Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this!
This was a fantastic follow up to Raised by Wolves. Jennif...more**spoiler alert** **Read in July 2011**
Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for a copy of this!
This was a fantastic follow up to Raised by Wolves. Jennifer Lynn Barnes continues to create magic and builds on her world in this story. The first book was brilliant and this book really cemented this series as one of the best werewolf ones out there in my opinion. There’s such a great sense of pack dynamic and a unique type of family within this series and it’s impossible not to love the characters and get lost in the story. The storyline of this book was understated and yet powerful at the same time. There weren’t a lot of things going on, but the adrenaline and excitement pumped throughout the book as the story continued.
This series has an incredible range of characters and the interaction and dynamic they all have with one other is a highlight in the series. As a werewolf pack they’re all so tied to one another and that love and care that they have for each other really seeps through the pages. They all care so deeply for one another and would often die for one another; it’s so beautiful to see. All the characters in this series continue to entertain me and make me feel for them. Bryn, Chase, Devon, Lake, Ali, Callum and all the younger ones are all wonderful in their own right. The sense of friendship and family really adds to the book and makes it all that much more of a great read.
Bryn is honestly a great heroine to follow. She has personally and depth and she truly cares about those in her life and those around her. Even if someone isn’t a part of her pack, she still tries to do right by them and this really shows the kind of character she is. Unlike a lot of the main characters you see nowadays, Bryn constantly puts others above herself. Almost everything she does is for someone else. I love the relationships she has with those around her. From her relationship with Chase, to the one she has with Ali, as well as Dev, Lake and Callum are all completely different and yet essential to who she is and what these relationships make her. Of course I love her relationship with Chase. They’re so sweet together and just keep getting better with each book, but the relationship Bryn has with Ali continues to be a stand out for me. Bryn has so much going for her that helps her survive in this werewolf world that Ali doesn’t have and yet she puts all her weaknesses aside for her adopted daughter. Really the “adopted” part has no place within their relationship; Bryn is her daughter, blood or no blood and I think it’s so beautiful how Ali will do anything to protect and help her daughter.
Towards the end this book was explosive, as things came to light and the story began to wind down. I think the world and the characters within it are changing and growing and will continue to do so in future books. Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next and am looking forward to more stories with Bryn and the rest of the Cedar Ride Pack! (less)
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!**
Unearthly, Cynthia Hand’s...more**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!**
Unearthly, Cynthia Hand’s debut novel is a spell-binding tale of beauty and wonder that will captivate you and take your breath away!
I’ve heard a lot of things about Unearthly, both positive and negative, so when I picked it up I initially planned to only read a couple of chapters, you know, to get a feel of it. Fast forward the rest of the day and I’m finished and wondering when I can get my hands on the next book! It’s taken me a while to actually pick this book up (and I’m truly wondering why right now) but Unearthly is without a doubt one of the best angel tales I’ve ever read! Cynthia Hand has written a complete gem here, full of incredible angel lore and mystery and chock-full of amazing characters that you can’t help but adore. She writes beautifully, the words a perfect companion to the story she weaves together. Hands words flow together stunningly to paint a picture of the vast mountain setting that houses Unearthly and to bring the story to life.
There’s such an aura of mystery surrounding this book as Clara begins her search to fulfil her “purpose”. Having found out she’s a part angel only a few months before, Clara soon finds herself packing up and moving with her family in search of the mysterious boy that haunts her dreams and is essentially her mission. I was captivated the entire time I was reading. From the very moment I picked up the book I found it near impossible to put it down as I had to know what would happen to Clara next.
Every single one of the characters within this book are well rounded and well throughout out. Hand's characterisation is impeccable, from our leading lady Clara, to our love interests, family and friendships that develop throughout the book. They’re all such wonderful editions to the story. One shining aspect of this book for me (besides the obvious love interest) is the fantastic relationship Clara has with her family. The bond she shares with both her mother Maggie and brother Jeffery constantly caught me. There’s a true sense of realness to it with the constant sibling banter and natural interactions and the mother and daughter relationship that, however strained it becomes at times due to some certain choices Clara makes, never seems to waver. And of course fantastic friendships Clara forms with the very different, however equally awesome, Wendy and Angela. Every character in this book shone and there wasn’t a single one I didn’t like.
Clara is one of the best heroines I’ve read about in recent fiction. She didn’t hold a lot of those character traits you seem to find in the martyr heroines that litter YA fiction and she actually had a back bone, while still begin very believable and emphasisable as a character. Despite begin half angel, Clara is very much a normal teenager. She experiences the same things everyone else does. She has insecurities and fears, and faced some tough choices throughout this book that saw her decide between love and destiny.
There’s a lot of speculation about the two male leads within the story and their relationships with Clara and while I adored one, I found it hard to like the other. To begin with Tucker is simply amazing. Pure amazing, with a capital A! Hand certainly has me whistling country songs and considering visiting a rodeo with this sexy cowboy. Despite being Clara’s friend Wendy’s twin brother, Tucker and Clara didn’t exactly have an easy relationship form the beginning. He teased her, she sputtered and despised him and all along you knew (hoped) it was going to lead to one thing....luuurve! I really dug the way Hand has played their relationship. For the beginning of the novel I really wished Clara would stop gawking over Christian so much, and when she finally stopped and began to take notice of Tucker, Hand took their new friendship a tad further into a romance that I found to be endearingly sweet and incredible real at the same time.
As for Christian, well I’m not quite sure how I feel about him. Now, I know he’s the golden boy; the ever popular, overall nice guy that Clara is expected to save, but for some reason I just don’t like him. And I don’t exactly know why. Towards the end of this book we learned some startling things about Christian, and I know those revelations are going to have an impact on future storylines, but there’s something I can’t put my finger on about Christian that I dislike. Perhaps it’s because Hand has hinted that she may play with the lingering emotions and relationship between Clara and Christian in the next book and I’m definitely a Tucker girl, I’m not quite sure.
The ending is very much a shock to the system and not one that I saw coming. It proves to be an interesting progression to the story and I’m certainly dying to see what it all means. Personally, I believe Hand has a lot up her sleeve. While her world wasn’t overly elaborated on it Unearthly I can see her expanding on it and building on it in the next book and I cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on it! (less)
*Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy to read and review*
My Soul To Steal i...more**spoiler alert** **Read in November 2011**
*Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy to read and review*
My Soul To Steal is the 4th book in the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent and it doesn’t lack in adventure and drama. Picking up a few weeks where the last book left off, our heroine Kaylee a bean sidhe, is trying to come to terms with everything she’s been through as of late. Fighting her conflicting feelings for Nash, her kinda-ex, kinda boyfriend, Kaylee is trying to figure out how she feels and decide whether she’s ready to trust Nash with her heart again. There are new problems and new threats against Kaylee and the other characters in this series, with Averi back and worse than ever. He’s stronger, has new tricks and he’s not letting Kaylee go.
Rachel Vincent truly knows how to write. She’s descriptive and everything goes together beautifully. There’s always new things happening and this series never lacks in excitement and you can’t help but get sucked into Kaylee’s incredible world; so different and unique. It’s a fantastic place to get lost in. I really enjoy this series, so it’s odd that I’ve gotten so far behind with it. It took me a while to get to this book but I can say that it was easily as good as the others in the series. The gang are back....Kaylee, Nash, Tod and Emma, with Alec trying to sort out his life and the introduction of a new character Sabine, who’s here to stir up trouble for Kaylee and doesn’t look like she’s about to stop any time soon.
I admit I’ve had my issues with Kaylee throughout this series, but I generally like her. It’s hard not to. She’s strong willed—especially in this book where she steps up against her boyfriends ex—and truly cares about others. At times it seems like she puts others ahead of herself too much, but we can always count on Kaylee to delve into a mystery involving the supernatural and try to help. I felt for her in this book. She’s dealing with the fallout from Nash’s betrayal and doesn’t know if she’s ready to trust him again. She loves him, but their relationship is different now and they’re both facing their issues if they hope to get back to how they were before. And it looks like Kaylee’s got some real competition in the form of Sabine. I disliked the jealousy that poured off Kaylee, but loved when she stood up against her—gotta love a girl who has guts!
I do like Nash and I was disappointed with his actions in the last book, but it was nice seeing him try to make up for them in this book. He knows what he did was wrong and he’s not making excuses; instead he wasn’t to earn Kaylee back and have her in his life once more. That’s honourable and you can’t fault him on that. And yet, I don’t think he and Kaylee will ever be the way they were. And if I’m honest, I don’t want them to be. Yes......Yes, I’m a Tod fan. How can I not be? The guy stole my heart when he sucker punched his brother in Kaylee’s honour and I love any moment where he features in this book. Is it wrong that I want him to be with Kaylee? I know she’s totally in love with Nash, but for every point made in this book, they really don’t belong together. Not anymore. And I think maybe she can find a different happiness with Tod. They’re really close; spending heaps of time together and it seems very natural. It’s obvious he’s developed feelings for her. I just wished she could see it. Rachel Vincent, why must you do this too us?
And I really believe that Nash could find happiness with Sabine. Ha! She may be a threat to Kaylee’s relationship with Nash and may be causing all kinds of trouble, but I really, really like this girl! She’s got fire....and character and I think there’s more to her than what we’ve seen from her; Nash may be right in that regard. I felt sorry for her in this book too and I do understand why she wants Nash back. I may not approve with her methods, but I do understand. I think she and Nash would be good together. I don’t think they ever let each other go, although he’s still in love with Kaylee, but I think he’d find that again if given the chance. I also think she and Kaylee could be great friends in another time and place, and who knows....maybe that will happen over time when they’re not competing against one another for Nash’s affections.
Rachel Vincent sure knows how to weave teenage angst and drama together with unique paranormal threats. I foresee things getting harder before they get better for Kaylee and her friends and I cannot wait to begin the next book...... (less)
Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier is a deeply written fantasy tale full of courage, hope and unparalleled magic that will sweep readers into a dangerous story where love and loyalty are tested and betrayal is just around the corner.
In the fantasy genre, Juliet Marillier is a well known name. A talented author of many books, it may come as a surprise to hear that this is actually the first book of hers I've ever read. Although I doubt it will be the last. Superbly written and with traditional fantasy elements interwoven with unique myth, Shadowfell proves to be quite the interesting story.
Shadowfell introduces us to Neryn, a young woman with the unique ability to see what others cannot--the Good Folk, magical begins that inhabit the land of Alban she calls home. In a time where a tyrant king rules with an iron fist; the people cower behind his rule and bloodshed litter the villages, towns and forests that span Alban.
Neryn's canny gift marks her as special, and hunted; forcing her to flea and hide to protect both herself, and others from her canny gift. During her journey to Shadowfell, a rumored land with rebel forces, Neryn meets many individuals, some human, some Good Folk. Some are friend, others are foe and at times both help and hinder her on her quest. As Neryn struggles to understand truth from lies, she must learn to trust those around her and rely on herself like never before, finding companionship in the form of Flint, a mysterious young man who saves her during one of her darkest moment, but who is more than he seems and whose ties to the royal court may be of a nefarious nature and that of Sage, Sorrel and Red Cap, Good Folk who aid Neryn in the beginning of her journey.
Neryn's tale is a hard one, and at times quite sad. Marillier writes Neryn as a kind, innocent young woman, and details the hard journey she finds herself on, alone and often unsure of who she can trust perfectly. Marillier doesn't shy away from the harsh journey Neryn is on and forces her into difficult situation after situation, forcing her to rely on herself and at times others. Neryn is a kind soul; giving and sharing of what little she has, and though she is young at times naive, Marillier writes it impossible not to like her. As she begins to grow, her voice becomes more and more riveting to follow.
Though this story is masterfully written and detailed, admittedly there were times when the book seemed to lag and I found my mind wandering. That being said, I understood the purpose for certain extended explanation and description to set the setting and explain certain aspects of the story. These slower moments of the book often led to a dangerous fight sequence or important discussion between Neryn and Flint, so in this instance I will forgive Marillier for this.
Encompassing many delightful fantasy elements and a young, but strong main character, Shadowfell does a good job of introducing this new series by Juliet Marillier. As this chapter of Neryn's story comes to an end, I find myself looking forward to the next one and seeing what developments Marillier has in store next! (less)
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thanks so much to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review!**
Suzanne Young’s novel A Need...more**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thanks so much to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a copy of this to read and review!**
Suzanne Young’s novel A Need So Beautiful is like nothing I’ve ever read before. So incredibly beautiful in its pain and anguish, I promise you it will stay with you long after you turn the final page. It will not be forgotten......
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before. Going into it I was expecting a roundabout angel tale and instead this book was so filled with so much depth and emotion that at times I wasn’t even sure what to think, let alone feel. Having just finished reading it, I’m not quite sure what to write to accurately describe the emotions this book drew from me. Reading about Charlotte’s journey, Young ripped me raw and tore me apart as I saw Charlotte’s world as she knew be ripped apart and watched her faced choices that people aren’t supposed to face.
I admit it took me a tiny bit of time to become absorbed with this book. The beginning seemed slow, but once I fell into the groove of it, I didn’t wanna leave. I cannot deny that this book was filled with wonderful characters, from Charlotte herself to her incredible foster family to her best friend, boyfriend and amazing family friend who helps Charlotte in her difficult journey, however it was the overall plotline and theme behind this book that truly captivated me. Suzanne Young has woven together and incredible tale of angst and choices that makes you think. I believe we all like to think that we’ll leave a mark on this world, even if it’s in some small way. That eventually when this life ends we’ll be remembered for something we’ve done or a life we’ve touched, and in this fantastic paranormal YA tale we explore this idea. A Need So Beautiful forces you as the reader to imagine Charlotte’s fear and anguish and even desperation as she fights to stop what it ultimately her destiny.
There’s so much growth in Charlotte, from start to finish in this book and she goes from being an everyday teenager with regular problems to realising she’s something more too untimely deciding if she can accept all she was meant to be. Charlotte’s beautiful story of life and acceptance is one that’s tinged with a romance that felt real and realistic and will catch you from the beginning. Charlotte was an amazing character. With a plotline as strong as this one, as the main character Charlotte needed to be someone readers could emphasize with and understand....and she certainly was! Her fears and feelings were rational—you could understand why she acted the way she did, why she fought so hard against that which she couldn’t change and every single one of her denials make absolute sense. Her world was being ripped out from under her and she had no control over it. It was outside her hands and as she struggled to believe and accept that, you were torn apart as you watched her because her situation was so dire, and yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. All Charlotte was, all she’d ever been was catching up with her and forcing her to make the ultimate choice. Every single action and emotion that went through Charlotte’s head and heart were completely justified.
The ending of this book still clings to me even as I write this review and I’m so unsure of what will happen next. It was not exactly what I was expecting and yet I know this heart-tugging story and bittersweet ending will captivate readers, exactly like it has done me and leave us all breathless and begging for more..... (less)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas’s is a beguiling debut which blends high stakes fantasy with court politics and action, all the while brimming with friendship, love and romance.
Going into this novel, I must say I had quite high hopes. And while the book didn’t live up to my expectations entirely, I found Throne of Glass to be quite an enjoyable read. The book is steady paced and admittedly seems long at times with very little occasionally going on, but the mystery that surrounds the goings on at the palace are enough to keep one entertained, with the relationships that develop between the characters and the plotline demanding your focus.
Sarah J. Maas is extensively talented for a debut novelest. From the very beginning her writing draws you into the story. Written in the third person, it’s beautiful and extensively descriptive; detailing a fantasy world incredibly vivid. Maas spared us nothing; painting a rich, lyrical world both war torn and beautiful. Maa’s plotline is intricate and politically driven. Intrigue and deception go hand in hand with friendship, trust and loyalty all playing important roles within the story.
It’s quite clear that Maas has put a lot of thought into the creation of the world of Erilea. Evident from the detailed map we see at the beginning of Throne of Glass, Maas’s world building shines with ancient history warring with current tradition. Magic and leaders from the past haunt of heroine and shape the novel. With so much left unexplained, but hints towards more made throughout, I’ve looking forward to where Maas intends to take this world.
Featuring such an alluring setting, Throne of Glass was lucky to feature a handful of really fabulous characters. Maas’s characters were surprisingly layered, where assassins and thieves prove be kind-hearted and deep and those of the court (unsurprisingly) were deceptive and self driven. Obviously, Celaena stands out as long with male leads, Prince Dorian and Captian Chaol Westfall, but Nehemia, the princess of Eyllwe and Nox a charming thief all prove to be fantastic additions to the storyline.
Our heroine, Celaena Sardothien is the world’s best assassin. Beautifully. Deadly. And quite an exceptional leading lady. It took me a little while to warm up to her, but as the book progressed, I really came to like Celaena. A trained assassin more than capable of killing with her bare hands, Celaena is a delicious mix of innocence and killer. There’s no mistaking the strength of her. Celaena was all sassy arrogance and snark on the outside, but surprising sweetness and femininity inside. There was a definite difference to face she projected to court society and the Celaena she was to those she grew close to. I found I really loved the contradictions to her; fighter one moment, girly the next. I liked that she had insecurities as a woman but strength and confidence in her fighting skills and who she was as an assassin. Intelligence, courage and bravery all shone from her. Here is a girl who truly didn’t need a man to survive and was fully capable of taking care of herself and I found that empowering!
Throughout Throne of Glass there are two prominent male leads. Crown Prince Dorian and his best friend Captain Chaol Westfall. As the novel is told in third person, we get glimpses into these two very different yet still so intriguing young men. One the future king; cocky, arrogant and a complete womaniser and the other Captain of the guard; quiet, shy and guarded but with a mesmerising personality. Both have amazing heart and intentions and both clearly come to adore Celaena as they get to know her and she worms her way into their hearts.
Maas writes Celaena’s relationships with both men wonderful. There are two very different relationships here and yet both were so perfect. Celaena and Dorian’s relationship is flirty and fun, while Celaena and Chaol bond over their shared skills and experiences. Both male leads have chemistry with Celaena, sharing endearing moments with her. It’s really impossible to see where this love triangle will go—really, at this point it’s anyone’s guess. There’s an added complication that both Chaol and Dorian are close friends and while I’m still not completely sure who Celaena will choose, I know who my heart belongs to. I have a special place in my heart for Dorian (He reminds me of Adrian from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead) but at this point I’m strictly on Team Chaol. There’s just something so appealing about that deep, stoic solider that I can’t fight.
Featuring an exciting, edge of your seat battle leading up towards the ending, fans of Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study will adore this book and with this stage of Celaena’s journey wrapped up nicely, I find myself very eager for the next instalment!
**spoiler alert** Thanks to Pan Macmillan who provided me with this book for review.
In all honesty, it took me a little while to get into this book. N...more**spoiler alert** Thanks to Pan Macmillan who provided me with this book for review.
In all honesty, it took me a little while to get into this book. Not quite sure why, but from about half way on I really loved it. I didn’t want to put it down at times which is saying something. The world within this book was a very different one than what I was expecting. It reminds me a bit like the old west meets modern day America, which is interesting, if not a tad confusing as times. While I did like the world, at times I felt like things could have been explained a tad better. I wished Jana Oliver had explained a bit more of the history in this book. Demons and demon trapping was a very open thing in this book, it wasn’t something that was hidden and civilians knew all about demons. This surprised me a bit. I’m so used to paranormal worlds being hidden from the rest of society in YA tales, that it was a refreshing thing to have this not be the case. The demons were unique and I think the types and kinds are fascinating. It is obvious that the author has put relatively a lot of thought into her world.
I liked most of the characters in this book. I think they all have great potential, including our heroine Riley. I did in fact like Riley in this book. I think she’s young and inexperienced and still has a lot to learn, but she’s feisty and has spirit. She’s relatively normal, despite all the pain and tragedy that she’s currently dealing with, but she’s strong enough to keep going. I can see her growing a lot in this series and it’s something I’m looking forward to seeing.
While I think Riley is a bit spoiled for choice, with not one, not two, but potentially three guys vying for her attention, I have to say that as much as I liked Simon and the mysterious Ori, it’s Beck that absolutely stole my heart in this book! He’s a little rough around the edges and he’s constant “ya’s” were driving me up the wall (I hate it when characters constantly use that kind of slang....it wears on my nerves) but I think that Beck is a real sweetie and is easily my fave character already. He intrigues me; like a mystery I have to solve. The whole time I was reading this book, I found myself analysing his actions; why did he do this? Why doesn’t he want Riley to know that? Even with all the chapters in his POV and the constant glimpses into his head, he’s still a bit of a mystery to me. Everything he does tends to portray a different message than what he’s actually thinking and feeling and I love that! He’s such a complex character, who’s more than Riley and everyone thinks he is and I neeeed more of him!
There were some big events throughout this book and a lot of questions left for me to ponder, which I’m actually happy about. I love the possibilities for this series and of course I’m looking forward to seeing the characters back for the second book.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George is a lush and lyrical re-telling of the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast that is uniquely it’s own tale mixing Nordic mythology with romance and magic in this romantic read.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Show is the first book written by Jessica Day George that I have read, although a couple of her novels have been floating around on my to-be-read list for a while now. And in saying that, I have to say I was quite impressed with this story. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow was very beautifully written and was an unparalleled retelling of a classic fairytale. I found myself caught by the romance and feeling of adventure within it’s pages.
Rejected by her mother at birth, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow follows a young girl known only as "the lass" and the bizarre journey she finds herself on when a bear whisks her away to an ice palace. The lass is told she is to reside at this ice palace for one year and a day in exchange for wealth and riches for her family. Having the ability to speak to and understand animals, the lass is a kind hearted and daring young woman who is accompanied on her journey by her pet wolf Rollo. As the lass explores to palace and begins to understand the bears situation, what ensues is a magical adventure of friendship and love that sees the lass brave harsh dangers and evil foes.
It’s obvious when reading this story that Jessica Day George has put a lot of effort into this magical tale and I think she should be very happy with the results. I’m a big fan of fairytale retellings and love their overall tone, but I especially liked that Day George has put extra effort into twisting this already excellent tale and adding in different elements and different creatures to make it one of a kind.
Personally I found Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow to be exactly what I needed at the point in time that I read it; magical and fun, light and easy. I enjoyed reading about our main character and I loved the dynamic she had with her brother Hans Peter. I thought the characters were typical of this kind of book but still lovely to read about.
Rich in adventure with an undertone of mystery and romance, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is a lovely fairytale retelling that will sweep you away to another place and time.
**spoiler alert** Thanks to Pan Macmillan who provided me with this book for review.
C.C Hunter creates a fun, mysterious, captivating tale with her de...more**spoiler alert** Thanks to Pan Macmillan who provided me with this book for review.
C.C Hunter creates a fun, mysterious, captivating tale with her debut novel. Shadow Falls is a world I was drawn into from the very beginning and no matter what I did this book just wouldn’t let me go! Going into this book I’d heard all kinds of great things about it, but I never expected to love it as much as I ended up loving it. I finished it in less than two days and every time I was reading it I just didn’t want to stop. It was a fight to put the book down at times. The thing is though, that there’s nothing overly unique or extraordinary about this book, and yet that’s what I think makes it such a great read. The characters and the story are so normal, there’s no action packed storyline going on 24/7 or endless drama, but the characters, the story and the mystery that surrounds this book still managed to captivate me regardless. The idea of this story and the camp isn’t anything out there, but the way it all flows and even the way C.C Hunter writes manages to create something that is so addictive.
There are so many characters in this book, that at times it is confusing, especially at the beginning, but this really does add an aura of authenticity to the story. It’s set in a camp and what does a camp have? Tonnes and tonnes of different individuals with different personalities and different purposes and that’s what we have here. Each and every character.....from Kylie’s two roomies Miranda and Della, who I just loved by the way, to her love interests Derek and Lucas to Perry and Helen and Holiday the camp counsellor, are just so fresh and fun and add real flavour to the story. Honestly, I can’t get enough of these fantastic characters. They make me wish I was attending Shadow Falls! As for the main character, wow, I thought she was brilliant! Kylie is such a regular, normal girl. She has her flaws, her faults and she spends the majority of this book in denial, denial, denial, but there’s just something about her that is so likeable. She’s the kind of girl you can relate to. The kind of girl-next-door gal that you can see, either as yourself or as your best friend. Kylie’s not overly brave or tough, but is instead finding herself and learning who she is, not only as a supernatural, but a person. It’s so nice to discover a MC that you actually care about. One that you actually want to see do well and not just because she’s the MC and you need that to happen in order for the storyline to move forward.
The male leads in this book are wonderful. With sexy half fae Derek and smokin’ werewolf Lucas, Kylie certainly is spoiled for choices. Both male leads are tough and brilliant and it’s really hard to know who is a better option for Kylie. Personally, I think they’re both great choices and I certainly wouldn’t want to be in Kylie’s shoes (or would I?) but if I was completely honest here, there is a part of me, the bigger part that screams, “Lucas, Lucas, Lucas!” and I am inclined to agree with that side. Some of the things Lucas did for Kylie....they’re just too cute for words. While I think Kylie and Derek could have great potential--he’s kind and understanding and sexy too--if Lucas wasn't in the picture, I just don’t see the same spark that Kylie and Lucas have. I can certainly see Kylie having a difficult time in future books with her feelings involving these two!
This story is mysterious and entertaining and I just couldn’t get enough of it. There are so many questions floating around about what Kylie is and about some of the other characters in this book. The ending isn’t necessarily a cliff-hanger, but it still left me wanting more. This is a fantastic debut and first book in what I’m sure will be a fantastic series! Fans of Rachel Hawthorne’s Hex Hall and Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers will love it and anyone who loves a good, fun tale will be lost to this book as they’re drawn into Kylie’s quest and world.... (less)
First off, thank-you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and rev...more**spoiler alert** **Read in November 2011**
First off, thank-you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy of this to read and review!
Silence is the 3rd book in the fantastic Hush, Hush series and this time things are getting even tougher for Patch and Nora as they continue to face off against the infamous Black Hand! Weaving his way into Nora’s life, he’s making things harder for her and is setting his plans in motion, making it all that much harder for our young lovers in this thrilling instalment of the series! I admit I was a little disappointed with the previous book in this series. I felt Crescendo lost a lot of the spark and depth that made the first one so great and I found Nora’s attitude to have been grating. I was worried that this book would follow in the same footsteps and I admit I was hesitant going in. That being said, Silence was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed it much more than Crescendo and Nora redeemed herself a lot in my eyes in regards to the way she acted in the 2nd book.
It’s hard to accurately describe, but the pace of this book seemed slower at times than the previous books to me, however I found I really enjoyed that. With Nora suffering amnesia and so much missing thanks to the time she’d been held hostage, I actually enjoyed seeing her piece things together. I’ve always found Nora to be a very likeable heroine, but her actions in Crescendo disappointed me. I felt she whined too much and carried on but in Silence she really stepped up and I felt we saw more of the great character she is. She’s brave and likes to face things head on and even as she began to remember she allowed her instincts to guide her--I really liked that; it was nice to see. I like her quick wit where Patch is concerned and even with the other characters.
I found the plotline of this book to be really enjoyable and it was awesome seeing Patch face off against Hank again on many occasions and see just what he was willing to do for Nora. All the other characters that have been relevant in making this series what it is Vee, Marcie, Hank (of course) and even Scott are back and finally beginning to take on important roles within the book. I admit I was surprised, although happily so with some of the minor characters and their actions within Silence--some really stepped up in a way that helped drive the plotline and story of the book.
The one thing I can say about this series is that it’s always been Nora and Patch. There’s no third person catching Nora’s eye and vying for her heart; she belongs completely to Patch. As he does to her. Becca Fitzpatrick has written the romance between Patch and Nora so well in this retrospect. You can feel the undeniable attraction and desire between them; the way they make each other burn, in a way that’s so strong. Patch loves Nora more than life; she’s his everything and he’s willing to go against his very nature for her. And in turn, Nora’s feelings for Patch are so strong that even when she couldn’t remember him she remembered how he made her feel. When she thought of him as Jev she still knew he meant something to her. And I really love that about this book/series. With so many love triangles littering YA fiction, it’s so wonderful having a couple so transfixed on each other and who don’t even think of anyone else.
This book marks a changing point in the series. I’m not going to give too much away, but Nora faces a lot of choices, including one that changes everything about her place in the war between the fallen angels and nephilim. Ending with a killer cliff-hanger that makes you wonder how Becca could be so cruel as to ever leave a book there, this book will thrill fans alike. Personally I have no idea where Ms. Fitzpatrick plans on taking the series next—she totally blew me outta the water with some of the events in this one. One thing’s for sure, things will never be the same and I’m excited to find out what all this means and what’s next. Bring on the next book, pretty please? (less)
**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a copy of this book to review*
Fateful caught me from the beginning. I...more**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Harper Collins Australia for sending me a copy of this book to review*
Fateful caught me from the beginning. It took me on an incredible journey of love, danger and tragedy. It made my heart soar before breaking it as I knew it eventually would, only to have it heal me once again and leave me with endless hope. There’s no denying that the story of the Titanic isn’t a powerful one. It has been ever since the beginning, and in this book Claudia Gray creates a tale that transports you to another time and place. It’s beautiful and romantic, but hauntingly tragic as events come to pass that we all know are inevitable even before reading this tale.
Going into this book I knew that it would have to end it pain at some point; that many of the characters we met on the ship wouldn’t survive that tragic night, but that didn’t stop me from loving them regardless. Born to a time of high class and wealth, where difference of importance was a common thing, all these characters were captivating and wonderful. Some were well bred, but still kind as we saw with Miss Irene. Others were born to a lower class, yet still strong as individuals and soul as we saw with kind George, sweet Ned, feisty Myriam and honourable Mr Marlowe who loved his son no matter what. Of course there were the cruel ones as we saw with Lady Regina, Layton and Mikhail, but they gave the book a strong foundation and made it seem more realistic to that time. Each and every character had their own story aboard the Titanic and their own past that made them such colourful characters to read about.
Tess was a great lead to read about. She came from humble beginnings, and she was just a normal servant girl from those times who happened to want more from life. She knows her place in life and who she is, but she wanted the freedom that only fleeing her employer could give and believed the Titanic was her ticket to that. One of the things I loved about Tess was that she was so normal; of course she had vulnerabilities and she was scared but she was strong too. I thought she reacted to learning about werewolves with a healthy amount of fear, but she saw them in a good and balanced light over time and none of that changed her growing feelings for Alec. As for Mr. Alec Marlowe....swoon. What can I say? Born to wealth, he was haunted by what he was now was and the things he did. He’s just the kind of man a girl can dream would sweep her off her feet in those times and days. He was a nobleman, but none of that mattered to him when it came to Tess. He treated those around him who weren’t quite in the same position as he was with respect too. He was sexy and charming and fell completely in love with Tess, eventually making a selfless act that would save her life.
Despite the events of the Titanic, or perhaps even because I knew how it would end, the relationship between Tess and Alec was so romantic! Both were so different, and from different classes, but the sparks between them were beautiful and their relationship was passionate and real. It was refreshing to have Alec’s family support his romance with a woman of a lower class and to have them have his father’s blessing. It was nice not having this as an obstacle for them and instead seeing them face a completely different threat. Tess and Alec connected and had a bond that nothing—not what he was, not difference of status, not even the ocean itself--could break. It was pure and so intense to read about.
I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that some scenes, especially towards the ending of this book, had me very emotional. When you love certain characters and follow them on their journey, only to have it end in such a tragic, be it inevitable way, it’s very sad. I can see the beauty in the way Claudia Gray has written the tale and her characters and I’m so pleased to have read their story. It was impossible not to get swept up in this intense, passionate tale and I held on through it all; unable to stop reading as the characters found their feet and each other. The pain and sadness of the ending didn’t over power the hope and promise found at the very, very end and it was equal balance happiness and tragedy.
This book is an incredible journey that will draw all number of emotions from readers and will stay with you, long after you turn the last page! (less)
Fated is the first book in Alyson Noel’s new Soul Seekers series and is a delightfully enjoyable start to what looks to be a promising series!
I have to be brutally honest here and say that I wasn’t a fan of Alyson Noel’s Immortals series. I tried, I really did, reading the first two books however giving up halfway through the third as it was unfortunately not for me. Keeping that in mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect when beginning Fated so I’m happy to say that I while it didn’t exactly blow me away I did enjoy this book.
In my mind Fated started off slow and take me a while to really slip into the gist of the story but I found that Noel mixed Native American and Hispanic traditions, myths and culture with a lovely tale of danger, growth and family.
Overall the characters were alright; likable but without the real depth I prefer from my characters. As our heroines Daire is again, likable, and her voice isn’t one that’s too hard to follow. For the first novel in a series, Daire undertakes a lot of growth in Fated and at this point I’m not sure that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Either Daire will become one killer heroine in the future, or Noel has rushed the growing up process that I’m usually so fond of in YA books.
It was nice to see an author step outside of the traditional family and explore a more unique and dysfunctional one. The relationship our protagonist Daire sported with her mother was one that featured great maturity woven together with the normal mother/daughter relationship that was influenced by the young age at which Jennika gave birth to Daire. The relationship between Daire and her grandmother Paloma was another one I enjoyed seeing but felt wasn’t explored enough. This could have been such a thrilling relationship but while the love, respect and friendship developed, I didn’t really feel it like I wanted to. It seemed like one moment Daire hated and distrusted her grandmother and the next she loved her. This seemed like a plot hole to me.
As our villain Cade is fitting, however nothing about him really screams out to me. Dace, Cade’s twin and Daire’s love interest I did like, but once more I would have liked to see more of him. His relationship with Daire on the other hand seemed rushed—the theme of the day for this book and me at times. And it also seemed to story and too intimate for so early in the series. Then again, I did notice that with Even and Damen in the Immortals too, so that just may be Alyson Noels writing style. Xotichl was fabulous as Daire’s new visionary impaired friend and Paloma did shine as her grandmother.
I am quite intrigued by the prospect of Cade and Dace’s relationship. With such a torrid conception, these two have quite the interesting history. Noel leaves much to the imagination with hints towards Dace’s origin and nature coming into play. Just what is an Echo and what does it mean for him?
The setting for this book was a standout for me. Noel writes in such detail that it’s is impossible not to get lost in the town of Enchantment at times. From the great wilderness that surrounds it to the traditional reservation, there was so much culture throughout Fated that I just ate up.
While the ending comes on fast, it’s quite heart racing and with mystery surrounding Daire’s destiny as Seeker and Dace’s meaning as an Echo, I’m interested in reading the next book. Fingers crossed it lives up to the first. (less)
Libba Bray’s latest release The Diviners is a darkly, seductive supernatural thriller set in the roaring 1920’s that is pos-i-tute-ly delectable!
From the cryptic opening chapter The Diviners is utterly mesmerising. Though I wasn’t thrilled with how she ended her Gemma Doyle Trilogy, I am a without a doubt a Libba Bray fan. Libba is unendingly talented in creating richly descriptive stories and she outdoes herself with The Diviners! From the very first page, Bray’s 1920’s world is fierce; rich and addictive. With her potent, flowing writing, Libba Bray drags you kicking and screaming into her novel. And I mean into it.
Throughout this entire book the captivating world was so vivid that I felt as though I was a part of it. I could see and feel the glitz and glamour. I could hear the sounds of Down Town New York; the hussle and bussle and life that was the 1920s. I could hear the crooning voices floating from the radio. I could envision the numbers runners working away for Papa Charles, the flappers and dames dancing the night away at Hotsy Totsy or one of the other theatres or speakeasies that dotted the town. The authentic dialogue and language swept me up into another time. The atmosphere was incredible; flowing and bleeding into every page and I found myself unable to do anything else but soak up every moment of it!
I must point out that The Diviners is in no way a short read. Heading towards the 600 page mark, one could be forgiven for expecting this book to be written with a lot of fluff and unnecessary pages, but this is never the case. Libba Bray expertly crafts a perfectly paced and moving plotline, told in third person, which whisks you into the story. Her ability to mix harsh themes such as murder and mayhem with the undeniable truths of the time (racism, corruption, prohibition) is outstanding and Bray weaves glitz, glamour and flair with, friendship and danger just the lightest hint of romance. Cults and rituals war with the care-free aspect of the time and are at perfect odds with one another; adding another layer or dread and excitement to the setting.
The murder mystery within The Diviners is written perfectly as far as I am concerned! I was pleasantly surprised that Bray doesn’t skirt around the gory details or let her murder mystery get lost amongst all the romance and flair of the era, as I’ve seen in the past. Rather Naughty John and his naughty activities are front and centre, driving the novel and giving me all kinds of creeps. There isn’t a lot of mystery surrounding who the killer is for the reader, but Libba Bray still manages to keep the suspense of the novel raging on and you don’t loose interest as the protagonists get closer and closer to discovering the truths for themselves. Honestly, I felt chills and goosebumps as I read this book. The anticipation and expectation was too much at times and I was always on edge---I loved it!
Throughout the course of the book our main heroine is Evie O’Neill, a small town girl who is shipped off to live with her Uncle Will, the curator of Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult (Also knows as the Museum of Creepy Crawlies) in New York City after Evie’s ability to discover information off people by merely touching an item they own gets her into trouble. Honestly, I had quite mixed feelings about Evie for the majority of the novel if truths be told.
In a time where prohibition rages, Evie is boisterous, loud and snarky; easily off putting and over the top, but while there were moments when she irked me, her charm is pos-i-tute-ly redeeming. There’s something so full of life about Evie that just fits in with this novel perfectly. With so many heavy themes explored throughout The Diviners, this book needed a heroine like her; someone so carefree and witty that shed some light on the darkness. Evie may get caught up in herself quite often; in parties and shopping; in living, but when it really counts, Evie rallies. There’s a softness to her and vulnerability when you look closely that mixes with her wit and flair to create someone that has all the potential to grow into a really thrilling heroine!
The characters within this story are the cats meow! If I didn’t already adore this book, the characters would steel my heart alone! While the goings on of Naughty John are our main focus in this instalment, we are also introduced to a whole cast of characters that make 1920’s New York their home. There’s Memphis, an attractive black numbers runner and poet who used to be able to heal people with the touch of his hand; Jericho, a handsome young man who helps out Evie’s uncle Will at his museum who is more machine than man; Theta, a stunning young dancer with big dreams and even bigger secrets; Henry, Theta’s BFF and piano player with secrets of his own; Sam Lloyd, pickpocket and small time thief who can make himself invisible to people at will and of course our main protagonist is Evie, a clairvoyant go-getter with bigger dreams than the small town in Ohio that she’s from and who’s out to make a name for herself. And that’s not all! There’s Mabel, Evie’s shy, quite friend who’s pining after another; Evie’s Uncle Will with his dark secrets possibly surrounding many of the characters; Mephis’s brother Isaiah, with gifts of his own and many, many more!
What I found interesting is that even as the case of Naughty John is going on, it’s impossible to miss that it’s part of a bigger picture; that there is more going on that just this one killer. Bray’s layered, three dimension characters slowly intermingle with one another and with their different back stories and their noticeably similar gifts, it’s obvious that they’re all a part of a bigger plan within the series. There is ancient magic and long since lost abilities rising up once more and I’m so very excited to see where Libba Bray intends to take this series. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Complete with murder mystery, adventure and hints of romance; the mysterious paranormal secrets of this book blend with all the flair, flavour and fire of the 20’s to create a thrilling opener in what promises to be an incredible series by author Libba Bray. Ladies and gentlemen, this book is the bees knees! (less)
**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Random House Australia for sending me a ARC of this to read and review!*
Dearly Departed is a book that catapu...more**spoiler alert** *Firstly, thank-you to Random House Australia for sending me a ARC of this to read and review!*
Dearly Departed is a book that catapulted me into another world and took me on a journey that I didn’t want to end!
It was a fast paced, exciting story of a world very different to the one we live in. I devoured this book and fell in love with the characters and world. It was wonderfully written; descriptive and the various POV allowed me to get a very rounded view of what was going on, as well as get into the heads of the two main characters at different points within the story. It’s obvious that Lia Habel has put a lot of thought and effort into her debut novel and it shows with the detailed, well crafted world. The world within this book isn’t quite like anything I’ve read before. It mixes the beauty and traits of the Victorian era with the wonders and benefits of the modern world. Technology blends well with old style feelings and manners, creating a world out of an old film, but ingrained into a modern, somewhat futuristic society.
The zombies too in this book are brilliant. They’re your traditional zombies with an awesome twist that leaves some very human and fun to read about. This novel spots a terrific cast of characters, who give flavour and flair to the book. There isn’t a character in this book that I didn’t adore for one reason or another. Even some who weren’t standouts hold a lot of potential in my eyes. From the two main characters, Nora and Bram, to the people within Nora’s world, to the ragtag bunch of zombies who make up of some of Company Z—they were unique and well rounded. Bram, Tom, Chas, Renfield and Coalhouse will have you grinning and in stitches with their humour and witty take on their condition. They’ll have you smiling with their fun spirited interactions and wondering just where you can get yourselves a bunch of zombie friends like these!
With the strength of the world and the characters in general, we needed a subsequently strong willed and feisty heroine to really make the novel shine and we certainly found that in Nora! Nora Dearly is your typical New Victorian girl who also happens to be stubborn and outspoken and who doesn’t want to hide behind her beauty and fancy dresses. Oh, no. Nora wants to get out there and be a part of things and she certainly gets her chance when she’s thrust into the middle of a war and learns that everything she knows about the world around her isn’t exactly all there is to know. Far from curtsying and eating scones, this girl knows how to handle her guns, even in a dress and I found Nora to be very likeable with a spark that shone through. To me, she reacted realistically when learning everything she did, but in time she grew to accept Company Z and even wanted to be a part of it. Once she accepted the friendly zombies within this book, she treated them with respect and dignity; accepting them for what they were and even forming friendships with them. I liked her spirit and her attitude in the face of everything—Nora is my kind of girl!
Now there’s no way I can talk about this book and not talk about Bram....and there’s a reason for that. Bram. Is. Amazing! A total gentlemen and sweetie, this zombie boy sure knew how to worm his way into my heart! Bram’s a very well rounded character. He’s honourable and kind, with a good overall thought and acceptance of what he is. He doesn’t complain about what he is and is generally accepting of his condition. He doesn’t let the fact that he’s a zombie ruin his life and he lives it the best he can. He treats Nora with respect from the very beginning and his charm and good nature make him a fantastic male lead to read about. The chapters that feature Bram and his POV really give you an insight into the workings of his mind—everything about Bram is good. Nothing is false and he truly is as good as he seems. He’s strong and brave, while still staying very human and that’s not even taking into account that he is....well....dead.
Nora and Bram may seem like a very unlikely pair, but together they really work. Their relationship is one that develops over time and never seemed rushed. In fact, Nora isn’t even that sure of Bram at first and it takes a while for her to get used to him, let alone her feelings for him. It’s not outright in your face; rather a delicious undercurrent to the novel. The attraction is there, but it takes a while to develop, although Bram is clearly interested in Nora from almost the very beginning. He’s very sweet in his affections; he never pushes Nora for something she’s not ready to give him and he’s often unsure of his actions and how she’ll view him. Their relationship is one that sure has its obstacles. Of epic proportions. She’s alive. He’s dead. Big obstacle, especially when you throw in the fact that he has an expiry date, but it never seems to be an issue for these two and I love that. They know the risks and what being together means, but they just don’t care.
The world within this book is ever changing and ever growing, which was something I enjoyed. Society leans so much about the zombies during the course of the novel, with many changes implemented. The story ends with a slightly different world than the one we first met in the beginning, with differences in the characters evident too. I’m oh, so eager for the next book to see what’s in store next for the characters. Dearly Departed is endearingly sweet and surprisingly funny. It’s a great tale that will have you on the edge of your seat until the final page, after which you’ll be aching for more! (less)
***Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy to read and review**
The Iron Knight...more**spoiler alert** **Read in October 2011**
***Firstly, thank-you to Harlequin Teen Australia for sending me a copy to read and review**
The Iron Knight marks a dramatic conclusion to Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. Weaving together all the beauty and wonder that has made this series so captivating, The Iron Knight explores the darkest places of the Nevernever as Ash faces truths, challenges and revelations in his quest for a soul; racing towards a climax that will leave you breathless!
In all honestly I’m saddened to see this series come to an end, but I found this book to be a very fitting end to a series that has taken me on highs and lows, through danger and adventure, shown me love and heartbreak and ultimately captured me with each and every book. Julie Kagawa has created a gem right here, with a world and characters beautiful in their own rights and magic when she put them together. Every page, ever book has just gotten better and better and Kagawa proves she can still knock our socks off with more twists and turns, and shocks and revelations than I knew what to do with in this book!
There wasn’t a moment during Ash’s adventure that I was bored or able to be dragged away. It was stunning watching as he and Puck travelled far and wide as part of their journey to find Ash a soul. Of course it was fantastic seeing Puck (AKA Robin Goodfellow) return in all his pesky glory, creating more mischief and making me smile even when ten seconds before I’d wanted to cry. Brimming with old friends and new, all of which helped Ash in some way or another, this story takes us into the heart and head of Ash, allowing us a glimpse into the very depth of the Winter Prince. This book is an emotional roller-coaster ride as Ash faces his past in an attempt to find his future. Just when it seemed like we all knew what would happen with this book, Ash is faced with not one, but two equally difficult choices to make in his quest to return to Megan.
I really felt for Ash in this book—it was impossible not to, but I feel like he really cemented and proved why he is, and will always be, one of the best male leads in YA fiction. We’ve all known Ash had led a hard life, and had done some horrible things but in this book the reality really sinks in as we see the horrors Ash was a part of and the blood that once stained his hands. We must face the horror of his past with our hero as he attempted to pass his tests and return to his love. I think Ash grew so much in this book and it was brilliant to see. Now I’m not going to go into a lot of detail for fear of giving too much away, but throughout the series we’ve watched Ash morn his lost love, even as he fell for Megan and in Iron Knight Ash faces a revelation and choice I doubt any of us readers ever expected he’d face. Julie Kagawa certainly knows how to pull our heart strings, but in the end Ash made the right decision. We all knew he loved Megan, but by throwing in this twist Kagawa has truly validated their love and proven that it really is the real deal; that it’s stronger than anything else.
There were heart-wrenching moments and throughout the whole book you truly do wonder how it will end. Nothing ever seemed safe, even towards the end of the book when everything seemed to come crashing down, before soaring higher and higher than before. There’s been pain and tears, laughter and joy and heart-breaking sorrow, but in this book we finally find the ending we were all searching for as The Iron Fey series comes to a close. As we face the final chapter in what truly has been an incredible series, Kagawa delivers one of the best books and doesn’t disappoint as she ends the series with endless hope and possibilities and I’m sure leaves us all wishing we could get our hands on the spin-off right now.....
***Firstly, thank-you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy to read and review***
Alyxandra Harvey creates an exciting new vampire tale with Bleeding Hearts, the 4th book in her fabulous Drake Chronicles! Jump back into the world of the Drake family as they continue to deal with their new position in vampire politics and face new challenges. I simply adore this series and I was excited to begin Connor’s tale. This was is a fun, easy read that you begin and simply devour. It’s a great way to escape from life in general and is a quick read. It’s extremely exciting and is never lacking in action or romance.
I must admit I was torn at sometimes with this book. Connor is essentially the Drake brother that we are following and Christabel his love interest, but it focuses very heavily on Lucy. Lucy is first and foremost my fave character in this series. I just love this girl, she rocks. I enjoyed having her front and centre so much, but I felt at times that Christabel and Connor weren’t the main focus enough. Don’t get me wrong I loved it, but I think I would have liked to have seen more of Conner and Christabel. I just don’t think they had enough time dedicated to them, unlike Logan and Quinn’s books where it focuses mainly on them. However Lucy and Nicholas still are my favourite couple even now, so I cannot deny that I ate up every touch, kiss and moment between them.
Connor is very different from his twin and I found him very endearingly cute. I liked that he quotes Star Trek and thought about Star Wars often--it made him seem more approachable. And yet there’s no denying that he’s a Drake brother through and through. He breaks into battle in a single moment and fights just like every one of his brothers. I did like Christabel, although I think I was expecting more personality going into this book. I loved that she was tough though and lived her own life. Similar to Connor; she quoted poems during random moments and walked to the beat of her own drum. She wore combat books and read Jane Austen, while also being ready to defend a stranger and get back at a bully easily. I think she reacted to things realistically and adjusted to her new life in a manner in which I expected.
I was disappointed with the changes in Solange, although ecstatic to see so many of the Drake family and their respective others in this book--it’s great when you get to see the characters you love again. Overall this book is a fantastic read that I highly recommend with a cliff-hanger ending that leaves you open mouthed and thinking, “No!” It certainly wasn’t something I was expecting and I can’t wait for the next book to find out just what happens! (less)
Burn Bright is the first book in Marianne de Pierres Night Creatures series and is a darkly alluring tale full of seductive adventure and steeped in mystery!
Even after finishing this novel, I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. I have mixed emotions where it’s concerned. Marianne de Pierres has crafted a world so very different from any I’ve ever read before in Burn Bright. Dark and infinitely intense, this book blends the paranormal with dystopian in a tale that’s as mysterious as it is intriguing but there were also times where I found my mind wandering, simply due to the nature and darkness of the tale.
While this book didn’t exactly blow my mind, it was impossible not to get lost in this intense world where partying and pleasure are ones soul focus and darkness and danger lurk around every corner. The endless night of Ixion is an intense world were desire and danger mingle as one and the hard, powerful Ripers control those living on the island.
Overall, I was quite impressed with Marianne de Pierres storytelling. Her writing is vivid and descriptive and she paints a harshly thrilling picture of the world of Ixion. Stakes always seem high to our heroine Retra and as she navigates her new home in her quest to find her brother. There was so much mystery to this novel; from the goings on in Ixion to the motivations of the characters to just what the Ripers are and their connection to the Night Creatures that inhabit Ixion. While ordinarily I would soak up this mystery, there were times in Burn Bright where it got old. I constantly felt like I was fighting to understand the story and in turn wished for more information and background information on exactly what kind of place Ixion was.
That begin said, for the most part Burn Bright was quite riveting. I found it very clever that we only know the things about Ixion that our protagonist Retra does. Marianne de Pierres’s world is so vividly intense and there’s such an aura of danger and desperation that clings to the pages of this story. Underneath the cover of darkness, teens party and enjoy life; soaking up the clubs, drugs and intoxicants that litter Ixion unaware and uncaring about what is really going on on this eerie island. Fear plays no part in their lives as they soak up all Ixion has to offer.
Retra, our heroine is a very shy, reserved girl who has escaped her controlled life in Grave where women wore veils and did not speak and men ruled, with the Council or Elders and their wardens residing over the running of the city. Retra is a hard topic for me. I liked Retra, I did—there’s something about her that’s so innocent and endearing, even if she came across as being too naive at times but I never felt as though I really loved her. I certainly never disliked her, but for whatever reason it was a struggle to connect with her at times. I can certainly see her potential—she’s already grown and accepted so much but I think I’ll wait until the next book to decide my opinion of her.
As far as the characters in this series go, I’m actually really liked them. In Ixion, people are selfish and intent on living their own lives, so it was interesting to see Retra come across a great cast of characters who despite this also managed to be kind and good friends to her. Rollo and Suki I especially liked, but Charlonge as well with the White Wing members Kero and Krista-Belle made nice editions to the story.
If I have one word to sum up the Ripers in this book it would be; scary. These guys plain out were scary. Seeing the story through Retra’s eyes they appeared so harsh and unbending. For a girl so scared and frightened at times, the Ripers were a powerful and controlling force that gave shivers at times simply by the way they acted. And because of this, I’m even more intrigued by Lenior. Honestly, I don’t think he’s innocent at all, but I definitely think his new bond with Retra will shape who he is and his actions throughout the series. He’s the Riper leader and obviously believes in what they’re doing, but he’s also beginning to feel possessive/protective over Retra and it’s this contradiction that makes me want to learn more about him.
Overall Burn Bright is a great start to this series. While there are some aspects of the novel that didn’t exactly appeal to me, I’m looking forward to see where this series goes. Fingers crossed it lives up to its potential and continues to get better with each book!
Firstly, thank-you to Harper Collins Australia for providing me with a copy to read and review
Hallowed, for me is proof that it is possible to adore a book.....while also wanting to throw it against a wall! The first book in this series, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is one of, if not the best angel themed book I’ve ever read and it’s suffice to say I had high hopes when going into the book. Unfortunately, I found myself a tad disappointed and undeniably frustrated throughout Hallowed.
Hallowed is a beautifully told story. Hand is an incredibly talented storyteller who weaves together a stunning story of mystery and excitement with heart-wrenching romance and deep emotions. Her writing is rich and detailed and depicts a stunning picture throughout the novel. In Hallowed, our heroine Clara is dealing with new revelations about herself and the shocking consequences of her decision at the last book. I found I enjoyed how Hand continued to evolve her storyline, but I’m conflicted over the direction she appears to be taking her characters and series in.
I truly loved Clara in the last book but in Hallowed I was frustrated by some of her actions and choices. I love how Hand writes her; she’s very real and I easily understand how an individual could act how she did, but I’m annoyed about how tossed up she is. She fights what is expected of her, but she still finds herself drawn in that direction. And by going against it, people get hurt by her indecision. Perhaps it’s human nature, but as a reader it’s frustrating when your heroine seems to be making poor choices and yet brilliant ones at other times. Clara is a fantastic character, but with all the pain and uncertainty she deals with in Hallowed I feel like she looses herself a little bit. However, I’m looking forward to seeing her find herself again in the next book.
I also find myself so annoyed by the Clara and Tucker relationship and conflicted by the Clara and Christian one. Cynthia Hand wrote such a beautiful romance between Clara and Tucker in the first book. It was sweet and endearing and it felt realistic, but here she completely trashes it. I wanted to scream over Clara’s indecision and her desire to constantly be around with Christian. He’s not her boyfriend, she shouldn’t be thinking of him the way she was. With some revelations about her parents relationship, I can see similarities between Clara and Christian and them, and I’m peeved, because I simply adore Tucker. In a genre where there are so many “Christians” it’s fantastic to find a love interest like Tucker. He breaks the mould and he stole my heart.
And here’s why I’m so conflicted. If there was no Tucker, and honestly I’d hate no Tucker, I’d say Christian and Clare are meant to be together. There’s some kind of connection between the two of them, something that Clara fights, but becomes more apparent in this book. I generally like Christian. When he’s not moving in on Tucker’s girl that is! He seems like a good guy and he’s truly been there for Clara, but I want Tucker to be there. I want Tucker to be the one who comforts Clara and makes her smile, as he was in the first book. I missed him throughout this book and wanted that incredible relationship Tucker and Clara developed in the first book back!
I was saddened over the loss of one of the characters in the book. Hand managed to create such a fantastic family dynamic in the first book and I was disheartened to see it ripped apart the way it was in this book. It may have been necessary to the story, but it was hard none-the-less. Hand puts her characters through the wringer and plays with their emotions, in turn tugging as yours as you read their story.
While I’m not exactly pleased with some of the events of this book and I’m not thrilled with where it’s going I am eager for the next instalment! The killer ending Hallowed ends with will have some fans heartbroken and others cheering, depending on your “Team” I suppose, but one thing that’s for sure is that the next book is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster as the events of this one become apparent.
Masterfully blending vampires with dystopia, Julie Kagawa breathes fresh air into a vampiric story that you’ll really be able to sink your teeth into with the beginning of her new exciting Blood of Eden series!
Beginning this book, it quickly becomes clear that whoever said vampires were done certainly never met Julie Kagawa! Telling the story of Allison Sekemoto and her brave if not sometimes harrowing and lonely journey in the detailed and descriptive way that only Kagawa can, The Immortal Rules drives the reader straight into a hard, dark world where the characters struggle to survive and even to maintain their own humanity.
As with all of Kagawa’s other writing, I found this story to be richly descriptive while never lacking for danger and action sequences. Each word flows perfectly to the next, detailing the harsh, barren and plague destroyed world that our heroine, Allie, lives in. From the dark alleyways and harsh streets of the vampire city that Allie and her friends live in during the very beginning of the story, to the vast plains, forests and lands that Allie travels across with those she meets once she leaves, every detail manages to captive your imagination and only further catapults you into the world you are reading about.
Set in this incredible backdrop, the vampires and their regime that drive part of the plot are very intriguing. We see only the streets where Allie lives and only the lowly parts of the city throughout the book and I found I wondered about the other side of the fence. I can certainly see Julie Kagawa building on this as she expands her world in future books and I look forward to seeing more of the vampire Kings, Princes and Masters that run the vampire cities.
Throughout The Immortal Rules we follow our heroine Allison “Allie” Setemoto in her journey from human to vampire and then onwards. As a reader I found it really interesting seeing Allie before her change and then afterwards. There’s that initial change as she becomes a vampire, but she’s still very much Allison. She many now be one of the creatures she despises, but she’s still the same girl she’s always been---resilient, bold and quick thinking. It was very hard not to like Allison in this book, and Julie writes her well—easy to emphasise with and to follow, but she also allows us to put ourselves in Allison’s shoes (which I did) and think how we’d react in her situation. Would we chose death or would we become the thing we hated most, simply to live? This makes it all the more engaging as Allison makes this hard choice and untimely seals her fate, setting her path.
The characters that litter the pages of this book are all wonderful and add a real depth to the novel. They add that human aspect to it that drives home the fact that there are more than just Allie suffering in this dystopian vampire world. Even as we see Allie struggling with her Hunger and her raging vampire desires, the other characters she meets including, little Caleb and shy Bethany, mingle with the stronger ones of Zeke and Jeb to enhance her struggle not to hurt them and her desperation to maintain the humanity within herself.
The relationship that develops between Allie and her sire, Kanin, is a central one in the story to me, even as it gets lost in amongst the danger and the romance because here are two people who were so very different, now bound together forever because he gave her a new chance at life. The predator and prey; the monster and the innocent who become the same when he turned her and made her like him. The father/daughter dynamic that develops is endearing and strange, albeit in an oddly comforting way. There’s this otherworldly and old-timely feel to Kanin that seems so different to the rough around the edges feel that we see with Allison—it’s a strange combination, but it works for them.
Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that I didn’t feel that Julie Kagawa romanticised her vampires. She doesn’t make Allison, or even Kanin, out to be more or less than what they are. She gives it to us straight and doesn’t skirt around the fact that, despite her kindness and good intentions, Allie is still a monster. And no matter how hard she fights, there’s still that part lurking inside her, waiting to get out. And in turn, this is what makes so many of Allie’s decisions all the more powerful....because it’s goes against what she is and she’s choosing to go against what she is---I love that!
With a heart-racing few final chapters that are full steam ahead all the way until the very end, The Immoral Rules will leave you grasping for more and wondering what Julie Kagawa will do next! (less)
**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book....wow! Every now and then, there’s a story that stops you and...more**spoiler alert** *This ebook was provided to me at no cost by the publisher*
This book....wow! Every now and then, there’s a story that stops you and takes your breath away....this was one of those. I loved it! Simply, completely, loved it. I can barely begin to say how much. From the very beginning I was caught. I was sucked into Kate’s tale and her story and I didn’t want to leave. I finished it in less than two days and when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about reading it; eager to get back to the story. I love Greek Myth....I always have. There’s something so magical about it that I love, and I think this story was a wonderful example of how amazing and how much fun it can be. Considering this is a début novel, the author has done an incredible job. The story and characters were brilliant.
I loved all the characters....from Kate and Henry, to Ava and James to Kate’s mum and some others. They were all so fabulous and entertaining. They were each so different and unique and I loved seeing them in the story. I think Kate was just brilliant! She is without a doubt one of the best heroine’s I’ve had the pleasure of following in a long, long time. It’s very rare to find just a wonderful, well rounded character. I think she reacted to things believably and naturally, and she was a wonderful person. She was kind and considerate, while still being strong and brave. I think I can say that she’s now become one of my all time fave heroines—that’s how much I loved her! I have no faults about her what-so-ever and considering that I usually even see tiny faults with the characters I adore, that’s really saying something!
I found I really liked Henry. He wasn’t exactly what I was expecting from Hades, and while I do still feel there is a bit more about him that we don’t know, I think he was a terrific male lead. He was a kind, considerate person, and I think he was a great match for Kate. I really felt for Henry, and his history with Persephone. I like the way the author changed the tale and showed it in a different way, which actually allowed Hades to be the good guy in the picture. There are not a lot of Greek Myth tales where Hade’s is a good guy at all; he’s always the bad guy, and I liked the change in this. I liked the opportunity for him to be an actual person with feelings and a heart....it was wonderful. The relationship between Henry and Kate was excellent. I really liked how it developed over time and how they got to know one another. It was very sweet and normal, and I never felt like anything was forced. It seemed very natural and I liked that.
I was shocked with the twists and revelations at the end of this book! I can’t believe what came to light and I was gobsmacked to learn just who everyone actually was. I think the author has done an exceptional job here. It was so smart and wonderful....it couldn’t have been better. I can’t think of a better way to have had the ending and I was so happy to see Kate and Henry wed. The ending of this book has me excited to read the next one and I simply CANNOT WAIT until it comes out!! If it’s anything as good as this one, I can tell straight out that it’s going to be BRILLANT.
This book was so incredible and I deem it a MUST READ!! Like....NOW, people!! (less)
**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Carrier Of The Mark is an enjoyable debut by...more**spoiler alert** **Firstly, thank-you to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy to read and review**
Carrier Of The Mark is an enjoyable debut by Leigh Fallon! While I admit it may not be the best choice for someone looking for something different in the YA paranormal romance genre, it blends together all the elements that make a great paranormal romance book; romance, mystery, action and danger. It’s a traditional, boy meets girl tale with a supernatural element and is a nice tale to relax and enjoy.
I loved the mythology in this book and I must say that the idea of Carrier’s and Marked is really interesting. It was a tad confusing when it was first being explained, with so much going on but it’s nothing I’ve heard before. The way it all goes together and each element is very intriguing. It took a while for me to really slip into the book and characters but when I did, I found that I really enjoyed reading it; especially towards the end. Then I just could not stop reading and was drawn into the mystery.
The characters were nothing I hadn’t seen before, but I loved them regardless. Megan was easy to read about and her voice easy to follow. She experienced a lot in such a short amount of time and I felt she dealt with it well, if not a bit too well at times. I liked seeing her learn about her new abilities and the world around her and I enjoyed seeing her form such strong friendships with both Caitlin and then later Aine. Adam was your typical male lead, so of course I found him very sexy. Liked his element and he had a good heart. I felt he was good for Megan and I did like the relationship that developed between them. I really loved Aine and even Rian---I thought the relationship that Adam had with his siblings and even Fionn was very well done and was actually a highlight of the book for me. I’m a sucker for any story where families have a close bond and this was the case with this book.
Adam and Megan’s relationship built very fast and seemed to sprout from nowhere really, but there was no denying the passion that seemed to jump off the pages when they were together. Fallon writes really well in this respect and you couldn’t help but feel the depth and desperation these two felt, regardless of how quickly their relationship began. The trials and issues they face as part of their relationship and being Marked are very real and I foresee it being an ongoing problem for them in future books. It goes without saying that I want them to be together, but I think it’s going to be a tough road for these two.
This whole book is shrouded in mystery, even as things are revealed. The pace is easy to read and relaxing, but races to a conflict towards the end that leaves more than one of the characters in hospital and Megan having to embrace what she is. This chapter of the series ends well, and regardless of the similarities I found with it and other YA novels I’m looking forward to the next chapter and seeing what Megan, Adam and their family are in store for next. (less)
**Firstly, thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy to read and review!**
Gee, Jana Oliver sure kn...more**spoiler alert** Read in October 2011
**Firstly, thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy to read and review!**
Gee, Jana Oliver sure knows how to write ‘em! I admit I’ve been a mixture of emotions and uncertainties since beginning Forbidden. There were so many things I loved about it, but unfortunately a few things I disliked as well. First off, this series still remains an exciting joyride; complete with action and romance and a storyline that just keeps getting better with the turn of each page. Oliver continued to build on her world with this book and as the storyline evolves it sucks you in deeper. The world is so rich and I truly love it. There’s a darkness to it, a raw intensity that bleeds through the pages and captivates you. The world of demon trappers is like nothing I’ve read before and I love getting lost in it with each book in the series.
As I mentioned there were a few things I disliked and a lot of that comes back to Riley and the choices she made. Oh, this girl.... I can’t deny that Riley is a strong female lead. In the world she lives in she stands out for her strength and her ability to continue on when I think others would have long given up, but during the course of this book she made so many bad choices. Some that I really think were unnecessary. And the problem is....I really like this girl. Riley is such a strong person that it’s hard reading a book and seeing her do the things that she does. I’d just love to give her a shake and set her straight. And yet at the same time, she continues to surprise me. Some of the things she did (not giving way any spoilers) took great courage and strength; she just needs to stop trusting the wrong people. Especially when the best thing she has is right in front of her eyes.....
Seriously, I just broke for Beck in this book. He won me over in Forsaken, but this book just cemented why he’s such a great character in my eyes. He lays himself bare in so many moments during this book and, while I admit his execution isn’t perfect, he generally wants to do right by Riley and keep his promise to Paul. He many have his flaws but Denver Beck continues to be one of my favourite male leads in fiction right now. He truly breaks the mould set by most leading men and it’s such a breath of fresh air to read about him. He just keeps getting kicked when he’s down and I really feel for him. He’s trying to be strong and protect Riley, while dealing with the conflicting feelings he has for her and trying to fill the void left by the loss of trappers from the first book.
Riley and Beck make me want to bang my head against a wall at times, they really do. They’re both so different, and yet they’re not. I think if they both let each other in, a lot of their problems would be solved. They assume so much of the other at times and they’re usually wrong. I loved the moments when they’re not at one another’s throats and they actually get along; Beck lets Riley in in a way he hasn’t anyone else and Riley relies on and trusts Beck in a way she doesn’t anyone else either—even if she can’t quite see that. Even though they don’t realise it, I think they both need each other and I’m looking forward to see if Jana Oliver can solve some of their problems in the next book.
I admit I was shocked with Simon and Peter in this book; both have done one eighties from the last time we saw them, one in a good way and one in a not so good way. I was happy with Peter’s change, although it seemed sudden at first and as for Simon...pffft! Honestly, Riley doesn’t need him. I wasn’t surprised by the revelations about Ori at all. He completely lived up to my expectations, although I found some of the twists concerning him to be pretty interesting and I do wonder if they’ll have an impact on future storylines.
The ending of this book blew me away and had a few, “Whoa, no way,” moments. Riley’s world continues to get turned upside down and with these hunters in the picture now, I have a feeling this series is just getting started. I’m really excited with the ending and with everything that happens in the end, I’m just about ready to sell my soul if it’ll get me Forgiven sooner! (less)