A fast-paced tumble through an alternate/future Earth where lawyers are dueling fencers or puglists, and most everyone lives in tall ships, Sophie HanA fast-paced tumble through an alternate/future Earth where lawyers are dueling fencers or puglists, and most everyone lives in tall ships, Sophie Hansa has been dragged into politics and intrigue while seeking out her birth family. She brings along her adopted brother Bram, and, equipped with a forensic talent honed by reruns of CSI and her diving camera, is charged with solving her aunt's murder, ensuring her half-sister's birthright, and preventing a war. "Child" is the first of a new series, and if this much happens while everyone is running around confused, I can't wait to see what happens when everyone gets on the same page. (Also, Parrish and his ferret-snake have some unfinished business with our heroine. I want to be a fly on the wall when he tries to explain to anyone that he's just been following orders.)...more
Couldn't finish this. Started strong, but the incredibly unsettling implication that she harbors some feeling for the man that destroyed her life wasCouldn't finish this. Started strong, but the incredibly unsettling implication that she harbors some feeling for the man that destroyed her life was a bit too much....more
Loved it. "Garden Spells" was a pivotal book for me, and waiting for the sequel I never realized I was going to get was worth every minute. These bookLoved it. "Garden Spells" was a pivotal book for me, and waiting for the sequel I never realized I was going to get was worth every minute. These books are about family, and while Claire was heavily featured, this book was about Bay, and seeing her fit in, and seeing how Sydney had finally settled were fantastic. Definitely recommended for anyone wanting a taste of magical realism....more
I read the entire thing in an evening because I couldn't put it down. I have a distinct weakness for novels á la Austen, and mixing in a bit of magicI read the entire thing in an evening because I couldn't put it down. I have a distinct weakness for novels á la Austen, and mixing in a bit of magic made this one hard to resist. It is predictable, in the way that any which shadow Austen can be, and often are, simply by merit of the greatest compliment of flattery being imitation. This novel maintains its forward momentum, making even those elements of foreshadowing take a back seat to the excellent pacing. I fell utterly in love with Jane Ellsworth, and look forward to reading her further adventures!...more
I wasn't expecting zombies. In fact, I was a little disappointed, because I was in for a post-apoc survival story, which was unfolding a little like aI wasn't expecting zombies. In fact, I was a little disappointed, because I was in for a post-apoc survival story, which was unfolding a little like a game of "Fallout". Still, the zombies don't overwhelm the story, and in fact are simply another layer of the world they label as After. In the Before, which was only a couple if years ago, bioterrorism came home to roost, as it were, destroying the country. As a last resort to save its people, the US Government develops kaysev, a seed for a plant that will grow & flourish anywhere, & provide all the vitamins, fiber, & protein the human body needs. But something happened when the seeds were dropped from the planes over Northern California - the blue leaf. It hid among the kaysev plants, and had terrible consequences for those who ingested it - the lucky ones died of fever. The unlucky ones, well...zombies.
I'm also becoming more and more enthusiastic about Harlequin's LUNA label, as this barely contained enough romance to be called Harlequin - or maybe I was just distracted by the single-minded "survival and rescue" operation embarked upon by the book's main character, Cass.
I really enjoyed this, and I know there are two more, so I look forward to finding out more about this world Littlefield has created....more
Fast-paced third installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, the quest begins in earnest as the Seven demigods set off to foil Gaea & save the woFast-paced third installment in the Heroes of Olympus series, the quest begins in earnest as the Seven demigods set off to foil Gaea & save the world. Romans & Greeks working together, everyone has something to work out in themselves to ensure they do their part for the quest. Team building, character development, & plenty of Greek vs. Roman arguments to be had, this is easily the best of the series so far. The added bonus of character-focused chapters help the reader get to know each of the questors, though I admit I live the Percy chapters because I'm still not ready to cut the cord with the Percy voice. Leo was a personal favorite when he was introduced, & continues to impress.
And, of course, all my love for Percy & Annabeth, who prove over & over that, even were they not the children of gods, they would still be heroes....more
Fantastic yarn, woven with picture & word, just enough je ne sais quoi to feel literary, and a sprinkle of pure fantasy. Couldn't put it down, andFantastic yarn, woven with picture & word, just enough je ne sais quoi to feel literary, and a sprinkle of pure fantasy. Couldn't put it down, and can't wait to see what the next adventure is!...more
**spoiler alert** Couldn't put it down until it was finished, and I have to admit, it's been awhile since I stayed up past my bedtime just to finish a**spoiler alert** Couldn't put it down until it was finished, and I have to admit, it's been awhile since I stayed up past my bedtime just to finish a book.
The best comparison I can make is that the Blue Bloods series is Harry Potter meets The Mortal Instruments. Vampirism seems to be the least important part of the novels - instead it's about status, history, and the battle between Heaven and Hell. Sometimes I feel like the vampirism angle was an afterthought - it could easily have been replaced with something else that allowed the teens to hold sway over their more human peers.
I have been struggling with Jack-and-Schuyler because of this "bonding" issue. I'm certainly not siding with Mimi Force, and I'm still not sure she's off my suspect list in terms of potential defectors to the Dark Side, but she knows her twin. Her insistence that they've been together for millenia and will always continue to be so brings to mind yet another series: Sara Douglass's Troy Game - and that didn't end well for anyone concerned with reincarnations and soul mates. Mimi and Jack have, by the end of this book, become dangerous for each other: Jack is certainly on the road to resentment, while Mimi continues to delude herself that he will always come back to her. I'm wondering when she will accept that Jack will always leave and someday he WON'T come back. But back to Schuyler, who is caught up in the whole fiasco as a "new soul" and thus does not have her soul twin like all the rest of them - she struggles with two suitors, and clearly she is going to do the Right Thing eventually, I'm just not sure which Right Thing.
Meanwhile the corruption in the ranks has left me floundering - I don't know who is what side anymore, and one of my favorite characters is, inadvertantly, the enemy. I don't want to give it away, but it becomes fairly obvious if you're paying attention. I wasn't, for the record, but soon as it was sort of revealed I went "oh DUH". Characters who have been suspect since the beginning, those who are new suspects from Masquerade, and those we haven't even guessed yet are at risk of changing their stripes. I am totally immersed and loving it, and I know that once I finish the next in the series, The Van Alen Legacy, I'm going to be crying for more. De la Cruz introduces new elements of her world piece by piece, revealing mystery after mystery, secret kept after secret kept, proving that this is more than just a supernatural rollercoaster ride: it's a well-crafted drama as well....more
**spoiler alert** Schuyler's search for answers brings up more questions than she is prepared for. Running off to Venice to locate her grandfather, sh**spoiler alert** Schuyler's search for answers brings up more questions than she is prepared for. Running off to Venice to locate her grandfather, she does not find what she is looking for, and instead begins to suffer the perils of her half-blood nature. The cure for her haywire transition appears to be the Sacred Kiss - a ritual which binds a human to her in ways she's only beginning to understand, even if she does understand the bottom line.
Meanwhile, Mimi Force is throwing a party after the new vampires' debut, and no one is who they seem. New transfer Kingsley Martin is clearly inciting mischief, and we wonder if Mimi's true colors will finally be revealed.
Schuyler's grandfather Lawrence returns, but his quest for regaining power has a price: Schuyler. For someone whom no one wanted, suddenly she is a hot commodity, and I'm not sure I know why. There are still many many secrets being kept, and even though some of the teens are recovering their previous-life memories, Schuyler doesn't feature in any of them due to her unique status as a "new soul". With her mother still in a coma, Schuyler's blood can be used to determine guilt or innocence, and her own personal feelings must be set aside to do what's right.
And in true Star Wars form, a secret is whispered that could change everything: "there is another..."
This is me being hopelessless addicted. De la Cruz's volumes could easily be longer, pulling in more threads to build a story, but surprisingly their consise nature lends to the pacing in a positive manner. There is just enough information to address a subplot or two while leaving leading information to help you dive into the next book. Even though there hasn't been a whole lot of independent character development, de la Cruz has taken the straw of "how he acts" from the "character development" trifecta (ie: how he acts/what he says, what he thinks of himself, what others think of him, for those who've been out of English class as long or longer than I have) and allows the plot of the story to help the reader get ahold of a character. This sort of writing, while lending to the pacing, means that the reader doesn't know anything ahead of time: we don't know what is going on in character's heads except as it relates to decisions they've already made which have immediate and visible effects. It's easier to surprise a reader this way, and I think de la Cruz has been successful utilizing this tool.
Looking forward to the continuation of the story....more
There wasn't anything particular about the style or the content that I could single out as being alluring, but this drew me in from the start and moveThere wasn't anything particular about the style or the content that I could single out as being alluring, but this drew me in from the start and moved quickly, keeping my attention rapt from start to finish. What starts as a gothic romance turns on its heel to become a murder mystery steeped in suspicion that I daresay recalls du Maurier's Rebecca.
The main character, Theodora, is strong and fierce in her grasp of feminism - determined not to lean on anyone but to make her living by way of her writing. She is confronted with the prospect of marrying a man she respects but does not love, and instead opts out of marriage entirely, desirous of making a name for herself as an authoress. She is given the chance to work on her book when a friend from her younger days requests her presence at her imminent marriage. Upon arrival, she discovers the marriage is not to take place, and her friend expresses relief; thus planting the seeds which Translyvanian folklore fosters into a miasma from which the threads of fiction and fact are hard to differentiate. Little clues planted from the beginning steer the reader exactly as the author desires, from one suspicion to the next, and even Theodora's scientific mind is rocked by her own growing feelings for one of the potential suspects. The author never concludes one way or another in the matter of several aspects of fact vs. fiction - instead lending the reader a feeling that is it not necessary to KNOW, just to accept the beliefs of a people whose minds will not be swayed by one dissenter.
The plot may not be overly complicated, but the delight of reading something that engaged me so throughly more than makes up for any lightness elsewhere. And certainly there are enough little sprinkles of character development that even though one may not pull it together until the end, nothing can be said as a surprising or unexpected turn from any of the characters - everything has built towards this end, even if you didn't know it as you read....more