Wednesday, December 29, 2010 Book Review: Entice by Carrie Jones
ENTICE BY CARRIE JONES Reading level: Young Adult Hardcover: 272 page This Blog This Blog
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 Book Review: Entice by Carrie Jones
ENTICE BY CARRIE JONES Reading level: Young Adult Hardcover: 272 pages Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (December 14, 2010) Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out.
For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla?
And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen.
Book Opening: "Am I really not allowed to complain about being here?" I ask as we enter Bedford High School about an hour late for the winter ball."
"It's true. I can feel it. The truth he speaks is a warmth, gold and light brushing against my cheeks.
Entice. by Carrie Jones"Let me rescue him for you. Let me do this for you," he insists. His fingers brush against the fabric of my parka."- Page 80
"You will always be my granddaughter, Zara. That is who you are, damn it. Don't forget it. We are not defined by our species any more than our nationality or our gender. What we do, our choices, that's what defines us." - Page 33
ENTICE, the third installment in Carrie Jones' Need series, picks up where the last book ended. We find ourselves back alongside Zara, Issie, Devyn and Pixie King Astley. Besides trying to keep the town safe from the murderous needs of the pixies lurking in the shadows beyond the trees, Zara must find a way to save Nick. (And if you've read the last book, you know he is in some serious trouble indeed.)
My favorite aspect of this series is still how well personalized Carrie Jones has adapted her pixies so that there is nothing else on the market quite like it. I love the blue-tinged skin, the glittering trails of gold dust, their strange, hierarchal ways and dark penchants for blood. Small-town rural Maine is the perfect backdrop for a series like this- it's like something out of a Steven King movie. You can almost feel the biting cold of a town where it never stops snowing, where roads twist and turn around dark corners. The ominous tree-lined forest is shudder-worthy. You know that evil waits beyond its borders- it will whisper your name, luring you in until you are trapped and it's too late.
Astley has quickly become my favorite character. Though he is a pixie, he is also kind and just. Tormented by the responsibility of his title, Astley is old beyond his years. I find his character striking, particularly in contrast to those of Zara, Issie and Devyn. Astley is wise beyond his years and his maturity shows when he interacts with them. Throughout the course of this book, I switched from wanting Zara to get Nick back, to wanting her to focus solely on Astley. I know I'm not supposed to, but I couldn't help it. He has become an important addition to the series, and brings a lot of tension and intrigue into Zara's world.
Zara on the other hand, frustrated me more in this book than ever before with her immaturity. I didn't like the way she didn't truly appreciate all Astley was putting on the line for her. (She is also way too liberal with the use of the word "squee" which drives me crazy). I honestly thought at times that Astley was way too good for her. I hope in future installments Zara proves me wrong by gaining some much needed maturity and more of a back-bone when it comes to living up to her new role as Queen. I can understand the enormity of her responsibility—the demands of being Queen, the stress of losing so many loved ones and of trying to get to a mythical place to save Nick (that may or may not exist). But I'd like to see her go through the process with a little more growth, and less of a juvenile attitude toward everything. For instance, it bothered me that she went to a school dance instead of going home to let her grief-stricken grandmother know she was alive. How could she do that? It also bothered me that when Astley had her meet his subjects, she ran away in that cringe-worthy way she did.
With all that being said, don't get me wrong- I still love this series. Instead of phobias or helpful facts about pixies, this time around Carrie Jones treats us to news "headlines" and blog posts from citizens of the town. I've always loved these little touches to the storyline – it's like a bonus cherry on top that provides insight into what's been going on and also establishes the general mood of pandemonium running rampant through Zara's world. ENTICE doesn't end with quite the same shocker of a cliff-hanger, but it will make you anxious to read the next book. I can only imagine what trials await! ...more
Sigh....I really wanted to love The Iron Witch. That cover alone is breathtaking, isn't it? In the end, I walked away from the book feeling f2.5 stars
Sigh....I really wanted to love The Iron Witch. That cover alone is breathtaking, isn't it? In the end, I walked away from the book feeling feeling pretty unsatisfied. I've tried to break it down for you as best as I could..
HIGHLIGHTS: Donna, the girl with the swirling iron tattoos, has lost so much. Not only did she lose her parents in a vicious attack, but she must struggle with a painful and embarrassing disfigurement. To make matters more bleak, Donna's father died protecting her during the attack, and her mother hasn't recovered since.
I loved Donna's background- the dark family tragedy, the mix of iron and magic for protection, the ancient alchemy principles- I ate that all up. Her story was extremely emotional- I loved the diary snippets in between a few chapters too. I was fascinated by her powerful, dangerous hands and wanted to learn all I could about the magic and science behind what happened to her. The fae background was both intriguing and sinister. But while the world-building was top-notch, the action constantly stumbled and stagnated for me. I do suspect, however, that this could be a series where each of the books gets better and better. Now that stage has been set, I think there is a lot of potential for more action and excitement within the series.
LOWLIGHTS: With all that world-building, there seemed to be not enough room for character development. I also think Donna's character would've worked better in the first person. If Karen Mahoney had allowed us to get inside Donna's head, I think I would've connected much more to her pain, her insecurities and the storm of conflicting emotions within her heart. As it was, I felt a bit removed at all times. I was constantly aware of being the outsider, always looking in but never truly vested.
There were two potential love interests in the book. Donna's best friend Navin, a regular guy whose life is endangered by mere proximity to Donna. Then there was Xan, the potential love interest. It was obvious from the start that Navin had feelings for Donna and as such, I knew that when she met Xan, there'd be a love triangle. I think the "love triangle" in YA has become so commonplace, that it's hard for me to get really excited by them anymore. But I really did enjoy Xan's character. I'd like to learn more about him- the secret's he's hiding, his sad past, his heritage, etc. In fact, I would say I'm more interested in reading the second book to learn about Xan than anything else! His romance with Donna was definitely too rushed though. Once again there was the "instant attraction" element, which seems to have become a staple with the YA genre and to be honest, is pushing me more and more into the arms of my adult books each time I encounter it.
As for the fae element, I personally like my fae to appear in human form. I like them painfully beautiful, but with cold-hearted natures and capricious moods. If you are expecting something like this—perhaps reminiscent of Melissa Marr, then you might be disappointed. So far, The Iron Witch only introduces us to "wood elves". For me, the characterization of the wood elves skewed the book so much younger than I had anticipated. At times I felt like I was reading a middle-grade novel, more Spiderwick Chronicles than Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely or Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey.
FINAL SAY: Fans of Julie Kagawa's series may enjoy elements of The Iron Witch, but for me, the book fell way short of the mark. The series a lot of potential with crisp, clean writing and a fascinating plot hook, but in the end, it just didn't capture my heart or my imagination. I thought the story was so slow to build, that by the time these did start to heat up, I was too far removed to fall hook, line and sinker into Donna' s world. ...more
"She leaned forward, looking utterly inhuman, and I fought the urge to run screaming from the throne room. "I have heard of your exploits, Meghan Cha "She leaned forward, looking utterly inhuman, and I fought the urge to run screaming from the throne room. "I have heard of your exploits, Meghan Chase, " the queen rasped, narrowing her eyes. "Did you not think I would find out? You tricked a prince of the Unseelie Court into following you into the Iron Realm. You made him fight your enemies for you. You bound him to a contract that nearly killed him. My precious boy, almost lost to me forever, because of you. How do you think that makes me feel?" Mab's smile grew more predatory, as my stomach twisted in fear."-page 23
Out of the fry pan and into the fire, that sure describes Meghan Chase's life. When we last left her in The Iron King, she had accomplished a huge feat. But did she get a chance to catch her breath? Not in the slightest. She was on her way to the Winter Court, escorted by Prince Ash himself. As The Iron Daughter kicks off, we find that Meghan is still in danger, but somehow the stakes seem even more dire than in the last book. All is not well with Ash. With Grimalkin conveniently absent and Puck recuperating, Megan must find the strength to stand alone. No longer knowing if she can count on Ash, she maneuvers among the fae with great precision. The Winter Court is a truly frightening world: one where the queen freezes humans alive at the drop of a pin and ravenous redcaps lurk in dark corridors. Meghan must remain sharp, focused and keep her wits at all times. She knows one wrong word, one misjudged display of feeling, one small misstep and she could fall into the hands of a faery bargain she can never escape from, or worse..the wrath of the Winter Queen herself. With tones reminiscent of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, The Iron Daughter plunges the reader into a world full of even more peril, romance and action than it's predecessor.
The Iron Daughter is an engrossing read made up of enigmatic characters with entertaining personalities. Favorite characters return and new ones are introduced. The inner workings of the fae court drip with intrigue and danger. Interwoven into the plot are intriguing elements of back story only hinted at in the first book. We find out why Puck and Ash are sworn enemies. Though heartbreaking, it adds a deeper level of understanding to both their personalities.
Meghan seemed more mature in this novel. She's been through so much and now, there's no going back. I enjoyed the growth in her character. In regards to the romantic elements with Ash, it was sizzling, though at times Meghan made me cringe with her neediness for him. Nevertheless, the world Julie Kagawa has created never ceases to impress me. This installment was by far my favorite, and a must have for any bookshelf. But be forewarned- The Iron Daughter ends with an incredible nail biter of a cliffhanger. It will leave you screaming for more.
The Iron Queen, releasing in 2011 is one novel I know I will be anxiously waiting to get my hands on....more