I received an ARC of this book and I am totally floored by it. It went beyond anything I could even imagine. It was urban fantasy based in a place I l...moreI received an ARC of this book and I am totally floored by it. It went beyond anything I could even imagine. It was urban fantasy based in a place I love to read about, New Orleans. But, this New Orleans is a futuristic one where life and death are completely turned on their ears. Where cats are not the only ones with nine lives, if you choose that path. (Not a spoiler because it is in the description on the back of the book. If fictionally questioning God's plan is offensive to the reader then this book may not be for you, unless you see it as just that, fiction. But, if you don't have to suspend belief in what is important to you to enjoy a book, then this book is a MUST READ. To say it is original is an understatement. It challenges you, makes you think it is going to turn left, then suddenly turns right. It grips your emotions and makes you fear for the characters because you care so much for what happens to them and about the choices that they make. I have to buy the official copy of it for my library because it is a must keep.(less)
Truly amazing book! I received an early copy of the paperback edition for review from Literal Addiction. I am already a fan of gargoyles. I was a fan...moreTruly amazing book! I received an early copy of the paperback edition for review from Literal Addiction. I am already a fan of gargoyles. I was a fan of the cartoon and love seeing pictures of them and especially love seen buildings that have gargoyles carved into the architecture. Alchemystic was a great adventure. I loved every page of it. It was the story of Alexandra Belarus who comes from a family with a deep architectural history in Manhattan. The Belarus clan also has a secret which they were not even aware, Alexander Belarus was gifted in magic that could control stone. He did leave them protection from something they are not even aware is a danger to them, something from his past. This protection comes in the form of Stanis, the coolest gargoyle ever!
This book has some wonderful character development. There were times that I wanted to kick Alexandra. She had her moments of being obviously entitled, bossing her friends around as if they were her sidekicks until she was faced with how treating them that way might affect her relationship with them. We watch her grow as a person and as she comes into her gifts. Alexandra's parents have secrets of their own as do most people. What happens when family secrets come to light? Some serious tension which pushes this book's characters stand out more. Alexandra's relationship with her brother is best depicted by the opening scene of the book. Words cannot express my opinion of Devon. He has to be experienced by each reader for themselves.
The action and magic in this book was truly great. The fight scenes were very well written and they did not all involve Stanis, though he was truly bada**. We learn a lot about his background and what his desires and goals are and how he is driven to complete those goals. No other words describe it and I love a well developed action sequence. This book had several exciting action scenes and architectural exploration hunting for hidden items needed to solve a mystery. I loved being introduced to Anton Stout's creatures in this book and his own spin on alchemy and gargoyles. I am totally enthralled by this story and I am really ready to know when book two comes out because it promises to be a serious knuckle biter!
First impressions are that this book has some original ideas. One thing of note is the desire to bring current real-world topics into the story which...moreFirst impressions are that this book has some original ideas. One thing of note is the desire to bring current real-world topics into the story which is okay and I hope it does not feel like reaching. There is discussion about Chaos very early in the book but no explanation about what that entails. Is it an organization or just the general definition of chaos. Later it is capitalized which makes it appear to be an organization. There are references to things that either receive no definition or discussion to clue in the reader about the author's world or take on the topics discussed. I am hoping that definitions from other books will cover it so I do not miss anything. I feel like I am guessing about some of this. I tried so hard. There were so many good things in this book. I liked the characters. I liked the mystery but I just had trouble with the mechanics and have to stop for now. I'll give it another try in the future.(less)
This was a good book and pretty well written. The plot was very well developed. I had a hard time following the Oracle part of it because this was my...moreThis was a good book and pretty well written. The plot was very well developed. I had a hard time following the Oracle part of it because this was my first exposure to the terms used in the book so I had to re-read parts because it played such an important part of the book and development of Tara's character. I liked the tie-in of Chernobyl event and it was purely coincidence that I read this because its been in my TBR library for more than a year. Harry Li is a great character and a good opposite to Tara's supernatural side. I thought more would happen with her gifts but, now I see I misunderstood that snippet from the back of the book. But, I enjoyed this enough to want to see what happens next with the characters.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not much in the mood for writing a review, but, I did want to share that I liked it and look forward to the next book!...moreI really enjoyed this book. I'm not much in the mood for writing a review, but, I did want to share that I liked it and look forward to the next book! Alex is different then most of the protagonists we read about in YA paranormal books and that is a winner here.(less)
This vampire world is quite intriguing and describes an integrated society where so far we only know rudimentary things about vampires. So far there i...moreThis vampire world is quite intriguing and describes an integrated society where so far we only know rudimentary things about vampires. So far there is not a lot of information about the making of vampires or if there are any other supernaturals. The town in Mississippi seems to be resting on a powder keg so I'm not sure they can take any more supernatural beings. The flashbacks provide good information about the characters' backgrounds. I would like to know more about Alex and Stephen's parents and hope there will be more about them in future books.(less)
I really am not just an easy grader. I tend to pass over books that I know or think I will not like. The ones that get 3's or less are the ones that s...moreI really am not just an easy grader. I tend to pass over books that I know or think I will not like. The ones that get 3's or less are the ones that surprised me somewhere after I started them. Honestly, I thought this one did that. I stopped reading it 1/3 of the way through it. I read the one review on Goodreads earlier today to see if I was just not giving it a fair shake. I saw two other numerical reviews without any data to advise why they gave it a 5. I was going to start another book after my raid on the bookstore earlier today. I also have another book going on Kindle right now. But, I gave it another try this evening just to be sure and continued where I left off and was floored. The action was there. The surprise was there and my beloved technology was in there. Great book!(less)
Interesting and good story. I am not sure how to review the book. I enjoyed it though it felt like I had seen the story in different places before, po...moreInteresting and good story. I am not sure how to review the book. I enjoyed it though it felt like I had seen the story in different places before, possibly not all in one book but in remnants of multiple books. The characters were likable but again, nothing dynamic. I would read the next one but it feels more like the type of book I need in between stories that I consider hard reads because of the material they cover.(less)
Though this is not my type of book I needed something very different. I enjoyed it until the cattiness with the two friends in London, drove me nuts,...moreThough this is not my type of book I needed something very different. I enjoyed it until the cattiness with the two friends in London, drove me nuts, but, I know it truly happens. Overall, good read.
Re-read and look forward to If The Shoe Fits.(less)
Beautiful descriptions of parts of France. This is typically not my type of book but, I was running rampant on the Urban and Dark Fantasy and needed t...moreBeautiful descriptions of parts of France. This is typically not my type of book but, I was running rampant on the Urban and Dark Fantasy and needed to break away into something I normally don't read. This was an interesting good read. I like that she focuses on different locations.(less)
I received my copy of Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris from Source Books. When I was introduced to Mira’s Diary by Source Book’s publicity intern and I rea...moreI received my copy of Mira's Diary: Lost in Paris from Source Books. When I was introduced to Mira’s Diary by Source Book’s publicity intern and I read the synopsis I thought it was fortuitous that they would offer me a chance to read/review this book right after my return from Paris, France. It was wonderful being able to visualize the different places I visited as I read through Mira's Diary. I only had one issue and that was that the book packed a lot of detail in a short read. There was enough to flesh out the detail more and I would have enjoyed more history about the family and their lives before Mira’s mom disappeared.
Mira has a gift that she seems to have inherited like her mom, the gift of time travel. I liked that Mira was not suddenly adept at her gift. She had a learning curve and unfortunately even when she was able to find clues about her newly found gift she still did not have enough information and continued to learn as she went along. Part of it might have had to do with her age, but, I suspect would be difficult for even adults who have no reference points or others to guide them. It is easy to forget that Mira is a young teenager, though in the times she visited the younger girls married early so they did tend to live more like adults, though it was interesting that the others were not aware of her age difference as it appears that Mary Cassat was in her late 30’s at the time.
One of the greatest things about this book for me as a museum and art gallery enthusiast is to experience all of Mira's visits with different artists and writers like Degas, Whistler and Renoir. I particularly enjoyed being introduced to an artist I was not familiar with, Mary Cassatt. I even researched her work and saw some of her wonderful art on a website that had her complete works. I am now wondering if I may have seen some of her work in the Louvre and not known who she was at the time. Interestingly enough there is a painting called Mary Cassatt at The Louvre painted by Degas. Another thing I loved was having Mira describe streets I walked down and treasures I was able to visit and take picture of like the Eiffel Tower.
One of the strengths of this book was how it described bigotry. It was even more disturbing to see it experienced through a frightened teenager's eyes. Thinking back to when I was a minority teenager I used to wonder how I would feel if presented with violence because of bigotry and I found out first hand so my heart was in my throat when Mira experienced the scene where the crowd was near the Eiffel Tower yelling racial slurs and behaving violently. She saw how someone with courage faced it when everyone was against him and she learned the importance of how to stand up for what you believe in even when you feel alone.
Part of me wishes we knew what problem Mira's mom was trying to solve because her absence weighs so heavily on her family. I am glad the book demonstrated a supportive relationship between the family members, at the same time it demonstrated sibling rivalry, growing pains and the effects on a family when the family is broken, which is how the book opens. The end was a huge cliffhanger and I hope that this is a series because I really did enjoy this step into Paris' past along with its supernatural aspects. I plan to send a copy to my Goddaughter because I know she will love it!
This book started out with a similar premise to a couple other YA urban fantasies. Despite that and my hatred of snow, it had real emotion and a great...moreThis book started out with a similar premise to a couple other YA urban fantasies. Despite that and my hatred of snow, it had real emotion and a great backdrop in Montana. The story that follows the development of friendship and "family" is good along with the fear of being different that everyone goes through. In addition, there was a good mystery that I look forward to seeing how the story develops and the students grow in the next book.(less)