Talisman of El by Alecia Stone was a fun, engaging story that was part fantasy, part supernatural, part mythology, all blended into one fantastical adTalisman 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 possThis 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. ...more
Bloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest thrBloodmaiden was nice little fantasy story. Short as it is, it still managed to carry a wonderful tale of dragons and sprites that kept my interest through to the end. In the land of Sulaimon, dragons and the people whom the dragons have sworn to protect, live in harmony. Except for one of the four dynasties in the land, where the dragons have betrayed the people, commanding each year, a sacrifice of a young woman, whom they name Quelda, and her newlywed husband to be put to death. Crislin, made Quelda at the beginning of the book, and her childhood friend now her husband, escape this treacherous place in hopes of stopping the dragons lust for blood.
I loved the beginning, and how the setup for the marriage was done. It makes you wonder what is going on, what is the Quelda, why is Crislin being forced to marry, and why she is sentenced to die. It immediately caught my interest and I was so eager to know what was going to happen. The world was described in detail from the very beginning, and it helped with the setting, and giving me a better picture of the land and the people and dragons in it. The writing helped in doing this. It was very nice, beautiful even.
The land itself was very interesting, very colorful and magical that breathed with life and music. The characters are searching for an aria, that will help them defeat the dragons who kill the Queldas. I really appreciate books that have music interwoven with the story. It gives the book a sense of beauty and majestic quality that enchants me. And here it was displayed beautifully.
One thing that I feel could have been better was the characters. I did like them, they were portrayed nicely and I did feel emotion from them at times. But Crislin and her husband, Chalom felt a little flat at times. I think they could have used more description and more time to develop for me to understand them better. But this wasn’t enough to detract me from the story. In the end, I found I really did like the book. I would recommend this to readers who don’t mind a short, light fantasy story. ...more
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 intoSeraphina 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
*10-3-15. Note: upon my second reading of this book three years later, I found I didn't love it as much as I did the first time. Not sure why. This time I felt it a little boring, with some boring characters...I don't know. I can't really explain it. I still liked it, I just don't love it.*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
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 cerWell, 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"]>...more
I was a little surprised at how much I ended up liking this book. I was interested in it when I first heard about it. Then I started reading it and waI was a little surprised at how much I ended up liking this book. I was interested in it when I first heard about it. Then I started reading it and wasn’t sure how I felt about it, and was a little worried. It took a while for me to get into the book and to connect with the characters. But then as the story went on, I found something special in there that finally captured my interest.
Aria’s world is quite interesting. The novel is set in dystopia times, but there is some supernatural and fantasy aspects, though the fantasy is on a smaller scale, and kind of an unexpected musical aspect that brought the right amount of magic and beauty to the story. Aria lives in a society where people live in pods, closed off to the outside world that is full of disease and savages and only leads to death. They have an Eyesmart device (basically an eye patch that latches onto the skin around one of their eyes), that takes them into a virtual realistic world, where they can taste and smell and touch everything as if it were real. When Aria is accused of doing something she didn’t do, she is sent to the outside world, the Death Shop. Here she finds Perry, a savage, and together they go on a journey to recover what they have lost.
My problem with the book was the writing and characterization. I never felt the writing was great, it was just mediocre, and sometimes felt choppy. And I didn’t feel much connection or emotion with the characters as they were introduced. The writing never quite grew on me, (it was nice and easy to read, just not attention grabbing), but the characters slowly began to show themselves and their emotions. I came to understand and like them better. And the romance was sweet. It was brought on slow. It began rocky, with Aria and Perry not quite liking each other, but they soon begin to bond.
I thought the ending was nicely done. It wraps everything up nicely and ends with a sweet reunion. I think that there may be a sequel, there’s still some questions left unanswered. I don’t feel that it needs one though. I don’t know that I would read it unless I hear that it’s better than the first or is worth reading. But Under the Never Sky was a nice and intriguing read. Dystopian lovers I think will like it.
This arc was provided to me from the publisher via Netgalley....more
Okay, I’m giving this book four stars because it made me laugh…a lot. And smile. If it didn’t have those sweet, funny moments, it would be three starsOkay, I’m giving this book four stars because it made me laugh…a lot. And smile. If it didn’t have those sweet, funny moments, it would be three stars for it’s unoriginality. Now I did like it. I liked the story and the characters, I enjoyed reading it. It’s just nothing praise worthy. It isn’t a brilliant, beautifully written, extremely well executed, thought provoking novel. Rather it’s a sweet, funny, ah, clichéd story.
Bad girl Jen, bets her friends that she could turn a geek bad. She sets her sights on Trevor, a nerdy, cute guy who is ever so polite, buttons his shirts to the top button, is extremely organized. Then she gets to know him. The incredibly nice, sweet, good boy he is. And she starts to like him. Instead of her turning him bad, he’s rubbing off on her. The star trek movies, trampoline jumping, bowling, ’geek’ stuff, starts to appeal to her. And then SHE starts to change. She tones down her Goth, dark appearance, doesn’t party. And they start to fall in love, awhh! After a time though, with this nagging guilt of lying to Trevor, he finds out about the bet, and he is beyond angry. He doesn’t want anything to do with her, and she’s crushed. Cue the zombie.
She feels that she won’t survive without him, she loses her appetite, becomes pale, depressed looking, and everyone knows and sees it. But she does survive! Yeah, there’s those kind of aggravating moments when she’s depressed, pinning, bemoaning her loss (nothing new there), but she pulls out of it. She realizes that she can survive without him and be happy, even if her heart will always have a crack there, that only he can mend. This hurt, angered stage lasts a while, with no reconciliation. I wish Trevor hadn’t held onto his anger for so long. Yeah, she did something hurtful, but that was when she was bad, he knew what she was like before, and he knew the person that she started to become after they started dating. He should have been able to look past that, and forgive her, because she was truly sorry, and honestly just because of his kind, polite character.
Jen’s transformation wasn’t drastic. As the reader, we don’t really see a great change, besides her looks changing from Goth to normal, and being told about her previous partying and bad actions. We never really got to see her ‘bad side’ before she started changing. She does start to look at life differently, and really does want to change, to become someone else, someone who deserves her foster family, who deserves Trevor. I liked seeing how her attitude on life changed, I guess I just wish that we could have seen some of her bad moments, like her at a party drunk or something before she decided to bet after Trevor. Then maybe the transformation would have been more meaningful.
Alright, nitpicky points aside, I really did enjoy this book. Nearly every page had me laughing out loud, or smiling. This book is really a just for fun novel with a sweet romance and a swoon worthy guy (up until he refuses to forgive or do anything with Jen that is, that kind of killed my crush for him there, even though I still liked him at the end). There are some messages in it that were done nice, but they’re not really deep. And I will say that the romance wasn't insta-love. It was brought on slowly, a very nice change from the immediate attraction/true love that happens in practically every young adult novel. If you read Geek Girl don’t expect something incredible, or an amazing story with superb characters. Expect a light, cute story, some cliché, some sappiness, and maybe some smiles and laughs if you’re like me. ...more
I fell in love with Wildwood Dancing, the story of five sisters caught in an enchantment, living in a fairytale retold beautifully and captivatingly bI fell in love with Wildwood Dancing, the story of five sisters caught in an enchantment, living in a fairytale retold beautifully and captivatingly by brilliant author Juliet Marillier. And when I found there was a sequel, I knew I must acquire it soon, so as to not have to leave this enchanted world just yet. With an intriguing premise, and the promise of enchantment and romance, Cybele’s Secret called out to me, beckoning. I was prepared to not love it utterly like I did with WD, as I’d heard it wasn’t as good, and while it may not have had that same enchantment with stunningly beautiful prose and endearing characters that worked their way into my heart, it wasn’t altogether a disappointment, still managing to intrigue me with its adventures and the subtle romance.
In Wildwood Dancing, Paula and her sisters traveled to an enchanted world where they danced the night away. Except for Paula, who much preferred conversing with scholars there, cultivating a love of books and wisdom. It is because of this that Paula accompanies her father in Cybele’s Secret on a quest to find a lost artifact deeply desired by many with its priceless quality and secrets it holds. Here Paula meets Stoyan, who is hired as her bodygaurd, and Duarte, the enigmatic pirate who she had first seen on seas. Together, these three embark, albeit some unwillingly, on an adventure to recover this artifact, in the process, learning new things about themselves and each other.
I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Paula’s voice wasn’t quite distinctive and didn’t make me latch onto her right away. I felt all the characters could have used some fleshing out. This isn’t to say I didn’t like them, because I did. I especially liked Stoyan, and his quiet, intimidating demeanor. From the start, he is so protective of Paula, and would do anything to keep her safe. There was a slight love triangle, but with the focus more on the adventure, the romance was more an underlying hint, yet still managing to excite me, because as a hopeless romantic, I swoon at any beautiful romance. And I did. Swoon. But more towards the end when the romance fully manifested, and the two were finally together.
And I so missed the enchanting, luscious prose that I have come to expect of Marillier. It was starkly present in Heart's Blood, my first read of hers, and then beautifully portrayed in Wildwood Dancing. But here, in Cybele’s Secret, I just found it lacking. There were hints of it, but it just wasn’t the same. It was still written well, of course it was, that is just a talent Marillier possesses. But it could have been better, it could have been more lyrical and beautiful.
Yet, despite these little nagging bits, I still loved the story. The first half of the book may be a little slow, as the adventure hasn’t started, and there’s no romance, just subtle hints of it, but the rest of the book made up for it, with the danger and wit, and budding romance that ends in a beautiful bloom. In the end, I can’t say that everyone who loved WD will love this book, but its still an intriguing read, with hidden gems in it.
And lastly, I love the cover. Just as I do with WD. It may seem strange at first glance, but as you keep looking at it, and then read the story, you notice little things in there which are in the story, and I just love it. ...more
I was intrigued with the premise of this book, and liked the plot as I read it. I liked the angels, that they're killers, and stunningly beautiful, inI was intrigued with the premise of this book, and liked the plot as I read it. I liked the angels, that they're killers, and stunningly beautiful, inviting humans in with their ethereal nature, and then feeding off them, taking a bit of their soul. It was a bit slow at parts, but it didn’t bother me. What bothered me was the romance. I thought it contrived. Willow and Alex fell in love too fast, and then when they did, everything was about them and their love for each other. The story kind of centered on that new relationship until the end. I mean, Willow still had to complete her mission, and it was a little exciting, but it was watered down with gushy love, and despair that they were separated and they might die and never see their love again, after really only ’loving’ each other for about a week. I didn’t find their love quite believable, and got a little annoyed with all the mushiness. I just wanted the exciting killer angel story, with less romance. Which is a little weird for me to say, because I love romance stories. Any book with a good romance in it is fine with me. But when I can’t quite believe in the romance, I end up not liking the romance, and would much prefer if it had been left out, or handled and executed better and differently. I still really enjoyed the story, but it wasn’t the best. One more thing that really bothered me, was the excessive use of taking the Lord's name in vain. It was overused, and I know it won't bother many people, but it bothered me greatly. For those of you who don't like that swearing, I would not reccommend this book....more
In a land ruled by Vampires, and overrun with rabids (creatures and humans bitten by vampires and turned into rabid beasts with absolute no control orIn a land ruled by Vampires, and overrun with rabids (creatures and humans bitten by vampires and turned into rabid beasts with absolute no control or reason), a young girl fights against the odds to preserve her humanity, and to accept what she has become. Allison lives in a Vampire City. She has a fierce hatred for these soulless creatures who put humans on registers and feed off them at the humans designated time. But in a moment of desperation, when Allison is facing the inevitability of death after a brutal attack from rabids, Allison chooses life over death, to become a vampire, the very creature she despises. But her will to live, even a life as a dead creature, overrides her hatred. And so begins her new life.
So. Vampires. I really have no love for them. There are too many vampire books, rip offs of Twilight, trying too hard to be the next Twilight. If I’m to read a vampire book, I want it to be more like, say, Dracula *evil grin*. I mean, what’s a vampire story without bloodthirsty, vengeful, distasteful monsters? Give me no charming, swooning vamps that can control their desire for human blood, and sparkle and shine like they’re Prince Charming themselves. Well, Kagawa created the perfect bloodthirsty vampires, and boy did she deliver! This story gives no apologies. It makes you cringe, it makes you hate vampires. And Kagawa is not shy with the violence and deaths. She brings you into the intense fights and scrambles for life, and it’s like you’re right there witnessing the atrocity. So, for this, for Julie’s willingness to describe the horror in detail, I thank her.
Allison was a pretty strong character. She’s dependent and fierce, and knows that to survive in a world of monsters, she must look out for herself, and not become attached to other people. But all this changes when she leaves the city as a vampire herself, and finds a group of people who are looking for a “promised land.” She finds something worth living for with these people, and though not all of them accept her, she understands them, because she used to be just like them. Haters of vampires, and understanding that sometimes to survive, you need to leave people behind you. But now Allison is that monster, and may very well kill these people if she lets her Hunger overcome her. Allison has to fight this wild desire in order to preserve some semblance of her humanity.
Now, I can’t say that I loved this book. While it was original and interesting, it didn’t enrapture me like Kagawa’s fey series did. Those, were fantastic. This, was just good. So I can’t say that fans of the fey series will love this new vampire series. Because I am one of the biggest fans of the fey series, but I didn’t love this book nearly as much. But most of the fey series fans who have read this book love it, so it may just be me. I think one thing that was a factor of my not loving it, was the amount of time it took for me to really become involved in the book. The first half of the book was kind of slow going for me. Sure, there was stuff happening, but there just was something that was holding me back. It wasn’t until about 60%, (view spoiler)[you know, the scene, when everyone finds out what she really is (hide spoiler)], that I finally perked up, and thought that finally! things were happening.
Another thing I did not like, sadly, was the romance. Oh, Zeke. Well, I did like him. He was a good character, with good qualities. He looked out for everyone and cared for them. He accepted Allison when others treated her with unkindness. As a character, he was alright, as the love interest, he fell flat. I felt no spark between the two, and, one thing that really annoyed me was that one part (view spoiler)[when they kissed (hide spoiler)]. It was at an inappropriate time, and all I was thinking was “Guys, really? Shouldn’t you be doing something that is more important? *rolls eyes*
Alright, enough with the bad. Immortal Rules was a pretty good novel. I would recommend it to fans of Kagawa’s fey series, and other people who are tired of vampire books. Because I think this is a vampire book that we readers have been looking for. It’s different and is unforgiving with its dark tone. And Kagawa’s writing is still amazing. That’s part of what kept me going, her flowing writing style that can paint vivid scenes and draw the reader in. So, while this may not have been what I was expecting, (both good and bad), I still enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to the sequel.
Thank you to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the arc. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Hallowed is a nice contributor to the ya paranormal genre featuring angels. Certainly one of the better. Cynthia’s story is fresh and original (for thHallowed is a nice contributor to the ya paranormal genre featuring angels. Certainly one of the better. Cynthia’s story is fresh and original (for the most part), with well-developed, endearing characters, and a quirky writing style that’s easy to read. One thing that I loved about this book was Cynthia’s ability to move you to tears through beautiful or trying moments, where the characters feelings and thoughts flow off the page and catch you up in it. I wasn’t really impressed with this novel as a whole. I felt it lacking in some spots, and the love triangle and I didn’t get on the right foot. But there were certain aspects that shone and kept me interested.
The concept of this story is original, and executed well. In Unearthly, Clara didn’t fulfill her purpose, it didn’t turn out the way she saw in her vision, and so Hallowed is about her finding a new purpose, and I think finding out what she truly wants, and accept what will happen in her life. When Clara had a vision of what her new purpose is and she was analyzing it, wondering why certain people were there and weren’t there and what she assumed was going to happen, I was shocked! I was so desperate for it to not happen, how could it?! I also wondered if it could have been (view spoiler)[her mother (hide spoiler)], and so when it was, I felt so sad, for Clara and her family. But I think that the way that was done was done beautifully, with just enough emotion to make tears brim in my eyes.
In Unearthly, I remember loving the relationship between Clara and her mother had. In Hallowed, it becomes a little strained, because of secrets. I was worried that their wonderful relationship was starting to fall, and that there would be fights, and lost or challenged love. But when things were revealed, secrets shared or realized, love was built up again, and it was done perfectly. Parent-child relationships are never without their tension and anger, but even when you’re feeling that way, underneath, buried deep, is undeniable love that can never disperse.
So now the characters, they really shine and show their personality more, especially Christian. We learn more about him and what he’s feeling, we get to see into his head. And I appreciated that. While not my favorite character, *cough-tucker-cough* I came to like him more than the previous novel. Though I can’t say I was happy with the love triangle, or some of the things he did. I felt that Christian’s love for Clara, while real (because he's not faking his love), was based on more than friendship or whatever, but based partly on their purposes I guess, (view spoiler)[they’re “destined” to be together (hide spoiler)]. I don’t know quite why I didn’t like them together (well I do, it’s because there’s someone else who I love, who Clara loves) but it just didn’t feel right to me. But, I feel that I am in the minority here, so don’t listen to me, this is just how I felt.
There were several times when I was almost moved to tears. The joy and sorrow the characters felt was so palpable. Especially with (view spoiler)[Midas. That was truly beautiful and precious and just so joyous! (hide spoiler)] But also with the relationships, Clara and her mom; Jeffery and his mom. I really have to hand it off to Cynthia, she sure knows how to tug at readers heart strings. And this is possible partly because of the writing. It’s not spectacular, not the lyrical prose I love so much, but it flows nice, interspersed with love and laughter.
And now I have to talk about Tucker. He’s truly one of my favorite male characters. I love his fun, humorous, charming, laid back personality. I love the relationship between him and Clara. It’s sweet and beautiful, and I wish there was more of it. And while I’m here, that one part with Tucker and Christian (view spoiler)[when he punched him (hide spoiler)], LOVED IT! I thought it was fantastic. Go Tucker! You are my hero.
I think the Unearthly series has many good things in it and to come. It has become treasures to many people who feel tired of paranormal romance books and find something original and inspiring within the Unearthly and Hallowed pages. And while I may not find the story completely original (i.e. love triangle, boy coming through girls bedroom window [which I find exceedingly tiring. What is wrong with the front door!!]), it was still executed well, has wonderful characters, and is fun to read.
This arc was provided by the publisher via netgalley and in no way affected my views.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more