**Review copy provided through Edelweiss for an honest review.**
"Romeo and Juliet meets Sabriel"
Those were the words that first appeared in the syn**Review copy provided through Edelweiss for an honest review.**
"Romeo and Juliet meets Sabriel"
Those were the words that first appeared in the synopsis space, and I was sold. Despite the fact that I am not a Romeo and Juliet fan. I will always pick any other Shakespeare work over that one. However, I respect it immensely. Not to mention that I have serious author love/obsession for Hodge. So I knew she'd just blow my mind. However, this is not anywhere close to Sabriel. Though I do see where some very minor similarities may be compared. I acknowledge it. Such as the idea of walking into death. However, Romeo+Juiet+Zombies+Necromancers would be more apt.
Now let me address one of my main dislikes with the whole Romeo and Juliet love story: it's one of the original instalove crap fests. Piled with a huge amount of angst on top. No matter the pretty words, I never bought their love. Sorry. Instalove ain't real. Looks and lust was what always convinced me was their motivations. They killed themselves out of stupidity. So my biggest fear going into this was at what point in Juliet and Romeo's love story would it start at? Hmmmm? Well it's at the end and they're about to die.
Pretty darn thrilling if you ask me.
Hodge does a wonderful job at inserting flashbacks to twist the original story into a much better romance. I dug it. Sure, it is instalove. Yet even Romeo admitted that it wasn't immediate and that it did take action not looks to sway his heart. So points there. They also had TIME to fall in love and interact with each other.
Hodge's writing is so beautiful and I loved her turn of phrase. Especially when she would take the iconic lines or moments of the original story. Even poking fun at Romeo. He is a bit of a silly boy, but I like that Hodge made him seem more realistic as she developed her version of Romeo.
Juliet is pretty bad ass. I won't lie. Though she's very distant and it's surprising that she would fall for foolish Romeo. At first. Again well done to Hodge. I could see why she fell for him. Though there is a coldness to Juliet's character that kept me at arms length. In fact, that happened to more than one character. The other female lead Runajo. Both girls are immensely fascinating. They're eventual friendship was cool. (Some WOMANCE going on!) However, these ladies are missing some humanity. Interesting and complex doesn't even cover their pasts and lives. Though at many times I could very easily see them as serial killers. Someone even kind of calls Runajo out on it. Runajo has issues getting in touch with her human emotions. (You know, she's puts them in a box. Puts that box in another box . . . )
So yeah, it's complicated.
The odd thing is that I had more fun when Paris was telling the story. Especially as he and Romeo develop their bromance. That was cool. My other favorite is Vai. Totally awesome he was! Even more bromance. *wink* I found the whole story of Paris discovering the truth about his clan, the Catresou clan, and his loss of innocence excellently explored. (Holy cow where he ended up in the cliffhanger!!!!!!!!)
I enjoy that it is a battle of powers. The Catresou are Juliet's people. The Mahyanai Romeo's. However, there are other powers such as the Sisters of Thorn to add to the mix. The mysterious necromancer. The family's and power houses of the city of Viyara are duking it out! Sadly I felt like that was secondary until things really started to get exciting towards the end.
My issue with Bright Smoke, Cold Fire is that it might be a tad standoffish. Not to mention that evil cliffhanger. Good lord, I'm getting tired of what constitutes as a cliffhanger anymore. It basically just ends after everything was really getting good. I hated it. I'm a little ticked. Other than that I was totally addicted. Hodge created another fabulous world with all kinds of awesome magic. I felt like there could have been more revealed about the magic and such. Especially the necromancers. It also saddened me how freaking stupid Runajo ended up being at the end, since she was totally awesome before that. Still I was addicted. Just promise me the next book will be out next year. Though I'm really nervous how the next book will stand. Paris was the star of this book for me.
Content Warning: Sexual humor, yes. Some slut shaming due to the beliefs of certain people. There is a sex scene, but it is not explicit or really delved into.
Dead things, murder, mass murder, actual human sacrifices, and so on. This is a darker read. Also deals with racism, class systems, and some sexism.
Completely and utterly a wonderful read!! No! My mind is running around in circles frantically trying to understand what happened to it. It feels funnCompletely and utterly a wonderful read!! No! My mind is running around in circles frantically trying to understand what happened to it. It feels funny. But a good funny. Something like perfect bliss. Yet, bliss doesn't even describe what happened. In fact, this is probably going to be one of the hardest reviews for me to write. This book was so amazing and I want to express how much I want everyone else to read it! There lies the problem since I don't have the right words to even explain this book.
Rhiannon had me at the first page with her crazy "Rhianon's Law #27", the fact that I can still remember that it's law #27, and it's about strippers, shoes, and fighting says it all. The whole book just sticks in your head. Rhiannon is a smart mouthed, pirate worthy swearer, and she's tough as nails. No she's not super woman, but she can handle herself. Unlike other super paranormal but kickers out there she knows when she's shit deep in it and can make the smart decision. Rhiannon is the queen of damaged and complicated characters. Her past is haunting, a nightmare into State Foster Care system. There is a reason she will not trust people and pushes them away from her. She's learned to live and survive. Rhia's sarcastic humor and running dialogue had me clutching my sides with giggles often enough, which was a great counter to the dark world and gore.
When a vampire named Disco approaches her Rhia soon discovers there's a name for what she is, Necromancer. She has an infinity for the dead, and the theory behind how Vampires and Necromancers connect is really brilliant! The world is believable and each new character is given such depth that I feel like if I went to New York I could find these characters and join them for a game of pool.
Two pages into the book if someone asked me if I would fall in love with a vampire named Disco, I would have snorted and said "Heck, no!" However, I am shamelessly Team Disco hands down. Saare creates a beautiful and touching romance. It was a pleasure to witness Rhia's healing. There's clearly going to be some love triangle rivalry in the future, but Saare has built up the other interest so well that I'd feel cheated if he didn't get a chance. (Even though Disco is easily in my top 10 fiction hotties!)
The plot focuses on Vampire murders as something is killing them, and stealing their hearts while they’re still alive. This book is dark, gritty, and harsh. Countered by compassion and tender emotions. It's complicated, but so simple. Many more creatures await to be discovered, especially since Disco owes a demon a favor. Even when you think the action is over and the mystery is solved a cliffhanger of EPIC proportions comes out and wallops me on the head! Saare, how could you do this to readers!? Oh, the total obsession is on!
Sexual Content: Rhiannon works in a bar, so sexual content is there. Dirty thoughts, humor, and sex scenes. Rhiannon, has a really dark, dark past. Child molestation and other horrors present.
It feels like ages since I've read a good YA. Especially one I deem worthy of a 5 star rating. The last two to three YAs I've actually put down and neIt feels like ages since I've read a good YA. Especially one I deem worthy of a 5 star rating. The last two to three YAs I've actually put down and never looked back. After the first two pages of HMC,N I thought "this is fun!" After 20, I had no thoughts. Nothing but shear, undeniable addiction.
McBride is wicked and, oh, so twistedly kooky. Why you ask? McBride takes her dark sense of humor mixes in necromancers, witches, were critters, Faye, vampires, and so much more into a hilarious riot of fun! No really. A girl gets her head chopped off and then is reanimated back to life—as only a head. Despite the horrors of the action, I found myself cracking up most of the time. In fact, the talking head fit right in. Now that is saying something about McBride’s skill at world building. Not too many authors could pull off a talking head.
The evil villain is really creepy and while we never really get to know him, McBride gives us enough of a background to know he just didn't pop up and decided to be evil. It would be great if we got more on Douglass—scary name. However, I feel like the reader is given just enough to know what is going on with him and not bog the book down. Because there is plenty of material here to cover for a fun romance, mystical councils, Sam's mysterious past as he discovers he's a Necromancer, and all of the other characters. This is a title packed with great characters (each on worming their way into my heart), fun plot, and great twists so readers can't get bored!
Forget about the tacky title. Yes, it's a spoof off of a song, but that's another great thing readers will come to love about this series is all the music spoofs. HMC,N has so much to offer readers. It's a title that makes me hold my head up high and say, "Yes I read YA books!" After so many disappointments from YA authors it's nice to get back to loving the genre again. At times I kept thinking, this is better then Harry Potter. For me that's enough of a testimony for a good read than anything else.
Sexual Content: There’s some mature talk, and it’s clear some of the characters get a little “something-something”, but it’s still a clean YA.