The official summary is a great introduction to the world, so I won’t bother writing one. I don’t really agree with the Graceling comparison though (cThe official summary is a great introduction to the world, so I won’t bother writing one. I don’t really agree with the Graceling comparison though (can’t comment about The Selection, I haven’t read it). The only point it has in common with Graceling is people having special abilities. But in Red Queen, the abilities are a lot more like wielding magic, rather than being extraordinarily talented for something AND the range of possible abilities isn’t as wide and is much more predictable then in Graceling. So yeah, The Graceling mention played it’s part – it got me to request the book – but it’s not a fitting description.
Red Queen is a fantastic debut novel! I really thought I had it all figured out. Poor girl meets rich boy, rich boy pities her and helps her, turns out he is a prince, they marry and she becomes queen. TA-DAM! … NOT. The strongest and most important element of Red Queen is its unpredictability. ‘Anyone can betray anyone’ is a motto mentioned many times in the novel, and it’s probably the most important and representative sentence of Red Queen. You can never take anything for granted while reading or it’ll bite you, just like the characters.
I liked Mare even though she was a little naive despite all the warnings. I understand that she finds herself in a very difficult situation, away from her family, submerged in a world she knows nothing about and had to lie through her teeth for survival, but unfortunately she hangs onto the wrong buoy, hoping not to drown. Cal isn’t perfect, and I like that he did his best to serve his people the only way he knew how. I just wished he was a little more daring and courageous in the end. Maven is one cryptic character and I’ll have to let you figure him out for yourself!
Victoria tried to play the love triangle trend and it didn’t quite work. Mare has a bit of a crush on Cal at first and then finds herself betrothed to Maven. She isn’t really in love with neither boys, and use them both to her advantage. There is also a childhood friend orbiting around her, that might have been an option, but nothing major there either. I didn’t really care for the romance for that reason, but it might work better in the next installment.
My favorite aspect is by far the lore. I love how social ranking is determined by blood color (reds are slave and silver the elite) and their respective powers. The world is set in a future in which we’ve destroyed each other in wars and the new world is a blend of great technology and great poverty. The difference between both world is incomparable.
I enjoyed the plot line full of twist and turns, keeping me engaged until the very end. I particularly liked the final battle and I can’t wait for the second installment. I want to know what awaits Mare now that so many secrets have been revealed. I strongly suggest you get your hands on this debut!...more
Mara enrolled the order to atone for her crimes. When she finally sets out to seek her charge, she has a very idealistic idea of how things should be,Mara enrolled the order to atone for her crimes. When she finally sets out to seek her charge, she has a very idealistic idea of how things should be, and she hits really far from the mark. Even though things are nothing like she had hoped, she finds her path anyway, for better or for worst.
Empire of Shadows is a companion novel to City of a Thousand Dolls, a book I have not read. I usually don’t read books out of order and the whole time I was wondering if I was missing anything because I hadn’t read the first book. Don’t get me wrong, I never felt lost or anything while reading, but it kept bothering me. Until the very end that is. When I realized that Empire of Shadows actually takes place roughly 15-20 years before the events of City of a Thousand Dolls. Now I just want to read CoaTD!
First I have to say that I really liked Mara. She is haunted by her past, but she’s determined to atone and she has a fierce desire to do the right thing. She earned my respect with her decision to completely refuse to shift to her Sune form has a kind of punishment, but found a way to be strong as a human, and fight for her beliefs.
An aspect of this novel I particularly liked was the friendship between our fierce Mara and Revathi. It wasn’t love at first sight between Revathi and I. She was kind of snobbish and arrogant with Mara at first, but I loved how she did not denigrate the Arvi clan at the beginning, so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Turns out I was right! Their growing bond was a star to this story and I loved to see two young girls driving a YA plot instead of the usual love triangle.
Speaking of love, I really liked Emil on his own. His troubled relationship with his father and his brother, his desire to protect the latest, his yearning to be something else than he is destined to. He was very endearing with his actions both toward Mara and Esmer, his Sune friend. What I liked less, is the way Mara & Emil’s relationship evolved. I can believe in chemistry, or even instant attraction, but the way they became each others’ center of the universe after only a few shared sentences was not believable.
That being said, I really liked the world-building and the plot. Full of mysteries, action and conspiracies, there was plenty to keep me interested the whole time. And the end? LOVED it. The epilogue completely sold me, and as I said in my intro, I now want to read CoaTD!...more
Both Marius and Isolda are judged for what they are not. Marius was raised as a commoner so when he is brought back to court by the Emperor he is judgBoth Marius and Isolda are judged for what they are not. Marius was raised as a commoner so when he is brought back to court by the Emperor he is judged for his lack of fashion and his simple tastes. Isolda on the other hand is a refuge and is mistreated by nearly every Kjallan, but she’s a strong, fierce and smart woman. They will meet in the middle, and even though they have a lot in common, they will have to overcome many obstacles.
I have beta read the last two releases by Amy Raby and I was really happy to get the chance to read this one as well. Healer’s Touch is the fourth novel in this series, and even though I haven’t read the books 2 and 3 yet, I didn’t have any trouble getting into the story. Having read the first book helped a lot to have a better sense of the culture though.
First, I’d like to say that I really enjoyed this book, despite my pointing elements I wish were different. I really liked the small town atmosphere in Healer’s Touch and it felt very different from Assassin’s Gambit and Archer’s Sin. Even though there are explosions, and quite an amazing battle at the end, this novel is rather tranquil in it’s essence. Much less action packed than the previous ones, but no less interesting. The focus really is on Marius & Isolda’s blooming relationship, their struggles, and their ambitions.
I liked how real and down-to-earth both main characters were and I can only command them for staying true to themselves despite the challenges. I think they were a perfect fit for each other. One element I wish was different is the more carnal side of their romance. There is one sexual encounter that is described rather chastely and mention of subsequent ‘meetings’, but I really wish there was at least another intimate scene and that it felt more passionate.
The conclusion is hard to describe without giving anything away, but I must find a way because it really left me craving for more, so I will use a metaphor. Let’s say to spent the past 7 hours mixing, baking and decorating this awesome cake, and then you can’t even take a bite. Someone else does and describes the taste to you. Frustrating right? I really wished Amy presented the conclusion in the form of an epilogue instead of the technique she used. She gives a peek on what comes after, but it wasn’t satisfying enough for me, even though I was happy with how things turned out for the characters. Does it make any sense?
In the end, I really enjoyed this book and I urge your to pick up this title even though it isn’t published by the same publisher who released the first three titles. For reasons unknown to me, Amy was not contracted for the fourth book, so I really hope you purchase this one (which is really cheap BTW!) and support her...more
Kate swore she would stay away from Curran, but just like winter, it seems the guy always comes around, there's no avoiding it. This time, Kate is recKate swore she would stay away from Curran, but just like winter, it seems the guy always comes around, there's no avoiding it. This time, Kate is recruited to investigate shifters murders and it will get very personal when her young friend Derek is a target. Kate will put everything on the line to find and punish the murderer, and it might be her biggest challenge yet.
The Ilona Andrews duo blessed us with yet another thrilling book! Before I get down to business... Gladiator fights!! Yes, yes, also synonymous to awesomeness. If you put aside the whole Kate-Curran romance (and I will get back to that later), the arena fighting was my favorite aspect of this book. Maybe I am a closet gruesome-blood-shedding-action fan, but I can't help it, I always love those kind of fights. So imagine my happiness when I realized we would get a whole tournament! *squeee*
Curran. He is sooo made of awesome. I love him since book one, but I love him more and more with each book. I just love how he intentionally makes Kate squirm under his scrutiny, how he teases her all the time. The way he subtly pursue her, with little attentions here and there also makes me swoon. And did I mention his sense of duty and unique sense of humor? I mean who wouldn't fall for such a great guy, wrapped in such a sexy package?
Kate isn't left in the dust either. She is smart, though, and fights teeth and nails out when someone she cares for is in danger. She is loyal to the end and just about the best friend you could have, because she will never let you down if she can help it. I also really like her dry sense of humor and even though I understand why she doesn't want to get involved with Curran, I have this strong urge to knock some sense into her!
The action was fine, the mystery was great and the new enemy was hate-able (yes yes this is a word...) just the way I like it. I just kept turning page after page, excited the whole way through, and wondering how the whole thing would end. And the answer is?? WITH A BANG! It was simply crazy and I can't wait to see how it will affect the next book.
The Kate Daniels series is awesome, and I can't believe it took me this long to discover it. The good side? I don't have to die in anticipation between each book, at least for a couple more books :) If you haven't started this series yet, I urge you to do so!...more
What would you do if it turned out you were not the person you thought you were for the last 5,000 years? Of course none of us will ever know, with ouWhat would you do if it turned out you were not the person you thought you were for the last 5,000 years? Of course none of us will ever know, with our short life-spawn and all, but Revenant now has to deal with a whole new set of memories, a completely new nature, and he doesn't quite know what do it with it all. There's one thing he knows though, he would do almost anything to have the sexy Blaspheme in his bed.
Revenant, 'officially' the last book in the Demonica & the Lords of Deliverance series, proved to be a very satisfying read. Larissa Ione always delivers sexy, addictive and full of action reads and this title is no exception.
I haven't been particularly fond of Revenant in the past books, but I have always been curious. I must say, you can now enroll me on the Revenant-fan-girls wagon. He is dark, sexy, without an once of remorse, but he has principles. Or should I say he has one principle? You can wreck havoc all you want, but don't break the rules and don't lie. It's kind of funny that he won't blink an eye when killing someone, but don't you dare throw garbage on the floor if it's against the rules. I thought it was quite endearing, and makes total sense when you get to know his past. I really enjoyed discovering his personality, and I must confessed a pitied him at times. It must be really hard to deal with his situation, but he did it with his head held high.
Blaspheme was just as great. I really liked her spunk and how she could argument with the best of them even though she was sometimes scared shitless inside. She was resourceful, compassionate and determinate. I loved that despite her half-demon side she was driven to do the right thing and would sacrifice her own well-being to protect others.
I really liked the story and how all the characters we love made an appearance. Blaspheme and Revenant faced some very difficult situations and I enjoyed witnessing them thread carefully and try to reach the best possible outcome. All the loose ends are wrapped-up nicely and I was very satisfied - and surprised- with how everything ended.
Even though Revenant is officially the end of the series, Larissa hints at something more in this novel, and provides a link to find out more about what's to come. The LINK is suppose to work in December 2014. I can't wait to see what it will reveal!
The Demonica and the Lords of the Underworld series are simply awesome, and I would strongly suggest paranormal romance lovers to read it. I joined late in the game and I have no regrets! Give me more!...more
Ginger and Luke are tracking her brother Damien. She wants to rescues him; he is tasked to bring him back to face justice. The chase started smoothly,Ginger and Luke are tracking her brother Damien. She wants to rescues him; he is tasked to bring him back to face justice. The chase started smoothly, but a lot more then they were expecting happened on the way.
All in is the third installment of the series written by Amanda Carlson and I loved it just as much as the previous ones. I like that even though it's a series of novella, the stories are long enough to really get involved into the characters. The fact that we've met Ginger and Luke in the previous book(s) also added a kinship feeling in the mix and made their budding relationship more believable.
Ginger is a smart woman that has been dedicated to rescuing her brother for years. I really appreciated this side of her, but she's also a self-loathing succubus and I felt bad for her. Her conscience and her desire to not 'parasite' anyone will lead her to extremes and it was quite a roller-coaster ride to witness. Luke is down-right amazing. He is sweet, caring, perceptive, but also strong and fierce. The perfect mix if you ask me!
I truly enjoying the developing romance between those two and their raw feelings felt real. One of my favorite moment was how Ginger described nature to Luke to try and include him in her world, make him see the way she saw things. It was quite endearing.
The plot was quite satisfying even though there isn't much room for twist and turns in a 150 pages long book. The conclusion was spot on and I have a feeling the next novella by Amanda will be about Raoul and a new Elemental girl. I can't wait to read what's next!
Sin City Collectors is a great series! I always enjoy a novella once in a while when you don't quite feel like committing to a full length novel. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a bit of instant gratification once in a while :)...more
In hopes of creating more powerful soldiers, scientists developed a serum that awakened magical abilities in people. The results were disastrous and iIn hopes of creating more powerful soldiers, scientists developed a serum that awakened magical abilities in people. The results were disastrous and it's usage has been ruled out. The powerful and wealthy now interbred to keep their magic as powerful as possible. Primes are at the top of the ladder and each one of the 5 most powerful houses have at least one. That's the kind of scary world Nevada lives in, and she's in over her head when she is blackmailed into hunting one of those primes going rogue and setting fire to anything and everything.
The concept is quite interesting and as much as I love Ilona Andrews, I would lie if I said it was love at first sight with this newest series. I never disliked it, but it wasn't a burning passion either. To keep it up with the fire analogy, it was a slow building blaze.
I liked Nevada just fine from the beginning, but I didn't really care for neither Rogan nor Adam at first. They were both extremely confident, full of themselves and had no care for human life. Not exactly dating material, even though both of them try to get into Nev's pants. Aside from Nevada, my favorite character was her grandma. I bet she spread Cool on her toast for breakfast. I swear, no grandma should have a right to be this awesome. Don't believe me? She fixes tanks for a living, and takes pictures of Hunks with her cell phone!
The precarious relationship between Mad Rogan and Nevada was by far my favorite part of this novel. His value system is so off the chart you never know how he will react and his clashing against Nev is super entertaining. We don't really know if he really cares for her or just want a good lay, but his seducing technics are surprising, to say the least.
The battles were shocking and breathtaking. It really was a action filled novel and I felt like a was racing, breathless, as I flipped page after page to rush to the end. The mystery aspect wasn't exactly the strongest and lots of questions still remain, but I felt involved the whole way through.
Something I noted and that is worth mentioning is that so far the romance feels a lot like Kate & Curran's relationship. What I mean is that in both series the female is incredibly attracted to the alpha-super-badass male and she just won't give in because she is scared of being used then discarded. Convinced that she is too low ranked to be of worth to him.
Overall, this is a great beginning to a new urban fantasy/paranormal romance that is definitely worth a try. I'm sure fans of Ilona will be pleased and ask for more. I know I am awaiting the next novel :)...more
What an awesome fantasy book! Alexa lives in a world at war. Her mother's country is fighting against her father's country in an anti-magic conflict.What an awesome fantasy book! Alexa lives in a world at war. Her mother's country is fighting against her father's country in an anti-magic conflict. Both her parents were killed by a Fire Sorcerer and to avoid being locked in a breeding house (I will let you guess what happens there...), she disguises herself as a boy, with the help of her twin brother, and joins the army. Known as Alex, she climbs her way to the Prince's own guard and her whole world changes when her brother is killed and she is kidnapped with a fellow guard and the Prince himself.
I really adored this book and before I go all fangirl, I'd like to mention the two elements that bothered me. First, Alexa is a 17 years old girl playing the role of a 20 years old man. Even though she admits not being very curvy, I have a very hard time believing nobody noticed her lack of hair and beard? I mean this is the medieval era, in the army, I'm pretty sure the other men don't shave daily. Also, there is a love triangle later on in the story with another guard and the Prince. How is it that two men fall in love with her when she's been acting the part of a man for the last 3 years? It didn't really bother me, but I feel like it wasn't very believable AND the triangle was not necessary to the story.
Now onto positive things! I really liked Alexa. She was strong, dedicated but flawed, which made her a multi-faceted character. She faced many challenges during her young life and it showed in the decisions she made. I really liked the Prince also, even though I felt the urge to smack him on the head quite a few times. I didn't like the way he treated and used Alexa, but I understood his reasons. I really hope he treats her better in the future. I liked Rylan, but I thought he was too ingrained in the third-wheel role. It's nice that he is supportive of Alexa, but he is a bit too much like a doormat for my taste.
I really enjoyed the lore and the plot line. Sara manged to surprise me on more than one occasion, which is always a good thing. I even shed a tear or two hehe. In wasn't a breakneck pace, like most fantasy novels, but I was hooked the whole way through. The conclusion was simply breathtaking and I am super excited for the sequel, Ignite.
I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Graceling by Kristen Cashore and Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas....more