Well, if Seraphina is like this prequel (with, of course, much more), then I believe I will LOVE Seraphina. And I'm assuming Princess Glisselda will b...moreWell, if Seraphina is like this prequel (with, of course, much more), then I believe I will LOVE Seraphina. And I'm assuming Princess Glisselda will be there. I hope so. She sounds fun. I think she's a character I will have to watch out for. (less)
I was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than an...moreI was excited to read this when I first heard about it. It sounded pretty awesome, and that cover, yeah, that had me pulling towards it faster than anything else could. When Netgalley accepted my request, I was so anxious to dive right into the story. I was never really worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. And it did. Even going beyond what I was hoping for, and promising so much more.
I find pirates rather intriguing. Maybe that stems from my liking of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but don’t pillaging, sword fighting, treasure seeking pirates have a ring of adventure and mystery to them? Even if some of them are good for nothing scoundrels. The pirates in this here book were fashioned quite well. The story is told from a young pirate girl’s point of view. Which I honestly find quite appealing. A pirate girl isn’t going to be a TSTL heroine who relies on her hero to save her. Ananna was fierce and independent. She takes action, and she doesn’t wait for the dazzling hero to get her out of the situations she gets herself into. And this is what drew me completely into the story.
I found myself falling in love with Ananna’s voice. She was just such fun to read. She was a strong character. She was the fierce, independent pirate girl, but she also shows a soft side. A side that cares about people and that could love. And she shows that she’s not completely fearless. There are things that scare her senseless. But she doesn’t let her fright get the better of her. She rises after the scare with strength and determination to set out to do what she needs to. Then there was Naji. The assassin whose life Ananna saved and now they’re bonded together and they have to find a way to break the curse. Naji was a pretty cool character, and I felt was created really good. He’s an awesome assassin. Black as night that can move without a sound and can kill with precision and skill. But Naji isn’t your typical prince charming who has girls falling over their feet to get him, who dazzles everyone, including the heroine, with his charms and extremely hot looks. Naji is scarred, physically and internally. And this shows the reader his weakness. It shows that he is not just the fearless, stealthy assassin. He has demons he’s trying to fight, and he tries to hide it. And I really did feel for him. I find myself liking the tortured hero, because it shows they’re not perfect, and that they have a past.
I liked the subtle, slow growing romance. I liked that Ananna didn’t immediately fall in love with him (which would be pretty hard to do when he just tried to kill her). I liked that they were forced to be together which they both resented, but that through this bond, this curse, they grew to understand each other. I liked that Ananna was able to see past Naji’s scars, and focus on the man who desperately needs help. I felt that the buildup of their friendship, and potential, inevitable romance was done well and was beautiful. I’m extremely excited to see how their romance will blossom.
And the ending. The ending was perfect! The last line made me smile and made my heart grow warm because of its beauty and love. This novel was beautifully crafted and executed. It was by no means perfect. When I really think about it, there are a few flaws, but I just don’t want to think about those, because the book was otherwise so awesome that I don’t want my love of it tainted in any way. So, I’ll focus on the bright spots instead. K? The characters were very well rounded, and I loved them, the plot was exciting and intriguing, the world was luscious and wonderfully built, the writing was amazing. Pretty much I just loved the whole book. Clarke did an awesome job, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Which should be coming out any day now. Sometime next year. Or maybe sooner if I can bribe the publisher, and find some ingenious way to force Clarke to write faster. Because we all know how readers hate to wait. Anyway, I applaud Clarke for writing an incredible, worthwhile young adult novel that hopefully readers everywhere will love.
Thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
Glamorous Illusions follows the journey of a young woman as she tries to discover who she is, and what she can become. At the beginning, she learns ab...moreGlamorous Illusions follows the journey of a young woman as she tries to discover who she is, and what she can become. At the beginning, she learns about a secret her parents kept from her her whole life. She feels betrayed by what happened, and that they never told her. Then she is offered a chance to go on the Grand Tour of Europe with her new found siblings, who may just hate her for who she is. She goes a little grudgingly, wary of the man who she knows now as her blood father. But she finds as she travels with her siblings, and comes to accept who she is, that she can’t be mad at any of her parents, her mother or her two fathers, because they each gave her a life that helped shape her into the woman that she is, and is becoming.
Cora was a nice protagonist. I didn’t always like being in her head. Not that she was annoying, or stupid, I just couldn’t quite connect with her. It helped that her narrative was broken up by the viewpoints of Will. I did like seeing Cora’s journey, and how she coped with her new, extravagant life, and having to leave the people she loved. She was strong, and didn’t let her siblings dislike of her keep her down. I appreciated her humility, and determination to stand firm, and her accepting herself for who she is, no matter what her past is. People could treat her however they may, but she knew there were people who cared about her, so their disdain couldn’t hurt her. But, I also felt that she was kind of boring. She’s just a normal girl, trying to find where she fits in; which is, you know, cliché. And nothing terribly original or exciting happened to put a twist on that storyline. So maybe that’s partly why I couldn’t connect with her.
The plot also, was kind of boring. It wasn’t bad, or completely disinteresting, but it wasn’t interesting enough to keep my attention focused solely on the book, so that I couldn’t bear to be stop reading. I did enjoy learning about the history, and whatnot. I can tell that Bergren did her research well, and cared enough to get the details right. It wasn’t until the ending, where the real excitement began, that I became really interested, and excited, and couldn’t stop reading. Too bad that happened at the end, and not sooner. Don’t get me wrong, not all books have to be exciting and adventurous to be worth reading, or to have deep meaning. I love books that are slow, and contemplative, with lush descriptions and wonderful characters who triumph not by fighting a dragon, but by coming to know their heart and the hearts of others. And Glamorous Illusions did do this. It did have wonderful descriptions of the places the characters visited, and well-rounded characters that the reader comes to understand and like. I just felt that something was missing, for me at least.
I did like the romance, and actually, the biggest reason why I would consider reading the second book would be to see that romance develop. I’m interested to see where it goes, and to see Will and Cora fall in love. Will was a wonderful hero. He was a gentlemen who only wanted to teach his clients history, and to protect them on the tour. He just wasn’t ready to have his heart stolen. And he tries to fight it. Cora is above his station, and he isn’t supposed to get involved with the clients. But he can’t help what he feels. I liked seeing his perspective. Being able to see his side and Cora’s, seeing both of their uncertainties, and wondering if the other could possibly like them, but then telling themselves that it could never work. And then there’s Pierre, a Frenchman who falls for Cora, and she can’t help but be pleased by his attention. So, there’s a little love triangle, which will probably be explored more in the coming novels. But this triangle isn’t angsty or annoying, where the girl flip flops between the guys. It’s done well, and is believable.
So, in the end, I liked Glamorous Illusions well enough. I loved the ending, and would like to see more of Cora and Will. I think fans of the River of Time series will like this novel, and probably history fiction buffs. As for me, I’ll just have to see what the next novel has to offer before I invest in it.
Thank you to David C. Cook and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
This book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager t...moreThis book was rather boring. And I’m sad to say that, because it did sound interesting. But it failed to interest me, or excite me, or make me eager to keep reading. Most of my disinterest was because of the characters. They were flat and boring. They didn’t feel real to me. And Lena was the worst. (which is really bad, because if the MC doesn’t generate enough interest in the reader, her involvement in the plot will seem pointless, and her relationships with the other characters will be stupid and boring).She was one of those too stupid to live ‘heroines’. The choices she made were so stupid. And I know characters make stupid choices all the time, but some authors have the ability of making the reader understand the character’s decision, and can make that stupid choice they did help them as they grow and learn and are shaped into that likeable, believable person. Lena was not this person. She betrayed a few people, and I never saw any real redemption or personal growth in her. I didn’t see how this wrong decision helped her to change, or realize the horrible thing she did and have her try to make things right. She knew what she did was wrong, and she did feel bad, but I saw more of her feeling sorry for herself, and wondering if they could ever forgive her, which, I guess they did right after she committed it, because they never really felt like they’d been betrayed, (at least that’s the feeling I got when I was reading). And here’s another thing I didn’t like about her. She was selfish, and thought more about her sorry self and her disgusting hands and feet, and thinking that Jimson could never love her because of what she is, even when Jimson is kind to her and pays her more attention than she deserves.
Another thing that took me away from the book was the dialogue. It was too formal and stiff, and therefore made the characters feel stiffer. The plot wasn’t captivating like I wanted it to be. Exciting stuff happened, but I didn’t feel excited. The ending wasn’t so great, and didn’t make me at all excited to read a sequel, (if there will be one, and most likely will be).
So this book was rather unsatisfying for me. Hopefully there are people who will like it much more than I did.
Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for the arc.(less)
Talisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical ad...moreTalisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical adventure with a wonderful cast of characters. I have to be honest here. Before I read it, I was never really interested in it. I saw it floating around a little bit, but it just didn’t catch my interest. The cover is, I’m sorry, so bad (at least to me). Then I saw it on Netgalley and thought, why not? So I read it, and I’m glad I did. The cover does not do the story justice. Seriously, if there was a really cool cover with more color and creatures from the book on it, or something like that, I think a lot more people would be drawn to the book. I probably would have. I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but when there are so many books, and you’re browsing through them, mainly looking at the covers, Talisman of El isn’t one that jumps out at you.
I really enjoyed the story. It was pretty well thought out, and had some great action, and well-rounded characters. I became really interested in the characters’ lives, and kept wondering what was going to happen, and how things would end. I think Charlie was a great hero, and Stone wrote his perspective with tact and realism. He felt like a normal teenage boy who is beginning to learn about the world, and feeling trust or mistrust for adults, and feeling the budding, strange feelings for the opposite sex. Here is a promising relationship that I hope Stone will explore more in depth in the sequel. There’s no love story in the Talisman of El, but there’s the promise of one. A seed is being planted, and I’m excited to see where it could go.
I was a little reminded of Harry Potter as I read. The relationship that Charlie formed with Derkein reminded me of Harry and Sirius. And Charlie’s friendships with Richmond and Alex, was kind of like Harry’s, Ron’s and Hermione’s early friendship. I’m not saying that Stone got her ideas from Harry Potter, because her book is original, and has an intrigue of its own. I could just see her imaginative wheels turning as she planned the story. Talisman of El falls into that fantastical category where we see kids getting swept away from their real world into a whole new world. Stories like Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Harry Potter, and Narnia. And I think Talisman of El fits quite nicely into this group. It’s not as epic as those other stories, but it holds its own, and I see great potential in the story as it keeps going, and as Stone grows in her storytelling and writing.
One thing that I would like to see improvement on is having tighter writing, and having more connection between scenes. Sometimes I felt like I wasn’t able to see some things happen, I was just told about it after it had already happened. And it wasn’t anything big, just things like seeing the characters get from Point A to Point B. Not a big deal, but certainly something that could be worked on. I also felt like some parts of the novel were a little slow. Like After Charlie gets to Arcadia and is learning about it, and the Arcadians are telling him who he is. Necessary information, but it was just a little slow, and maybe a little to telling and not enough showing.
After finishing Talisman of El, I found that I really did like it, despite some minor flaws, and was excited to read the sequel. Stone wrote an intriguing, fun, adventurous story that managed to capture my interest (when the cover failed to do that), and showed me what she can do, and what her future novels can be. I’m interested to see where she can take us next.
Thank you to Centrinian Publishing and Netgalley for the arc.
This was a cute, sweet story. Shayla is half human, half faerie, who is trying to discover herself while living in a world of humans who couldn’t poss...moreThis was a cute, sweet story. Shayla is half human, half faerie, who is trying to discover herself while living in a world of humans who couldn’t possibly understand her if they knew who she really is. But then she starts to make friends in her new school, and they understand her, and treat her no differently when they find she’s not entirely human. Shayla gains confidence in herself and her abilities. I liked seeing her journey and growth. She isn’t the strongest, independent heroine I’ve read, but she learned to become stronger, and in the face of adversity, she challenged it head on, if only to save the people she loved, and I appreciated seeing that in her.
This was a more simple tale. It wasn’t really original, and didn’t have a terribly exciting plot, but I still really liked the story. I enjoyed all the characters. They were written well and felt real to me. I liked the plot, and the fairytaleish feeling the writing and story had. The end of the book kept my attention more thoroughly as the plot thickened, and events were unfolding, presenting a clearer, intriguing picture. I also liked the romance. It was cute, and simple, and I enjoyed seeing Shayla and Jace fall in like.
I would recommend this book to young readers looking for a cute faerie story with a little romance in it.
Thank you to Cedar Fort and Netgalley for the arc. (less)
Ah, what a sweet little story of Ash's and Meghan's Valentine's Day :) Though it was very short, I smiled the whole read. I just love Ash and Meghan....moreAh, what a sweet little story of Ash's and Meghan's Valentine's Day :) Though it was very short, I smiled the whole read. I just love Ash and Meghan. Thanks Julie for this nice little surprise! You sure know how to write a lovely, heart melting romance.(less)
O.O What?...*Looks closer* No, I'm not seeing things. It is what I think it is. *cue the major fangirl screaming* Seriously?! A new trilogy from one o...moreO.O What?...*Looks closer* No, I'm not seeing things. It is what I think it is. *cue the major fangirl screaming* Seriously?! A new trilogy from one of my favoritest authors taking us back to the world of the Iron Fey?! *me jumping up and down unable to contain my excitement* That completely made my day! Oh, I cannot wait!!
Julie, you evil genius, what will you come up with next?
Edit 8/7/12: I got approved for this! I got approved for this! I GOT APPROVED FOR THIS!! Netgalley and Harlequin Teen, I love you.(less)
Seraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused into...moreSeraphina was a beauty. And not just because of the beautiful writing, or the characters I came to love, but also because of the emotion suffused into the story. There is so much heart in this novel, in the characters, that it took my breath away, and I was literally swept away into this fantastic world of dragons and humans striving to coexist, yet harboring ill feelings toward the other because it is their nature. And defying this nature is a seemingly impossible feat.
Here enters the heroine of the story, Seraphina, who is harboring her own secret that could threaten to destroy her if anyone found out. Her mother was a dragon, her father a human, making her a very rare person, as dragons and humans do not mix. The very thought is unheard of, and disgusting to both dragons and humans. Yet the unthinkable happened when Linn fell in love with Claude, and Seraphina was born. But knowing that she is different, doesn’t keep her from excelling. She rises above this horrid secret, always striving to do her best, and trying to unite the two diverse groups.
There are moments when her secret becomes too hard a burden, from lying to the people she cares about, to trying to understand dragons better, while still wishing that she wasn’t one. There was one part where Seraphina realizes something, and her hatred of her dragon half is more than she can bear. She tries to cut her scales, and then, with great difficulty and pain, she pries one scale off. Even thinking back about it, it makes me squirm. Hartman, through that scene, was able to make me hate the dragon part of Seraphina, and I saw the revulsion and hatred that Seraphina has for herself, which prevents her from truly accepting who and what she is. I sympathized for her, and I wished that she could find someone, a friend, who could love her even despite her dragon half, and accept her, scales and all. And that moment did come about. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the end, when (view spoiler)[Lucian gently takes Seraphina’s wrist and kisses it. (hide spoiler)] That was a beautiful scene, showing that if someone can love her despite her scales, then so can she.
I loved how music was incorporated into the story. I have a thing for music in novels. It brings a special beauty and wonder to the story. I find myself being drawn in deeper with its musical tones, and lilting songs. Even though it’s only presented to me in prose, I can feel the music, and how it affects the characters. Seraphina especially, as this is her specialty. She tutors Princess Glisselda in music, and is assistant to the choir director. And when she plays her instruments, it fills her soul with vivacity and love. I would love to hear her play. It would be an unforgettable experience.
Princess Glisselda is one character I enjoyed immensely. She’s energetic, and seemingly naïve, but when placed in positions when she must fall into her role as heir to the throne, you can see the majestic queen she will become. She’s determined to do what is morally right, while being diplomatic, while keeping a measure of her innocence within. Her engagement to Lucian was created for political advancement, and while they are fond of each other, and perhaps love each other, I never felt that there was any romantic love. I felt that Lucian understood Seraphina better. What they have is something that is blooming into love, and it was beautiful, and executed well. But of course there are complications, seeing as he is engaged to the princess. But, I feel that Glisselda would be understanding, and maybe even support them.
Emotion is a big player in the novel. Dragons are emotionless. They don’t understand human emotion; they think it’s beneath them and their intellectual minds. But through a few dragons human eyes, we see them discover emotion, not understanding it, but not being able to turn away, because they are feeling something, and it’s broadening their understanding of humans and the world. As a reader, being given this fresh view of emotion made me connect with the novel more, because I was feeling those emotions. Then there are the human’s feelings (Seraphina, Lucian, Glisselda) about the dragons, and the evolution of those feelings as they’re given new insight about them.
The world-building was spectacular. The base of the story really did read like a classic fairytale with knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, and dragons. In a very loose, light way. The world Hartman created takes this storyline and turns it upside down, mixing everything up, while still retaining a ring of truth to the classic tales. We have the knight in shining armor, Lucian Kiggs, captain of the Queens Guard, who protects the royal family, and in a way, Seraphina. Then there’s the damsel in distress, Seraphina, who is distressed with her secret, and hideous dragon parts. And then, of course, dragons. But then it has political intrigue, and religion, and a murder mystery, and words of wisdom from past literary scholars in their world; all of which was handled with tact and skill. Not being too complex with the politics, or being overbearing with the religion. There was one line Lucian quoted from a scholar that I particularly liked. “Let the one who seeks justice, be just.” That could be applied to everything. If you want to be treated kindly, you must be kind to others, if you want to be loved, you must love, etc. Basic law of reciprocity. If you look closely, there are deeper meanings to be found in Seraphina.
I am just, in awe of this book. It was incredible, executed with finesse, created with love. I enjoyed every second of it. With beautiful prose, Hartman spun a tale reminiscent of fairytales, darkened with dragons, and hatred, lightened with music, and love, infused with breathless wonder, underlined with excitement. This book deserves so much praise, and I’m glad to be one singing my love of it. I would reccommend this book to fantasy lovers, dragon lovers, and people who like mysteries and mind puzzles, kind of like Bitterblue. I hope that you endeavor to step into this wonderful book, and I hope that you come out of it completely enthralled. So, bravo Rachel Hartman, you’ve won me over, and I cannot wait for Dracomachia["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Well, this is the first time that I’m not gushing about my love for one of Colleen’s books. It feels so wrong to not love Tiger’s Destiny. But for cer...moreWell, this is the first time that I’m not gushing about my love for one of Colleen’s books. It feels so wrong to not love Tiger’s Destiny. But for certain reasons, I couldn’t. This is really weird for me to say this, because I’m one of the biggest fans of this series. The first three books I loved wholeheartedly, I couldn’t get enough of them. They left me breathless and excited. And I was so flipping excited for Tiger’s Destiny. But, to tell you the truth, I was actually worried that I wouldn’t love Tiger’s Destiny like the other books. I felt that if things didn’t change, and I didn’t get what I wanted, this book would end up disappointing me. And in the end, it did disappoint me, and I felt a little angry too.
I didn’t hate the book. I just don’t know how much I like it. There were moments that I loved, that were so awesome, and kept me riveted. The mythical, magical aspects of the story enchant me, and kept me reading excitedly to see what would happen, and how it would all connect. I’m actually rather intrigued with the plot. It’s not the best executed, but it’s pretty interesting. My favorite part was probably the last battle with Lokesh. Houck managed to rivet me with the fighting scene, and of Kelsey fighting. And what happened after the fight ripped my heart out. I knew that it would not, could not end that way. Yet still I cried, my heart crying out “NO! NO! NO!” Because this book was able to elicit such strong emotions in me, and make me invested in needing to know the outcome and how this journey will play out, there’s a little bit of love for Tiger’s Destiny in me. But there isn’t very much, and it isn’t very strong. And I’m so sad to say that. It’s rather depressing, actually.
I always knew that Houck’s writing wasn’t the best. It’s good, but I could see so much room for improvement. And I think since Tiger’s Curse, she’s improved a little. But I honestly don’t think it’s going to get much better. Her writing seems to have plateaued, and that doesn’t bode well for her readers who are wishing for something more, something better, and are being bogged down a little by the writing. It’s really not that terrible. There’s a nice flow to it, and Colleen is able to keep me interested, so her writing has to at least be pretty good. I just wish that I could see a bigger improvement in her writing.
The thing that drove me bonkers, and made me literally want to scream in frustration, (and was the main reason why I couldn’t love this book), was the triangle of love. Before TD, I immensely enjoyed the love triangle between Kelsey and her two tigers. I truly felt that it was the best triangle I’ve read about. It just seemed so logical, and real, and Houck did a fantastic job at making me fall in love with both men. I thought it was well done, and added to the story. *And now come some spoilers about this situation.*(view spoiler)[Now, I am so angry about the whole thing, because it is still. Not. OVER! I was desperately hoping that it would end in TD. That was my biggest hope for this book, and it never happened. (Of course, the arc I got didn't give me the ending, which will have her ultimate decision [I suppose to make me more excited for the actual release, and to make sure I buy it, I guess], so I didn't get to see Kelsey's choice which is the only thing I wanted from the whole book, and is the only thing I didn't get). And that’s why this book failed to completely enrapture me, and made me a little angry. But, I do have to confess, that part of the reason for my not liking the book so much, is because the whole book, Kelsey was with Kishan. (hide spoiler)] Kelsey and Kishan together was never able to give me those romantic, heart fluttering moments that I always got when Kelsey was with Ren. I love Kishan. He is a fantastic character, I love his personality, I love seeing how he’s grown and learned through this journey and through loving Kelsey. BUT! I love Ren so much more. He is my man. I don’t know why Kelsey can’t just wake up and see how much he ardently loves her, and break open her thick head and realize how much she loves him and can’t stand being apart from.
Kelsey, she just rankles me. I honestly don’t know why, when the love she felt for Ren was so true, and powerful, she would desert that love, (several times I might add) and decide to be with another man that she does love, but a love that just doesn’t compare. She’s so stupid. I really just want to strangler her, knock her upside the head so her thoughts get straightened out. Come one girl! Make up your dense mind! ARghhh!! Okay, so she really makes me angry. But, in truth, I like her. I like her character; I’ve liked seeing her growth. And in TD, she’s actually a pretty mean kick butt heroine. And I admire her for that. That’s part of what made this book so exciting for me. I just, don’t understand her heart and the choices she makes about the men she loves.
I didn’t exactly like Kishan’s character in this book. He was always acting jealous. Even when he had Kelsey claimed as his own, he was jealous of his brother, and was continually staking his claim. I think Kishan is acting that way because he’s afraid. He’s afraid that he’ll lose Kelsey to Ren. Because he knows that the love Ren and Kelsey shared was real, and no matter how much she loves Kishan, the part that loves Ren will always be there, and will never diminish. And his love for her can’t quite compare to Ren’s love. I can understand his fears. And I do sympathize for him. I guess I just wish that he would wake up, and realize that he deserves better than being in a relationship with a woman who isn’t 110% committed to and in love with him.
If you have read Colleen’s other books and didn’t like them, I can pretty much guarantee you will not like this one. It’s basically the same thing. So to you readers, I would not recommend this book. There are other books you can read that will be worth your time. To the fans of the Tiger’s Curse series, well, I believe there will be some of you who will wholeheartedly love and devour this book. I didn’t. But that isn’t to say that are others who won’t. And I have to say that I’m glad there’s only one more book. Not that I’m saying I’m tired of the series, and just want it to end. Because I love this series, I love the adventure, and for the most part the romance. I’m just ready for the love triangle to end.
Note: I recieved an arc from the publisher via Edelweiss. Thank you!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Yeah, it was alright. I mean, if you like that kind of thing. If you like brilliant novels, with outstanding writing and storyline, and fantastic char...moreYeah, it was alright. I mean, if you like that kind of thing. If you like brilliant novels, with outstanding writing and storyline, and fantastic characters, and, you know, a katana wielding girl riding on a thunder tiger in a Japanese steampunk layout. *shrug* If you like that kind of book, I suppose you would like this one.
So, Stormdancer was quite a roller coaster ride. A really thrilling one that you just want to ride again and again. It’s the best steampunk book I’ve read, (not that I’ve read a lot of steampunk, but still, amazing steampunk). It’s the best book I’ve read that is Japanese inspired, (not that I’ve read a lot of Japanese inspired books). It’s the best book about thunder tigers I have ever read. Although, this is the only book about thunder tigers that I have ever read, so I guess that’s not really saying anything. Except for the fact that that makes this novel original. So I guess it’s a good thing, that I haven’t read a book that is similar to this one. Okay, you know what? This book one of the best YA books I have read.
I can’t say it’s the best, (for me), because a lot of violence and gory scenes aren’t really my thing. But when I find a novel, or show, that is bloody and violent, and has an amazing plot and story, and fantastic characters, and powerful emotion and relationships, I fall hard for the story. And the blood doesn’t bother me as much. Stories like, the Mistborn trilogy. That has some pretty graphic scenes, but the story is brilliant. And like the TV show Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, (I haven’t read the manga). That, is a very bloody, violent anime. But I love it, because the story is amazing and emotional. Stormdancer, is like these. It’s violent, but amazing. So I loved it. Like a lot. And I could definitely see this playing out in anime form, or even live action. Either way, it would make an awesome show.
I fell in love with the Japanese culture. But it was a little hard to envision everything, because there were a lot of Japanese terms that I had no clue what they were, so the pictures in my mind were missing things sometimes. But the picture I did get, was still awesome. And Kristoff’s writing certainly helped. He wrote with deftness and grace, crafting an amazing world with fantastic characters and folklore. On that note, Buruu, the thunder tiger, may have been my favorite character. His presence is incredibly impressive. But his emotions are what got to me. You can see his mind, and you can understand him. I loved his relationship with Yukiko. It started out very rocky, and dangerous, but evolved into something beautiful, and I want to see more of it, and see it strengthen even more.
And I loved all the other characters. I loved Yukiko. She was a strong character, who still showed a little weakness, but she had incredible depth, and powerful love. And her love may be hidden, but she truly cares for people, like her father. That was another relationship that I liked. They don’t have a good relationship, but at the end, things are revealed and understood, and it was beautiful. So, yeah. This novel was pretty much amazing. I think it will resonate with and impress many readers. And I can’t wait for the sequel. And, perhaps, news about a movie deal? Hmm? So, my hat's off to Mr. Kristoff; you did yourself proud.
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for the arc!
Lies Beneath was, overall, a nice read. It wasn’t as intense or fantastic as I was hoping, but in the, I found that I did like it.
Calder is a merman who, with his three sisters, set up a plan to exact revenge upon the man who was the cause of the death of their mother. Their plan is to have Calder cozy up to the family they’re hoping to destroy. But when Calder gets to know the older daughter, Lily, he begins to feel something, and finds that he can’t imagine himself causing her pain by killing her father.
Reading the novel through the male’s point of view was a nice change, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t quite connect with Calder (at least not until the end), and so couldn’t completely emerge into the story. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good read, because it was. I think a lot of people will love this book. I just missed the wave a tad too late I think.
I did like Brown’s world and description of mermaids, and that she didn’t shy away from darker themes. These mermaids are murderous, especially the sisters. Their hearts are set upon revenge and they will stop at nothing to get it. One thing that I did not like, though, was the little twist with Calder’s sister, Tallulah. But I also know that it won’t bother other people as much as it did me.
I did like Lily. She was a strong, unique girl. I liked her firm opinions, and dressing however she very well pleased because she doesn’t care what other people think of her. The romance though, wasn’t quite believable. It felt a little too fast for me. But at the ending, I ended up liking it, and finally seeing the love the two had for each other.
Also, the twist at the end was fantastic! The end is what firmly caught my interest and made me like and appreciate the book more. I can honestly say that I’m excited for the sequel. I think Brown wrote a good, original novel that will quickly become a favorite to many readers.
Thank you to Random House Children's Books and Netgalley for providing me with an arc. (less)
Well, this book was something special. In fact, it was outright awesome. It was so awesome that I just can’t stop thinking about. I want to read it a...more Well, this book was something special. In fact, it was outright awesome. It was so awesome that I just can’t stop thinking about. I want to read it again. Right now. But I can’t, because there are so many other books to read. (Darn that to-read pile) But, just a shout out to all you YA loving readers who want a book that kicks butt, this one’s for you. Seriously, you will love this book. I guarantee it. And if you don’t, heaven forbid, I will send the Dead after you. And that, my friends, will not be a pretty sight.
Susan Dennard is a master at zombie creating. These guys are creepy, so disgusting you don’t want to look at them, but so compelling in their unnaturalness and gruesomeness you can’t help but look. Or, you know, read. Whenever these rotting corpses came onto the page, my adrenaline dialed up and I was flipping the pages in a rush to see what would happen. There are several fighting scenes with these zombies and the characters trying to defeat them. And Dennard can certainly write a riveting fight scene.
Right off that bat I could tell I was going to love Eleanor. She may be of the high class, forced to go to parties all glamoured up, whose only purpose in life is to marry rich so her poor mother will be taken care of. But Eleanor shows that she’s not the proper lady everyone expects her to be. This characterization of her was so awesome. It made the story so much more compelling to read. I loved reading the story through her eyes. Eleanor is a kick butt heroine. She doesn’t sit and cower while the big strong man saves her from the monsters. She gets up and fights them herself. I just loved her whole attitude and personality. She’s spunky and feisty. There’s this one paragraph which I felt showed who she is pretty well. Plus it had me laughing.
"Biddable? Biddable!” Somehow my pitch was even screechier than before. I kicked my bottom high and dipped my chest low- a perfect display of the Grecian pose. “If it’s a camel you wish to have, sir, than you are on the wrong continent!” I straightened, pleased by his astonished expression. Then I swiveled on my heel and resumed my race to the Centennial Exhibition. (37% kindle e-arc)
The romance was done to perfection. It was one of those romances that I enjoy the most. The kind where the two have a rocky start; they don’t like each other, find the other annoying, a nuisance. But then they start becoming attracted to the other, and find admirable qualities in them. And they fight their feelings, but falling in love becomes inevitable. And when they finally come together you just want to jump up and shout for joy. And then you fall right back into the story anxious for more. And then the book ends and you yell in frustration because you NEED more and you think you shall die in agony before the next book is released. Yes, I know I sometimes get overdramatic. But I can't help it, it's in my reader's blood
This book was just so amazing. The plot was exciting and fun, with a dash of mystery and an extra dollop of horror, and a sprinkle of romance. If you like strong heroines, no insta-love, adrenaline pulsing scenes, AND ZOMBIES (can’t forget the zombies ;) then you should definitely read Something Strange and Deadly. It will be worth your time. (less)