Oh, man. This book reminded me exactly why I adore Chloe and Derek so darn much. Something about the two of them together makes me so happy. I could rOh, man. This book reminded me exactly why I adore Chloe and Derek so darn much. Something about the two of them together makes me so happy. I could read snippets about them FOREVER and not get tired of the way they interact.
*makes happy, giddy noises for a few more minutes*
Right. So Derek and Chloe. Maya and Daniel are there, too. And they're pretty awesome when they all join forces. Especially since the Nast Cabal has been teaching these kids how to defend themselves and fight back. Which they do nicely.
There's some backstabbing (not between Derek and Chloe) and some twisty moments when they come face to face with a familiar face. And there's kissing. I like the kissing parts.
All in all, a solid jump back into a world I adore with characters I can't get enough of.
(PS. I'm on a Darkest Powers reread now. For reasons.)
This book certainly hit the spot as far as snark and sass go. Maggie's not-quite-normal upbringing makes her a little different from others her age. SThis book certainly hit the spot as far as snark and sass go. Maggie's not-quite-normal upbringing makes her a little different from others her age. She's not afraid to speak her mind and she's capable of standing up for herself. The downside is her social skills are a little rough around the edges. Which makes looking for a hook-up kinda amusing. She really doesn't have much game when it comes to friendships or relationships and things don't quite turn out as planned.
Her mom made me laugh. She says things as they are and she's more like a big kid than a woman with an almost-adult daughter. Given her profession, I totally get why she lives so large. She doesn't do everything right when it comes to Maggie, but she tries. She tries magnificently.
I'm kinda hoping we get another book in this world because it was fun. Very fun. And I am SO SO SO curious about a certain undead someone who has SECRETS. And a certain other someone has issues they need to work out. There's just STUFF I want to know more about.
So, here's my vote for more sassy, snarky fun. With monsters!
This is one of those books where I don't even know where to start with the review. (and please don't point out the obvious and say I did know where toThis is one of those books where I don't even know where to start with the review. (and please don't point out the obvious and say I did know where to start and it was by saying I didn't know where to start. I mean, I did that for you. I GOT THIS!) This book is insanely good. It has blood (as one would probably expect from a book starring the son of a serial killer and with a title that references blood not once, but twice... or maybe you don't expect that. I don't know. I try not to judge.) and HORRIBLE THINGS that happen (again, expected considering what Billy did to his victims back in the day) and a young man walking a very thin edge between being the man he wants to be and the one he was trained to be.
GOOD GRAVY, JAZZ! That boy kills me. Not literally. He has choices and he makes the ones he feels he has to. All the while he's wondering if he's doing it because Dear Old Dad is goading him to the endgame HE wants or if Jazz doing it because someone has to end Billy's reign of terror.
Honestly, it's enough to drive a kid batty, isn't it? As if having Billy in his head isn't bad enough, now he's second guessing himself and trying to piece together the string of clues Billy's leaving him. BAD, BAD CLUES. The type with blood and viscera.
I adore Jazz. I like that time and time again he was faced with his own morality and had to decide if what he was doing was right or if he'd crossed the line. Separated from Connie and Howie (his touchstones to normalcy), he has to rely on himself and, yeah, he does some questionable things.
Dark and riveting, I highly HIGHLY recommend this entire series for those who don't mind blood and guts. Jazz is incredibly complex and his story killed me. Again, not literally.
Another fun installment as Sophronia puts her finishing school training to good use. Her teachers are beginning to fear she might be too good (is therAnother fun installment as Sophronia puts her finishing school training to good use. Her teachers are beginning to fear she might be too good (is there any such thing?) and her gentlemen callers are piling up.
Oh, and she might be in a position to thwart a most dastardly plot. AS ONE SOMETIMES IS.
Before I go on, I'm going to point out that once again I was saddened by the lack of werewolves. I mean, there were more than in the previous book and the ones who did show up were decidedly naked (always a plus), but my rally cry is and shall always be MOAR WEREWOLVES.
*ahem* So. Sophronia has her hands full trying to keep Sidheag from getting into trouble. Except Sidheag knows what she needs to do and it isn't aboard a dirigible. I LOVED seeing the events that brought Lord Maccon into Alexa's orbit in the Parasol Protectorate books. Not that we saw them. But we did see the fallout. And that's fantastic.
Some issues that had been making themselves known were resolved and Sophronia once again proved herself a master of quick thinking. And bladed fans. AS ONE SOMETIMES IS.
The second half of Sophronia's first year (or maybe it's the middle part of her first year. All I know is a lot happens to the wily girl and I see pleThe second half of Sophronia's first year (or maybe it's the middle part of her first year. All I know is a lot happens to the wily girl and I see plenty more on the horizon.) is just as deadly and dangerous as the first half. With the added bonus of boys. Boys from the boiler room and a duke's son and her best friend's brother and a vampire or two.
(Where are the werewolves? I ask. Their lack is a disgrace! WHERE ARE THE WEREWOLVES!?!?! I should probably point out that the lone werewolf NEARLY made up for the lack, but my inherent love of werewolves makes me demand MOAR!)
*ahem* So. Sophronia. She's ingenious and sneaky and she can ferret out the inner secrets of the teachers and students of the school faster than anyone else. Which is fortunate because there's a lot of STUFF going on that needs to be taken care of. I'm torn about the love triangle because as much as I like Soap, I can't see anything coming of it due to the fact that the girls are conditioned to expect they'll have their husbands picked out for them. I mean, this is a THING at the school. A THING. Like, they might be told EXACTLY who to marry to advance the cause. Or whatever.
While I like Soap, I really liked Felix. Because, well, he amuses me.
Fast paced and appropriately ridiculous at times (OMG! The NAMES! LOL!), I'm completely looking forward to the next book. Because I sense more werewolves. And that's always a plus for me.
Honestly, the only lack I found in this book was that there could have been MOAR werewolves. The one we were treated to was nice enough, but I have aHonestly, the only lack I found in this book was that there could have been MOAR werewolves. The one we were treated to was nice enough, but I have a decided soft spot for those wild men and you can never have too many by my standards.
Nonetheless, I can overlook the sad werewolf showing. Because as with the Parasol Protectorate books, this one is borderline ridiculous with some of the names and circumstances Sophronia finds herself in, yet I couldn't put it down. Mrs Barnaclegoose alone gave me a giggle with her name. Sophronia's propensity for ending up on the wrong end of pies and various other foodstuffs made me cringe (in a good way). Her first year at the school is a little rocky, but Sophronia certainly proves she's ready for anything life has to throw at her.
Except, possibly, avoiding making a mess or getting embroiled in crazy schemes.
Some old (yet young) faces pop up to tie this series in nicely with PP and we get see how progressive the teachers are in showing their charges how to be a deadly lady.
I have to say, I'm looking forward to the next book.
I have to start by saying I'm not a huge fan of mean girls and bullying, whether or not our main character shows her mettle and quietly stares them doI have to start by saying I'm not a huge fan of mean girls and bullying, whether or not our main character shows her mettle and quietly stares them down or goes all Hulk on them and shows them she isn't one to be pushed around. I'm just... it's not a favorite theme of mine. So when Edie starts her new school and has her initial run-in with the local mean girl AND quietly gives the cold shoulder to the person who initially welcomes her I wasn't loving that.
BUT... while the bullying theme runs through almost every part of this narrative (Edie's father, the teachers and students at school treating Jermaine like he's a delinquent, the boys on the bus, etc), it worked. She's lived the past five years on the run and she's tired and strung out from always looking over her shoulder and not being able to put down any roots. While her mom is doing everything she can to keep Edie safe, Edie only sees that they're in a new place and she has to learn how to make things work all over again.
Other than her mother, she doesn't have anyone to trust and it drags at her. And, yeah, as a fifteen year old she has some resentment toward the way of life she and her mother lead. When her mother goes missing, Edie sees how fragile their way of life truly is and it's terrifying.
In the end, this book is about standing tall in the face of adversity. Edie finds people she can lean on and she comes to understand that she's not alone. By facing her fears and reaching out to others, she finds a place for herself. It's not without a price, however, and she has to figure out how far to push before she shatters completely.
I have to say that I've enjoyed everything J.L. Bryan has written (hoists the fangirl flag with a rousing cheer) and I'm REALLY digging on this new seI have to say that I've enjoyed everything J.L. Bryan has written (hoists the fangirl flag with a rousing cheer) and I'm REALLY digging on this new series. Ghosts, mayhem, quirky characters with intriguing back stories, and DANGER, ELLIE JORDAN! DANGER!
One thing I'm enjoying is how the past ties in with the present. Ellie has to piece together what happened long ago to figure out how it ties in with her current case. She's working off historical documents and a goodly dose of intuition (although she'd tell you she follows the facts, but I like the leaps she makes) to figure out who's who and why they're acting as they are. And, yes, she does follow the facts more than she intuits. She treats her ghost hunting as a science, even when she invites the resident psychic into her investigation. I just wonder if her run-in with a malevolent spirit when she was younger makes her more open to seeing connections that others might brush aside.
Speaking of the resident psychic, Ellie's love life is sort of a barren wasteland. While I'm not holding my breath that she's going to go for him (that might make things awkward down the line), I am hoping she finds someone who can understand what she does and why she does it.
It might be nice to have someone to lean on after getting thrown down a flight of stairs or two during a rough case.
Bottom line: I'm loving this series and can't wait to see what crazy ghostly shenanigans Ellie and her crew uncover next.
I can genuinely say I had no idea where half of Katherine's motivation came from in this book. While the world building seemed to be very in-depth, thI can genuinely say I had no idea where half of Katherine's motivation came from in this book. While the world building seemed to be very in-depth, the way it was presented often left me scratching my head in confusion. Large chunks of narrative backstory were interjected during tense scenes which basically destroyed all the tension and left me skimming.
I also have a personal problem when a book (whether it's part of a larger arc or not) doesn't resolve anything by the end. As far as I could see, there was zero resolution to the overlying arc. While Katherine did figure out a few of the things thrown at her (how to act a little more like someone in charge, that a queen's life is full of hard decisions), it felt like we stopped mid-story as far as the main arc was concerned.
As far as Katherine herself, she never acted like someone who was grieving. Whether she was close to her sister or not, I had a hard time connecting with someone who didn't show much of any emotion when her entire life was thrown into disarray in a heartbeat. It was mentioned that she couldn't wait to escape Sandersville, yet when she becomes the heir she just sort of accepts that she's going to be stuck there now.
Uneven characterization and a virtual info dump of backstory at odd moments kept me from falling into this story and being able to suspend my disbelief. While I think the world building is solid, having all that information thrown about just made it tedious to wade through and disconnected me from any of the action taking place at the moment.
To be honest, I probably would have rated it higher if some part of the main arc had been resolved instead of leaving it all hanging. That's a personal peeve of mine, however, and I own it. Maybe Katherine's actions will make more sense as the series continues. I honestly don't know. Sadly, I'm not invested enough to find out.
Oh, my poor heart. Everything about this book worked for me. From Isla's sweet, tongue-tying crush on Josh from the first moment she saw him to beingOh, my poor heart. Everything about this book worked for me. From Isla's sweet, tongue-tying crush on Josh from the first moment she saw him to being able to see herself through his eyes. OH, MY HEART. I loved loved loved experiencing their romance. I loved seeing the other side of Josh. I loved how Isla saw him. I just... *clutches this book tight*
As with the other books in this series, we got to see the sweet, sometimes comical side of falling in love. Things don't always go smoothly when two people are learning one another and Stephanie Perkins captures that perfectly. Although Isla's face bashing bloody nose might not be something everyone does, those fluttery butterflies as you start to second guess yourself and your potential partner's responses to the little things felt so SO real.
And yes, the insecurities. OH, HOW THEY HURT. Watching both Isla and Josh come to the realization that they have so much to offer those around them was both painful and uplifting.
I adore this series. It's beautiful and sometimes awkward and I just want to go back and read all the books all over again. Plus, seeing former couples made my poor bruised heart go pitter patter. I love revisiting characters and seeing them through the eyes of others.
I've been consistently amazed at how J.L. Bryan can come up with such an utterly off-kilter world as I've worked my way through the series. This bookI've been consistently amazed at how J.L. Bryan can come up with such an utterly off-kilter world as I've worked my way through the series. This book cemented the fact the guy has a twisted brain. As it turns out, I like twisty things. Huh. I think I just implied I like J.L. Bryan's brain. This is true. It's very fun to squeeze. Strange things fall out and I get to play with them. But not in a creepy way. (because squeezing someone's brain is TOTALLY not creepy, amirite?!?!)
Right. So. The Zebras. Tragedy struck at the end of book 5 and we get to see the aftermath of it here. With Erin gone, Jason falls apart. He has no interest in the band and he's ready for his life to go back to normal. Except, how normal can things be when you were once a world famous rock star? Mitch is his usual abrasive self and Dred has found a way to keep doing what she loves. Meanwhile, Erin is learning some very interesting things about herself and her family. I spent a good chunk of this book upset with the way she didn't seem to care about how her disappearance would affect her family or friends, but there are forces at play here and I'm curious how it'll all play out.
Back in Faerie, Mad Queen Mab's plot is unfolding and things look bleak. Methinks a certain leprechaun bit off more than he could chew when he took up with the mad queen. If I'm reading the signs right, it doesn't look like things are going according to his plans. Unless he's just that crafty. And, honestly, he might be.
Entertaining, fast paced, and so odd it'll leave you smiling, this series is gearing up toward a big finish. Events have been set in motion and answers will (more than likely) be coming. Until then, we have to content ourselves with giant puppies, a nutty queen, and one oversized cat. Good times.
Whenever I dip back into this series, I remember how much I adore it. Steampunk goodness with a side of family that's not blood but who has your backWhenever I dip back into this series, I remember how much I adore it. Steampunk goodness with a side of family that's not blood but who has your back no matter what. Good times!
The bulk of the story revolves around Griffin's incarceration in the Aether and Finley's attempts to save him. Yes, Mila and Jack get some page time, but this book is really about tying up the threads of the plots that have been dangling since book 1 (Finley's run in with that dude who wanted to do bad things to her, anyone?) and I, for one, can appreciate that. I do wish we'd been able to see Mila and Jack tangle a wee bit more romantically, but I REALLY liked seeing things come together overall.
We also get some face time with the various other individuals who make up this motley group. I adored how all of them became family. Regardless of their feelings, each member of their group will stand up for another when the chips are down.
I am sad to see this series go, but I enjoyed how it all played out. Bonus, I see there's a novella or two waiting for me to grab them. Niiiiiice!
Funny story, I read book 1 in this series and thought it was okay but it didn't blow me away. But this story? Rocked it. It was creepy and crawly andFunny story, I read book 1 in this series and thought it was okay but it didn't blow me away. But this story? Rocked it. It was creepy and crawly and made me make my horrified face more than once. Just so you know, I'm now considering picking up book 2 in the series. Because I like me some creep factor and this worked in a big way.
Told in flashback, we get to see the chain of events that led up to the first human tests of the compound that would play such a big part in later books. Naturally, things go badly. Very, very badly.
If book 1 had given me this level of tension, I would have been all over it. Just saying. So far, both short stories in this world have worked very nicely. And I'm still thinking about hunting down book 2.
I've really enjoyed this series (dark, broken worlds do it for me!) and this book satisfied my craving for blood, guts, and endings that tied things uI've really enjoyed this series (dark, broken worlds do it for me!) and this book satisfied my craving for blood, guts, and endings that tied things up nicely. Yes, the ending worked for me. Full circles and blood bonds and a forever that's not so bleak after all's been said and done.
So. Allie. She's had a bit of a rough ride. She's grown a lot since we first encountered her in book 1. She backslides a bit with the events that took place at the end of book 2 (as one does when THAT happens) and it takes time for her to find herself again. Her interactions with Jackal were hilarious (SHUT UP, JACKAL!) and I imagine Kanin rolling his eyes more than once at their bickering. If he was the type to roll his eyes, that is.
We got to see plenty of the broken parts of the world as Allie and her crew follow Sarren's trail. We also got to see plenty of what Sarren is capable of. And he's capable of a lot. He's not the resident psychopath for nothing, you know. He's all about drawing out the pain and hitting his enemies in the worst possible way.
He's just a big ball of screwy and he's brilliant enough to keep everyone on their toes as they try to plan for the worst.
All in all, this was a very satisfying ending to the series. We got love, redemption, family ties, and hope all rolled up in a blood stained flourish of flashing blades. Vampires. They know how to drop the hammer when it's needed.
Oh, and I'd love to see more of Jackal and the oddly noble moments that slip out when he's not trying to be a jerk. That guy ended up growing on me. Way more than I expected.
I have to admit that I was captivated by this book. Between trying to figure out why the aliens are doing what they're doing and how Bethany and the oI have to admit that I was captivated by this book. Between trying to figure out why the aliens are doing what they're doing and how Bethany and the other survivors escaped the fate of everyone else AND waiting impatiently for Bethany to admit she had deep, dark feelings for Cade... well, it all worked for me.
While I can understand Bethany's reluctance to hurt Bret, especially considering the crazy they found themselves in the middle of, I was SO ready for her to just go all in with Cade. It was clear they both had feelings for one another and it was a little torturous waiting for her to take the plunge. Torturous in a good way, of course.
Frankly, the ending slayed me. I'm pretty sure I'll be picking up the next book soon because O.O. I have no idea how this series is going to play out and that's a little glorious.