" Then I blinked, and the music was gone. Like a slice of winter wind the reality of Mama's absence from my life sucked the breath out of my lungs. I bunched my knees to my chest and sobbed, willing, the pain away."
You can get the basic premise of the blurb. Juliet is left deaf by a childhood disease, a fact that is wildly known as in those times it was perceived as an undesirable trait. After her mother's death a viscount appears that wants to buy her home. At the same time, Juliet finds (steals more like it) a flower that brings forth a handsome ghost. The story is a Gothic ghost mystery and I loved it!
Juliet has been sheltered and cherished by her mother and uncle all of her life. She has made the assumption that she needs to live her life in seclusion, making hats and being taken care of. She has an uncanny ability to read lips which is at times unrealistic, I guess this is where her ghost came in handy. By the end of the story, she grew up as a character to not jump into conclusions and trust others.
On to the romance! There is a love triangle, but not really. I mean, can we call it that if one of the 'points' in the triangle is a ghost? The main characters have been through a lot, especially Chaine, who had a childhood full of horrors. My heart broke for him.
"She provided light in the midst of an inconceivably evil darkness. It burned her image into his... and altered his future. I could never have imagined a woman worthy of such reverence. Yet I've found you to be captivating and courageous, worthy of all that and more. Not despite your deafness, but because of it. If that makes me a fool. I will probably wear the title."
The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns, every time I thought I knew were things were headed Howard provided another masterful twist. There is also a lot of confusion created by both the viscount and Juliet's uncle keeping so many secrets from her! Men think they know better and just create a dang mess! The writing is fluid, enthralling, interesting and lyrical in nature. I really enjoy the epilogue as it tied all the loose ends quite nicely.
Overall, The Architect of Song was a beautifully written tale of the power that hope has to change a life. I'm a little surprised that this is the first in a new series since this book has the most fulfilling ending. I guess I just have to wait August of next year and read The Hummingbird Heart, right?This review was originally posted on Quite the Novel Idea...more
"But Papa, why should I talk when I've nothing important to say?"
Miss Charlotte Holmes is the youngest of four sisters and she's odd. Charlotte reminds me of Dr. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang theory. She's SO smart that she doesn't grasp the subtlety and importance of certain social norms. She learns to dress, control her appetite, say the right things at the right time, but some things still hold no meaning or importance to her. She's an avid reader, she loves to eat, she's very aware that her brain works differently that most people, she's also aware that the world is a nasty place for women and she wants to do more with her life than marry and have children. She makes up the name "Sherlock" to help the police with certain cases while pretending to be a man. HOWEVER, at the beginning of the story she makes a really stupid decision. I know it made sense to her, but probably to no one else. How could someone so smart don't foresee what was highly possible to happen?
"And what is your particular talent?"
"I'm not sure how to describe it. Or even if it is a talent, rather than a nuisance... Discernment, I suppose" Charlotte took a deep breath. "I can tell more about you, for instance, than you would want me to know."
You might be asking yourself if there is any romance. The answer is: maybe? I'm not sure? I don't want to give anything away, but there is a hint of what could be and might have been, but I have no idea how Thomas will pull this one off. I've only ever read the Elemental series by her and I adore it. One of the main reasons is the romance, so the lack of it in this book felt like something was missing. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it immensely, the mystery itself was enough to keep me hanging to every word.
The plot is divided between the mystery that Sherlock is helping Inspector Treadles with and Charlotte finding her place in life outside of her parents house. The mystery is very intricate. I could not tell who'd done it for nothing. There is constant action and detective work and disguises, and Baker Street, and Watson... It's like visiting with an all friend :)
Other characters worth mentioning are Mrs. Watson, Inspector Treadles, Lord Ingram, and Livia. Mrs. Watson is a widow and she takes Charlotte under her protection and becomes her partner in crime (so to speak), encouraging Charlotte to use her talents to help others - for a fee, of course. Inspector Treadles works for Scotland Yard and is a young and smart inspector that has big ambitions. He has requested Sherlock's help through Lord Ingram for certain puzzling or unsolved cases. Lord Ingram is Charlotte's childhood friend and I feel like he really understands her so well. He made a catastrophic mistake on choosing a wife, but is willing to live with the consequences of his decision. He does care a lot for Charlotte. Livia is Charlotte's sister and loves her dearly. However, Livia is very unsure of herself and has very low self esteem and is not willing to stand up to her parents. I really liked all the characters, but some added more to the story than others. I loathed Charlotte's parents.
"What do you fear the most, Miss Holmes?"
"I..." Charlotte exhaled. She know what she feared, but she wasn't accustomed to voicing it aloud." "I fear always being beholden to someone else. I want to be independent - and I want to earn that independence. But I can no longer believe that fortunate state of affairs will ever come to pass, not with all the mistakes I've made."
The story is told in a third POV, so we can participate in all the story and the mystery as it's discovered. The ending was definite in respect to the mystery. Sherlock's life as a detective is just starting and she gets a new client right at the ending. I'm just now sure about the romance or lack thereof, then again Sherlock Holmes is not necessarily romance.
Six of Crows is a book so complex that I will not attempt to describe in detail the plot. You can find plenty of reviews that sing all the glory and can do it better justice that I can do it. Rather, I will concentrate in the main characters and let you put the puzzle together. Six characters, told from all of their points of view in the third person. I promise that it’s not confusing at all!
“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck.”
A convict with a thirst for revenge. Matthias is belongs to a “cult’ that hunts the Grisha and he wants revenge on Nina for putting him in jail. He’s strong, tough, somewhat narrow minded, tender, and loving too.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. Jasper is a student turned gambler and gangster. He’s in Kaz’s inner circle, a sharpshooter with blind faith in his friends.
A runaway with a privileged past. Wyland is the son of an important merchant. He’s had a privileged upbringing, but he ran away from home. He seems weak at the beginning, but proves his worth when it mattered.
A spy known as the Wraith. Inej is a fascinating character. She was kidnapped when very young and “saved” by Kaz. She’s a spy and friend of heights and she’s always loyal to Kaz. Always.
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns you heart.”
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. Nina is a Grisha that has been waiting in a strange land for the chance to save Matthias from prison. She’s realistic, straightforward, loyal and appreciate friends.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz is my favorite character because he’s so complex. Make no mistake, he has no redemption. He’s… well, bad. Cunning, smart, without morals, ethics or empathy.
“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”
The setting of Six of Crows is shared with that of the Grisha series. Some of the same countries belong to this world, but more that seem inspired by Holland (Ketterdam) and its many canals and by Russia and its ice glory (Ice Court). It’s all described in detail and it paints an accurate picture in the reader’s mind. Exquisite. The writing is sweeping , breathtaking and raw.
“Stay,” she panted. Tears leaked from her eyes. “Stay till the end.”
“And after,” he said. “And always.”
“I want to feel safe again. I want to go home to Ravka.”
“Then I’ll take you there. We’ll set fire to raisins or whatever you heathens do for fun.”
“Zealot,” she said weakly.
“Nina,” he whispered, “little red bird. Don’t go.”
Just like Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses, I felt like Six of Crows should have been labeled New Adult. It’s definitely more appropriate for older readers because there is plenty of violence as well as some of the cruel realities of life. Let me also warn you that the story is slow to get into, please stick with it because it’s certainly worth it.
This book is an absolute gem. This is a story of two “spare” members of different royal families that are betrothed for political reasons. If you read this description, you can tell that the beginning of the story is not unique. What is unique is that Brishen is not even human. He’s the prince of the Kai, a lithe, strong, fanged, tall, gray skinned, pupil-less eyes ancient race. He’s ugly to Ildiko and Ildiko is ugly to him, so no attraction there at all.
“You find me ugly, don’t you? …
“Hideous,” he said. “A hag of a woman.”
Another peal of laughter met his words. Brishen wilted, relieved she took no insult in him so bluntly validating her assumption….
“And you,” he said. “You don’t think me a handsome man”…
“She exhaled slowly. The space between her eyebrows stitched into a single vertical frown line. “Had you crawled out from under my bed when I was a child, I would have bludgeoned you to death with my father’s mace.”
Their relationship is slow to grow. Ildiko accepts her fate and new life head-on. The Kai keep a night schedule since their eyes and skin are unable to handle the sun. She has to the used to a LOT in a very short period of time, but she’s strong, willing to learn, she has a sweet and compassionate disposition and she’s able to get past appearances.
Brishen is so patient. He’s a warrior, a prince, a good commander, friend, an overall amazing being. Like Ildiko, I also felt in love with him. His family, especially his mother, are awful, but luckily, he lived a five day ride away from the court, by the border of a neighboring kingdom.
I think what I loved more about the romance is that Brishen and Ildiko became allies and friends before they became lovers, and finally fell in love. They were able to poke fun at each other, calling each other names and acknowledging that although they had a hard time to “reading” each other’s expressions and getting past their physical attributes, that their love was stronger than all of that.
“I think we all seek companionship, wife. Sometimes it’s physical; sometimes it’s much more.” An odd flicker danced in his eyes, and like his grin before, his smile faded. “Loneliness is an empty void. We look for that friend in the light.”…
“Will you be that for me Ildiko,” he said. “That beacon in the void?”…
“The void is vast, like the sea at night and no land in sight. I’ll be the beacon, Brishen.”
I adore the secondary characters too, especially Anhuset, Brishe’s cousin/sister and Serovek, their handsome and honorable human neighbor. The writing is very good, enthralling and insightful. The world that Draven built is detailed, easy to understand, even if there is a bit of magic, political machinations and power struggles. The ending is almost a cliffhanger and I want more!!
Overall, Radiance is a story about impossible love, political machinations, incredible evil, and the ability to see beyond appearances. I cannot wait for Eidolon, the next book (and conclusion) of the series due to be published early next year. This review was originally posted on Reading With ABC...more
I know these characters come from Erickson’s Bowler University series (Max’s story), but they are new to me. I like stories of old flames, that certain “one that got away” and that element the center stage in this book. It seemed both sweet and tragic that two people could love so deeply, so completely, for so long and still not be together.
The plot develops slowly, it give us a chance to know the characters well since this is the first in a series. I didn’t mind that at all and I enjoyed every word. The writing is gripping, I just wanted to keep reading and reading. The story is told in the third person from both Cal and Jenna’s POVs, which is very common for adult romance.
“Except around Jenna. Around her, he’d always lost control. Spilled his guts. She’d been everything to him once, in a way no one had been before or after. Other than his family, no one could get extreme emotions out of him. He liked it that way. It was safe and comfortable.”
Cal is hot, straightforward, quiet, a hard worker, BUT he’s also stubborn and can be really stupid. He got it in his mind that he had nothing else left to give, that he was not good enough for Jenna, that their moment had passed and that it was too late. Every time his thoughts took that path, I wanted to slap him silly!
Jenna has a clearer mind than Cal. I’m not sure why she took so long to go back, I mean – why? Anyway, I did like Jenna. I like that she loved Cal and was not afraid of her feelings and that she tried to be what Cal needed at the time without pushing too much. I love Cal and Jenna together, I like the honesty and openness of their relationship.
“But this moment… this moment could be something. He could tell her to stay. He could wrap her in his arms and tell Asher that Jenna was his girlfriend…. So he let the moment pass. And he nodded. And the he watched as Jenna’s face fell, just slightly, before she slipped out the door.”
Character development is great! Brent is a hoot! Max is very sweet and new addition Asher is a typical teenager (well, sort off). Delilah is Jenna’s friend and she’s a force to be reckoned with. I hope she find someone by the end of the series. The parents are extremely dysfunctional for sure and I didn’t forget Jenna’s brother since he’s BIG jerk.
Overall, Dirty Thoughts was a great, fun, hot and steamy read and a truly enjoyed it. I will be eagerly waiting for Bret’s story in Dirty Talk coming up this September. Should be good!
“He kept his eyes on his boots. “I know. I started thinking about all it leads to. More worried about his heart than his body, I guess.”
A chair scraped. Footsteps. Jenna’s shadow fell in front of him. What do you mean?”
I think that the book itself is fantasy perfection. It has all the elements needed to make it a must read for fantasy lovers out there, but for my review - one of many glowing ones, I hope - I will concentrate on two aspects. I fear that if I don't do that I will be gushing over it forever!
Characterization Amani is perfect in her imperfection. She's a young girl that's hungry for more than what her tiny town has to offer. Her only prospect is an undesirable marriage and so she grasps the opportunity to leave when it presents itself. Amani is 16, an orphan living with her aunt that already has too many mouths to feed in a dying town that makes weapons. There was little else to do, but learn to shoot and she's really good at it. Amani is not perfect, she's clueless about many things, she doesn't trust easily, she's has great survival instincts, she's sincere, but not really honest.
"I'm a girl who could've done just about anything if I'd been born a boy."
Jin is a thief, a scoundrel, with a good heart and many secrets. He's handsome, smart, fast on his feet, he looks out for himself and tries his best to do what's right, even if he has to bend a few rules. I really like him as a character and I think he will grow to be more important as the story progresses.
I hope that a great romance develops between Amani and Jin, but Rebel of the Sands is more about learning about a new world and the characters getting to know each other. We know, as readers that they are in love, but not much romance goes one during this first book. Other characters make an appearance on the second part of the book and are likable and well fleshed out. Writing The plot, the writing style, the way secrets are revealed, the world building... it all combines to form a perfect harmony. There are quite a few plot twists that I didn't see coming at all even though I suspected others. The writing style itself if is enthralling, engrossing, so beautiful. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series and where Ms. Hamilton will take the story next. There's a lot I cannot write in my review because it will be very spoilery indeed! I hope you read Rebel of the Sands and discover its perfection for yourself :)
“You are this country, Amani.” He spoke more quietly now. “More alive than anything ought to be in this place. All fire and gunpowder, with one finger always on the trigger.”
I sent my ARC to Bee and I can't wait to read her review!
Not a single whisper from any of the hundreds of club-goers standing perfectly still in the darkness. I can’t see them anymore, because it’s just me and her and both our voices in perfect harmony. It hurts. It burns in a way I can’t describe except maybe like being stabbed in the gut and having my innards ripped out of me.
What I loved:
The characters! There is a great casting of characters, especially of the male persuasion. Xaine has “brothers” (Cas and Trick) or other vampires turned by the same creator. There’s also Jackson and Asher, and I really want to know their stories too. So Xaine… he’s a hot mess, a rock star, a vampire and man of excess. He’s damaged and deep down a ruthless sweetie (yes, I did used these two words in the same sentence ;) ) Tamsyn, Jess and most specially Lourdes are different female characters with very different personalities, but one thing in common: they don’t take crap from anyone. Lorde had a really bad experience that she’s suppressed because it was so traumatic and she had no fault or inkling as to why. Scary, creepy bad guys like Benicio and Tiberius. Seriously dangerous and extra creepy. Vampires, angels, reapers, sin eaters… there is a host of things that go bump in the night and I There’s music, singing and composing, and I love books about music. The plot, the secrets, the non-stop action, the fact that vampires were “out-of-the-closet”, the mysteries. Even as they irked me some, I love them all. The banter and dialogues were funny, snarky, interesting…I want more! “Men are more easily governed by their vices than their virtues,” he tells me, “And no virtue in this world is going to make you a better man, Xaine. Understand that, if you understand anything at all.”
There is not much I didn’t like about Lost Angeles, except maybe that fact that Xaine tricks Lorde in Las Vegas, that there were so many unanswered questions (that’s just me being pick since I know it’s a series), and the kind-a-sort-of-cliffhanger ending.
I cannot wait for Loose Canon, Trick’s story since we didn’t see much of him in this book.
“On a scale of one to take-me-now, how turned on are you?”
The second the question processes, I laugh, right in the face of the world’s biggest rock star. “Wow, you are …so arrogant.”
That garners me the full smirk and a swift release from his grasp. “So I don’t even rank on the scale? That’s depressing. Or hey, maybe you play for the other team?”
Still grining, I tell him, “I’m not into girls. I’ve just been told that I shouldn’t take candy from strangers.”
“Trust me, Lore, I hadn’t even gotten to the candy part yet.”
The Enchanted Rose turned out to be a bit unexpected. Based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure if it was a romance, or what. This is the conclusion I reThe Enchanted Rose turned out to be a bit unexpected. Based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure if it was a romance, or what. This is the conclusion I reached: The Enchanted Rose is a paranormal story with undertones that are part gothic and part fairy tale, with a whole lot of mystery thrown in. I loved it!
After her mother’s death, Vivian is sent by her dad to live with her maternal aunts that she didn’t even knew existed. Vivian’s mom and dad traveled a lot, so she gained a lot of knowledge about other cultures and she is quick to make friends. Still, she’s a grieving teenager put in a very uncomfortable and unfair situation.
“That building was going to be my new home. It wasn’t a house but a mansion. I realized then wy it was called the Tremaine Estate. Could that really be where my mother had grown up? In all my life, she had never once let on that she came from a rich family. A mix of emotions washed over me.”
It seems like the story unravels slowly and in sections, with Vivian finding a bit more of the mystery that surrounds her newly discovered family and the town of Misty Hills. There are a LOT of close kept secrets and danger lurking around in every corner. All of this was balanced with the backdrop of high school, which was also new to Vivian since she had been homeschooled for a big part of her life.
I think that Vivan’s mom was very unfair and so were her aunts for keeping so much away from her. I’m now sure what she thought would happened when she died and Vivian was unprepared for her new life. The town, and the people in it, are equally enigmatic and I’m sure there is a lot more for us to find out. I’m sorry that I have to be so vague, but I don’t want to give the story away.
“Need some help?” a deep voice asked. I yelped, startled. I lost my balance and fell backwards in an undignified heap. “Are you okay?” the voice asked with barely concealed mirth. My face grew hot. I looked up at a tall boy, who was watching me in amused concern. He looked to be my age. He reached out a hand toward me.
“I’m Hunter. What’s your name?”
The characterization is really good and I liked Declan, Skyler, Rose, and Hunter. I hope that Hunter will be Vivian’s love interest, but that is still up in the air. Vivian likes him a lot, but it’s too early to tell what will happen. The writing is really interesting and easy to read. The plot was very well executed and I hardly guessed any of the many twists that abound within the story. The setting feels very gothic and I loved that part.
As I’m a big fan of CJ’s Summer series, I couldn’t wait to read Paradise City. I knew we were going to be a great match and I was not wrong.4.5 Stars
As I’m a big fan of CJ’s Summer series, I couldn’t wait to read Paradise City. I knew we were going to be a great match and I was not wrong. Not at all.
This book is more like a mature YA than straight NA. This might change with Paradise Road since it seems like Dean will play a more prominent role. Lexie is a hoot! Being in her head was hilarious! She comes from Red Hole, a farm in the middle of nowhere and she’s been homeschooled her whole life. She moved with her aunt, uncle and cousin Amanda to Paradise City to attend school for the first time ever. In Lexie’s head, high school is a production from a Disney movie and overthinks, overanalyzes, and romanticizes everything. As I said, hilarious. She sort of falls into “interest” with Luke Ballantine, one of the resident surfer-bad boys in year twelve, a Kirkland boy.
“I may have been from Red Hole but at least we had the common decency to treat each other with a bit of respect. Even my drunken Uncle Eddie was more sociable toward a dog tied up outside the pub then anyone I had stumbled across in the last few days, including my own cousin. Maybe it was something in the water?”
Ballantine is dreamy, sweet, mysterious, a bit insecure when it has to do with his brother, a surfer and he gets in trouble in school constantly. Lexie and Ballantine’s relationship moved kind of fast and furious. What I found weird is that Lexie and Ballantine are attracted to each other, but hardly talk to each other. Don’t get me wrong, their moments together are fun, their dialogue entertaining and priceless, but I wish there would have been more of that.
“Oh-my-God-what-the-hell-was-that? I yelled, breathing erratically.
Ballantine laughed. “It’s probably just seaweed.”
I felt it again causing me to claw and scream at Ballantine. If he had been a tree I would have climbed him…. “Let me out” I screamed, fear carrying me through the water…”
I love the story, Lexie’s predicament and ‘newness’ in everything she saw and experienced. I loved the town, the school, Laura, Boon and even cranky Amanda. I appreciate that Amanda’s parents are vigilant (or try to be) and so are Lexie’s. Even though the story takes place in Australia, it was really easy to understand and follow. As always, Duggan’s writing is always refreshing, gripping, and amazing.
Something I didn’t like was that Ballantine and his brother Dean are at ‘war’ and we don’t know why. Not only that, but Dean seems to be interested in Lexie as well and that is no-no between brothers (I’m sure that’s written in stone somewhere.) I see a triangle coming on and I’m not too excited about it.
Overall, Paradise City was a great book! I’m glad that this is a duology because I can’t wait to know what happens with Lexi and Luke next!...more
The previous book ended in a cliffhanger so I was eager to get my hands on Forest of Ruin (and thus my lack of restraint). This book picks up right where Empire of Night ended and finds both of our heroines in a bind. Moira being ordered to return to captivity and Ashyn lost in the forest with newly found ‘friends’. And dragons.
Can I tell you that I adore these sisters? Moira and Ashyn are strong female characters that took care of themselves, made their own mistakes, and figure things out, but also know when to ask for help. I think they have grown into their roles and their powers and are more comfortable making decisions.
Now, on to the boys! Gavril appears in this book much more and he finally realized where his alliances truly lie (and that his dad is bat s*#! crazy!) Talk about character development! I was ambivalent about Gavril for the longest time, but this time around he won me over. Prince Tyrus is a gem, he grows up to be more confident, both in politics and with Moira and his feelings of her. He's sweet, selfless, loyal and has a very strict view of what's wrong and right. Moira and Tyrus finally get together, and I mean in all the sense of the word. Ronan fights so hard. He fights for Ashyn, for his family, to win back his honor (caste) and his right to finally tell Ashy how he feels for her. It's sometimes infuriating how these two dance around each other when the reader can clearly tell they are so in love.
The plot of the whole series is just engrossing. It kept me on my toes since you never know what new monster, or spirit or calamity was going to befall our heroes.
All the loose ends were wrapped up (maybe too neatly), but I love happy endings, even if it has a few compromises here and there. It might come to no surprise to you that I cried. Yep, I did. Not my fault though, it’s dear Ms. Armstrong’s fault because she did something towards the end that had me gasping (not funny, by the way!)
Overall, this was the perfect ending to a beloved series. I really liked the world building, the characters, the fantastic creatures and creepy monsters and the plot of the series. A must read for fantasy lovers.
The world building is so important when writing fantasy and I feel like Scott did a fantastic job here. It never fell prey to the common info-dump and I easily understood the world, the magic, the political and power struggles. The world she created felt very much like the English court life or the 1700 or 1800s, there are kingdoms, ladies-in-waiting, guards, nobility, politics, betrayal, power plays and much more because magic is thrown into the mix.
The magic element is also unique. Yes, it has do a little bit with elements, but also with intent, with ley lines, with control, with blood and what I suspect is a lot of lies. Magic is regulated and protected and as I said, controlled. There is quite a bit that’s still left unexplained and I’m eager to learn more in the next book.
Sophie is one of the princes’ ladies-in-waiting and of royal blood, as such when she turns 21 she might come into her powers as a witch. The more power she develops, the more advantageous her marriage will be. That is to say, she never had any control over her life at all. This is known and accepted by all. Sophie is pretty, a bit shy, unused to the power that becomes her birthright and unprepared by the malice and political turmoil that surrounds her. She was lucky to be smart, learn quickly, be very observant and have Cameron in her corner.
“Maybe turning twenty-one wouldn’t be so bad after all. Perhaps magic would give her some tiny bit of control over her life. Or marriage. Married ladies were not as tightly policed as virgins. If her husband – whoever that might turn out to be – were reasonable, she would be able to decide some small things for herself. “
Cameron becomes Sophie’s protector first, then an ally, lover, friend and lastly love. He’s sweet, has his own power, comes from a noble family, but is the third son and thus is relegated to the military. I really liked their relationship because even though it was triggered by magic, it was realistic and grew into something more. The characterization overall was incredible good. And that’s all I’m saying :)
The plot of The Shattered Court is complicated, but not overly so. The intricacies of the political, religious and magical underpinnings of the story is fascinating. The writing is enthralling, and I couldn’t put this one down. It was such a good book. Why then did it missed half a star? Well, I would have loved to see more romance, more Cameron/Sophie time.
“His eyes turned a darker shade of blue, and then his mouth came down on hers, kissing her. Light exploded through her again. Burning and searing. It washed over and through her, and she felt a click like coming home and sliding the key into the lock to open the front door. Meant to be. Natural.”This review was originally posted on Reading With ABC...more
Hidden Wings was a short and enjoyable “read” (well, I listen to the book ;)) and the beginning to a series about angels. Angel books are a hit or mHidden Wings was a short and enjoyable “read” (well, I listen to the book ;)) and the beginning to a series about angels. Angel books are a hit or miss for me so I’m happy to report that I like this one.
The book starts when Emma wakes up in the hospital after a horrible accident that took her parent’s life. While there Emma’s aunt contacts the hospital and obtains custody of the 17-year-old. The problem is that Emma has never even heard about this aunt and she has to move to Alaska!
Kade and other “mysterious” and handsome men (Guadians) are assign to escort her there and Emma suspects that something strange is going on. We are introduced to a host of characters that all seem to know about Emma, but she is at a disadvantage. Emma is loyal, smart, stubborn, and a bit lost. She was grieving and she’s thrown into chaos and danger at every turn.
Kade and Emma forged an instant connection that seems to be very rare, AND forbidden as well. They are fighting against mandates that are centuries old and against a prophecy that we don’t fully understand yet. I really liked them together and even though it is almost insta-love, it works here in the context of their paranormal connection.
The books is really fast paced. So much so that I believe that everything happens in a timeframe of less than one week. This made it difficult for both, Emma and the reader to keep up with the action and to what was being left unsaid. I think that a lot of questions remained unanswered, but this is somewhat typical of series. The writing is fluid and easy to understand.
Another thing that I didn’t love was that I was confused for a big part of the book. The mystery was too big and no one was explaining anything. It was difficult for me to go with the flow at times. I hope we learn a lot more in the books to come.
I was first intrigued by The Paper Magician because I loved its cover. The crumpled paper, the woman wearing an old-fashioned dress, the umbrella andI was first intrigued by The Paper Magician because I loved its cover. The crumpled paper, the woman wearing an old-fashioned dress, the umbrella and paper plane and heart seemed all so different. I am glad that I gave this story a chance because I ended up loving it.
By the ratings in Goodreads and some of the comments I can tell that this book was misunderstood. Maybe I had better look with it because I love all things fantasy, steampunk, magic, historical and such. The Paper Magician takes place in a London were magic is cherished and accepted. There are magicians, schools, apprenticeships, and a whole infrastructure for anything magic. In this ‘world’ magic is learned to manipulate or animate substances created by men, for instance rubber, metal, paper, and glass. There is also a forbidden magic, manipulating people by use of blood, this is called Excision.
These characters! Can I just tell you how much I love them? Ceony finished magic school in one year and it is quite a feat to do, but then again, she has a photographic memory. She is mandated to be the apprentice to a paper magician because they are lowering in numbers and she doesn’t have a choice in the matter. She is quite upset, until she figures out that being a paper magician is not as terrible as she thought. Ceony had had her share of bad luck in life even though she’s young. She’s loyal, loving, a great cook, smart, but not perfect.
“Perhaps the man wasn’t so mad after all. Or maybe it’s a madness that I can learn to appreciate.”
Emery Thane is a paper magician and he’s a bit eccentric. He’s organized to a fault, paranoid, he dislikes most people and likes his peace and quiet. He’s had a hard life and he’s very private about it. He’s also very patient with Ceony, he’s just and kind; in short he’s very easy to fall in love with :) The “romance” is very slow burning and more of a promise of the future in the first installment of the trilogy.
As I explained before, the setting is London, but a different in an alternate past. Women go to school, have professions, are respected and valued in this society. It is not frowned up to have a male and female student/teacher combination. Divorce is commonplace and accepted too! The writing is so good. I loved all the descriptions, the world building, the back stories.
“I don’t know how many women can claim to have walked a man’s heart, but I’ve walked yours,”
Now we come to the part that is, well, “strange”. The first part of the book is dedicated to the background story, but the second half is very different. I don’t want to spoil the book for you, but I think that Holmberg uses the trip to Emery’s heart (remember there is magic in play her people!) to achieve two things: first, Ceony has a change to know and understand Emery very quickly because she is traveling through his past, his memories, his fears and hopes. Second, this exploration gives both Ceony and Emory a chance to fall in love faster, after all now they ‘know’ each other in a more intimate way.
Overall, The Paper Magician was a great (if strange) beginning to a great series. I already finished The Glass Magician and I adored it (review soon!) I cannot wait for The Master Magician, the last book in the series, which will be published in July.
Do you know ALL the clichés and plots that you usually see in every other NA book out there? Well, you can throw it out the window because they are noDo you know ALL the clichés and plots that you usually see in every other NA book out there? Well, you can throw it out the window because they are not in The Deal! I was so pleasantly surprised, but after seeing glowing reviews for it by several trusted bloggers, I had to read it for myself.
How? Let me count the ways:
Both main characters have ‘issues’ and a troubling past. BUT, they know it. They’ve worked through them. They had help or other coping mechanism. Oh, and it’s not a secret. Hannah has a supporting and loving family. Garrett has learn to rely on himself and his friends.
Hannah and Garrett talk to each other, they communicate, they grow to like each other and be friends before anything happens. They are mostly honest with each other.
When this awesome couple briefly separates because of a misunderstanding, it takes Garrett two minutes to figure out something is not right. It doesn’t drag forever and they don’t have to sleep with 20 other people to know they love each other.
Now, I’ve read a lot of books in my life and I assure you that Garrett will remain in my list of favorite male characters ever. I’m not exaggerating either. Garrett is truly an amazing character, he’s loyal, level headed, pragmatic, loving, understanding, patient, trustworthy, and a bit conceited. He’s gorgeous and he knows it. I just adored him and how well he got along with Hannah, with his family life, and any other situation. He's matured and knows his limits. Oh, and his major is history, he knows a lot about it and loves to watch documentaries. How cute is that? LOVE HIM!
"I've never met anyone who sleeps with so many pillows. Maybe he needs them to cradle his massive ego."
Hannah is another incredible character. She's a music major with an incredible voice. She dismisses Garrett as a dumb jock, and he's anything but. She quickly realizes her mistake when she agrees to tutor him. Hannah went to a traumatic event when she was 15 and has worked very hard to overcome it. She's open about it and has plenty of support and I applaud her for this. She's loving, loyal, smart, beautiful, and talented.
"Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don't know how you ever lived without them."
The story is really good. You can get a good idea by reading the blurb, except that Garrett is not exactly a "bad boy". He is a jock, captain of the hockey team, and he lives off-campus with three other equally gorgeous friends and he's not exactly celibate. However, he's always honest with Hannah and they get along so well together. The banter and dialogue between them is priceless. I also loved the writing, it's fluid and easy to read. The host of characters was outstanding!
I’m not a fan of the cover though. I have nothing against any male that looks like that (far from it!), but it doesn’t do the book justice at all.
Overall, The Deal was an amazing read that doesn’t rely of clichés, but instead creates a great story with even better characters. I’m not sure when The Mistake, the next book in the Off-Campus series will be published , but I do know that it is about Logan (yay!), you can bet that I will be first in line to read it!
Emma is the daughter of a famous rock star and an ex-model and has been given everything in a silver platter. Her parents separated and since they caEmma is the daughter of a famous rock star and an ex-model and has been given everything in a silver platter. Her parents separated and since they can’t stand each other, Emma lives with her mom. Somehow, she managed to not grow up to be a spoiled brat. She’s down to Earth, loyal, loving, she wears her feeling on her sleeve and she’s incapable of lying. I really like Emma and I admired her individuality and her openness to new people and new experiences.
On the other hand, it took me a while to warm up to Jesse. He was proved wrong over and over about Emma, but he still wanted to believe that since his dad was rich, then she must be a bad person. I think that Emma had more trust in him that he did in her. It also bothered me that Jesse believed that he would never amount to anything. Yes, his aspirations were to be a tattoo artist, but that doesn’t equate to being poor. It felt like he had no real aspirations. One thing I did love is that most of the time they were honest with each other,
Emma’s mom is an awful person that really believed that she, and anyone with money was better than everyone else. On the other side of the spectrum, Emma’s dad was pretty amazing. He was supportive and understanding of Emma and her relationship with Jesse. I liked Andye, Jesse’s best friend, but Ally was a horrible person that showed love in the most stupid and traitorous way possible.
The plot was nothing new, but well executed. The writing was really fluid and beautiful. One of the things that I didn’t like is that Jesse and Emma’s’ relationship happened too fast. I’m not sure about the timing, but I think the whole story happened in the span of about a month. The romance was way too quick to develop and they were in bed way too fast for my taste. Also, the ending was very abrupt. I think that Jesse made a horrible series of mistakes and he understandably felt betrayed.
Wow! Morning Star is the long awaited last book of the Red Rising trilogy and I couldn't be more happy with it. This book deserves ALL the stars, the moons and planets in the universe! Bravo! Standing Ovation! (you get the idea right?) Please read my reviews for Red Rising and Golden Son to get up to speed.
I don't even know were to start with this review. The plot of these books is SO intricate and complicated that it's difficult to really explain everything that happened. However, I will tell you as much as I can without spoiling it for you.
Morning Star starts about a year after the excruciating ending of Golden Son. It finds Darrow being held captive by the Jackal, but circumstances change pretty soon. We learned what the Sons of Ares have been up to while he was absent. It takes Darrow some time to get back to normal and it takes him and Servo a few tries to share the responsibility of what the Sons started.
"Man is no island. We need those who love us. We need those who hate us. We need others to tether us to life, to give us a reason to live, to feel."
Pierce Brown is a genius. I have no idea how he could come up with a story this complex and keep track of it all. It makes perfect sense to the reader, but we only know what he wants us to know and when he wants us to know it. It's so enthralling, thought provoking, and full of twists and turns. The writing is not the easy banter of a contemporary romance, but rather the talk of the magnificent sci-fi, roman inspired universe that he created. This story has one of the best worlds ever build. From the setting, to the technology, to the weapons, it such an amazing read.
Darrow has been trough so much. When the series started he was 16, about eight years passed until the end of this book and so much has happened to him and because of him. He's trying to change a world that is used to being oppressed, of injustice, of inequality and it's no easy task. He finds help, he's betrayed, he finds redemption, forgiveness, condemnation, he's an inspiration to many and a threat to just as many. I adore his story and being in his mind, which is not always easy.
All the characters, Mustang, Servo, the Jackal, Ragnar, Darrow's family, Holiday, Victra... I can feel a page with character's name and how amazing they all are. Brown is a master in characterization, in giving each one of them a distinct personality and traits. Besides Darrow, Servo is my absolute favorite :)
"To build we must break."
Overall, Morning Star is the perfect ending to an Epic series. Red Rising is one of THE BEST series I have ever read. It's a story of doing what's right even if it there are insurmountable mountains to cross to get there. It's a story of sacrifice, of bringing change to the world, of friendship and family. And underlying it all is a love so big, so deep, so right, that it changed the worlds. I cannot wait for his new trilogy, Iron Gold, to be published sometime next year. I honestly will read anything that Pierce Brown writes. Anything.This review was originally posted on Quite the Novel Idea...more
This novella is about 60 pages long and it is the story of Nathan’s friend Gabriel and his family. It is told in the first person, from Michéle’s POVThis novella is about 60 pages long and it is the story of Nathan’s friend Gabriel and his family. It is told in the first person, from Michéle’s POV (Gabriel’s sister) and it is heartbreaking. On one hand, the siblings, which are Black witches, but not bad at all, have known tragedy and neglect in their short lives. They love and depend on each other a lot and it is so touching how the communicate with each other using a diary. Michéle falls in love with a White wizard and they fall prey to the “war” between both magical communities. We learn more about how they feel, about the importance of the coming of age ceremony and about finding your talent. If you’ve read Half Bad, you know that this story doesn’t end well. Another must read for followers of the series....more
I’m not sure I can express my love for this series (and Titus) in any coherent way that might do it justice. The previous two books in Thomas’ ElementI’m not sure I can express my love for this series (and Titus) in any coherent way that might do it justice. The previous two books in Thomas’ Elemental series – The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea – are absolutely brilliant. You know how in a series there is a book that you love more than the others? No such thing for this series, they are all equally amazing and my love for it just grows and grows.
I read devoured Immortal Heights as soon as it became available in EW back in May and since then my mind keeps wondering to the plot, to the characters, the perfect conclusion. I have recommended the series to everyone that cares to listen. So go on and start reading it now!
“His eyes met hers. He was afraid – she knew this because he did not hide his fear from her – but beyond the fear was an unbreakable will. All his life he had prepared for toil, peril, and the ultimate sacrifice.” The Immortal Heights is utter perfection. I will not ruin the story for you, especially if you haven’t read it yet, but let me just tell you what I loved it about it the most:
The characters are incredible. Not only the main characters – Titus and Iolanthe are truly outstanding, but also all the cast. Titus is a true prince among young men, he has prepared for years for what is to come. He’s brilliant, brave, protective, tender, and not afraid to love and be loved, even if he has no faith that he will be alive after bringing Atlantis down. Can you tell I love him? (Don’t tell Iolanthe or she might electrocute me!) Iolanthe has grown a lot since she first met Titus at the begging of the series, not only on power and knowledge, but in character and her belief in doing what’s right as well.
The Romance – Yep. I know I just wrote about Titus and Iolanthe, but the romance deserves its own separate entry. Their relationship is so sweet. They aren’t afraid to express their feelings, to acknowledge the great danger they’re in, to show their fears, to strive to make each other happy. *be still my heart*
“You should have been putting up shield for yourself,” he admonished her as they flew higher. “How many times have I told you not to bother with me?”…
“Have you forgotten that there is no Chosen One? You are no less important than me in this – or anything else.”
“I have not forgotten that.” He took her wrist and kissed the back of her hand. “I speak not for the mission, but for myself.”
She sighed. “And what am I going to do without you?” The world building – Of course, by the third book we know a lot about the magic, the elements, the setting, but in The Immortal Heights we get to see other places, especially Atlantis. Titus and Iolanthe live in a magical domain that sits in the real world of the 1800s. A bit historical, a lot of magic!
The Plot – This last book starts slower, but then it’s a tornado of action, direction and misdirection. A lot of unexpected things happen in this one and it kept me on my toes the whole time! Some might find the ending too perfect, but after all the turmoil, suffering, and sacrifice, I say they deserve every bit of happiness!
“All he wanted was for her to come through unscathed – to have a wonderful life, surrounded by love and laughter. All he wanted was a single hope to light his way, when all ambition and courage had failed.”
Overall? Go start this series as soon as you can. ...more
WOW! As a lover of fantasy, I pay attention to the recommendations of other trusted bloggers. Among these is Alyssa from The Eater of Books and sincWOW! As a lover of fantasy, I pay attention to the recommendations of other trusted bloggers. Among these is Alyssa from The Eater of Books and since she loved Lark Rising, I had it in my TBR list for a long while. What an amazing trip this was, I which I could share this book with everyone.
Lark and her cousin Evie have been raised by their grandmother since their parents died in an attack when they were three. Lark has the gift of sight which to her it feels like a curse since it makes it difficult for her to interact with other people. Any close contact is overwhelming to her since she can 'see' that person's past. She also has prophetic dreams that are sometimes disturbing. But she also dreams about a breathtakingly handsome man that will be her undoing. I know that some readers might find Lark’s character development kind of a cliché, but I found it endearing. I liked to see how she went from a shy, insecure, naïve girl to a brave, accomplished and secure young lady.
Gharain is one of the Raiders of Tarnec, one of a dozen elected Riders that defend the weak and guard the balance of the world. He seems to take an instant dislike to Lark, but it is more of a defense mechanism. They have to work together to recover the amulets that were taken and restore balance to their world. At the end, he loves, understand, trusts and protects Lark. Their relationship was so sweet and genuine. I really liked them individually and as a couple.
The world building was very well done. From the map included in the book to the description of the landscape, the kingdom of Tarnec, the forest, the mountains, everything came to life within the pages of the book. This is one of the most important elements for me when reading fantasy because at a certain level I need to believe in it. The writing is beautiful, poetic, lyrical, enthralling… I’m sure you get the idea why I loved it SO hard. I cannot wait for book two - Silver Eve - due to be published in September.
I started The Perilous Sea with this basic question: How can Sherry Thomas ever top the awesomeness of The Burning Sky? (See my review here) Well, sheI started The Perilous Sea with this basic question: How can Sherry Thomas ever top the awesomeness of The Burning Sky? (See my review here) Well, she managed to amaze me for sure. I bow to you Ms. Thomas, you have a fan for life!
Oh my goodness! Have you ever read a book SO full of pure awesome that you can’t find words to describe it? If you have, that’s exactly how I fell about The Perilous Sea (if you haven’t, then keep reading my friends.)
The story is told in the third person, following Titus and Iolanthe. There are two parallel stories being told, in alternating chapters. Let me explain, both stories are about Titus and Iolanthe, but one is told from the Sahara Desert in the “present” and in the span of a few days and the other starts seven weeks earlier in England. It’s such a unique way to keep the reader engaged and to Thomas’ credit, both stories are equally fascinating.
“Fairfax laughed, the sound deep and rich. “Your humility, prince, shines like a beacon in the darkest night,” she said as she ascended the stairs. “We can all only aspire to be so great yet so humble.”
These characters are just amazing! I know I said the same thing in my review of the first book, but Titus is one of my favorite male characters ever!!! He’s sweet, smart, mature beyond his years, talented… I can keep going on and on. He is also, by necessity, so lonely that it sometimes breaks my heart. The only respite from the life he was born to lead comes in the shape of Iolanthe.
I found Iolanthe to be a lot more likeable in this book. She’s a powerful elemental mage that hides in plain sight, by impersonating a boy at Eaton. She’s so good, both as a “boy” and as a girl, and she’s liked by all that meet her. Iolanthe is trying to find her place in the world and a way to help Titus from a destiny he thinks is unavoidable.
“Wonder came into his eyes – wonder and gratitude. He touched his forehead to hers again, his hands warm on her cheeks. “I am so glad it is you. I cannot possibly face this tasks with anyone else.”
The relationship between Iolanthe and Titus grows a lot and it’s so exciting to see. It is clear that he plans for her, thinks of her, tries to protect her and anticipates her every need. *sigh* Thomas is a romance writer and it’s even more obvious in this book. I’m so happy that they were able to put their differences in opinion aside and be there for each other. The banter between them is
The plot is outstanding. It’s full of twists and turns and I never saw them coming; it’s unexpectedly wonderful. The writing is sublime. The setting and world building is just as expertly executed as it was in the first book and it just builds upon it. In case you haven’t read it, this book is part fantasy since there are mages and mage kingdoms and also takes places partly in the late 1800s England.
“The night you were born, stars fell. The day we met, lighting struck. You are my past, my present, my future. My hope, my prayer, my destiny.”
Overall, The Perilous Sea is an amazing continuation of an amazing series. It just cemented my everlasting love for Titus and now Iolanthe as well. A true magical fantasy gem for romance lovers. A must read.
About the cover: I though nothing could top the cover of The Burning Sky, but I was wrong. Isn’t it gorgeous? The water dragon, the contrast of dark and light, the city in the background and the feeling of pure power all work so well together....more
I shan’t compare all the points, but let The Girl at Midnight stand on its own. The world building was impeccable from the beginning. The Avicien are an ancient race that are shaped like humans but have colorful feathers for hair. The Drakharin are descendants of dragons and both races have been at war for hundreds of years. Awesome, right?
Echo is our protagonist, she’s human, but ran from home when she was very little and was “adopted” by the Ala, a member of the Avicien council. Echo is brave, seems fearless, she’s a thief, she’s insightful, snarky, smart, cunning, and beautiful. She’s a book lover and lives in a library, how cool is that? She is fighting to make a life for herself in a world that doesn’t accepts her and sees her as an outsider. The Ala, her best friend, Ivy and new boyfriend Rowan are her family. When Ivy is taken by the Drakharin, Echo is desperate to find her.
“...I like to be around all these books. They’re very good at making you forget your troubles. It’s like having a million friends, wrapped in paper and scrawled in ink”
Caius is the prince of the Drakharin. His twin sister Tanith is b***, cruel and full of hunger for vengeance and deposes Caius. Caius escapes with his best friend, Dorian, and they take Ivy and Echo with them. They embark in a quest to find the firebird in order to save the world. Caius is selfless, patient, troubled, smart. He’s had such a hard life, I feel so sad for him :(
“So why? He didn’t ask what he really wanted to. Why are you being this kind? How can you be this kind?
“Because”, she said, reading for the tape on the bedside table, “there’s enough cruelty in this worked without me adding to it.”
All the characters are amazingly well developed. The writing is really good, I liked the dialogue and the banter between the characters. The story, the plot is compelling. I’m always a sucker for a love than endures lives and adversity. There is a budding romance, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you :)
“Letting out a small laugh, he said, “You know, we’re going to have to start trusting each other sooner or later.”
Echo smiled, just a little. “Baby steps.”
Overall, The Girl at Midnight is a fantasy story that takes place in the modern world. A story of two ancient races with a war that’s lasted ages with no end in sight. A story of redemption, of looking for one’s place, of following destiny and fighting for what’s right, of seeing beyond. Loved this one!This review was originally posted on Reading With ABC...more
First let me say that I read Red Queen back in September. Being the knucklehead that I am, I didn’t review it before now, which makes wiring this revFirst let me say that I read Red Queen back in September. Being the knucklehead that I am, I didn’t review it before now, which makes wiring this review much harder than it ought to be, but has not, in any way, diminished its awesomeness. Also, let me tell you that I read Red Queen before I read Red Rising. I love both books for different reasons and although they have very few things in common, they are amazing in their own right and I don’t aim to compare both.
The world is ruled by Silvers. They have silver blood and different superpowers. These differences make them god-like rulers over the Reds, who have red blood and no powers. They are brutal masters and use the Reds very badly for all menial labor, as servants and as soldiers.
“All are tall and beautiful and cold, moving with a slow grace no Red can claim. We simply don’t have the time to move that way.”
Mare is such a great heroine. She’s a thief that is approaching her 17th birthday, when she needs to either have an apprenticeship or sign up for the military. That’s what Mare plans to do, until things go south with her best friend. Due to said mess, she ends up working at the palace where it is discovered that she has superpowers too. In order to control the confusion this would cause, Mare is passed as a lost princess and engaged to Maven, the second son of the king. With me so far? As I was saying, Mare is constantly afraid, but has more sense that to show it. She’s loyal to the Reds and her family, devious, a skilled liar and she has sharp survival instincts.
“You are also something else. Something I cannot fathom. You are Red and Silver both, a peculiarity with deadly consequences you cannot understand.”
There is a big host of characters here, but the princes are the ones to remember. Cal is the heir of the throne and has been raised to be a king. Maven is Cal’s half-brother and is gentler and relies more on his brain. Contrary to what you might think (or heard), there is no love triangle. We know who Mare is falling in love with, and we know that her “relationship” with Maven is forced and more friendship than anything else. Actually, the romance overall was lacking and lackluster, but I have high hopes for the next book.
“Cal and Maven are deadly creatures, soldiers. But their battle isn't just on the lines. It's here, in a palace, on the broadcasts, in the heart of every person they rule. They will rule, not just by right of a crown, but by might. Strength and power. It's all the Silvers respect, and it's all it takes to keep the rest of us slaves.”
The world building is essential when writing fantasy and I think Aveyard did an amazing job. She captured the spirit of the rebellion, the desperation of war, the desolation of slavery, the grandeur of the palace and the brutality of the Silver. I had my suspicions about the bad guy, but the way it all went down was amazing. The writing is fluid, insightful and easy to read. The ending was great and not a cliffhanger.
“In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don't know if I'll ever smile again.”
Overall, Red Queen was an amazing story of survival, growth, friendship, betrayal, the bonds of family, oppression and the will to reach for more. I cannot wait for the yet unnamed book #2.
During the holidays we played a game in our office during our Christmas lunch. We passed a box that was wrapped in paper until the music stopped andDuring the holidays we played a game in our office during our Christmas lunch. We passed a box that was wrapped in paper until the music stopped and then peal a layer of wrapping paper off. The winner was the one that unwrapped that last layer. The point to this little story (yes, there is a point!) is that reading Golden Son felt like unwrapping layer after layer of pure awesome to get to even more awesome.
Giving details about this book is very hard. The plot is so complex, complicated, twisty, action packed, surprising; honestly is a gem. I cannot fathom how Brown came up with it and kept track of it all! Golden Sun starts almost two years after the end of Red Rising. Darrow has spent time with the Andromedus family and is now finishing the Academy. He is committed to his cause, to make a different, to make Eo proud. He has lost contact with the Son of Ares, but keeps his goal of becoming someone with power.
“For seven hundred years, my people have been enslaved without voice, without hope. Now I am their sword. And I do not forgive. I do not forget. So let him lead me onto his shuttle. Let him think he owns me. Let him welcome me into his house, so I might burn it down.”
Darrow is such an intricate character, full of contradictions. He’s afraid and fearless. Brutal and tender. Loyal and traitorous. His mission makes it a necessity to always plan ahead and always lie. It’s such a hard life, such a twisted path. I adore Darrow.
“Were I still the man Eo knew, I would have stood frozen in horror. But that man is gone. I mourn his passing every day. Forgetting more and more of who I was, what dreams I held, what things I loved. The sadness now is numb. And I carry on despite the shadow it casts over me.”
Darrow’s relationship with Mustang is complicated (I know, I know, but it really is!) There is no doubt that they love each other, but there are both so strong and unbending. Darrow doesn’t feel guilty anymore of being in love with someone else, but he’s doesn’t believe he deserves her when he’s keeping such a big secret from her. There is a host of amazing characters from Red Rising and also new characters that make an appearance here.
“She wears black in a sea of gold, white, and reds… I’m reminded of the warmth of her flesh, the mischief in her voice, the smell at the nape of her neck, the kindness of her heart. “
Brown’s writing is enthralling and thought provoking. It kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. There is defeat, war, death, life, love, trust, friendship, and so much more in this book. This ending, bloodydamn! How am I ever going to be able to wait a whole year for Morning Star? I can’t even explain because it would the mother of all spoilers.
Overall, Golden Son was such a great read. I wish there were words to describe how good this book, the series is, is without spoiling it for you. If you like strong characters, complicated plots, amazing writing, fantasy and sci-fi, this is the series for you.This review was originally posted on Reading With ABC...more
WOW! Where have you been all my life Ms. Nielsen? I found The False Prince because a blogger friend recommended it for my son B, but I beat him to it.WOW! Where have you been all my life Ms. Nielsen? I found The False Prince because a blogger friend recommended it for my son B, but I beat him to it. It was awesome! *you can run now and buy a copy*
The False Prince is in essence a fantasy. Sadly, one of the most difficult parts of writing a fantasy is the world building and I feel that it was deficient here. We do know that our characters live in the country of Carthya and that it’s in the brink of civil war. We also get a lesson on the way the country’s government works and the royal family, but that’s it. I fell like a lot more could have been done to build this world.
There are two things that make this book so memorable to me, one is the plot and the second is Sage. The plot is a gem. I cannot tell you that I didn’t suspect the truth, but I couldn’t have predicted anything else that happened. The story is complicated, full of intrigue, politics, a bit of romance, challenges and twists and turns. I think it is supposed to be a middle grade series, but it doesn’t feel like one.
On to Sage. If you recall, he is the second reason why I adored this book. What an incredible character! Sage is one of the three orphan boys that Conner collects for is evil plan (*insert malevolent laugh here*) Together with Roden and Tobias, he go through the motions of getting trained to be a prince. They get lessons on a lot of things, such as horse riding, sword fighting, reading, history, and manners. Oh, Sage! He is a thief, irreverent, proud, unpredictable, reckless, adventurous, and a master strategist. You cannot appreciate his awesomeness until almost the end.
The characters are so well developed. Roden, and Tobias are competing with Sage (to me there wasn’t really a competition), but Sage offers them protection and friendship. They each have their reasons for wanting to be prince, and for working hard towards that goal, even if they have to sabotage each other. Conner is a despicable man. He is cruel, conceited, and he belief himself to be all-powerful.
The story is told from Sage’s point of view, except for a part towards the end where the ‘truth’ is explained to the reader in the third person. As I was listening to the book, I didn’t find this awkward at all. The writing is genius to go hand in hand with the amazing plot. I already bought The Runaway King, the next book of the series and I hope to start reading it soon. I also saw that the book was purchased for movie, well signed me up!
About the narration: It’s the first book narrated by Charlie McWade that I’ve listen to before and I really liked it. The voices were distinct from each other as were the accents too. This must have been difficult as most of the characters were male....more
What first made me take a second look at Branded was its gorgeous cover, hence my decision to join the tour when the authors offer me a copy3.5 Stars
What first made me take a second look at Branded was its gorgeous cover, hence my decision to join the tour when the authors offer me a copy of the book.
The premise of Branded is very interesting. In theory, people that commit a crime are ‘branded’ with a different color according to the nature of the crime (to match the capital sins.) Then, they are removed from polite society and send to live to a horrendous place called the Hole. As you might imaging, the Hole is not a nice place, quite the opposite. In fact, it is one of the most horrendous settings that I ever read.
Lexi is a very complicated character. She had a very happy childhood and family life, but unfortunately that didn’t last long. When her mother remarried, it seems like she married a controlling sadistic maniac (just saying it like it is.) I have no idea how Lexi endured these years because it was enough to turn a lesser person crazy. When she ends up in the Hole, she is broken. She lives in constant fear, she can’t defend herself and seems to always fit the role of damsel in distress (which I strongly dislike.) Lexi surprised me though. She made a big change, and a conscious effort to no longer fit that role and learn how to be stronger and overcome her fear.
For an unknown reason, Lexi is assigned a private guard, to keep her safe. I really liked Cole, even though he comes across a bit overprotective and overbearing. Since a relationship between guards and sinners is prohibited and punishable by death, it is predictable that Lexi and Cole fall in love. It is by no means insta-love, but when the fall, the fall hard.
Bruno is a big teddy bear of a man. He’s Cole’s best friend and he tried to help Lexi and Cole in any way he can. Zeus is Cole’s huge dog and a vicious loyal sweetheart. Keegan is Lexi’s brother and also very protective of Lexi. The interaction between the siblings was fun to watch. I wonder where Lexi’s mother is. Overall, the characterizations was strong.
The plot, as I mentioned at the beginning is original and strong. Some of the turns of events I could predict, but some I didn’t (plus I’m sure there’s more to come.) The writing is easy to read and follow, but the dialogue was a little out of place (see below.) The world building is excellent for the Hole, but very vague for the rest of the world outside.
However, the book is not without problems. Two things really bugged me. First, there were some spelling errors. Second, the timing of things didn’t quite work for me. The book explains that the current system has been in effect after World War V which happened fifty year before Lexi’s story. However, Lexi’s father remembers the system before that time (which would make him very old.) Also, the language used by the characters is current (slang and all) and this would not be used in a dystopian; even the technology seemed the same. Unless I was confused with how the book is supposed to be read as (a dystopian versus an alternate present?)
I’m sure that some other unknown factors will come into play in the next book and I will certainly read it when it’s published. The book ends with a lull in the action, but with a promise of more to come....more
This novella is 109 pages long and it was amazingly good. As you might remember (or maybe not!), I loved These Broken Stars and I was eager to read moThis novella is 109 pages long and it was amazingly good. As you might remember (or maybe not!), I loved These Broken Stars and I was eager to read more about Lilac and Tarver. This story is alluded to during the first book and it has to do with the heroic act that lead to Tarver’s swift promotion in rank. As he wakes up from a nightmare, Lilac asks about the reason and Tarver tells him a story of bravery, being in the right place at the right time, and betrayal. The even took place when Tarver was stationed in Patron and he happens to investigate faulty communication with a science station and walks into a hostage situation. What ensues is an action pack rescue operation while he’s aided by Sanjana Rao, the young and brave leader of the group. A must read for fans of the series....more