala collaborate on an achingly beautiful musical composition, James finds his feelings towards Nuala deepening. But the rest of the fairies are not as harmless. As Halloween—the day of the dead—draws near, James will have to battle the Faerie Queen and the horned king of the dead to save Nuala's life and his soul.
More details are on Maggi'e’s Website. Sneak Peaks
I posted one.SNEAKPEEK
Maggie posted one.SNEAKPEEK Plot
This story follows James and his adventure at his new school Thornking-Ash, where Dee transferred to as well. He meets a faerie girl, Nuala and they become friends in quite a roundabout way.
I really enjoyed the story. I LOVED learning about James. He’s a sweet guy! There’s lots of references to music and instruments but it’s nothing too extreme to confuse the reader.
The only thing I didn’t like about the plot is that I missed Dee’s POV. I have no idea what she was doing in this book and it kinda ticked me off to the point that I was hating her character. I would have loved her POV. The text messages just were not enough for me. Setting
The setting is the school Thornking-Ash. There’s lots of scenes around a large round fountain, which was cool. The school is also very cool with forgotten buildings overgrown with ivy and such. There’s a quick journey to “somewhere” else that was cool too.
It’s set in present day. Writing
Amazing. I love Maggie’s writing. She chose to write in alternating POVs between James and Nuala. There are also glimpses of unsent text messages from Dee to James that I honestly found confusing and ended up loathing to read them half way through the book. I would have rather heard from Dee than seen those texts. It was a cool idea but it made me hate Dee and I didn’t like hating Dee. Originality
The idea of the King of the Dead was pretty cool. Nuala was also very awesome. She’s supposed to “steal” James’s soul so she can keep living, which would make her the villain but things evolve quite well for both Nuala and James. Characters
The main character is James. He’s a very cool guy. He has an enormous ego, which was incredibly funny at times. He’s a very strong character, which was overlooked in Lament.
Nuala was refreshing. She comes out initially as overbearing but she quickly acclimates to James and then she transforms from faerie to something else entirely. Maybe a woman? She does mature a great deal.
Mr. Sullivan is James’s teacher. He’s a very cool character too. He’s like an older version of James. He ends up tutoring James to teach him the piano because he’s already mastered the pipes. He ends up helping James and Nuala.
Paul is James’s roommate and he’s freaking hilarious! The scene with the (non)beer is amazing.
Dee is there but so not there. I really missed her POV as already stated. She played such a role in Lament that I wanted her to be included in Ballad too. Passion
I missed Dee and Luke in this addition.
James and Nuala’s relationship grows and matures really well. I really enjoyed their story.
James and Dee have an episode of confusion, which I could have slapped the shit out of Dee for, but, alas, it’s just a book. Overall
A great read and follow up to Lament. I still wish there was more Dee to love rather than hate. I loved James and Nuala was a nice partner for him. The King of the Dead was super cool. I’m wondering if Maggie will continue with the series sometime? I’d love to know what happened to Luke and where Dee will find happiness. Cover/Title Bonus
I love both! They are both impossibly perfect. Series
Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception | My Review
Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie Connect with Maggie Stiefvater
I won this ARC on Bree’s blog in one of her monthly pre-release celebrations for The Dark Divine. I also got a bottle of matching nail polish as seen on the cover and a pedicure kit! :)
Summary (Bree’s website)
A prodigal son A dangerous love A deadly secret . . . I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?” Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.
Excerpt (Bree’s Website) The first chapter is available to read on Bree’s website. It’s very good!
The above summary does an amazing job at explaining what’s going on without saying too much. This book is written so well it all flows amazingly well and keeps you guessing what will happen next.
There’s a major artist theme going on in here too. Both Grace and Daniel draw/paint, him better than her, and it’s a very cool common bond they share.
The ending was handled wonderfully. I enjoyed this entire book.
The town is said to be near Apple Valley. A lot happens in the art class, the parish, the Divine house and backyard and downtown.
It’s a fairly common setting with nothing really standing out.
I particularly enjoyed the tree climbing and finding baby James the best. OH! And the angel memorial: awesome.
It’s present time.
Amazing. Seriously. I can’t explain how it’s written but it’s written very well. It’s not like books I’ve read recently. The tone is unique in a way that makes me second guess myself each page turn. The details that you’ll be guessing at are within reach but you don’t reach them until the exact moment that Grace does. LOVE THAT! I hate figuring it out before the main character. I had my guesses but so did Grace but neither of us knew until it was there.
It’s written in Grace’s POV the entire time. I wished I could get into Daniel’s head a time or three. He was very interesting and I wanted to know more about him.
I knew what Daniel was when I read the first chapter on Bree’s website. But like I explained above Bree had me second guessing myself the entire book. So, even though I’d figured it out already I just didn’t feel 100% confident that I really knew and that kept my interest at top notch. I honestly couldn’t put the book down! I finished it at 2:00 am!
What Daniel is is easy to figure out but it gets explained very well. I enjoyed the details and thought they were very original.
Grace is the main character. She’s the daughter of the Pastor. “Pastor D-vine.” :) She’s still struggling with Daniel’s disappearance from a few years prior and doesn’t handle his return very well. She’s clearly head over heels for him and it makes her sad, angry, and heart broken.
Jude is Grace’s older brother. He’s a sweet guy, always helping others, but he’s troubled by the attack from Daniel a few years prior. He doesn’t like or trust Daniel.
Grace’s Dad is cool. He’s all about helping others too. He nearly goes mad trying to help Daniel and ultimately his entire family it seems. I enjoyed his character a lot.
Daniel. Daniel is the black sheep of his family. They abandoned him a few years back. His mom choose his dad over him, only a young boy. He returns to his home town looking for a fresh start.
This is my favorite category but sometimes it’s the hardest to review. There are major sparks flying between Daniel and Grace. I love that it was there in the story but it wasn’t the front runner. Their relationship plays a huge role in the book yet it was handled with great care. I enjoyed their relationship immensely. Me? Beat around the bush? No…..
Amazing. Awesome. Superb. An unexpected thrill of a ride. I knew it was going to be good but it surpassed my expectations. It was written so well. Everything was covered and it ended well wrapped up.
The title is awesome. The cover….it’s beautiful and catches the eye but it doesn’t represent the book very well. I’m not sure if I’m missing something or what but I’m not crazy about the cover after reading the book. It’s gorgeous but it lacks focus or direct representation of the story. ...more