When I started reading Sing Me to Sleep I expected the story of the Beauty and the Beast, and the element of love triangle, so obviously expressed in...moreWhen I started reading Sing Me to Sleep I expected the story of the Beauty and the Beast, and the element of love triangle, so obviously expressed in the annotation to the book made me think even less dignified thoughts… like “oh, again, two gorgeous boys+one girl and the whole thing is running from one to another and vice versa”. And a hint to a dark secret I took for granted as another allegation to paranormalsy, which pop up here and there in YA literature, like the protagonist's love interest will suddenly sprout horns or fangs or whatever... It’s a relief that I was very wrong about Ms Morrison creation. And I do apologize for my initial shallowness on that one. However the beginning may seem, the story is emotional, heart-wrenching and penetrating with its realness. It made think about the struggle of life and for life, as well as for love. Though I find myself failing to supply any words decent enough to explain inner churning of my feelings after the last page of the book became my reading history. SMTS shouldn’t be taken lightly…You will not find it amusing or cocky or entertaining. Perhaps, it’s not a masterpiece in the genre. But it’s definitely worth reading and it impressed me way more I'd bargained for. (less)
I’ve gulped this book like a magic potion and felt all tingly and giddy inside. Before you know why, you’d better read through Iron King and Iron Daug...moreI’ve gulped this book like a magic potion and felt all tingly and giddy inside. Before you know why, you’d better read through Iron King and Iron Daughter unless you already did so, because next passage in my review will contain some spoilers of the previous installments of the Iron Fey series.
If you scrolled to this line, I presume you’re acquainted with abovementioned books or you’re just too curious to care. Ok, than we shall proceed, scroll a bit farther please.
Meghan Chase, a brave half-fairy Princess that destroyed the Iron King Machina and returned the scepter of the seasons to its rightful place, has been exiled from Nevernever for good along with her beloved Unseelie Prince and is finally coming back home to 14202 Cedar Drive Louisiana. She’s musing how she’ll carry on with her ordinary mortal life after all she was through? Will Ash blend into her daily routine? However, she doesn’t get the chance to draw a conclusion on the subject as far as she’s ambushed at her doorstep with the False Iron King minions. After this utterly unpleasant encounter Meghan comes to the decision: she can’t return home until the False King is after her, so she had to make her move against him and to eliminate the threat once and for all. Here’s how another breath-taking adventure begins…
Iron Queen is saturated with a positive vibe that encompasses both the strong convictions of the protagonist, sentimental and subtle romance, and a ceaseless flow of humor from Puck and Grimalkin (my best adoration went to Puck’s constant and witty “name-calling”: Lord Pointy Ears, bucket brigade and so on). Even the foul deeds of the villains seem less grim and horrifying at the background of such aura. The plot is magnificent: a chase, a mystery, a confrontation and a history merged in an intricate thread zigzagging within vast and unpredictable Nevernever land.
The only flaw I could find was an existence of several factitious moments when Meghan seemed to be quite thick while the solution/answer/guess was plain and obvious.
I was rushing to read, dying of curiosity, hurrying to reach the end (as brilliant as always in Mrs Kagawa stories). Now I’m left longing for more, screaming and stomping my feet like a spoilt child. I guess it will be an excruciatingly long anticipation till the Iron Knight is out.(less)
So, here we are in Gatlin. Again. It’s a small town in South Carolina where the reenactment of the Battle of Honey Hill takes place every year. The to...moreSo, here we are in Gatlin. Again. It’s a small town in South Carolina where the reenactment of the Battle of Honey Hill takes place every year. The town where the postman “never failed, rain or shine, to open your mail before he delivered it”. The town where the story of Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes has found new twists and turns as it proceeds unfolding. The protagonists are faced with a threat no one felt coming…
I was truly glued to this book: the more I listened to it the less willpower I had for pressing “stop” button. Mrs Garcia and Mrs Stohl work wonders in their writing, it seems. New characters have been introduced along with the new breath-taking choices. The plot was peppered with brilliant humor and nail-biting scenes. For several days I had a possibility to travel virtually to Casters world, dig into the roots or better say – the branches of Ravenwood’s genealogy tree, enjoy the intensity of Ethan’s visions, suspect everyone and everything and still come up surprised. Finally, the book finished with more intriguing cliffhanger than its predecessor “Beautiful Creatures”.
In order to further excite the interest of to-be-readers I allow myself to state that (SPOILER AHEAD) the math of Beautiful Darkness is the following: 2 characters shall to die, 2 characters will “switch places” and several new heroes will step up to the spotlight.
P.S. Special thanks go to Kevin T. Collins since he shaped and crafted the voices of the characters so good I almost could imagine them in flesh and blood. (less)
Despite my strong conviction is that the concept of vampires and werewolves is heavily abused in the contemporary YA literature, I’ve found this very...moreDespite my strong conviction is that the concept of vampires and werewolves is heavily abused in the contemporary YA literature, I’ve found this very novel interesting. Maybe, it was due to the accent|stress upon other values(less)
The review I’m about to give contains some spoilers, but…I think they’re not so severe to conceal the review completely (the best 70% of the story you...moreThe review I’m about to give contains some spoilers, but…I think they’re not so severe to conceal the review completely (the best 70% of the story you’ll still have to learn by yourselves). So, if you want to stay in complete mystery while taking the book to read, you may refrain from browsing the opinion below. However, if you feel uncertain whether it’s a good read, I guess, it won’t harm you to have a look.
The beginning of the novel has a warm tinge to it. It is a pleasant read despite the restrictions imposed on the citizens of the Society. Inhabitants of the Mapletree Borough are happy inside their tiny worlds, limited shells of thinking with no desire of breaking the rules and reaching beyond – straight to the Unknown. This part of the story strongly reminds me of the Giver with an exception that it somehow feels less cruel. Cassia, the protagonist, has just turned seventeen and about to attend one of the greatest event of her life – the Match Banquet, where the Society shall demonstrate a Match picked for her (a husband-to-be, in “our” language). She feels exited anticipating this event. You might be taken aback – how on Earth anyone would look forward to being assigned an unknown partner till the end of your life and not feel upset about it? But, in this Society, in the City, and in the Mapletree Borough where Cassia family resides it’s normal, it’s even more than ok. Because the citizens believe that the Society cares about them and an assigned Match equals a true love. Cassia’s hopes for a bright future are fulfilled when her match proves to be Xander, her childhood best friend. She knows him so well. Moreover, she likes him very much. “And they lived happily ever after”. Wait. These words belong to some other story, Sleeping Beauty perhaps. Not the Matched. Because as soon as Cassia has an opportunity to examine the data about Xander as her Match on her microcard, she discovers a flaw in the system: another face appears on the screen. Not Xanders, but Ky Markham’s. She’s confused. She’s reassured that it’s just an error, a mistake. But the harm is done. And she starts to wonder. She’s not a rule-breaker, rather a rule-follower. She’s quite law-obedient, guided by the motto – better be safe than sorry which she’ll have to reconsider mid-way of the book. At first the harm done by the Society to its members is hushed, lurking somewhere on the background, but it’s starting to sparkle brighter and brighter as feelings of the main characters are developed. Still, the flow of events is soft and tender, and comforting, like a river, for now on. Like that in a fairy tale. As the story goes it becomes harsher, bitter, spilling out jagged pieces of distorted reality that show the other side of the perfectness created by the Society. Illusive freedom is cut and devoured by the System (the Society) bit by bit like a cake the Boroughs have to taste so rarely. Plainclothes, grey colors, and lots of norms and regulations which are forbidden to cross: these things highlight the actual misery behind the decorations of freedom to choose. Candles are simulated, flowers are fabricated, pieces of art to study are strictly picked out and limited to a hundred per each field of expertise. The Society starts to bear its teeth like those of a rabid animal and takes action to bite at any sign of disobedience. But majority reconcile with it. They’re somehow in denial or just do not want to abandon their views of perfectness, rightness and recognize the Society as the wolf in sheep’s clothes. So, only the most strong-minded can observe that and comprehend that. To be brief this sophisticatedly-constructed novel gives only a glimpse of the whole picture of the world created by Mrs. Ally Condie.
The Matched story is full, promising, self-sufficient. It’s a mixture of beautiful romance and aspiration to learn more, of strong people and “flat people”, of earnestness and pretense. The language is rich and elegant. All these facts combined make the sequel even more precious and desirable to obtain. It’s a story one don’t want to forget quickly and move on to another book. It’s a story to speculate about, to keep it in your mind for a little longer, to feel its aftertaste and take a pleasure in feeling it.
I’ve finished the book in 2 days. I just couldn’t stop reading. I smiled and cried along with the characters. I absolutely adored the moments I spent with the book as my companion.
If you enjoyed this read, there are several relevant books to occupy your free time with. I’d recommend you Hunger Games series (plus the fact that Ky resembles Peeta Mellark in a way), Uglies Series, or the Incarceron, or even the Giver.
Have a nice time with the Matched book. And… “do not go gentle into that good night” (c) D. Thomas :) (less)
Note: Considering the fact that it’s a forth book in the Soul Screamers series I’ll strongly advise you to read all preceding installments before digg...moreNote: Considering the fact that it’s a forth book in the Soul Screamers series I’ll strongly advise you to read all preceding installments before digging into My Soul to Steal for the sake of keeping the framework of the Netherworld and Kaylee’s adventures in order.
Kaylee Cavanaugh, a 16-year old bean sidhe, has just started her second semester of a junior year at Eastlake High. She and her BF Nash Hudson (also bean sidhe) are on mending terms after what happened in “My Soul to Keep”. Or so it seems. Everything’s slowly returning to normal, when a new meteorite strikes the orbit of their relationship rehab. Meet Sabine, Nash’s ex-girlfriend, who has just transferred to their school. A sure complication on the way to “happily ever after” of Miss Cavanaugh and Mr. Hudson. Oh, and there’s just one more thing... Sabine was born a mara, which means she intends to make Kaylee’s life a nightmare not only at daytime, but in her sleep just as well…A promising beginning, don’t you think?
I must admit, I’m a fan of these banshee series. I know, I know, I may be a sap for teen romance but Rachel Vincent somehow made it interesting and fresh in its own way dipping the story into the supernatural coloring. Many authors take their time and energy writing about vamps, angels, faeries etc…Regarding this the bean sidhe stuff seems like a novelty to the common paranormal fantasy trend.
Speaking from experience, I liked My Soul To Keep (the previous book). It was intense. While this piece of Kaylee’s story had proved to be easy, more relaxing and still exciting and amusing read. It once again won the noble title of “a definite page-turner”. Bursts of action. Roiling emotions. New crimes and new suspectées. I’ve sucked the plot in two gulps actually.
I was again making my cheek muscles sore from grinning at irony passages and allegories and jokes being cracked from time to time by Kaylee (while musing) or Tod (the nicest reaper in the history of Soul Screamers).
I found the introduction of Sabine, Nash’s ex-con ex-girlfriend and yet another unique species in the variety of the Netherworldly creatures, like a boost to the storyline. She acted irrationally, angrily, but reminded me a lot of a spoilt child. I presume the Kaylee+Nash Team will be tempted to throw rotten tomatoes at me but I would prefer Sabine and Nash together. They would fit better. They both got that nasty feature of a baaaaaad guy/girl. Nonetheless, for now the destiny of their relationship as well as of Kay and Nash has yet to be discovered in “If I Die”. Tod had a little “book script” in My Soul To Steal and I missed his constant deadpan-face humor interruption, but I keep my hopes high that he’ll play a much bigger role in the next installment.
After solving mystery of the present Violet Ambrose aka Body Finder has to decipher mystery of the past.
The book is gripping and intense. A reader wi...moreAfter solving mystery of the present Violet Ambrose aka Body Finder has to decipher mystery of the past.
The book is gripping and intense. A reader will encounter new characters from both sides – good and evil. The writer skillfully poses protagonists versus antagonists to distract you from the real crime in the book, so I was quite surprised at the end. (less)
The sequel contains less romance than in the 1st book and less humor for that matter. Trella is more a drilling type than a drooling one. I mean she do...moreThe sequel contains less romance than in the 1st book and less humor for that matter. Trella is more a drilling type than a drooling one. I mean she doesn’t go ballistic over her feelings and tragedies of the personal life but directs her troublemaker and maximum damage energy for the goal of happily ever after of all the Insiders. Though the author keeps her line of as little slaughter and bloodbath as possible despite the grave circumstances which the Insiders find themselves entangled in. Weighing all highs and laws of the plot I’d give this book a 4, mostly because of the “higher purpose” concept. (less)
Today seems to be a perfect day (11/11/11) for reviewing a perfect book such as the last installment in the Iron Fey series written by Ms Julie Kagawa...moreToday seems to be a perfect day (11/11/11) for reviewing a perfect book such as the last installment in the Iron Fey series written by Ms Julie Kagawa.
Most of us, admirers of Ms Kagawa works, were used to perceive and experience Mortal and Faery worlds through the eyes of beautiful, keen-witted, big-hearted, brave, self-sacrificing and goal-oriented half-human daughter of mighty ruler of the Seelie Court Lord Oberon. Meghan Chase, that is. Iron Knight defies the customary patterns in this context, its narrator being Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn aka Ash, a “Prince who is no longer a Prince” to the Winter Court.
As you may recall from the final chapters of the Iron Queen, Meghan has embraced her destiny sacrificing herself in order to save the Nevernever and therefore becoming the one and only sovereign of the Iron Realm. However, her choice had its grim consequences; the new queen had to exile her sworn Knight and the love of her life to keep him safe from suffering the hazardous influence of iron that is deadly to the most of the Fey folk. I’m referring to Ash, of course….
But lucky for us, readers, Ice Boy can’t be dissuaded so easily. He’d seen worse. Thus, having come in terms with his exile and following a good amount of serious brooding and strategizing Ash have found a solution allowing him to reunite with his beloved. And that is…
[insert a long intense pause here]
[hold your breath just a bit longer]
…becoming mortal and earning a soul!
[insert a collective gasp of the Fey folk here]
What a twist of fate, guys! To pay the price of immortality and power for being with his love is quite a crusade of its own, but the path to humanity promises to be nowhere near less difficult… Hence, young (in Fey terms) and ambitious ex-Prince would require a helping hand of smart and overenthusiastic prankster to the Summer Court and his constant rival Robin Goodfellow and some very wise gray cat sidhe Grimalkin for this dangerous and thrilling Odyssey towards a goal on the brink of impossible. ;) This is how the quest and wanderings of the protagonists begin… I won’t go into details hereafter, the story in its multifaceted and self-contained nature will outshine any review spiriting you away into the domain where magic meets fantasy and spills over in waves of action, adventure, romance and thriller. Thus, you’d better “dig in” yourself at your earliest convenience.
Chapters of the book go from humorous to tragic and back again. One can laugh at Puck’s attitude to the surrounding environment and its inhabitants and deeply emphasize with Ash learning his century’s long lifestory in full, the latter being a unique opportunity given here and only here. Apart from vivid depictions of Nevernever and its denizens, breathtaking snapshots of battles with both otherworldly creatures and personal demons, mind-boggling riddles and intriguing glimpses of character’s reminiscences one might also discover a slight allusion to a Neverending Story movie.
Reading the Epilogue to the saga I’ve not given into a teary mood however still felt the tendrils of nostalgia that spiraled around me like a fine sheet of mist…Yeah,…it’s a distress to give up the favorite characters… And here the news on a spinoff novel about Ethan Chase comes in handy in combating the sadness of saying farewell to Iron Fey series. :)
Finally, the writing itself has proved to be elegant and impeccable. Ms Kagawa has succeeded in a delicate art of blending together styles and appealing to a reader in many ways. And damned I would be if I don’t sing praise to her vast and exuberant imagination that brought to life a whole fabricated fairy-tale universe that captivated my attention completely and will be lingering in my thoughts for quite a while more. (less)
Magnificent! Mrs Vincent once again managed to deprive me of my sleep and other humble time spending in my wake by producing the book 5 in Soul Scream...moreMagnificent! Mrs Vincent once again managed to deprive me of my sleep and other humble time spending in my wake by producing the book 5 in Soul Screamers series. So, yes, I have been holding my breath and fingers crossed for two days in a row while devouring the book chapter by chapter. Again the protagonist is a well-known from previous books miss Kaylee Cavanaugh, still a sixteen year old, still a bean sidhe, still living with her dad, still facing the villains residing in the Netherworld or originating from it, etc, etc, etc. However, this time something is different. First, there’s new otherworldly threat in the form of a math teacher Mr. Beck, who’s seriously messing with a young female population of Kaylee’s school. A threat which isn’t to be gambled with and taken lightly. And sure thing, Ms Cavanaugh wouldn’t just sit and watch, would she :). Second and the most important thing… Kaylee’s lifespan was borrowed from her mother and it will expire in about… a week. There’s no good fairy godmother who can magically rescue her – the death is imminent and secured on some Reaper’s list. What will her actions be – how she’d spent her one hundred and fifty-sixty smth hours breathing? Whether she’ll cheat death and who’ll help her? Or whether she…dies as was predicted…? Well, well, well… The preconditions look kinda grave but don’t get your panties in a twist, guys: no matter what the end will be you are served with a scoop-full of buzzing adventure, enticing mystery, breathtaking drama, unexpected peek into the life of couple new paranormal species, thrilling romance, ingenious humor and so on with Kaylee, Nash, Sabine, Tod and Emma, each of them unique and indispensable part of the plot. But beware there’ll be casualties nonetheless…as the proverb says – no good deed ever goes unpunished…
The only flaw I would point to is the fact that more time was given to Kaylee’s personal impending drama than to the main villain.
And… as usual… I urgently demand another fix of Soul Screamers “Before I wake”! ;)
A little spoilerish P.S.: My heart goes with Tod, I liked him from the beginning and he lived up to my expectations :) (less)
D&H Places is a bit weaker than its predecessor books yet it’s more mature. It tells both about broken world and broken people. The protagonist, A...moreD&H Places is a bit weaker than its predecessor books yet it’s more mature. It tells both about broken world and broken people. The protagonist, Annah, a twin sister to Gabrielle (known from the Dead-Tossed Waves) struggles to find her place and desire to survive for the future. Elias whom I nearly adored in the previous installment lost all its attraction to me. While Catcher was under the spotlight, and his character has been fully developed here. Despite the gruesome hordes of zombies and their ever-present moans, the protagonists will face a new threat on their way to the end of the trilogy.
I've found the Grand finale to be interesting and optimistic. Yet, I’ll miss the setting and the protagonists. (less)