I read this book a while ago now and really enjoyed it but never finished the trilogy, so I'm listening to it on audiobook to refresh my memory so I cI read this book a while ago now and really enjoyed it but never finished the trilogy, so I'm listening to it on audiobook to refresh my memory so I can move onto book two.
Excellent narration, really enjoyed it. Onto book two....more
There has been quite a lot of buzz about “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one.
There has been quite a lot of buzz about “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” so I’ve really been looking forward to reading this one.
The Otherworld Taylor has created, named Elsewhere, is mysterious and intriguing and the characters are imaginative and fun. The angels are frightening but beautiful and the Chimaera strange and complex, and Karou is a fabulous heroine.
As I read through each chapter, “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” just got better and better. The world building more vivid, the characters more captivating. I had difficulty putting this book down. Taylor’s writing is smooth, descriptive and easy to read. I glided through each chapter effortlessly and was so mesmerised by it that I hadn’t noticed when two hours had passed.
What starts out as a good, but not unfamiliar story, about a young girl at school, with a loyal best friend, immersed in the supernatural, soon turns into a completely different young adult novel, one which I haven’t come across before, making it unique.
Like Carolyn, I've seen this on the book blogosphere, with people commenting that it is probably one of their favourite books of the year. So I was rather excited about picking it up. Although is it just me or do you sometimes find when a book has been so revered by others, it's easy to get swept up in the buzz and then be a little disappointed by the story itself?
And I did find this was the case very slightly with "Daughter of Smoke and Bone". Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but it's perhaps not the best I've read this year.
I totally agree that the book got better and better with each chapter, I thoroughly enjoyed the clever and unique world building Taylor has created, it is rich and fascinating. Set in Prague, it tells the story of Karou, a human girl who has been raised by otherworldly creatures, the chimaera. The chimaera can only be reached through secret doorways scattered about the globe, which enables Karou to transition between the two. The concept of the secret doorways totally captured my imagination! In some respects it had the same appeal as a modern day Secret Garden.
I agree with Laura that sometimes a book can be hyped up and then not meet expectations, I hate it when that happens, but I didn't feel it did with this book. Although it's probably not the best book I've ever read, it is one of my favourites of 2011 and definitely one of the best young adult novels I've read.
Karou is a talented artist studying at art school in Prague. Brought up by the charismatic but aloof Brimstone who deals in teeth and wishes. Karou transports from her life in Elsewhere to her life in Prague via portals from one world to the other.
Karou, being young and impulsive, is a little frivolous with her wishes. Most of the time she uses her necklace of wishes given to her by Brimstone for harmless things to help her along in life, such as wishing to speak Czech so she could study in Prague, as well as twenty other languages, unlocking her door when she’s forgotten her keys or wishing the eyebrows of the girl who slept with her boyfriend to become overly bushy…
Her best friend, Zuzana is fab – she really lightened the tone. But when she finds out about Karou and her life the story jumps forward three months so we never get to see Zuzana's surprise or disbelief and then her realisation that what Karou told her is true. Because of this I really had to keep reminding myself that three months had passed and that was why Zuzanna was so easy breezy about the angels and chimaera and all the other supernatural oddities that were happening around her.
The one aspect I noticed and really enjoyed was the limited amount of angst. There really isn’t much of it and Karou and Zuzanna are pretty mature for their seventeen years, especially in the latter part of the novel.
The story moves along at a good pace and I was completely engrossed. I enjoyed Karou’s world, friends and magic. The fight scenes are pretty good too and Karou can kick some serious butt. I liked that one of Karou’s weapons were devil eye tattoos on the palms of her hands and she gets satisfaction from her weapons, especially when she buys a new set in China!
I liked how the narrative set up Karou's life and how she balanced it between that as a human, studying art in Prague and life as Brimstone's ward. I find it interesting that you described him as charismatic Carolyn, as I found him really intriguing, probably one of my favourite characters in fact, but more monstrous than charismatic. He balanced on a strange edge between fatherly on occasion and at other times quite chilling.
My favourite part has to be Brimstone's occupation as a wish bearer. Trading wishes for teeth. Karou's frivolous wishes did make me smile. Who wouldn't want to make the eyebrows of the girl who slept with your eyebrows bushy? And there's a great scene scene when Karou is doing life drawing, but I mustn't say anymore!
I felt that the story was pacey, but did not really begin to pick up speed when Karou's world comes crashing down. When the doors to elsewhere close leaving Karou cut off from her other-worldy family, she suddenly finds herself amidst a war she didn't know existed. On one side the chimaerean and the other the seraphim or angels.
Interestingly, there is no clear division between good and evil in this novel. There are people that commit evil deeds, but one side is not necessarily better than the other. You could easily think the chimaera are the baddies due to their magical powers and unorthodox appearances, but as the book progresses you see that things are not that clear cut. And this was a concept I found cleverly portrayed. If there is no good and evil, how do you define right and wrong?
I definitely agree with Laura that Brimstone balances between being a loving fatherly figure and something a little more deadly, however, I definitely found him fascinating, which is probably why he is also one of my favourite characters in the book.
I enjoyed Brimstone's occupation too and I liked the idea of trading teeth for wishes. I did have my suspicions as to what the teeth were for and my thoughts were proven right when all was revealed near the end.
If I had one negative it would be how quick Karou and Akiva's love for one another grew. Akiva has been a hostile, cold angel devoid of emotions for centuries, and to just get his feelings back in a day after meeting Karou was a little unrealistic.
However, once I got over this blip, I really enjoyed their interactions with each other and the romance is an intense, sweeping love story that fills the heart. My favourite part of the novel was the last third of the book. The flashbacks to another time were just fabulous, which I won’t go into as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let's just say I can't wait for book two!
This book has definite crossover appeal and I would highly recommend it for adults as well as teenagers. Taylor’s imagination is just superb, and the world of Elsewhere is amazing. I loved reading about the Chimaera, a strange bizarre combination of animal parts, and the Angels, born of fire who are anguished, tortured beings. I am also intrigued to find out who, and what, Karou is.
Karou is a fascinating lead character, with her blue hair and tattoos. She does come across as quite young at first, but very quickly progresses in maturity. Determined and tough, but equally sensitive and vulnerable.
I'm impressed Carolyn guessed the significance of the teeth, as it kept me guessing for a long time. As did the reason why these creatures had raised a human child, what was her significance and what happened to her family?
The book is also comprised of some truly creative characters. From Karou's chimaerean family, I wanted to delve into Brimstone's mind and find out what exactly made him tick, to, as Carolyn has already referred to, the warm and very lifelike friendship portrayed between Karou and her human best friend Zuzana.
Of course I must not forget to mention the angel Akiva. As this book would not be complete without a love story, and going with recent trends, Karou's love interest is Akiva, a lost Angel. No longer sure of his path and tortured by his past, but it does make for a compelling story that is easy to get absorbed in. As Akiva and Karou become ever closer, the horror of the war dividing them becomes only more paramount. I didn't struggle so much with Akiva's transition from an angel devoid of emotions to one devastatingly in love, as I felt there was enough back story to cover this change. And found I got more sucked into the star-crossed lovers aspect of their story.
CAROLYN: “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” is a wonderful combination of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with an amazing heroine and unique secondary characters. A new and refreshingly original world and a fantastic beginning to a new trilogy. I will definitely be continuing this series and wait with bated breath for the next instalment.
LAURA: "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" is a uniquely drawn novel, rich and creative. For me it's pulled into two parts: before the doors to elsewhere close, and after. With second part of the novel by far having the grittier storyline. Marketed as a YA novel, I think this book would appeal to readers who normally only pick up adult novels too. ...more
"Die For Me" is the debut novel from new author Amy Plum. The first thing I noticed was how easy to read this novel was - it sits very comfortably in"Die For Me" is the debut novel from new author Amy Plum. The first thing I noticed was how easy to read this novel was - it sits very comfortably in the young adult paranormal genre and didn't read as a debut. The writing flows very well and I turned the pages with ease, managing to finished it in just a few hours.
"Die For Me" focuses on the life of young heroine, Kate, who has moved to Paris with her older sister Georgia, after losing their parents in an accident. Kate is naturally devastated and is finding it difficult to move on with her life. But after a while she begins to venture out into Paris, even if it's on her own, to the relief of her grandparents. While on one of her many book reading jaunts to her local cafe she meets the mysterious and beautiful Vincent...
I really liked Kate in the first half of the book, and not because she's a total bookworm like me who likes to read in the bath for hours on end, but because she's sweet, intelligent and thoughtful. Her grief of losing her parents is moving and very realistic. Unfortunately after about half way through Kate begins to lose her individuality to become a replica of so many other teenage female protagonists I've read, especially with regards to the choices she makes. The story also travels a well trodden path and Ms Plum opts for safe and predictable rather than fresh and original - a great opportunity lost in my opinion because "Die For Me" started so well.
The absence of teenage angst and bitchy school girls is refreshing, and although Kate does go to school, the story focuses on her life outside the classroom. Of course there are aspects that root it firmly in the YA forum, such as some of Kate's thoughts, feelings and decisions, and the fact that she's 16 years old. For the most part Kate has a good sense of who she is...until she meets Vincent and begins to move towards a character who has to have a boy to make her life worth living, such as this quote demonstrates:
Although my head and heart were leading me in two different directions, I was certain that I didn't want my life to resemble what it had felt for the last three weeks: a drab existence void of color, warmth, and life.
This quote follows the three week break-up of Kate and Vincent (after only knowing each other a few days). I realise Kate has had an awful, traumatic experience of losing her parents, but Kate has two loving and warm grandparents and gets on well with her sister, who loves her, so it didn't sit well with me that to move forward and live a happy life she had to have Vincent, unfortunately this becomes more common as the story continues. I wish the author had kept Kate on the path of independence.
Overall the characterisation of the supporting cast is pretty good - I liked all the different personalities, especially Jules for his mischievous, naughty behaviour - I think I actually liked him more than Vincent - but I didn't really get to know any them that well as the story focuses mainly on Kate and Vincent - I hope more of the characters play a bigger role in subsequent novels.
I really enjoyed the Paris setting. The author does a wonderful job at describing the Paris lifestyle and nightlife. However, this too gets sadly pushed to one side in favour of Kate's and Vincent's rather unimaginative and uneventful relationship. Although Vincent is described as gorgeous, he didn't make my toes curl. In fact their relationship didn't really set me on sexy "all hot and bothered" fire.
Another aspect which was missing was action! Its absence (until a scene at the end) was disappointing as this kind of story needs it, the relationship between the main characters just wasn't enough. When Kate finds out what and who Vincent is there is a lot if info-dumping too, which was frustrating and rather dull.
With regards to the supernatural aspect, Ms Plum does try and give a fresh and original take on the immortal in the form of "Revenants", who die as humans to awaken as Revenants to sacrifice themselves again and again for eternity to save the lives of mortals. Unfortunately, Ms Plum doesn't seem particularly confident with her explanation of what and who "Revenants" are as the use of other supernatural creatures are constantly used throughout the novel: 'zombie', 'ghost', 'guardian angel', 'demon' - I didn't like that so many supernatural creatures were used to explain just one. The initial description given would have sufficed.
"Die For Me" is a good paranormal read but not brilliant. I wish there was a lot more action to keep the momentum of the novel moving forward and it was a shame that the story settled for predictable rather than fresh and exciting, an opportunity lost. However, because of the gorgeous Parisian setting and fun and interesting characters, I would still recommend it to those who enjoy young adult literature in this genre....more
I have been looking forward to reading "Darkness Becomes Her" ever since I saw it on Goodreads a while back, and while it didn't knock my soc3.5 Stars
I have been looking forward to reading "Darkness Becomes Her" ever since I saw it on Goodreads a while back, and while it didn't knock my socks off it was a really good read.
Ari Selkirk is seventeen and after being passed from one foster home to another for most of her childhood decides to find out about her birth mother. After visiting the doctor at Rocquemore House and being told that her mother had committed suicide shortly after she was born, Ari decides she needs to know more. The doctor gives her a box filled with her mother's things including a letter addressed to her.
The letter is one of the aspects of the plot I couldn't buy into. Ari reads the letter and her mother warns her to run. That's it? Her mother writes a letter but instead of telling her daughter what, why and when, all she gets across is "run"! I couldn't get on board with this. It feels as though the letter was just used as a spring board for the entire story, so Ari could investigate etc, I hate letters like this, whether they're in books or films. I always end up irritated as I think if they wanted to let their loved ones know about the dangers facing them they would surely just tell it straight and not in a series of riddles that they have to work out, which only buries them deeper in what they were being warned against. Just silly.
However, it does the trick as Ari decides to head out to New 2, which used to be New Orleans. Thirteen years ago, two hurricanes hit New Orleans devastating it. But instead of doing what is usually done after a natural disaster, the government sells the city it to a bunch of families for a few billion dollars - really? Not sure why the government would do this...it doesn't seem particularly plausible. Also, the hurricanes that hit the city were described as category four and not five, which is the most destructive hurricane there is. I would have found the selling of the city more believable if it was destroyed by nuclear means and was now a nuclear wasteland where nothing could live or grow for tens of years, but weather? It just didn't seem realistic to me.
But I ignored these two aspects and just followed Ari's journey and it is an interesting one. Ari is a great character and a fab heroine, full of grit, kick-arse moves and oodles of sass, which is sadly a rarity in paranormal YA as this is the kind of character I love reading about.
"Ari!" Sebastian stood on the sidewalk, holding up his hands in a 'What's going on?' gesture. ...I mimicked the gesture with probably more sarcasm than he deserved, and then jogged over, ignoring his questioning look and heading to the main entrance. He caught up to me at the doors. "You should wait here." A small laugh escaped my lips as the doors slid open. "You've got a lot to learn about me. I don't wait in the wings."
Ari uses coarse language (she should wash her mouth out with soap!) and has quite a serious personality, so when I read this next quote it really made me smile.
I was pretty sure I knew what I looked like: a cartoon hamster in the headlights. Totally not what I expected him to say, especially after I'd just implied he was one of the bad guys. "Uh..." What the hell was I supposed to say to that? "Okay" A grin split Sebastian's face, slicing two dimples into his cheeks. Holy Mary Mother of God. I actually stopped breathing for a second.
It made me smile, firstly because it was nice to hear Ari say something like this as she had been so serious up until this point and secondly, because I thought exactly the same thing. Sebastian is smokin'. There was something about his character I liked from the first moment he entered Ari's life, so I know where she's coming from... ;)
These are the type of moments that made the book for me despite the negative points I've mentioned and gives "Darkness Becomes Her" its huge potential. The combination of vampires and witches with greek gods is unique to me and was exciting to read.
I did find that everything happened a bit too quickly though, including the romance between Ari and Sebastian. Her time in New 2 barely spans two days and yet so much happens and is revealed that it made the novel seem a little shallow, there wasn't enough time to really develop the story or the characters in just 273 pages.
"Darkness Becomes Her" is an exciting read with a great lead heroine and although the story wasn't as edgy as Ari, it was still an enjoyable read. It's an interesting mix of urban fantasy and greek mythology which has incredible potential to be a fabulous series. I hope the next book will be a little longer to allow things to play out at a more realistic pace and for the characters to grow and mature, but I can't wait to read what happens next......more
As with many of you, I watched the movie 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' many years ago and didn't realise it was actually based on a novel. I say bAs with many of you, I watched the movie 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' many years ago and didn't realise it was actually based on a novel. I say based loosely as the film doesn't really have much to do with the book - whereas the film is much more in the 'horror' genre, the book is just a light thriller.
It was originally written in 1973 but I read the newly revised edition published by Atom. I'm not fond of revised books. I much prefer to read the original version, I don't like the idea of an author going back and changing aspects of the book that made it what is was. In this case 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' was a book rooted in the 70s, but the updates try and change it to current times by modifying certain elements. It didn't really work for me as the story and characters felt as though they were still very much from a different era and yet they were talking about mobile phones, emails and the internet.
With this aside, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' is an entertaining read. It does contain a certain amount of tension, although not as much as I would have liked, and I read it fairly quickly. I must admit that I didn't really like any of the characters, with maybe the exception of Ray. Julie, Helen and Barry all had many unattractive traits which prevented me from finding them likable in any way. Unfortunately the book isn't as intense as the movie and I did find this a little disappointing as I do like to be scared and given the willies...
It maybe because nowadays we are saturated with high levels of blood, gore and violence (which I have no problem with, being a horror fan) and 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' just seems lame in comparison. I wonder if it created more of a reaction in 1973?
It's a very short novel too, only 211 pages, so I think it was difficult to get enough character depth and suspense going in such a short space of time. I also saw the twist coming a mile away, as I so often do, and so the ending was predictable and also happened far too quickly. It would have been better if it was drawn out a little longer, especially when the characters were being tormented by the villain, but it was all over in a matter of pages.
Despite all the negatives, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' is a quick, entertaining bite-sized thriller (I say bite-sized as at only 211 pages it's a pretty short novel). However, it was disappointing to find that the thrills and chills were mostly kept for the movie and not the book. I also wish I had read the original work and not a revised edition....more
"Long Lankin" is a really good debut novel from new author Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old traditional poem that's actually quite3.5 Stars
"Long Lankin" is a really good debut novel from new author Lindsey Barraclough and is based on an old traditional poem that's actually quite gruesome. However, I'll just give you a snippet...
Let the doors be all bolted and the windows all pinned, And leave not a hole for a mouse to creep in.
The doors were all bolted and the windows all pinned, except one little window where Long Lankin crept in.
The novel certainly keeps the atmosphere and creepiness of the poem and the imagery Barraclough paints is just brilliant. The young characters of Cora, Mimi, Roger and Pete are well written and developed giving me a rounded understanding of their young personalities, and Cora's old great aunt Ida is severe and cruel in her treatment of the children and has a past full of deadly secrets.
Cora and her sister Mimi live in London but are sent to live with their great aunt Ida in the countryside by their father due to their mother being in hospital with mental issues. When the children arrive I got a real sense of how old and dilapidated Guerdon Hall was and the descriptions of the graveyard are wonderfully eerie.
I would have liked a bit more detail of the surrounding area as it really could have been anywhere, but because we are told that the area is Essex, England, it would have been a great opportunity to champion this particular county that gets such a bad rap - there are some stunning areas of natural beauty, especially in north essex. So with that in mind I didn't really get a true sense of where the characters lived in relation to London.
I quickly delved into the lives of Cora, her sister Mimi and great aunt Ida, their story captured my imagination for most of the novel, unfortunately it did wane slightly in the middle. There are references to Ida's complicated past with fragmented memories of certain horrors that happened (and which would soon unfold in the present), but nothing actually got going until a good 250 pages into this quite lengthy novel - overly so in my opinion.
The ending was rushed slightly with an overloading of history into who, and what, is Long Lankin, which did become rather tedious, and seemed to take forever to get to the much anticipated climax. I think at least a hundred pages could have been removed from the first 250 without any loss to the story and maybe a little more attention to the ending would have given the novel a better balance.
However, the fundamental story is a creepy one and there are passages that made my skin crawl. Long Lankin is indeed grotesque and he would have frightened me senseless as a young girl.
Below are two of my favourite passages from the book, both from Cora's perspective...
Last night I heard whispering, very close to me. I peered at Mini's face, half in shadow on the pillow. She was moving her lips in her sleep, as if she were speaking. I leaned in towards her, and with her breath on my cheek I heard her say, ' Help us...help us...save us...' but it wasn't her voice, or even one voice alone - it was many voices.
I rush to the stairs and look up. My jaw drops open. Behind Mimi, [Long] Lankin is crawling down like an animal. The tip of his tongue, wet with thick grey spit, is sticking out from between his sharp yellow teeth like a black pointed stone.
"Long Lankin" is a great debut. With a creepy and atmospheric story and great characters, "Long Lankin" was a delight to read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to young adults and adults alike. Ms Barraclough has a wonderful way with words and I look forward to reading her future work....more
I have been waiting for 'I Don't Want To Kill You' for what feels like forever. I absolutely loved the first two 'John Cleaver' novels and ju3.5 Stars
I have been waiting for 'I Don't Want To Kill You' for what feels like forever. I absolutely loved the first two 'John Cleaver' novels and just couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the third and final book in this chilling trilogy. I cracked this baby open with great anticipation.
We meet John only a short time on from where 'Mr Monster' finished and there is another demon in town. This time it's after him. John has killed two of the demons friends and it wants revenge. John spends most of his time anticipating the demons' moves and analysing its motives. While John obsesses over this new demon, there a more murders which he thinks are linked to it, and he also notices there are far too many teenage suicides where he lives and wonder's why.
Unfortunately 'I Don't Want To Kill You' didn't quite meet my expectations. It may be because they were just too high. I was hoping for more internal struggle from John with regards to his desires to kill and his sociopathic tendances. Instead it felt he was just a young kid wanting to solve a murder. There really wasn't that much darkness or intensity, or the mention of John's 'rules' that were so prevalent in 'I Am Not A Serial Killer' and 'Mr Monster'.
I was to see John on the cuspe of finding out whether his serial killer compulsions were his truth or something he could resist. But John's development halted. I also felt that this time there was slightly too much repetition. With 'I Am Not A Serial Killer' the mention of all the activity which went on behind the scenes in his mother's morgue were gruesome, vivid, and gave a certain depth to John and his dark side. It suited his personality at that time. In this book, I felt it had already been done and we really didn't have to go there again. I understood what it meant to John to work there and handle dead bodies I didn't need to be reminded throughout this instalment.
Because of this, I didn't think that John's development as a person moved forward. John's relationships with girls also intensified, but it didn't really seem to bother him that much, even when it begins to get intimate with holding hands, hugging and kissing. The John in 'I Am Not A Serial Killer' and 'Mr Monster' would have been totally freaked out by this. If John was much older I may have seen this as character development, but because these books are all in the span of about a year it just didn't work for me.
Despite my disappointment with some aspects of 'I Don't Want To Kill You' it is still a very good and engaging read in its own right, I just expected more from the last instalment of such a dark and thrilling series. I'm also not sure I'm particularly happy with the ending or think it was fitting for such a complex and dark character as John - I felt it was maybe a little bit predictable, and safe. However, I still enjoyed it and would recommend this series in a heartbeat, as overall it is utterly brilliant! ...more
Well, what can I say...sensational! 'Last Sacrifice' is the last book in an amazing series, which has, to be honest, left me fee*may contain spoilers*
Well, what can I say...sensational! 'Last Sacrifice' is the last book in an amazing series, which has, to be honest, left me feeling a little depressed that it's all over. However, Ms Mead gave the ending I had dreamed of. It was emotional, moving, exciting, happy, sad...I loved every word.
'Last Sacrifice' began where 'Spirit Bound' ended with Rose behind bars. She can't quite believe she's in prison and being accused of assassinating the Moroi Queen. Fortunately, Rose gets to see the outside world through her link with Lissa but one day she can't get through - why is Lissa blocking her?
Rose doesn't know that her friends are plotting a plan to break her out of jail, which they do and that's when the fun ride begins. As I found with all the books in the VA series they are emotionally intense, action packed, rollar-coaster reads. 'Last Sacrifice' has it all and it sends you on an adventure with Rose and Dimitri, meeting past characters such as Sonya, Jill and even the evil Victor.
Dimitri tells Rose his only reason for protecting her and leaving Court behind is because Lissa requested it and as he owes Lissa his life, he is indebted to repay her. This hurts Rose, she wants him to want to do it because he loves her, but after his declaration that he doesn't love her any more she makes the decision to bury her feelings for Dimitri and move on, with Adrian.
I didn't know who Rose would choose, Dimitri or Adrian, but of course my heart was saying Dimitri. He's been my favourite since the very beginning and belongs with Rose in my eyes. But sometimes authors surprise you and take you down a different path. I won't give away any details but let's just say Ms Mead weaves a wonderful path that twists and turns and leaves you breathless.
There's a bit of a mystery to solve in this last instalment, as well as the usual wonderfully combined romance and action. Who really killed Queen Tatiana and who is Lissa's half-brother or sister? Rose and Dimitri set off to find out the latter while Rose's friends Lissa, Christian and others stay behind in Court to find out as much as they can about the former and clear Rose's name.
Lissa also has her own path to walk and it's a daunting one. She's nominated herself to be the next Queen and at first it was just to help clear Rose's name. But when she has to go through numerous tests she begins to realise that this is her destiny. The ending to Lissa's story is a beautiful one, with Christian still by her side.
There's also a shock in store when they find out the identity of Queen Tatiana's murderer and there's a moment when that person fire's a gun at Lissa and Rose jumps in front of the bullet...my heart was in my throat as at that point I really didn't know how 'Last Sacrifice' was going to end - was Ms Mead playing with me? Of course she was!!
'Last Sacrifice' has you going back and forth, round and round, never fully knowing how the lives of Rose and Dimitri, Lissa, Christian or Adrian and all the other well loved characters would end. But let me tell you it was a great ending, one definitely worth the wait...
'Last Sacrifice' is the perfect end to a wonderful series. I'm happy with the way things were concluded. This series is one I won't forget and will probably read again in the future. If you haven't read this series yet then all I can say is you are missing out on something very special! ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written, fun, witty, and the characters were great. I love4.5 Stars
So I finally got around to reading HP.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written, fun, witty, and the characters were great. I loved the story, the tension, and how it all came together. It was a proper magical adventure.
The reason for the half star drop is because of one inconsistency: they lived amongst muggles unless they were at Hogwarts, and yet some of the characters say they didn't know what muggle money looked like (eg Ron and the 50 pence piece), or didn't know what football was etc. other than that everything was just perfect. Looking forward to reading book two!...more
I found this instalment quite hard to get through. I didn't like it as much as book one. What saved it was the last 50 pages when everything got extreI found this instalment quite hard to get through. I didn't like it as much as book one. What saved it was the last 50 pages when everything got extremely exciting, and I was surprised by not one plot twist but two! Thank goodness for those last few chapters, without them I would have been reluctant to pick up book three. I wish the rest of the book was more like the ending, but ho-hum, it's read. Onto the next instalment. ...more
Some of you may know the author Kathy Reichs because of her adult crime novels featuring Temperance Brennon, or through the TV show, BONES. T3.5 Stars
Some of you may know the author Kathy Reichs because of her adult crime novels featuring Temperance Brennon, or through the TV show, BONES. This is the author's first venture into the YA forum and I must say I am pretty impressed. 'VIRALS' is a mixutre of mystery, intrigue and, surprisingly, elements of the supernatural, but as I love the supernatural this was a welcome surprise and definitely added to my enjoyment of the book.
The writing flows very well and Ms Reichs' incredibly vast writing experience shines through. The main character is Victoria "Tory" Brennan and she's fourteen years old - usually this is a little on the young side for me when I'm reading young adult fiction, but Ms Riechs gives her character a maturity beyond her years and because she's just like her great aunt Temperance it's believable, in fact it reads very realisitcally and I liked Tory pretty much from the first page.
Tory's friends are just as intelligent and into different geeky things - they make a great team: Shelton, who's into gadgets, Ben, the muscle-man and Hiram, the comedian - all have something to bring to the group.
It was also refreshing to read a young adult novel that wasn't filled with romantic triangles and love-lorn teenagers. Although Tory does have a crush or two she isn't paralyzed by it, instead she's a strong independent young women. There are moments where I rolled my eyes at the simplicity of certain aspects of the story, such as breaking into a highly secure laboratory to steal evidence - I'm not really sure a fourteen year old would have the knowledge or skill to achieve such a goal, but I enjoyed the fun ride all the same.
The other aspect that I didn't particularly like was near the end when instead of calling her friends by their names, as she had done for the entire novel prior to this point, Tory began to call them VIRALS. I felt that this was only used to coincide with the title and it quickly became annoying. You wouldn't suddenly go from calling your friend 'Hiram' to 'the viral' or as a group 'the virals' - it was a bit odd.
The other characters such as parents and police are all a bit frustrating but as I was reading the novel through the eyes of a fourteen year old maybe that's why I found them to be so annoying. They wouldn't listen to Tory, even when she and her team of buddies had found human bones and thought it was a murdered girl they were looking for, and her Dad's girlfriend was the most irritating of all - I just wanted to bonk her on the head with something hard. But they're all well written and flesh-out so they didn't read like silly charactures but like real people.
The paranormal element is very subtle and only comes into play in the second half of the book but lays the foundations for future novels featuring Tory and her friends, that I hope will be as exciting as this one.
Overall, 'VIRALS' is an engaging and entertaining read. There are a few negative points, but they are minor and overshadowed by a fun and past-paced story that I had difficulty putting down at times. There are lots of twists and turns that made 'VIRALS' a pleasure to read and I would definitely recommend it to young adults and adults alike....more
"Scarlett Dedd" is a wonderful book combining story with illustration. It's also full of wit, great teenOriginally posted on my blog: Book Chick City.
"Scarlett Dedd" is a wonderful book combining story with illustration. It's also full of wit, great teenage characters and a fun, ghoulish plot.
Scarlett is pretty much ignored at school, but she does have a few friends who share her love of gory horror movies - sometimes they even try and make their own. But a school trip is imminent and she just cant face the dumb comments that she knows she will get from the other kids at school, so she thinks up a plan that would get her out of going: wild mushrooms. Unfortunately these mushrooms do more than just make Scarlett sick, they make her dead. Her family shortly follows her, after eating her deadly mushroom risotto.
The story follows Scarlett as she comes to terms with her demise - there are lots of funny, but also slightly dark moments where Scarlett tries to kill her friends, Rip, Taz, Psycho and JP, so she won't miss them so much and be so lonely. Scarlett also tries to have fun with her new ghostly abilities by scaring her friends silly, which she thinks is hilarious, at first, until she realises that there are extremely unpleasant consequences for coming into contact with the living.
Scarlett is a great character. I loved her funny, snarky humour and her very teenage voice. There are lots of 'it's so not fair!', which brought a nostalgic understanding smile to my face.
The ending to "Scarlett Dedd" wraps things up nicely but the reader is left with Scarlett meeting two new ghost friends...including a very cute boy-ghost! I hope the story continues as I would love to read more about Scarlett's ghost-life.
However, there was one very small aspect to "Scarlett Dedd" which I found a bit distracting and it was how the text was formatted. Most of the time it was readable and it fit in well with the story, but there are a couple of pages where the text swirls round in circles and the only way to read it is to turn the book round with it - this was too much for me and I ended up skipping those particular pages... younger kids may find this a fun aspect to the book, but I didn't... maybe I'm just too old ;)
"Scarlett Dedd" is a really enjoyable book and I appreciated the accompanying drawings by the author, they are a great addition, complimenting the story well and add to the already spooky atmosphere... A perfect read for Halloween! ...more
I am not usually a fan of faeries, or shall I say I haven't found a book that I have enjoyed enough to think of this otherworldly creature as3.5 Stars
I am not usually a fan of faeries, or shall I say I haven't found a book that I have enjoyed enough to think of this otherworldly creature as one of my favourites, but I wanted to read 'The Iron Witch' because, shallow as it may seem, I adored the cover and also because of the buzz I'd seen around the blogosphere. I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint. 'The Iron Witch' is a wonderful debut full of interesting characters and an intriguing plot.
The main protagonist is Donna who is an interesting character. She's been through a lot in her seventeen years, but it's her best friend, Navin, who keeps her grounded and moving forward. He cares for her and they are very close, although he has no idea of the world Donna really lives in. As the story begins Navin is taking her to a party, which she really doesn't want to attend but it's there she meets the mysterious Xan, who has his own secrets and story to tell. These three are central to the story and although there are other characters such as Donna's Aunt and the head of the Order, Simon and Quentin, the book mainly stays with Donna and her two friends.
Donna's iron tattoos are an interesting and original addition. When Donna and her father were attacked by the evil wood elves she lost both her arms, but the alchemists created new ones and the tattoos are not just skin deep and are made of iron and silver. I loved the fact they made her stronger and yet were also a hindrance, and of course Donna is embarrassed by them and keeps them hidden by wearing long gloves. The family she lives with are alchemists and have been looking after her since her father's death and while her mother lives in an institute for the insane. But things are not what they seem, as Donna begins to find out.
I was sucked into Donna's world from the first page. The characterisation is great, although I did feel that the prose was more for the younger teen, even though Donna is seventeen. 'The Iron Witch' isn't a particularly complex story and things are accomplished a little easily, such as when Donna and Xan have to steal a potion to save her friend from the Wood Queen and her evil elves. However, this didn't deter me from thoroughly enjoying this book. The relationship between Donna and her two boy friends is sweet and I can't wait to see how the dynamics between all three develops.
'The Iron Witch' is an interesting story filled with magic, romance and intrigue. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys young adult urban fantasy and I'm looking forward to reading book two!...more