**spoiler alert** And 3 stars is pushing it. But what can I say, I do want to read the next book because I'm curious about the conspiracy and how it r...more**spoiler alert** And 3 stars is pushing it. But what can I say, I do want to read the next book because I'm curious about the conspiracy and how it relates to some of these characters.
Maybe this guy doesn't have a chance in hell but who cares--I'm all for Ren. And yeah, even if I don't like Calla all that much. What is wrong with me? Ren intrigues me. He is the "bad boy" if we're going with labels but oh he so reeled me in with his love for Calla. There was enough vulnerability shown for me to actually say Team Ren. Let's not forget the reveal about his mom. Poor guy. I'm sure we'll find him switching sides to avenge his mother and of course to be with Calla. Shay is a nice guy but I did not connect with him at all. I appreciate all his questioning about the Guardians and Keepers but as a love interest? Pass. Also yawn. If anything, I'm looking forward to hearing more about his backstory and his significance in all this--like what exactly does his "real life" entail? I did enjoy the pack mates. They, along with Ren, were my favorite parts of the book.
I haven't read a paranormal YA since Twilight (back in 2007), at least if I'm recalling correctly. Unfortunately, my return to it isn't a great one. Maybe this isn't my genre, I don't know. I'll try to give a few other books a chance, one without triangles. (less)
So I'm still recovering from that ending. I mean, why? (view spoiler)[Mason! I had a feeling he'd die in this book because I took a little peek at Sha...moreSo I'm still recovering from that ending. I mean, why? (view spoiler)[Mason! I had a feeling he'd die in this book because I took a little peek at Shadow Kiss's cast of characters and saw his name missing. I'm a bit impressed that Richelle Mead was okay with killing off such a likeable character like Mason. I figured Rose would turn him down and he'd get together with Mia since she liked him. Anyway, I'm going to miss him because I felt he was a kindred spirit to Rose, and was just a nice, flirty, good guy (hide spoiler)].
There was a lot of character development which I was very happy about. I started out this book wanting to hit a lot of people but then toward the end I saw past the layers. Basically like Rose. I hoping that stronger relationships develop with (view spoiler)[Mia, Christian, Eddie, and Rose considering what they went through (hide spoiler)]. Or at least a step in that direction. I also look forward to more Adrian. He's intriguing and I do want to learn more about (view spoiler)[spirit (hide spoiler)] and all the abilities that come with it.
I feel like I'm repeating what some of the characters said in the book, but they do speak the truth: Rose is young and still has a lot to learn. She acts like a teen and does deal with the drama "normal" teens do. But, the events that transpired forced her to grow up a lot more. I look forward to seeing some changes in her, see her become more of an adult. I mean, Mason did say there was a change in her but I do hope she learns to control her temper and rashness. I'm not sure if that'll happen if (view spoiler)[Lissa is still on her meds since Adrian's words hint that Lissa's darker moods transfer over to Rose (hide spoiler)]. At least that's what I'm thinking.
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed with the lack of Rose and Lissa. They're my favorite part of the series. Though, again, they are growing up and I suppose it's natural that with relationships and other duties getting in the way, they'll have less time together. That is until she becomes her guardian. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
FINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to...moreFINALLY. Finally I can say I'm into this series. (view spoiler)[I wonder if I took too much time between series or if it was solely on not warming to Sydney as easily as I did with Rose. I also admit that I haven't cared for the individual book plots either. Probably a combination of it all, but anyway, I'm so happy with this book!
What's done right: romance. At least with Sydney and Adrian. I'll just ignore that stupid side cheating love triangle thing that happened here. But anyway, Sydney and Adrian. Taylor and Jet. I loved how their relationship developed. I mean hello, ADRIAN. He's too amazing for words. The way he approach this whole forbidden love roadblock? Perfect. Like he wasn't pressuring her or getting super frustrated. The whole "love from afar" was kind of simple yet also intense and even humorous at times. ILY but it's okay if you don't see it right now. I'll be over here patient and still support you in rebelling against the Alchemists and practicing witchcraft. They understand each other. They fit. They're friends. It also just feels mature. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
My feelings for Sydney are more positive than the previous books. I gained a lot more respect for her. To say she has a lot on her plate is an understatement. Also, her growth is tremendous, she's come a long way in just a few months. It was nice to see her take charge of her situation, of herself. Confidence suits her.
I'm disappointed with Marcus and his Merry Men. He did not warrant being on the cover. I kind of hoped that Sydney could take over and show them the ways of being awesome and proactive.
+ They're parents! Haha. I can't tell you how amused I was by this. Also, Hopper is adorable. + I seriously was counting Jet as the Mustang's name. Not a fan of what was chosen. + I missed the Melrose "family." + AYE. The throwback with the tattoo <3 + Reappearance of Jet Steele.
I love where this book went and the possibilities of what's to come with rebel!Sydney. Though I'm scared bc this was such a high, I can't see it lasting too long. Especially with that new development at the end. It seems like only a matter of time before she's caught and sent to re-education.
And look at that, another "third book's the charm." I seriously should consider a bookshelf for these books. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This book seems like a mix of Mean Girls and (since I haven't seen Groundhog Day) The Butterfly Effect (going back to the past over and over until the...moreThis book seems like a mix of Mean Girls and (since I haven't seen Groundhog Day) The Butterfly Effect (going back to the past over and over until the right ending comes along). The flawed protagonist, Sam, is somewhat of a bitch but this book being from her POV I couldn't help but feel for her. She goes through the motions and doesn't even realize how much she and her friends make a negative impact on others (Juliet!!). I enjoyed her journey through YES, the SAME day in SEVEN different ways. There were mistakes and disappointments but on those day-overs it was compelling to see her learn and come to a certain conclusion about her fate. I'm a romantic so of course one of the best things about these do-overs were those wonderful encounters with sweet, dorky Kent. On the swoon-worthy scale he's up there as a 10. The ending makes me torn. It made me question a lot of things like why Sam, why was that outcome the RIGHT outcome? I admit it was beautiful but it still makes me die a little. (less)
When Rory’s parents decide to take their sabbatical leave to teach at a university in Bristol, England, she chooses go to a boarding school called Wex...moreWhen Rory’s parents decide to take their sabbatical leave to teach at a university in Bristol, England, she chooses go to a boarding school called Wexford in the East End of London. She’s welcomed to London with news of a murder similar to a Jack the Ripper killing that had happened on that very day in the 1880s. She doesn’t give too much thought about it and coasts by, consuming herself with her new school. The media and London citizens, on the other hand, are morbidly fascinated with the infamous serial killer. After a second Ripper-like murder, it’s more than clear someone is truly copying his work. With CCTV cameras unable to get a shot of the killer, all police really have are the dates in which the Ripper had struck.
One night, a night dictating two Ripper murders would occur, she and her roommate make hasty—and quite stupid decision—to sneak out to the boys’ dorm. Upon return Rory is caught about to enter a window—her roommate having just made it inside—by a strange middle-aged man. She gets into the building safe and sound after a few quick words with him. The next morning she discovers a murder took place on the Wexford grounds around the time she had bumped into the man. Rory’s encounter, unfortunately, doesn’t seem too concrete since her roommate who looked out the window did not see him. Rory is the sole witness and lead in the Ripper case. A unique police squad hears of her story and accordingly keeps watch over her as she becomes the focal point of the Ripper.
I initially had difficulty getting into The Name of the Star. The beginning was a little tedious with its set up with the protagonist’s background, how her classes are going, and making friends. Even with two murders down, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Since it is the first of the series, I think it’s fair to let it pass because world building can be bit of a bore. One thing I did enjoy about the set up, however, was the London setting and getting a small taste of the historic city.
The characters, for the most part, were all likeable. Some are more interesting than others but they all seemed laid back with realistic voices. I thought there was a great camaraderie formed with the new characters introduced later in the novel. They had more colorful backgrounds than her schoolmates and no surprise, their addition made for a more solid and exciting second half of the book. I don’t want to give away too much about what goes on but it’s definitely worth the read once you get to those parts.
As someone who didn’t know much about Jack the Ripper, besides the fact that he’s a serial killer who was never caught back in the late 1800s, Johnson covered the story really well. There was just enough facts and background provided to give readers the gist of what had happened all those years ago. Like the original Jack the Ripper, the copycat gained a lot of press, becoming media circus of sorts. It’s a little disconcerting how fascinated some people were. I understand how such cases can attract attention but in this situation, there were hats and shirts being made with slogans welcoming Jack back, gatherings at pubs “celebrating” it, and just making light of the terrible circumstances. It baffled me.
While the The Name of the Star is part of a series, it does fine as a stand alone. There is closure to the case but it does have a little cliffhanger to open up for sequel. Overall, it is suspenseful, fun ride with a fairly good mystery. The supernatural element, which I’d rather let the reader figure out on his or her own, blended in well without being over the top. The Name of the Star isn’t overly horrifying so no worries of going to bed with the light on. Johnson included nice breaks of humorous quips and quirkiness in the mix that I appreciated a lot.
Although I’m not much one for paranormal YA, which is a little amusing to me because I adore paranormal romance and urban fantasies, Johnson has made me want to explore more of the genre.
There's a simplicity in the writing style that makes an impact. This is one of those books that will stay in your mind and ponder an answer...more4.5 stars.
There's a simplicity in the writing style that makes an impact. This is one of those books that will stay in your mind and ponder an answer to one of the teaser lines...what would you do if you had to choose?
Right from the beginning, I felt an ache inside. Mia and her family were picture perfect and knowing that tragedy was awaiting them a few pages away...it was already killing me. Directly after the accident occurred I felt like it was one of those moments in movies where all sound is suddenly cut off and you're walking in a daze. When Mia looks around at the aftermath, it was haunting complete with chills. It really did feel surreal. It's even more heartbreaking that this story was inspired by a family the author knew.
I admire the way Gayle Forman arranged this book, alternating it from Mia present in the hospital to some significant moments in her life before. Although this book is short, readers are easily drawn into Mia's life. I instantly loved those important people in her life and felt a sense of loss as well.
There are two very powerful scenes in If I Stay that really moved me more than anything else in this book, when Gramps talked to her, and the last moment with Adam. Especially in the latter, I swear I could feel my heart shattering. It was an extremely poignant scene. I can't get it out of my mind.
Life, death, love, music...Gayle Forman wove them together into a beautifully moving story.
On another related note, film rights for this book have been acquired. If I Stay has the potential to be an amazing film if done right but it also could fall flat. I don't know, I'm often not on board with turning books into films. I guess I'll just try to keep an open mind until I find out more about it.
A few days ago Jamie Blackley was cast as Adam in the film adaptation of this book. Personally I was thrilled with the choice because I already knew he's both a good actor and singer (Spring Awakening, And While We Were Here, etc.). It helps that he also perfected the American accent and even has the "Adam look" down pat which is a big deal since I'm always picky when it comes to casting for book-to-film adaptations.
Anyway, once I heard this news I was inspired to reread If I Stay. This is my third time reading this and it still hits me hard. Loved every page. (less)
This was a verse novel, my first experience reading one and I have to say actually liked it. Sure it was a super quick read but it was compelling. The...moreThis was a verse novel, my first experience reading one and I have to say actually liked it. Sure it was a super quick read but it was compelling. The protagionist goes on a journey of grief, guilt, and acceptance. She finds a strength to let go, move on and start living again. I thought it was a hopeful and fitting ending.(less)
Chasing Brooklyn is a very beautifully written story of two people dealing with their grief from losing the same loved one. They help each other to co...moreChasing Brooklyn is a very beautifully written story of two people dealing with their grief from losing the same loved one. They help each other to cope and to heal. To move on and to live life to the fullest. So few words but I felt they were powerful and moving. This is definitely one of those books I wouldn't mind reading again.
Little sidenote, it was great that Ava from I Heart You, You Haunt Me made a cameo. (less)
I read spoilers beforehand yet I went ahead and tried to read it anyway. I amazed I got up to the 500s before finally putting it down. I doubt I'll ev...moreI read spoilers beforehand yet I went ahead and tried to read it anyway. I amazed I got up to the 500s before finally putting it down. I doubt I'll ever finish it. (less)
Minder is a good start to the Ganzfield series. My YA background mostly consists of realistic contemporary but this little dip into this paranormal/sc...moreMinder is a good start to the Ganzfield series. My YA background mostly consists of realistic contemporary but this little dip into this paranormal/sci-fi-ish sub-genre was welcomed. I really like the whole idea of these teens having cool abilities like telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, etc. It was mentioned in the book and I do agree that the particular group of teens reminded me of X-Men. I love that. They had the boarding school/training program, the “special” teens, and the all-knowing telepathic Professor Xavier head honcho character.
My little complaints have to do with the development. I thought it was a little odd how Maddie accepted going to live at Ganzfield and that the dose of dodecamine quite quickly. I assume that this world is just like present day so I'm just putting myself in this girl's shoes. I would not have trusted a stranger like Williamson instantly nor would I have let anyone inject me. Blame it on Maddie's PTSD, I guess?
Then there was the romance which yes, was so sweet (enough that I thought I had a toothache) but I don't know it seemed off about how instantly they just fell for each other. Their relationship didn't touch me as it probably was suppose to. I didn't feel the whole soulmate connection but it was constantly there as if they said how tingly they made each other felt I'd be okay that there wasn't much development.
Now don't get me wrong I do think this series has potential. The last chapters really got me hooked. It'll be very interesting to see how all of that develops in the next installment. I'm hoping it's a little less romance and more butt-kicking teens. (less)
I don't think I've read anything quite like The Greyfriar. It is in every sense an epic tale with plenty of adventure, vampire and human politics, and...moreI don't think I've read anything quite like The Greyfriar. It is in every sense an epic tale with plenty of adventure, vampire and human politics, and a splash of steampunk. Most of all, I believe at the heart it's an excellent romance. It has a dark alternate world history where vampires came out of hiding and took over the north where the weather better suits them. The Greyfriar takes place in the future where the human empires of Equatoria and the American Republic are on the verge of taking back the north in what they call the War of Reconquest. Princess Adele, the heir to Equatoria, is nearly captured while on tour before Greyfriar, a mysterious masked hero who defends mankind from the vampires, comes to the rescue.
The Greyfriar left me in awe with its fantastic storytelling. I love the world building because it was so rich in history and detail. In the midst of the chaos, I think what readers will take away most are the brilliantly written and endearing characters, Adele and Greyfriar. There was something wonderful about the journey and growth of those two. They learn so much from one another and share some truly touching moments. You know, those kind of scenes that make you sigh in content or simply take your breath away. The last third of this book succeeded in making my heart both soar and break.
Overall it was a very engaging read which is easily added as one of my favorite books of the year. I'm eagerly awaiting the second installment now.(less)
In the aftermath of the Eden Imaging break-in, Maddie and her team of G-positives continue to train and try to find some fluidity with each other. Sta...moreIn the aftermath of the Eden Imaging break-in, Maddie and her team of G-positives continue to train and try to find some fluidity with each other. Stakes raise as they're put to the test as an unexpected nightmare occurs at Ganzfield. Maddie takes the lead and soon they're on their own against Isaiah and the Sons of Adam.
I enjoyed this installment of the Ganzfield series. The pacing was great and there were quite a few interesting developments with Maddie. I liked the darker feel of the book with all the surprises. The ending left me eager to pick up the next one in this series. What a turn of events! I believe readers will easily be drawn into this world once again.
*I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.(less)
Clay and Susan Griffith's The Rift Walker, sequel to The Greyfriar, made me somewhat apprehensive. The first novel was one of my favorites last year,...moreClay and Susan Griffith's The Rift Walker, sequel to The Greyfriar, made me somewhat apprehensive. The first novel was one of my favorites last year, so would the next installment of the Vampire Empire series live up to my high expectations? It did. The Rift Walker is as fantastic as The Greyfriar, if not more.
The Rift Walker takes place a few months after The Greyfriar ended. Princess Adele of Equatoria receives more pressure from her father Emperor Constantine and her intended, the American Republic's Senator Clark, to proceed with their wedding so their nations can unite as one against the British vampire clan. The humans don't know that the vampire Prince Cesare is forming his own alliance with other clans around the world. When Greyfriar learns of Cesare's plans to strike at Adele and Clark's ceremony, he comes to the rescue, whisking the Princess off to safety and away from her royal responsibilities. But that doesn't mean her duties and nation are far from her mind since war with the vampires seems inevitable. All the while, Adele also learns more about her strange powers which are evolving into something grander than she ever thought. There's so much weighing on her but with Greyfriar at her side, maybe they can find a balance between their worlds.
The Rift Walker was entirely addicting with excellent, detailed writing. It has a little bit of something for every reader by smoothly blending several genres. It even included some very well placed humor, notably with Adele and Greyfriar, which pleasantly surprised me. Another outstanding element was the vivid descriptions of the new African locales that take readers right into pages. I can always count on the Griffiths to set up a great world to get lost in.
There were plenty of intriguing storylines that seamlessly weaved together. The politics were genius and twisted as this time it centers heavily on humans whom Cesare cleverly used to his advantage. Power exemplifies delusions and the corruption of certain individuals. Masks fall and deceits are exposed with pieces of the vampire-human war moving into place. Some lines are drawn illustrating where individuals must choose their a side, even if that means working with the enemy. It tests duty versus morals, a running theme in the novel.
Though Greyfriar has a lesser role in The Rift Walker, he is still a powerful figure. He chose his side and that's with Adele. Readers get a chance to see just how deep their relationship is. Their bond is so effortless and solid--they just fit. Individually, they are strong, but together they are an even greater force to be reckoned with even with their new setbacks.
The Rift Walker--the title actually refers to the princess and her ability--is Adele's moment to shine. She makes a rash decision to escape with Greyfriar as her future was unfairly being chosen for her. It was clear from the previous book that she was being used, but here Adele is taking action, taking her future into her own hands. With the court seeing her unfit due to her half-Persian blood and her gender but also unstable because of her time in the north with the vampires, I don't blame her for finding a different route. She's in a man's world but she comes out on her own as a bright, strong-willed woman. She proves throughout the book how she will be a great, compassionate ruler, better than any other individual trying for the throne. Adele also has her geomancy lessons, showing just how extreme the power radiating from the earth is in her hands. It's in her to change the course of the world. I'm completely fascinated and eager to see how it will unfold.
Besides the two main characters, minor ones from The Greyfrair are fleshed out with their own perspectives. Mamoru, Colonel Anhalt (favorite minor character!), Lord Kelvin, and others show more aspects of their personalities to give added layers and support to plots. With that, there were grave disappointments, but also remarkably touching bits--all made for a good read.
The Rift Walker is an adventure worth delving into. It's an extraordinary, action-filled novel that will keep readers up late at night, scrambling to get to that last page to read the fate of the beloved characters Adele and Greyfriar. The Rift Walker surely leaves a great set up for the conclusion of the series coming out next year. I, for one, am waiting on pins and needles. (less)
Theseus Cassio Lowood, known to most as Cas, devoted his life to killing ghosts after his father—a ghost hunter himself—was murdered on the job. Cas h...moreTheseus Cassio Lowood, known to most as Cas, devoted his life to killing ghosts after his father—a ghost hunter himself—was murdered on the job. Cas has spent the last three years preparing for the one day he'd get to avenge his father. A tip leads Cas to a Canadian town for Anna Korlov—all the legends refer to her as Anna Dressed in Blood—a young teenage girl brutally murdered on her way to a school dance. She haunts her old house, and has a track record of ripping apart anyone who dares to set foot inside. He figures she would be the last ghost to test him before he finally confronts his father's killer. Cas's first encounter with Anna at her house results in a local boy's death. What's strange is, for some reason, she allows Cas to walk away alive and with all his limbs. She isn't like any ghost he's ever encountered—extremely powerful, violent and with an awareness of her actions—leaving him entirely enraptured and ultimately torn about killing her.
One could say Cas is the equivalent to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but for ghosts. He's a charismatic, sharp, well-rounded protagonist so I'm positive readers won't have a hard time being drawn into his story. Death is his life, as ironic as that sounds. His occupation doesn't allow for close relationships, what with him having to move constantly to go to where ghosts wreck havoc. To his dismay, during his latest hunt to destroy Anna he actually gains a few friends. It was great to see him rely on others and realize it's not so bad to have people on his side. His interactions with them, in particular with the telepathic witch Thomas, were some of my favorite parts. Readers really get a sense Cas's good guy at heart, no matter that he can be a smartass.
Anna, I'm sorry to say, wasn't a character I was too invested in. I did feel horrible at the circumstances surrounding her death and what had eventually became of her but I didn't get that connection like I did with Cas. Now let me address Cas's attraction to Anna. Honestly, it seemed more of a morbid fascination than true romantic feelings. I didn't see the development especially in such a short timespan. Luckily for me, this wasn't overwhelming the plot and was kept on the backburner.
Now, I come to the spook factor. Much to my disappointment I wasn't creeped out, at least not to the extent I was expecting. There were eerie parts here and there with splashes of gore and violence but nothing that made me want to hide under the covers. Everything regarding witchcraft and voodoo, on the other hand, caught more of my attention. The latter resulted in some very clever reveals which I give Blake many kudos for.
I'm pretty much a needle in a haystack with some of my nitpicking since majority of the readers I've come across have nothing but high praise. Although there were a few things I didn't care for and was letdown by, I actually enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood. I will probably check out the next novel in this series because I do like the idea of ghost slayers and Cas and his Scooby gang are truly a fun group of characters. It also left off on an interesting note that I'm eager to explore. This novel would appeal to many paranormal readers who want a fast-paced supernatural story with a side of romance and comedy.
I haven't touched a YA vampire book in years. Actually there was only one series I ever tried and then that was it for me. So, I've been pretty close-...moreI haven't touched a YA vampire book in years. Actually there was only one series I ever tried and then that was it for me. So, I've been pretty close-minded about that specific sub-genre. I'm glad I gave Vampire Academy a chance because it was a lot of fun. The world building was okay, not really that fascinating, but that's okay. The characters are what pulled me in anyway.
Rose is my kind of girl. She is sort of the typical urban fantasy/paranormal protagonist with her spunk, snark, and wit. And of course, she's also a bit special. Never is a protagonist ordinary (in accordance to abilities or powers) in the supernatural world. Now while I've seen her characteristics time and time again, these type of heroines appeal to me and so I loved Rose. Stupid decisions and all. I admired her protective mentality toward Lissa, how her job was her world and reason for being. Lissa is her other half, maybe her "better" half because, c'mon, Rose is a bit rash and in your face. To the normal eye she may seem weak, but I found her to be very strong and it was enlightening to see her struggles highlighted. Not something you see often in this genre. I look forward to seeing her character evolve because I think there is so much potential in her.
Rose and Lissa's friendship made this book for me. The boys were fun and yeah, I liked them, but none were at that swoon-worthy point just yet. It was kind of nice that there wasn't an all-consuming romance but I'm happy that there are foundations for some. I don't mind waiting to see that develop. And back to Rose and Lissa. Never have I seen such a well done and strong female friendship portrayed in YA (or at least I can't think of any others at the moment). I really, really just latched onto these two. I hope that their relationship continues to be the forefront for the rest of the books.
The petty social politics and angst was a little melodramatic and made me roll my eyes. But I suppose this wouldn't be a YA without that. I found the royal politics, on the other hand, very intriguing. I look forward for more in that area as the series goes on. (less)
4.5 stars. So, it seems my whole "the third's the charm" with PNR/UF books seems to hold with this series. For me, this was the best book so far.
Ther...more4.5 stars. So, it seems my whole "the third's the charm" with PNR/UF books seems to hold with this series. For me, this was the best book so far.
There was some crazy stuff going on in Shadow Kiss. I'll first get to the "small" stuff like the royal politics which I think was interesting. I have such a bad feeling about Lissa's future plans especially after that ending. Also the storm is still brewing with Victor. I'm looking forward to how it will all go down. The mana group was pretty idiotic. Ugh. But it reiterated how the little details of your choices and actions can result in monumental shake ups. And that leads me to Rose's moodier disposition.
I like that there were consequences for magic, at least in Lissa's case. It was so, so interesting to see more into the Rose/Lissa connection and how using the spirit ability, which is really something incredible, (view spoiler)[would affect Rose (hide spoiler)]. Rose's more intense moods set up some good storytelling. I also liked exploring (view spoiler)[PTSD with Eddie because it was necessary. I had expected a bit more of it in the first half of the book. I really hope he pops up in the next book because I would like more of him with her. Not in a romantic way, but in the way that they are bonded over what happened from Frostbite. Oh and I basically flipped out when Eddie was captured because I was like, geez, you can't be a nice guy or else Mead will kill/torture you. I was a little surprised that Mia moved because I had thought she would develop a better relationship with Rose after all they've been through. And Christian. I thought it was great when Rose was assigned to him because they had some fantastic scenes. I like that they do have this friendship though you know underneath there is just a tad bit of jealously due to Lissa. Oh, and I can't forget Mason. Honestly, I'm still getting over that loss. When he smiled at the end, I admit I teared up a little. I'll say it again, I'll miss him (hide spoiler)].
There was a definite shift in what my number one relationship was. I crossed over to really shipping Rose and Dimitri. His confessions in here--that won me over because while I did like Rose and Dimitri in the last books, their relationship wasn't my main focus (it was the Rose/Lissa friendship).
I was a teeny tiny bit spoiled in that I had a hint that (view spoiler)[Dimitri would turn only because I saw the lists these (or at least the first Vampire Academy book) were on. One list had said something along the lines of Best Immortal Boyfriends. So, yeah, I kind of figured something would happen to him eventually. I just didn't know which book. And gosh, this is like Buffy and Angel when he lost his soul. Though I hope it's like Buffy and Spike in which he's missing his soul but still loves her. Please! (hide spoiler)]
This was a real true changing point. Things are getting darker and darker. Rose is most definitely not the same girl we met in Vampire Academy and her evolution has been so well written. She did change when Mason died but this new devastation was so much greater. I respected and understood Rose's decision at the end. I just hope the next books don't fall into the dreaded post-high school, jumping the shark type of thing we tend to see in teen drama shows. Oh, and in connection to her choice at the end, poor Adrian. The guy's a goner, as in head-over-heels in love, like Mason. I can't see the coming book ending well at all.
Now I can safely say I don't know any further hints/spoilers about the next books (besides the fact that I think the main characters will survive because c'mon, how cruel could Mead be? Don't answer that!). And I intend to keep it that way. as best I can.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
**spoiler alert** So conflicted! Some parts I liked. Others, meh.
I'll start with Sydney. She was interesting though not sure if I care too much about...more**spoiler alert** So conflicted! Some parts I liked. Others, meh.
I'll start with Sydney. She was interesting though not sure if I care too much about Alchemists at this point. It seems pretty obvious that this isn't the last we've seen of her so who knows, maybe she could be a love interest for Adrian or something. Sorry, I just want him to have a HEA with someone. Ha.
Avery's bit was something I saw coming. While I didn't pick up the spirit and bonds immediately, I did get the sense when I saw Reed and Simon continuously acting dark and sullen. Honestly, she was a headache and the only reason her storyline was added was to show how having more than one bond doesn't balance well. Uh, duh, I kind of figured considering the history of madness with only two people being bonded.
I kind of missed the misadventures of Rose and Christian. I mean it seemed as though they always had some epic thing each book. Here's to hoping there's more of him in Spirit Bound. Oh, and he's so going to get back together with Lissa. I'm not even the slightest bit worried. I did like Jill having a part so maybe she'll be part of the gang? Also I never thought I'd say this but that goes for Mia, too.
I liked the Abe involvement. I had a feeling he wasn't as bad as Rose thought. It proved true when she brought up the name Ibrahim while Lissa and Tatiana were talking guardians. It clicked that Abe was obviously a nickname for him, so the "Rose, I am your father" reveal was a little anti-climatic. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how that relationship pans out. And hopefully we'll see more with the Abe/Janine history too.
All these flashbacks with Dimitri--I kind of wished they were in the previous books because I always thought there weren't enough scenes with him and Rose. It's why they weren't exactly that big of a presence on my radar, making me feel a little detached. Now in this book it's like, oh let's add them in and oh, see, they're sooo connected! I liked them, don't get me wrong, but the impact of the flashbacks was soften in comparison to what it could have done in the other installments.
I was on the fence about her solo mission to free Dimitri. Part of me liked seeing Rose on her own because I guess I thought she needed this. The other part thought it was too reckless. Not to mention a lot of it made me bored. Yeah, the Alchemists were interesting, it was nice meeting Dimitri's family, and the functional bonded pair gave me hope for Rose and Lissa, BUT it was so tedious. I kept wanting something big to happen.
Things really picked up with the vigilante "goddamned hottest vampire hunters ever" group. That was awesome.
But sadly the awesomeness didn't last so long. The captivity. Oh, that was so disappointing, seeing her so weak and lovesick. I hated it. I was really on board with Rose and Dimitri in Shadow Kiss but then he died. He's Strigoi. I just, ugh, I don't know. It's too conflicting. That whole blood whore part of this book grossed me out. And the thing with the healing ring? Well I think we all figured that spirit would be the only way for Dimitri could come back from the undead but a tiny piece of me thinks it's a copout. It would be so unconventional and refreshing for Rose to actually kill him and be paired with Adrian now. Moving on from your first love isn't the end of the world. People can fall in love again. I'm guessing majority of the readers would have thrown a fit everything played out that way, though. And let's be real, it's a given Rose/Dimitri will be endgame. Now I'm just hoping Mead will find a way tp make me want them together again.
Before I forget, the Victor/Robert connection! Nice twist, Mead. Victor still needs to die, though. Just saying.
And lastly, Rose and Lissa! They've returned to be my favorite relationship at the end of this book. So glad to see them heading in the right direction now. (less)
(view spoiler)[Well first off, I'm glad the beginning skipped straight to the Academy trials rather than being stuck in school. I didn't want to rever...more(view spoiler)[Well first off, I'm glad the beginning skipped straight to the Academy trials rather than being stuck in school. I didn't want to revert back there after the Siberia trip. The prison break-in was exciting and completely made me think of HP & the Deathly Hallows. The reason behind it? Not so fun. I wasn't entirely feeling that quest for love. It was selfish dragging other people in. I just think of all the trouble she could have gotten the others in (and hey, I still think the repercussions for that are still bidding their time). Not cool. Oh, but, yay for Eddie. Sucks that he disappeared for the rest of the novel save for that brief appearance at Rose's hearing.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the convenient restoring Strigoi to dhampir idea but I get it. I mean, why not since Rose actually died and was able to come back to the living. And quite honestly, I'm kind of a sucker for a tortured soul and even though Dimitri frustrated me a little after he came back, he did get under my skin. At first I was a little surprised by how early in the book he was changed because I thought it was the main focal point but then the transgressions afterward made sense for him to return first.
- All the Court stuff was dull. It was like being stuck at the Academy again. I wanted things to happen, some action, not politics. - Tatiana. Who dun it? Victor. But it's an inside job, right? So I'm looking at you, Mikhail. Perhaps he struck up some deal so he could get Karp back? IDK. - Liked that Abe was here toward the end. But where was Jeanine? Felt like she should had popped up again sometime after the trials. - Lissa's half-sibling? I wonder, I wonder. - Rose's love life? A headache. Just be alone. It's going to hurt Adrian so much. Yet again she's being selfish. - Sydney thinks Adrian is cute! I was half joking about pairing them up in my Blood Promise review, but gosh, I'll ship it. - More Eddie in the next book. I think Mead traumatized me because every time he's on the pages I get scared he'll be killed off. - More Christian, too (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
(view spoiler)[These books would be so much better if there was no romantic drama; they should've just focused on friendships,...moreHmm, I guess 3.5 stars.
(view spoiler)[These books would be so much better if there was no romantic drama; they should've just focused on friendships, royal politics, spirit ability, the dynamics between the different races, etc. I couldn't stomach a lot of the romance. Cheating is such a deal breaker for me and while Rose didn't do it physically till the end, she was already emotionally cheating from the get go. It was painful to read. I did believe she tried to give an honest effort with Adrian when she returned from Siberia but when Dimitri became dhampir again she really should had been alone. It would have been the smart, mature thing to do. It's such a shame because with all the annoying romantic entanglements happening at the end, that bad taste is what I was left with and what I will remember most about this book. Ugh.
The other stuff, well, I actually, for the most part, found it good. There was a lot going on from switching three different storylines: Rose's quest to find the lost Dragomir, the Tatiana who dun it?, and the HP & Goblet of Fire trials for a new monarch. And I didn't really like going from one to the other too much, especially when I got into one of the storylines and then suddenly had to switch. And I know I should be used to it because Rose has been doing it all series but it just felt off because it seemed like more was happening on Lissa's side rather than on Rose who is the actual protagonist. The prison breakout (again?! LOL.) was yet again something fun to start out with, and just being on the run in general I found entertaining. I think what made this little adventure better than Siberia was the fact that she had actual companions I knew of and found intriguing, and the mission itself wasn't self-centered. Now to the murder mystery. I had thought it was Adrian's mom after she was so keen to keep her son safe, but after some time I thought it was too obvious. Then I was pretty clueless and obviously was surprised with the Tasha reveal so kudos to Mead on that. I'm not too sure on the Rose/Lissa unbonding because it was such an easy out, but I guess it had to happen some way.
- Angeline should be brought back. She has spunk. I was sad Rose wasn't able to take her along. - It was sweet to see Mikhail and Sonya reunite. I'm really glad that my early guess from Spirit Bound about him was entirely wrong. - Eddie, what happened to him?! Me thinks he should be a guardian to Jill. Just saying. All in the family, you know. - Mia, you badass, look how far you've come from the first book. - Why wasn't there a conversation between Christian and Rose about Tasha at the end? - Curious about Ian. - Sydney has potential and I'd love to see her evolve. I'm still holding out hope there might be something with Adrian. - And what about Robert? I can certainly see him coming back, seeking revenge for Victor's death.
So, I did really enjoy the first three books, but the last ones really felt off because I was so bothered by the romance aspect. It sucks that there wasn't a clear conclusion to this series. I do want to read about Sydney soon but I am totally burned out from Rose and all her craziness. I'm not sure I want to see the aftermath just yet so I'm going to get a few other books in before getting to Bloodlines (hide spoiler)].["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Can't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists a...moreCan't say this hooked me as quickly as the VA books. It's a bit more laid back plot wise. I was disappointed that it was so easy to guess the twists as well. But I like most of the characters (Adrian! Eddie!), so there's that. I also like the direction of one of the (soon-to-be) romances. Such a nice relief after the debacle that was Rose's love life. Just be friends for now, please. The other side romance I'm not too keen on just yet. We'll see how that goes in the future. (view spoiler)[Yay for the new dhampir on the scene because I thought she had potential back in VA #6. Boo on Micah just being a doppelgänger. I thought there was more to it than that. The drama that I sense will come after that last line has me cringing a little. I hope it isn't as bad as I think. (hide spoiler)](less)
Overall, pretty good stuff. More into it than the first book.
(view spoiler)[I get frustrated with Sydney. It doesn't mean I think she's a horrible character but sometimes it's hard to see her adhere to her rigid beliefs or be clueless in other matters. There were a couple of times I just wanted to shake some sense into her. She has made some progress so it's not like she's a lost cause. I can only see her becoming more and more open about things outside her comfort zone.
I want more Trey. Please stay good (well, IDK about that Warriors association though) and hopefully he'll get to join the gang. Jill was more tolerable. Angeline was a bit much for me at first but I was glad to see she calmed down in the latter half. Eddie was honorable, dependable, loyal, and all those "good" adjectives, as always. However, meh on the Jill, Eddie, Angeline plus maybe Trey love rectangle. Take the romance out of the equation and I'm really quite fond of this "family." And maybe that's why I liked this a tad more than the previous book—they're all settled at the school and have this sort of chemistry going on now.
Lastly, how dare you be so sweet, Adrian! And gosh, poor guy gets shot down again by a girl he loves. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)